Chapter: Town of Connewango, pages 214-229
Transcribed by Claudia Patterson January 2004
Photos contained in this chapter:
This is the third from the south of the western tier of towns in the county, and is township 3, in range 9, of the Holland Company survey. It derived its name from the principal stream, which is said to be an Indian term signifying "walking slowly." As originally erected from Little Valley, Jan. 20, 1823, the town embraced the four lower townships in range 9, but was reduced to its present limits— 22,846 acres—by the formation of Randolph on its south, Feb. 21, 1826, and Leon on its north, April 24, 1832. It now lies in the form of a square, containing 64 equal lots of land, whose surface is varied from a flat along the Connewango to hilly uplands in the north and the east.
The Connewango Creek has its source in Chautauqua County and in the towns of New Albion, Dayton, and Leon in Cattaraugus County. It enters this town from the former county near the northwest corner, then flows southeast to within a mile of the southern line of the town, west of the centre, where, after taking the waters of the Little Connewango (which flows from the southeast), it takes a southwestern course, passing out of the town at its southwest corner, and emptying into the Allegany near Warren, Pa. It is a deep, dark, sluggish stream, with scarcely a perceptible motion, and has not been inappropriately named. It affords little water-power, but formerly abounded with all kinds of fish, and is yet stocked with the common varieties.
Elm Creek rises in town on lot 14, and has a general southerly course into the town of Randolph, where it empties into the Little Connewango. Its name was suggested by the elm-trees growing on its banks. It was formerly a good mill-stream, and much employed to operate machinery, but lately has been but little used for this purpose.
Clear and Mill Creeks flow from the northern part of the town to lot 62, where they empty into the Connewango.
These and other brooks in town afford good natural drainage. On the uplands the soil varies from a rather stiff clay to a gravelly loam, and on the flats is chiefly the latter. Its productive power is equal to any in the county, and Connewango ranks well as an agricultural town.
In 1815 the books of the Holland Laud Company contained the names of
Win. Sears, Edmund Mullet., Daniel Philips, Harry Davidson, Peter Blanchard,
anti Rufus Wyllys as land-holders in town. A few of these only became actual
PIONEER SETTLERS AND INCIDENTS.
It has been our intention to make this list full and complete, but the tide of time has washed away the early history of many of these pioneers, so that the hand of the historian will never be able to gather them up.
Most of the people of this town were from New England or of New England origin. They came poor in worldly 214 goods but rich in courage, enterprise, and industry, and were well adapted to redeem the soil, covered by primitive forests, and change the town to its present fruitful condition.
The honor of being the first settler in Connewango is accorded to Eliphalet Follet. He settled on lot 38 in 1816, on the old Chautauqua Road, east of Rutledge. Here he soon after opened a house of entertainment, to accommodate travelers over that route on their way farther west. A son of Mr. Follet was the first child born in town. A few years later Follet left the county, and we have been unable to learn more of his history.
The next settler was James Battles, a native of Vermont, from which State he came to this town in 1817. He was then a single man, about nineteen years of age, having been born in 1798. He was soon after married to Miss Rachel Hadley, which may have been the first marriage in town. But some of the old residents say the marriage of Calvin Treat and Miss Adaline Childs was the first; yet all agree that there was but little difference in the time of their marriages, and that both were compelled to go to Chautauqua County to find a justice to perform the ceremony. Mr. Battles built the first frame barn in town. For many years he dealt largely in stock, and was an active business man. He was also a prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Rutledge, and for a long time leader of the class. Rev. Dr. Morgan, an old acquaintance, tells an anecdote that when this church was at its zenith, and fired with much zeal, Mr. Battles called upon the wi4Qw McGlasher to get the use of her barn, in which to hold their quarterly meeting. Mrs. McGlasher was a Scotch Presbyterian of the strictest sect, and therefore had but little religious sympathy with the " ranting Methodists," as she termed them. She wished to know "why her barn was wanted when Mr. Battles had a larger and better one standing but a few rods away, which had always been used for such meetings?" Mr. Battles reasoned, but to no purpose, and finally asked her why she refused the use of her barn; whereupon she told him her main reason was, "she had an old goose sitting upon a nest full of eggs under the barn, and she had often heard it remarked that thunder would kill goslings." Mr. Battles concluded to hold the meeting at his barn.
Cyrus Childs was the third settler in town. A native of Massachusetts, he came with his family from that State to this town in 1818, and settled on lot 22. He died in town a few years since, aged ninety-three.
James Blanchard came in 1818, and settled on lot 22. He was born in Bennington, Vt., July 1789. His wife, Eunice, was born in Halifax, Vt., January 1796. They opened a tavern, in 1820, on the old Chautauqua road. He also built a hotel in Rutledge in 1827, being the first frame public-house in town. He died March 1833. The widow is yet living on lot 48, aged eighty-three years. They had a family of four sons and four daughters. One of the sons, Hiram, is living on lot 48, and a daughter, Lucinda, in the town of Leon. Mrs. Blanchard is now the oldest resident living in town.
Lyman Wyllys came from his native State, Massachusetts, in 1818. He settled on lot 23, but removed to Michigan.
Daniel Grover, a native of Vermont, settled on lot 23 in 1818. He was born in 1792, and is now living in Illinois. His wife was born in Vermont in 1797, and died in Illinois in 1873.
Calvin Treat settled on lot 38 in 1818. He married Miss Adaline Childs, May 21, 1819. He built a small grist-mill, the first in the town, on Spring Brook in 1822. He died on the same farm in 1832.
David Davidson came from Vermont in 1818, and settled on 48. He was the carpenter who built the first frame building in town in 1820. He was born in Vermont, 1777, and died in Chautauqua Co., N. Y.
George A. Crooker (Croaker)
Sampson Croaker, an old sea captain, came to Connewango, from Cairo, Greene Co., in 1818, and settled on lot 47. In company with Robert McGlasher he built the first saw-mill in town. He and Culver Crumb also built a saw-mill and a grist-mill on Clear Creek in 1825. It is still in operation. He set out the first orchard in town, and gave the land for the first cemetery, on the rise of ground just east of Rutledge. His wife was a true pioneer, and once killed a large wild-cat with the fire-tongs, at her hen-roost, in the winter of 1819. She also made the trip from her home to Catskill, N. Y, alone, with a horse and wagon, taking with her a live bear, which she sold to help pay the expenses of the trip. Soon after this their son, George A. S. Croaker, settled on lot 54. He was a rising lawyer, having for some years studied in Catskill, and afterwards in Moscow. He is not only entitled to a place in the history of the county as one of’ her most distinguished and talented men, but Connewango, as a town, feels a pride in his citizenship and in the eminent service which he rendered her people. He stood high as a legal counselor, and as an advocate had but few peers. He possessed a liberal heart and the most kindly feelings, and no sacrifice was too great to be made in the behalf of his friends. Abiding with her people for half a century, the esteem in which his abilities were held is told in the record of his civil history. He represented his town in the Board of Supervisors for nearly a third of a century, and the representatives of the county in that body made him their presiding officer for twenty-seven years. He was a member in the State Legislature from Cattaraugus County, where he took a high position as a ready debater. He was also a member from his district in the Constitutional Convention of 1846. In debate he skillfully parried the blows of his opponents, and gave them telling home-thrusts. He was keen in wit and scathing in satire, but no petty enmity or rankling bitterness ever found lodgment in his heart. He died at St. Charles, Ill., in 1874, in the seventy-fifth year of his age, but at his request his remains were brought back to Connewango, and interred in the cemetery, the ground for which was given by his father nearly sixty years ago.
Rufus Wyllys settled on lot 30, 1819. He was born in Massachusetts, 1780, and moved from that State, a distance of 500 miles, upon an ox-sled, being twenty-three days on the road. The sled carried the family of eleven persons and all their worldly effects. John Wyllys, a son, says their bread for much of the time was obtained by pounding corn on a block of wood. They would try and pound it fine enough to get out a little fine meal for a "Johnny" cake for breakfast, make samp for dinner, and the same for supper, if they found the cows. For a table, for several years, they used a slab split from a large cucumber log, with four holes bored in the corners, into which logs were driven; and the only chairs were made in the same rude manner. " Catamounts" were used for bedsteads. At first they had to go to Fredonia to mill. Afterwards, Kent’s Mill was built on the head-waters of the Connewango. Their usual mode of going to mill was with an ox-team, drawing a crotch. Afterwards they dug a canoe from a pine log, and carried their grists in that on the Connewango. Mr. Wyllys and Samuel Farlee built a saw-mill on Elm Creek in 1823. John Wyllys, a son, lives on lot 27, aged sixty-nine years, having lived in town fifty-nine years, and with one exception is the oldest resident in Connewango. In speaking of the customs of the pioneer times he says, "It was against the rule of the neighborhood for any one to build a chimney until they had first burned out three logs of the house."
Daniel Newcomb went on lot 21 in 1821. He was born in Goshen, N. Y., and came to this town from Livingston. County. When he built his house every foot of his lumber was split from logs and hewed. There were nine children:
Sally M. married Wm. Snow, and still lives in town; Maxamilla married Suel Snow, and lives at Rutledge; and David and Morrell live in Elgin, Ill.
Mr. Newcomb had obtained a few sheep the season after his arrival, and the oldest daughter, Sally, was employed in watching them as they fed at a short distance from the house. While thus engaged, she saw a large bear near by also watching the sheep. The dog held the bear at bay while Sally made her escape to the house. Soon after, in Mr. Newcomb’s absence, the attention of the family was drawn, late in the evening, by an unusual noise outside and the efforts of the dog to get from the house. Mrs. New-comb, looking out between the logs, saw, by the light of the fire she had built, nine wolves. The dog was let loose, and, following the wolves, was absent four days. Mr. Newcomb died in town, in 1855, and Mrs. Newcomb died on the farm now owned by Joseph Grey, in 1846.
Julius Gibbs, from Chautauqua County, settled on lot 47 in 1822. A blacksmith by the name of Bradner settled on lot 30 in 1819; and Chauncy Butler, from Mt. Morris, N. Y., on lot 39 the same year.
Leonard and Aaron Barton, young men from Massachusetts, settled on lot 15 in 1820. They chopped about ten acres, but becoming discouraged returned to Massachusetts. About 1822, General Seth Wood took this land and lived here several years. He then moved to. Ohio, where he died, leaving two sons in town, Thomas and Gaius. Thomas settled on lot 8, and died there. Gains died in town about two years since.
Samuel Farlee came from Genesee County in 1819, and settled on lot 12. It took fourteen hands an entire day to clear a road two miles to where he built his shanty, which was put up, without a nail. He moved to lot 5, and in 1827 built a good-sized grist-mill on Elm Creek, having two run of stone. It continued to do business until about 1870. In 1865 a Mr. Farnsworth was employed in these mills. During the great flood of that year, in attempting to remove the slash-boards from the dam, he was washed away and drowned. His body was found the next day two miles below in the woods, on C. P. Tuttle’s land, sitting in a natural position against a tree, entirely nude except one boot, one collar-band, and one wrist-band of the shirt.
Elias Wilcox, from Livingston Co., N. Y., settled on lot 47 in.1820. He afterwards moved to East Randolph, where he lived until his death. Russel Pennock settled, on lot 30 in 1819, put up a log house and remained until about 1830, when he moved to Ohio.
Thomas Darling, a native of Windsor Co., Vt., came from York, N. V., in 1820, and settled on lot 30, afterwards moving to Ohio.
Peter Blanchard settled on lot 22 in 1819. He was born in Vermont, but came from Cayuga Co., N. V. He died and was buried on the same farm in 1825, being the fourth adult death in town.
Two brothers, Nicholas and Thomas Northrup, came to this town in 1818, from Stephentown, N. V. In 1860, Mr. Northrup went west on a visit, and on his return was killed by the cars. Of his sons, George died in Georgia in 1862, and Anson moved to Minnesota and pre-empted the lands and built the first shanty, and then the first frame building, where Minneapolis now stands, and afterwards did the same at St. Paul; Stephen is living in Illinois; J. Brock and his sister, Freelove, now live at East Randolph. Thomas Northrup also settled early in town. He built a small shanty, covering it with elm-bark. lie was the first town clerk of the town, which office he held for several terms.
Asahel Brown settled on lot 14 in 1823. He was born at Grand Isle, Vt., in 1799. His wife, Flora, was born in Massachusetts in 1802. A small log house had been built by Lyman Wyllys, in which Mr. Brown lived for about twenty years, when he built what was known in the vicinity as the "Red House." He is now, at the age of seventy-nine, living with his son, Martin, upon the old homestead.
John Darling settled on lot 38 in 1821. He came from the State of Vermont, where he was born in 1786. His wife was born in the same State in 1797. Mr. Darling was the first supervisor of the town of Connewango. Soon after his settlement he was once engaged in boiling maple-sap until late in the evening. Thinking it about time to return to the house, he lighted a torch and started, but soon found himself literally surrounded by wolves. He was compelled to return to his fires and remain until morning amid the howling of his companions. He died on the same farm in December 1867, aged eighty-one. His wife died in 1840. He left three children,- Isaiah, John, and Betsy.
Benjamin Darling, a brother of the above, was born in Windsor, Vt., March, 1782, and Maria, his wife, was born in the same ~rear at Plymouth, Mass. They came to this town in 1821, and settled on lot 46. They came with an ox-team and sled, and were four weeks in making the journey. There being no school in the. small log schoolhouse near by, they occupied it while putting up a log house, which they covered with shakes and messed in. He then went to Mayville, Chautauqua Co., to get his land hooked, but not having money to procure an article, he called on Mr. Peacock, the agent, and stated to him that he wanted booked to him 179 acres, being the east part of lot 46.
"Where are you from?" "I am from Windsor County, Vermont." "How much do you wish to pay?" "Nothing, except the bare expense of booking." "Well, what have you got at home?" "I have a wife and five children, a yoke of oxen, a set of log-chains, and three good axes."
"You can have the land, Mr. Darling."
Mr. Darling died on this farm March 1861. Sylvester B., one of the children, lives on lot 38. Ezra and sister Huldah now live on the old home farm. And here we must be allowed to say we are under many obligations to Mr. Ezra Darling for the aid he rendered in procuring pioneer and other history. We learned from him that the first dance held in town was on the Fourth of July, 1821, at the house of Russel Pennock. There being nothing but ox-teams, most of the girls canto on foot. A Frenchman played the fiddle. The second dance was held at the house of Benjamin Darling, the following New Year’s Day. There being good sleighing, the girls were brought on ox-sleds. We here learn that these scattering settlers, amid their privations and toils in carving out new homes in the wilderness, did not forget to lighten their cares by these sources of amusement.
Ezra Amadon came from Cayuga County, in 1820, and settled on lot 15. He was born in Bennington, Vt., in 1796, and his wife in Guilford, Vt., in 1798. They stopped with James Blanchard until he put up a rough log house, with "cob" roof and split logs for a floor. After eleven years he moved to lot 56, commencing a new farm. Mr. Amadon says, "He possessed the first grain-cradle in town." He once caught a live bear, and, after keeping it awhile, sent it East and sold it. He says that with the cattle he once turned into the woods, late at night, was a spring calf. In the morning he found it a short distance from the house, having been killed in the night by a panther. Of a family of ten children three are living:
Lucius and Calvin live in Pennsylvania, and George resides with his parents in the town of Leon~ Mr. Amadon is eighty-four years of age, with a vigorous mind and clear memory. He gave .much information that could not have been obtained without his aid.
Culver Crumb settled on lot 61, in 1820.
Goldsmith Coffin, of Seneca County, was the first settler on lot 63. John Fairbanks, from Onondaga County, settled on lot 56, in 1822. He was born in Massachusetts, in 1766. His wife, Experience, was born in the same State, in 1769. They had fourteen children, - eleven Sons and three daughters. Mr. Fairbanks died on the same farm, in 1837. His wife died in 1835.
Henry Pellit, a native of England, came from Onondaga Co., N. Y., in 1823, settling on lot 13. His widow is yet living in Connewango. James Hammond came from Chautauqua County, in 1823, settling on lot 61. He was born in Rhode Island, in 1797, and died on the farm now owned by Alonzo Grover, in 1866. Remus Baldwin, from Caledonia, settled on lot 46, in 1818, and Dana Phillips, from Vermont, on lot 48, in 1819. He moved to Michigan. Bela B. Post settled on lot 27, in 1819, but sold to Joel Poet, a brother, and moved to Iowa, where he died.
John Farlee settled on lot 20, in 1819. He came from Genesee County. His wife died in the fall of 1821. She was buried in the garden, near their rude log cabin. It was the first death of an adult in town. We were informed by Mrs. Blanchard that on the day of the burial, being in the fall, one of the most terrible storms she ever experienced raged the entire day and night. The winds fearfully through the almost unbroken forests, and a snow-storm, unusual for the season, rendered it almost impossible for assistance to reach this pioneer home. There was no minister of God to offer consoling ministrations; but a simple, fervid prayer was offered up by one of the friends, and the deceased was by loving hands laid kindly and tenderly away in her new garden home.
Stephen Nichols settled on lot 61, in 1820, and David Cooper on lot 29, about the same time.
Burt settled on lot 21, in 1821. He came from Morris, N. Y., and died on the same farm. Valentine Hill came from Ohio in 1822, and settled on lot 21.
Lomis Lillie settled on lot 21, Joseph Cunningham on 32, and Luke Ward on lot 32, in 1823. Daniel Whiting, from Vermont, settled on lot 48, in 1819; and Luther Marlow on the same lot, in 1823.
John Towers, from Ontario County, settled on lot 37, in 1826. For six weeks an old trunk served them for a table. One Sunday the following summer Mr. and Mrs. Towers went to a neighbor’sto attend a religious meeting, leaving the children at home, with instructions not to leave the yard, which was enclosed by a brush fence. Upon their return, the children said they had fed two black dogs just over the fence, which really were two young bears. Soon after, Mr. Towers, in looking for his cows, was attracted, by the barking of his dog, to a tree, up which the dog had driven these cubs. Mrs. Towers was called, and left to keep the bears from descending, while Mr. Towers went to a neighbor’s for a gun. She soon discovered an old bear near by. She set the dog upon the bear and drove it away. When Mr. Towers returned it was getting dusk. He shot one of the young bears, but could not see the other. They built a fire at the foot of the tree, and remained until morning, when they killed the other cub, and then followed the old bear, which they found and killed in the forenoon. Mr. Towers died in town. his wife is yet living, near the old homestead.
Jotham Metcalf settled on lot 2. in 1823. He was born in New Hampshire, in 1791. His wife, Sarah Ash, was born in Rensselaer County, in 1794. They built a rough log house, moved in, and commenced driving back the thick forests surrounding them. Mr. Metcalf and wire were exemplary Free-Will Baptists, having united with that church when young, and ever remaining members of it, except for a few years after his arrival in this town. There being then no Free Baptist church, they united with several others in forming a Methodist class at his house, in 1826. Mr. Metcalf was chosen leader of the class, and meetings were held at his house for two or three years, and it was known as the "preachers’ home." They again united with the Free-Will Baptists as soon as a church was formed at Little Valley, although twelve miles distant. Mr. Metcalf died in 1875. His widow is living with her son Harvey, and, at eighty-four years, is smart and active. When we called to see her, she had just come in from a walk of nearly two miles, having been out to call upon an old neighbor. Harvey and Henry L., Sons, live upon parts of the farm first settled on; David, another son, lives in Cold Spring; Harriet, a daughter, died in Randolph, in 1854; and Mary (Mrs. L. Smith) lives in Napoli.
Ralph Williams, a native of Connecticut, born in 1778, came to this town in 1823, and settled on lot 1. His wife was born in Connecticut, in 1782. They continued to reside on the same farm until 1868, when they went to live with their son, George A. In 1875, Mr. Williams died at the age of ninety-seven, and his wife at ninety-three, having lived together in married life for the very unusual period of seventy-two years. They had six sons; Alzarat lives in Chautauqua County; Lauren died in Cold Spring, in 1871; N. Bishop lives on the old farm; William W. and Frederic R., in Napoli.
In 1827, Nathan Snow, from Genesee County, but a native of Connecticut, settled on lot 4. Having no house, he went to work, cleared away the timber, cut the logs, built a house, and moved in, all within a week. He died on the same farm October 1861, aged seventy-one years. His widow, Lura Snow, was born in Oneida County, and is now living with her son on the old farm. She is eighty-two years of age. Six Sons and two daughters are all living in the immediate vicinity. William D. lives on lot 6; Suel H. at Rutledge; Orre on lot 11; Edward in Randolph; Melvin on the home farm; and Chauncey A. on the same lot. He keeps a large dairy, manufacturing his own butter. He is also a stock dealer. The oldest daughter, Mrs. George Watkins, lives at East Randolph; and Mrs. Walter Thorp, another daughter, in Napoli.
C. A. SNOW of Connewango
(See residence of C. A. SNOW
at the end of this chapter.)
We have thus far neglected to speak of the McGlashen family. The widow, Ann McGlashen, consort of Peter McGlashen, with four sons, came to this town at an early date, and settled at or near Rutledge. Robert came in 18l~, settling on lot 47. He was the first justice in town. James came in 1819, settling on lot 89, and Charles about 1825. These two brothers did much in building up Rutledge and vicinity. They built the first frame house in town. In 1831 they built a large hotel with a commodious store, and became successful merchants. They were also large dealers in cattle. Some years later, the other brother, Peter, settled in Rutledge. They had quite a military ambition, and James became a brigadier-general of the militia, Charles a colonel, and Peter brigade inspector. James died at Cincinnati, 0.; Charles moved to Red Wing, Minn., in 1860, where he died in 1872.
Richard McDaniels settled on lot 1 in 1824. He soon after sold to Jeremiah Bundy, who remained about three years and sold to George L. Fox, who died on the place in 1838. His widow and son yet live on the farm.
Henry L. Gardner, a native of Windsor, Vt., came to Connewango in 1825, where he married a daughter of Nicholas Northrup, and settled on lot 55. Peter Pennock came from Genesee County in 1821.
Samuel Cowley settled on lot 8 in 1822. He was born in Cayuga County, in 1798, and came to this town from York; N. Y. Mrs. Cowley was a native of Connecticut. In October 1844, during the presidential excitement of that year, Mr. Cowley in climbing a hickory pole fell, breaking both his legs. One of them not healing, amputation became necessary the following February, and he died while the operation was being performed. Mrs. Cowley and a son now live on the old farm.
Jared Stevens, a native of Oneida County, came from Genesee county in 1826, settling on lot 7. He commenced to cut logs for a cabin, but a heavy snow-storm setting in, he put up a small shanty, covering it with shakes; but it leaked so badly he had to cover it again with bark. Mr. Stevens is now living on lot 39. His wife, who was a native of Middlesex, Conn., died in 1877, aged sixty-seven years.
Levi Steele, a native of Granville, Vt., came from Genesee Co., N. Y., in 1829, settling on lot 48. He moved to Chautauqua County, where he died. William Hollister, Jr., from the same place, came to lot 48 in 1831. He built a tannery and carried on a boot- and shoe-shop.
John Hammond settled on lot 61 in 1832; died on the same in 1875, aged eighty-one.
Job Gardner went on lot 54 in 1827. He came from Coxsackie. Be moved to Illinois, and was killed by the upsetting of a load of rails.
Luman Beach moved to Leon in 1821, and to Connewango in 1825. He came from Caledonia, N. Y.
Freeborn Fairbanks settled on lot 64 in 1827. Alden Childs settled on lot 56 in 1827.
Ehias Carpenter, from Onondaga Co., N. Y., settled on lot 64 in 1825. He moved to Minnesota, where he died.
Ziba Hovey, a native of’ Grafton, N. H., came from Genesee County in 1829, settling on lot 4. Hovey is still living in this vicinity with his children, ninety-one years of age, and enjoying good health.
John Benson, from Monroe County, settled on hot 10 in 1824. He was a native of New Jersey, and was born in 1800. His wife was born in Genesee County in 1806. Mr. Benson died in July 1862, but his widow still resides on the farm ho took up. Of the family, Marcus J. lives in East Randolph; William H. was killed by Quatttrell’s guerrillas, in Missouri, in 1862; Marvin died in town; Martin V. is a lawyer at East Randolph.
Daniel Benson settled on lot 9 in May 1824, coming from Monroe County. He was a native of New Jersey, mid was born December 1771, and died March 1838. Of seven children but one is living, Peter D., who resides in East Randolph, aged sixty-six years.
Chauncy Helmes articled the south 100 acres of lot 1 in 1824, and built a plank house, but soon after sold to Robert Holmes, who came to town in 1824, being then a single man. He afterwards married Jane Benson. Before his marriage, intending one Sunday evening to tall on Mi. Benson, he started out just after dark, taking a foot-path up the hill from where East Randolph now is, at that time an unbroken wilderness, to the house of Mr. Benson, about half a mile away. When he had gone half the distance, he was startled by the howl of a pack of wolves, which, in crossing the path and coming upon his fresh tracks, turned up the hill, following directly after him. It is said he made excellent time, and reached Mr. Benson’s unharmed.
Two brothers, Jesse and Erastus Boynton, from Allegany Co., N. Y., settled on lot 10 in 1825. Jesse died on the farm; Erastus moved to Olean.
Elnathan Pope, a native of Vermont, settled on lot 28 in 1831. He came from Allegany County. Mr. Pope was born in 1788, and died in Wisconsin in 1866. Mrs. Pope was born in 1785, and died in town in 1852. Their son Andrew yet lives on lot 28. He invented the "Pope Milk Pan," patented in 1869.
Alfred Kinney, a native of Windham Co., Conn., settled on lot 36 in 1832. He was born in 1808. His wife was born in 1800. They now live with their son Alfred on the same firm.
Hector Seager, from Ontario County, settled on lot 38 in 1831. He was born in Hartford Co., Coon., in 1793, and died on the same farm in 1859. His wife Sally was born in the same State in 1796, and died in 1857.
Richard Goodwin, a native of New Hampshire, located on lot 50 in 1825. He was born in December 1783, and died on the same farm in April 1858. His wife Ruth (Sanborn) was born in New Hampshire, July 1789, and died June 1849. Augustus is living upon the old homestead; Richard died in town in 1871; Elizu is living at Clear Creek. William Bedell, a Methodist clergyman, from Orleans County, located on lot 58 in 1823, and James Wirt, from the same county, located on lot 58 in 1825.
Abijah Bruce, from New Hampshire, settled on lot 59 in 1826. He died in Randolph a few years since. From 1825 to 1831 the following among others settled in town: John Pierce, on lot 59; Uziah Wheeler, on the same lot; Joseph Hamilton and Gideon Walker, on lot 10; Willard and Reuben Cheney, lot 55; Edward Lumley and Calvin Hills, lot 4; Ezra Starmard and Ephraim Palmer, lot 19; John Fairchild, lot 7; Alex. Wandell, lot 3; and Jeremiah and John Bundy, Thomas Dutcher, and Alvah Palmer, on lot 17.
In the years following, other settlers continued to locate in town. Roads were opened and worked. The rude log house gave place to the comfortable frame dwelling, and in the course of these years we have constantly seen the transition of the pioneer country to the fine farming lands of to day.
In 1875 there were in town acres of improved land, owned by 295 persons.
There were 294 frame and 3 log dwellings. The population was 1320, of whom
two were colored, 676 were males, and 644 females; 1261 native born, and
69 of foreign birth; 771 were born in the country, and 97 in New England
States. There were 396 voters and 336 children of school age.
Agreeably to an act of the Legislature of the State of New York, passed Jan. 20, 1823, the electors of the town of Connewango met at the house of John Darling, on the 11th day of February, 1823, to elect town officers. The meeting was called to order by Robert McGlashen, the president of the board. The following officers were elected:
Supervisor, John Darling; Town Clerk, Thomas N. Northrup; Assessors, Alexander McCollum, James Powel, and Calvin Treat; Collector, Remus Baldwin; Poormasters, Thomas Darling, Calvin Treat; Highway Commissioners, Samuel Farlee, Nicholas Northup; School Commissioners, Robert Durfee, Benjamin Darling, and James Powell; School Inspectors, Robert McGlashen, Geo. A. S. Crooker, and Solomon Nichols; Constables, Peter Blanchard, Wm. Minor, and Recard Outhoudt.
Since this period the principal officers of the town have been as follows:
ROADS AND RAILROADS
In 1823 there was hardly what might be called a road, except the Mayville, or old Chautauqua road, which extended through the north part of the town, in an east and west direction. That year all old roads were re-surveyed, and many new ones laid out. There are now fifty-two road districts, and sixty-five miles of highways. Moat of the roads are in good condition, although yet susceptible of improvement.
The Atlantic and Great Western Railroad runs through the southern part of the town a distance of 3 38/100 miles, and the Buffalo and Southwestern Railroad enters the town a little below Old’s Corners, and passes down the valley of the Connewango, having 5 37/100 miles of track in town. The railroads make communication easy, and give the people good shipping facilities.
THE TOWN CEMETERIES
It is said that a child of Robert McGlashen was the first to die in town. In 1821 the wife of John Farlee departed thin life, being the first adult to die. In 1822 the second adult, a Mrs. Crumb, died, and was the first person interred in the Rutledge Cemetery. There is now growing upon her grave a black-cherry tree, nearly two feet in diameter. The first ground for this cemetery was donated by Sampson Crooker, but it has since been enlarged by purchases. It is well fenced and tolerably wellkept, and is controlled by a board of trustees, at present composed of S. B. Ellsworth, James Hollister, Daniel Fuller, Garrett Myers, Harris Aldrich, George E. Seager, A. S. Lamper, and Norman Cowen. The people of the southern part of the town inter in the Randolph cemeteries, and those in the eastern part in Napoli burial-grounds. (NOTE: See Photo of S. B. Ellsworth and residence at the end of this chapter)
AGRICULTURAL AND DAIRY INTERESTS
When the town was settled the timber consisted principally of beech, maple, elm, ash, cherry, hickory, pine, and hemlock; consequently, for many years there was considerable lumbering by the people. But the leading interest of the farmers at present is dairying. There are 5 cheese-factories in town, at which the milk of about 1900 cows is manufactured into butter and cheese. There are also about 300 cows the milk of which is not sent to factories. A few years ago the people were more largely engaged in wool growing than at present. In 1865 it amounted to 7000 or 8000 pounds. At present it is less than 3000 pounds. In the fall of 1877 the apple crop amounted to over 50,000 bushels. Of hay there was cut in 1875, 5779 tons; corn raised, 22,292 bushels; oats, 34,342 bushels; potatoes, 16,735 bushels. Portions of the town being well timbered with rock maple, formerly there was a large mount of maple. Sugar manufactured. At present the product of sugar and syrup is about 30,000 pounds annually. The largest producer in town is S. C. Pierce. He sometimes sets 1500 buckets, and makes 5000 pounds of sugar, and sends his sugar and syrup to all parts of the country.
THE CONNEWANGO CREAMERY
is 60 by 40 feet, three stories high, and was used as such since 1870. It is owned by Bigelow & Gardner. It daily consumes the milk of 430 cows, making 330 pounds of butter and 19 cheeses. This factory received in 1877 1,310,066 pounds of milk, making 38,491 pounds of butter and 106,263 pounds of cheese,- producing a pound of cheese from 12-S-1- pounds of milk, and a pound of butter from - pounds of milk. The patrons received 11 38/000 mills per pound for the milk which they furnished.
THE AXEVILLE CREAMERY
was erected in 1869 by Robinson & Spore, and is now owned by W. J. Bigelow. The size of the building is 28 by 70 feet, three stories high. It is receiving the milk of 600 cows, and makes 450 pounds of butter and 22 cheeses daily. It is run by an engine of 8 horse-power. (See photos of the Bigelow family and the Axeville Creamery at the end of this chapter).
THE RUTLEDGE CREAMERY
is 24 by 50 feet, with a Wing 24 by 32, three stories high. It was built in 1871 by George Mason, and is now owned by Charles B. Darling. It uses the milk of 430 cows, making 450 pounds of butter and 19 cheeses daily. It has an engine of 12 horse-power.
THE HIGHLAND CREAMERY
was built in 1878 by Bigelow & Gardner, and is now owned by them. It is on the old Chautauqua road, between Axeyllle and Rutledge. It is 36 by 24 feet- with a wing 24 by 18 feet. The milk of about 200 cows is used, making 9 cheeses and 190 pounds of butter daily. It has an 8 horse-power engine.
THE ELM CREEK CREAMERY
was built by John Wiggins in 1874, at a cost of $3700. The building is 60 by 30 feet, and three stories high. It is now owned by Chauncy and George Williams. They receive the milk of 225 cows, making 17 cheeses and 225 pounds of butter daily. The engine is 20 horse-power.
A saw-mill was built on Mill Creek; by Sampson Crooker and Robert McGlashen, in 1820; and a saw- and gristmill on the same stream by Lewis Grover; a grist-mill on Spring Creek, in 1822, by Calvin Treat; a saw-mill on Elm Creek, in 1823, by Samuel Farlee and Rufus Wyllys; a grist-mill in 1827, by Samuel Farlee, on Elm Creek; a saw-mill on Mud Creek, in 1844, by Ezra Amadon, and by him rebuilt in 1873; a saw-mill on Elm Creek, known as the "Snow Mill," built by Solomon and Zachariah Lathrop, has been rebuilt and is now owned by C. A. Snow, and used as a saw- and feed-mill, and a turning-lathe. The building is 40 by 20 feet. In 1824, Moses Parker built a saw-mill on Clear Creek, which has been abandoned. Sampson Cracker and Culver Crumb built a grist- and saw-mill on Clear Creek, in 1825, which are still in use. Harold Webster erected a wool-carding and cloth-dressing-mill on Clear Creek, in 1828. Ichabod Tuttle built a saw-mill on Elm Creek, in 1848, which was operated about twenty years. A steam saw-mill was built on lot 30 about 1840, but was burned in 1868. Ephraim Fairbanks erected a steam-mill on. he same site, which is now owned by John Seager. A wool-carding and cloth-dressing-mill was built on Elm Creek, in 1826, by Edward Lumley. In 1831 it was purchased by Calvin Hill, and continued in operation until 1853. Childs & McDowell established a brick-yard near Clear Creek, in 1828, and the business was continued by James Hammond and David Pendleton.
In the vicinity of Rutledge, at an early day a distillery was erected by Brown & Wyllys, and afterwards another by Sturdevent & Holbrook; but both have long since been discontinued.
In 1844, Day & Beals built a tannery at Rutledge; and asheries were early built at or near Rutledge, by Camp & Holbrook, Harlow Beach, Henry Day, Jared C. McGlashen, Aldrich & Strong. An ashery was built on Elm Creek, in 1844, which was worked but a few years.
VILLAGES AND HAMLETS.
The village of East Randolph, which lies partly in the town of Connewango, is fully noted in the history of the town of Randolph. A small portion of Old’s Corners, now Connewango Station, on the Buffalo and Southwestern Railroad, is also in this town; but as all its business places are in Chautauqua County, further mention of it is here omitted. The hamlet of Clear Creek, farther south, on the county line, has a few houses in the town of Connewango.
Elm Creek is a settlement on the east line of the town, having a cheese-factory, Good Templars’ hall, several shops and dwellings.
Is a small hamlet bear the northeast corner of the town. It’s name was derived from one of the early settlers there, Edwin Leffingwell, a noted axe-maker. He made large numbers of these tools, and the early settlers took as much satisfaction in owning one as do the farmers now in owning a fine reaper or mower.
In 1840 a post-office was kept here by Samuel Cowley. The place at present contains a school-house, a creamery, and half a dozen houses.
is a very pleasant village of 150 inhabitants, in the~ northwestern part of the town. The opening of the Chautauqua road induced quite a settlement in this locality, from which the village originated. The first frame house was built by Charles McGlashen. The place now contains several very fine residences, churches, stores, shops, and a hotel.
The first store opened in the place was kept by Camp & Holbrook. They were succeeded by Lewis Holbrook, Angus Cory, Harlow Beach, and in 1829 by Chamberlain & Dow. In 1831 the McGlashen Brothers built a store and engaged in trade on a large scale. This has since been occupied by Beach Brothers, G. A. S. Crooker, Paul Dean, and Cyrus Thatcher, who has been engaged in trade here twenty-three years, but has resided in town since 1827. Besides Thatcher, S. B. Ellsworth and S. D. Crooker are at present in trade.
The first tavern was opened in 1827 by James Blanchard, and was afterwards kept by B. C. Willoughby and William Day. In 1831, J. & C. McGlashen built a hotel, which bad among its subsequent keepers Harris Aldrich. It is at present kept by E. Robinson.
Samuel Bradner had the first blacksmith-shop, which was also the first in town, and Henry Watherhouse the first wagon-shop.
The post-office bears the name of the town, Connewango, and was established in 1825, with George A. S. Crooker postmaster. His successors have been James McGlashen, Thomas J. Wheeler, Charles McGlashen, Clark McCollister, and, for the past sixteen years, Cyrus Thatcher.
Sampson Crooker and Robert Guy had the first contract to carry the mails, the route being from Ellicottville to Mayville, in Chautauqua County. At first Mr. Crooker carried the mail on his back, but in a year or so it was carried on horseback, once a week. The office now has two mails per day, via railroad to Old’s Corners.
Dr. Sands N. Crumb was the first physician at Rutledge, coming in 1820. He removed in a few years to Lodi, and Dr. Cheney came to Rutledge. In 1826, Dr. Thomas J. Wheeler came to the village and engaged in the practice of medicine, becoming one of the most skillful physicians in the county. He died here in 1876. The present physicians are L. S. Morgan and Frederick C. Beals.
It may said here, to the credit of the early settlers of Rutledge, that they manifested unusual interest in mental culture, and in 1824 established a library, containing many standard works on history, theology, and physics, which was well sustained for many years. And this disposition for culture and improvement also extended to the people of the town.
SCHOOLS AND RELIGIOUS SOCIETIES
were formed in various localities, as soon as the settlements were strong enough, which were encouraged and supported to the extent of the ability of those composing them.
As early as 1820 a log school-house was built on lands now owned by A. Barton, where Eliza Bradner, Ann Wise, and Olive Cheney taught schools in the order named. Soon after a house was built farther west, in which Olive Cheney and Eliza Cheney first taught schools. Other districts were formed, and the town now has eleven school-buildings, most of them neat and comfortable. The one at Rutledge is a new house, of attractive proportions and handsome appearance. At East Randolph is a fine house, in which two schools are taught, attended by 125 pupils; and other districts also have well-attended schools.
The town has, by the September report of 1878, 11 districts, containing 11 school buildings, valued at $5330, with 293 volumes in library, valued at $126. There are 12 teachers employed, and there was paid for teachers’ wages $2388.48. Number of children of school age, 589; average daily attendance, 26l 326/1000; number of weeks taught, 324; amount of public money received from the State, $1269.05; amount received from tax, $995.87.
THE FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF CONNEWANGO
was organized Jan. 11, 1823, by the Rev. John Spencer, a missionary of the Connecticut Domestic Society, in a small log school-house, in what is now the town of Leon. There were nine members, as follows: Alexander McCollum and wife, James Coe, wife, daughter, and two sons, Luman Coe and Norman Coe. The latter was appointed clerk, and filled this position until 1832. Revs. John Spencer and Ira Dunning occasionally visited the church and administered the ordinances, and others missionaries occasionally preached for the society, which held its meetings at Leon and Rutledge. In 1836, 65 members were reported, and the church seemed to be in a flourishing condition, the pastoral office being filled meanwhile by Abel C. Ward, Miles Doolittle, and later by William Waithe and H. Willoughby. In 1845 the Leon members were set off to form a separate church (Congregational in form), and the Rev. L. S. Morgan became the pastor of the Rutledge branch, which remained Presbyterian, and the following year was formally installed. He continued his pastoral relation until 1851. Thereafter the pulpit was supplied a few years, and finally became altogether vacant.
In 1868, Dr. Morgan was again invited by the citizens of Rutledge to minister to them, and accepting, a congregation was collected, and soon after the church again became a living body. Subsequently, the Rev. A. D. Olds became the pastor, and still continues in that office. There are at present about 30 members. A Sunday-school was also organized in 1868, which has maintained a flourishing existence. For the past ten years Deacon W. H. Hollister has been the superintendent.
The church edifice was begun in 1840, but was not completed until 1846, and was consecrated in September of that year by the 11ev. E. J. Gillett, of Jamestown. It has an attractive appearance, and will seat 250 persons. It contains a good pipe-organ, the gift of the Rev. Sylvester Cowles, of Randolph; and a church-bell purchased by the citizens of the place. The property is worth $2400, and is cared for by a society, which has as trustees Daniel Fuller, Welcome Chapman, William H. Hollister, and Reuben Curtis, clerk,
THE FIRST METHODIST CHURCH IN CONNEWANGO, AT EAST RANDOLPH
was organized in April, 1829, at the house of Samuel Fey, by the Rev. Alexander Barns, with the following as members: Samuel Fey, Otis Haywood, David Fey, A. C. Merrill, and their wives, and J. H. Merrill. A.C.Merrill became the leader of the class, which first held its meetings in the school-house, having now regular preaching. Prior to this period the preaching had only been occasional. Those who have served hero as ministers since 1830 have been as follows: 1830, J. P. Kent; 1831, John R. Hallock; 1832, Nelson Henry, John Presser; 1833~ Andrew McCammond; 1834, D. Williams, J. A. Hallock; 1835, Josiah Flowers, H. N. Stearnes; 1836, John Scott, M. Hanna; 1837, J. C. Bassett; 1838, D. C. Rockwell, D. Rowland; 1840—41, J. 0. Rich, J. F. Hill; 1842—43, M. Himebaugh, J. Demmning, M. Elkins; 1844, D. Pritchard, W. W. Lake, J.H. Tagg; 1845, D. N. Vorce, J. A. Young; 1846, S. A. Henderson, J. B. Hammond; 1848, A. Burgess, 0. Parker; 1849, H. H. Moore, S. Parker; 1850, J. E. Chapin, B. D. Himebaugh; 1851, J. E. Chapin, R. S. Moran; 1852, A: Burgess, N. M. Jones ~ 1853, George Chesbrough, D. Osborne; 1854—55, T. D. Blinn, S. Mead; 1856, John Robinson; 1857, M. Stever; 1858—59, I. L. Mead; 1860—61, L. W. Day; 1862—63, H. W. Scott; 1864—65, A. S. Dobbs; 1866, J.R.Shearer; 1867—68, J. H. Stocker; 1869—70, J. C. Sullivan; 1871—73, A. L Kellogg; 1874—76, A. S. Goodrich; 1877—78, A. A. Horton.
At first the church belonged to the Napoli and Smithport circuit, but in 1847 it was united with Randolph and Cold Spring in forming a new charge. Other changes followed, and it is now a station in the Erie Conference. A. C. Merrill has here served as a class-leader more than thirty years, and is also one of the stewards. Other stewards are B. R. Johnson and S. C. Pierce. The church has enjoyed several extensive revivals, and from the one in 1851 received 40 accessions to its membership. Revivals prevailed in I 864~ 1871, 1874, which greatly strengthened the church.
A Sunday-school was opened in the spring of 1843, which has since been successfully continued, having at present 100 members.. The first superintendent was A. F. Payne; the present one is George Genador. Other superintendents have been Calvin Davenport, A. C. Merrill, Simon Dean, W. W. Woodworth, T. A. C. Everett, and Belah R. Johnson.
After the Free-Will Baptist church was built at East Randolph, Methodist meetings were there held until 1852.
In 1851 a good frame church edifice was begun for the use of the Methodist society, which was dedicated in the winter of 1852, by Calvin Kingsley, D.D., at that time a professor in Allegany College. This has since been the home of the church. It will seat 450 persons, and is worth $3000. The board of trustees controlling it is composed of’ A. C. Merrill, Samuel Fey, and M. F. Merrill.
A class of Methodists was formed in 1826, at the house of Jotham Metcalf, by the Rev. Job Wilson, of Canada. It was known as " The Elm Creek Class," and has as members Jotham Metcalf, John Huntington, Arnold Huntington, Silas Earle, Lyman Parmerly, Harvey Parmerly, and the wives of the above. Jotham Metcalf was chosen leader, and the meetings were held at his house and in a log schoolhouse near by. Occasionally there was also preaching, and soon after the class was formed, a revival ensued, in the course of which 50 persona were converted. The class continued prosperous a number of years, but when churches were organized in the adjoining towns, the membership was so much absorbed that it was allowed to go down.
The Methodist class at the Treat school-house was constituted in 1830, of the following: Nathan Burt, John Moran, John Towers, Orestus Seager, David Newcomb, and their wives. Orestus Seager was appointed class-leader, and served in that capacity more than twenty-five years. The present leader is Joseph Grey. Among the early ministers who preached to this class were Revs. Nelson Henry, Darius Smith, John Presser. There are at present twelve members.
THE CLEAR CREEK BAPTIST CHURCH
was organized in 1830, with 12 members. Elders Brag-man and Hadley were among the first preachers. Feb. 8, 1840, a society was organized in connection with the church, having as trustees James Hammond, Elisha P. Mather, James Allen, John Hammond, Silas B. Stone, and Joshua Bentley. About this time a comfortable meeting-house was erected. In 1846, Elder Friall was the pastor of the church, which flourished for a period, when, owing to removals and other causes, it became so weak that its organization could not be preserved.
In 1868 the Rev. Mr. Cooke. a Free-Will Baptist, com- menced preaching in this house, and organized a church of that faith, which soon disbanded.
In 1876 the Rev. L. T. Mason commenced a. series of meetings in the Clear Creek church, which resulted in a revival and the conversion of forty persons. Accordingly, in April that year,
THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF CHRIST IN CLEAR CREEK
was organized with 36 members, and on the 21st of the same month the body was duly incorporated, with a board of trustees composed of David Durm, Osma Sheldon, and Charles Kierstend, The Baptist meeting-house was purchased, and repaired until it is one of the most attractive country churches in these parts. It will seat 400 persons. The present pastor is the Rev. Mr. J ewel1; Osma Sheldon is a deacon, and Fernando Sheldon, clerk.
ELM VALLEY LODGE, No. 689,
I. O. OF G.
was organized at Elm Creek, May 12, 1874, by D. C. Hewett, County Deputy, with 40 charter members and the following principal officers: Wm. Buffington, P. W. C. T.; John Wiggins, W. C. T.; Ellen C. Hill, W. V. T.; S. C. Pierce, W. Chap.; Marion Garden, W. Sec.; George H. Buffington, W. F. S.; Rose D. Wiggins, W. T.
In the course of a few years the membership was increased by one hundred and forty initiations, and the lodge had a very flourishing existence. The meetings were first held in the school-house, but after six months a room was secured in Wiggins' cheese-factory, which was used until another hall could be provided. That winter a stock company was formed to build a hall for the use of the Templars, and with the aid of contributions from persons not members, it was erected the following spring; It is a plain but neat structure, well finished and conveniently furnished, the entire cost being $1000.
The meetings of the lodge were discontinued, January 1877, but the charter is still held with the hope that they may soon be revived.
EAST RANDOLPH LODGE,
NO. 623, I. O. OF G. T.,
was instituted May 30, 1868, with M. Van Benson, W. C. T.; Josie Woodworth, W. V. T.; W. W. Woodworth, Sec.; Mary J. Marsh, Ass't Sec. John Matthews, F. Sec.; L. Benson, Treas.; Lyman L. Hall, M.; J. F. Stoker, Chap.
In October, 1878, the lodge had 90 members, and as principal officers
A. A. Horton, W. C. T.; Belle Morgan, W. V. T.; Abbie Horton, Sec.; Mrs.
L. Jeffords, Treas.; Nellie McCollister, Chap.
CONNEWANGO LODGE, NO. 45, ROYAL TEMPLARS OF TEMPERANCE,
was organized at Rutledge, April 17, 1878, and had for its first officers Fred. C. Beales, S. C.; G.S. Myers, V. C.; S. D. Crooker, P. C.; H. L. Chapman, Sec.; Charles E. Carpenter, Treas.; Frank E. Day, Chap.; Wells Myers, H.; Edward Ward, I. G.; Irvine Pool, O. G. The lodge is in a flourishing condition.
THE ROLL OF HONOR
When the life of the nation was imperiled by the war of the Rebellion, Connewango promptly filled her quota under every call for troops. Previous to 1865 the town had voted six hundred dollars each to as many as would enlist; but in February 1865, the voters of the town in annual meeting determined to add another hundred dollars to the bounty already provided. A list of those who volunteered from Connewango is found in the military chapter of this book.
The historian here expresses his obligations to the Hon. William Buffington,
from whose exhaustive collection of data the foregoing history has been
compiled. It is believed to be an honest, impartial record, and to Mr.
Buffington properly belongs the credit of having gathered up the threads
of a history whose importance and value will increase in years to come,
when the means he employed will have passed away and such an account of
the people of Connewango be among the impossibilities.
(SEE BIOGRAPHIES AND ADDITIONAL PHOTOS BELOW)
THOMAS JEFFERSON WHEELER
THOMAS JEFFERSON WHEELER of Connewango
The subject of this memoir was born in the town of Middlefield, Otsego Co., N. Y., on the 16th day of November 1803. He acquired a common.school education, and afterwards attended the Cherry Valley Academy, where he graduated with honors. He read medicine with the celebrated Delos White, of Cherry Valley, and, after finishing his medical studies, removed to Toronto, Canada. where he commenced the practice of his profession. Some six months later he removed to Chautauqua Co., N. Y., practicing about one year each in the towns of Mina and Ellington; at the end of which time (about 1825) he removed to Rutledge, in the town of Connewango, and located permanently there. He soon gained an extensive practice, which be held up to the very date of his death.
As a physician he was regarded as among the foremost in skill and science. He was a man of decided talent, extensive reading and culture, and of refined feeling and manners.
He was appointed associate county judge of this county in 1833 or 1834, and held that position on the bench, often acting as first judge, until the State constitution abolished the office, and a single county judge was made elective as judge and surrogate. His good common sense and scholarly attainments made him an ornament to the bench, and rendered his services always necessary in the absence of the first judge. He was elected State senator from this district (the 6th) in 1845, and held the position one term, rendering a true and faithful account of his stewud8hip to his constituents. He was also the Presidential elector nom this district in 1836, and voted for Martin Van Buren for President and Richard M. Johnson for Vice-President.
In whatever position Judge Wheeler was placed, he filled that position with ability and to the satisfaction of those who sought his services.
He was the faithful and upright man and the steadfast friend, - the faithful public officer. At the time of his decease he left a wife and one daughter- who are the last of the Wheeler family.
He was a Democrat of the old school, and maintained and upheld the principles of his party, upon all reasonable occasions, up to the time of his death, which occurred Feb.8, 1875.
Judge Wheeler was one of the stockholders and the first to start the
Randolph Bank, of which institution he was the first president, which position
he held at the time of his death.
HON. WM. BUFFINGTON
Hon. Wm. Buffington was born in Cambridge, Washington Co., N. Y., l\lay 31,1817. His father, Wm. Buffington, was born in Massachusetts, October 1781. He removed to Marcellus, Onondaga Co., NY, in 1818 to the present town of New Albion , in this county, in June 1826.
The mother, Harriet Churchill Buffington, was a native of Plympton,
Mass., having been born March 1785. They were members of the Baptist Church,
highly respected and esteemed in society. They both died in New Albion;
the father in March 1858, the mother in March 1874. The subject of this
sketch, Wm. Jr., received his only education in the common schools of a
very new country, except a few months at the high school at Lodi, now Gowanda,
N. Y. But he, improved those limited opportunities to the best advantage
possible. The second winter that he paid any attention to mathematics,
when fourteen years of age, he "went" through Daboll's arithmetic in eleven
days, doing every sum without aid from the teacher. When comparatively
a young man he was elected inspector of schools, and then town superintendent
of schools for five consecutive terms in the town of New Albion. He also
represented his town several years upon the Board of Supervisors. In 1857
he was elected to the Assembly of the New York Legislature by a large majority;
his own town giving him all the votes but thirty-three, and a majority
of two hundred. He was re-elected to the Assembly the following year, and
was made chairman of the important committee on roads and bridges. There
was a very large amount of business before the committee, yet every report
form it passed the House. Mr. Buffington was sent from the Assembly district
to the convention at Saratoga Springs, in August 1854, for the forming
of the Republican party in New York, as at rusted representative of the
anti-slavery sentiment of the people. He was the only delegate in the convention
from that district. He has remained one of its truest members to the present
time. He was formerly a Whig of the Seward school, giving his first vote
to Mr. Seward for Governor in 1838, and has voted at every election since.
He never bolts, never trades, never splits tickets, unless there is a want
of moral worth in the candidate. At all important elections, for thirty
years, Mr. Buffington has taken the stump in advocacy of the principles
of his party. He has an earnest, forcible speaker, and was claimed by his
friends to be the best-posted politician in his district, although he denies
this. After the seating of Mr. Lincoln's cabinet, in 1861, Mr. Buffington
received the first appointment under that administration as mail agent
on the route from Dunkirk to New York City, over the Erie Railroad. Having
remained among the mail-bags for seven or eight years he resigned in favor
of his son, H. C. Buffington, who still holds the position. Mr. Buffington
has been actively identified with the temperance reform all his life, and
never drank a glass of liquor. He has been united with all the various
temperance organizations for forty-seven years, frequently being called
on to give addresses upon that subject. He has always taken an active interest
in maintaining village or neighborhood lyceums, taking a leading part himself!
He is a firm believer in the Christian religion, holding to the faith of
the regular Baptists, having been a member of that church many years. In
February 1850, Mr. Buffington was married to his present wife, Miss Eleanor
Ballard, daughter of Adam and Lorana Ballard. He has four sons and two
daughters. Francis S. was born in New Albion, N. Y., Feb. 9, 1838. He is
living in the village of Salamanca, and is a passenger-conductor on the
Atlantic and Great Western Railroad. Henry C. was born in New Albion, N.
Y., April 14, 1845. He resides in Dunkirk, N. Y., and is a postal clerk
on the mail- route from Dunkirk to New York. Mary C. was born in New Albion,
N. Y., Oct. 3, 1849, married to M. D. Patton, June 16, 1870, and now resides
at Parker City, Pa. George H. was born in New Albion, Feb. 4,1856. Ada
V. was born in Hornellsville, N. Y., April 19, 1862. Morand D. P. was born
in Connewango, Sept. 29, 1872. All reside at home. Mr. Buffington now owns
and occupies a farm on Elm Creek, near East Randolph, N. Y.
MARTIN V. BENSON
was born in Connewango, N. Y., June 28,1839. His ancestors were from Holland. His father, John Benson, was born in New Jersey, July 25, 1800. He was an early pioneer in Connewango, where he died, July 6, 1862. He was a valued citizen, much esteemed by all who knew him. Millie Benson, the mother of the subject of this sketch, was born May 23, 1806, and is now living in Connewango.
Martin received in the common schools a good knowledge of the primary studies, and afterwards pursued the higher branches at the Randolph Academy. He taught eight terms, and then began the study of law. He was admitted to the bar, Feb. 18, 1871, and immediately commenced the practice of his profession at East Randolph, N. Y., where, by strict application, he has acquired a lucrative business. For several years he served his native town as justice, and nine years as supervisor. He was elected chairman of the board, discharging the duties of the position with marked fairness and ability. He has always been a reliable Republican, being one of the most active and efficient supporters of the party. He is an earnest mend of education, and a faithful supporter and advocate of the cause of temperance. MARTIN V BENSON of Connewango
Mr. Benson was married, June 18, 1868, to Miss Lucyette Merrill, of East Randolph; N. Y. Mrs. Benson died Oct. 17, 1878. We give the following obituary notice, written by Prof. J. T. Edwards, D.D., who preached the funeral discourse .
MRS. LUCYETTE BENSON
One of the pleasant lives that faded with the autumn leaves in October was that of Mrs. Lucyette Benson. She passed away on the evening of the 17th, like one who falls to sleep. Mrs. Benson was the daughter of Mr. Archibald C. and Mrs. Emily C. Merrill. She was born in Concord, Lake Co., Ohio, July 23, 1845. The pious example of godly parents and the sweet influences of a Christian home were not lost upon her childhood. She grew to womanhood with a singularly truthful, sincere, and attractive character. As a filial and dutiful daughter she gladdened with loving words and acts her early home, and left unfading memories in the heart4! of those who knew her best. June 18, 1868, she became the wife of M. V. Benson, Esq., of East Randolph. Bryant speaks tenderly in one of his poems, " The Flood of Years," of those wives departed, "who made their households happy." Surely those gracious words of praise might rest upon this one, for a happier home than hers could not be found. One little girl of seven summers preceded her by two years to the better land, and one babe, all-unconscious of its great misfortune, shares with the idolizing husband this irreparable loss. Mrs. Benson had many friends. She was active and public-spirited; always ready to do her part in bearing the burdens of society, and meeting cheerfully the social demands that were made upon her. She was converted and joined the church in youth. None would deny to her" the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is, in the sight of God, of great price." At intervals of consciousness during her sickness she expressed a hope of immortality and trust in the exceeding great and precious promise of the Word. Thus
"To the past go more dead faces
CHESTER D. TUTTLE
was born in Connewango, Cattaraugus Co., N. Y. Oct. 1, 1834. The family traces its lineal ancestry back to the Normans, and as having settled in the colonies as early as 1617. For generations they have held to the Quaker faith, and have therefore been opposed to wars and every species of oppression, and in religion and politics have
been in sincere accord with the anti-slavery sentiment of the country. Chester Tuttle, grandfather of Chester D., was born in Hartford Co., Conn., July 8, 1783, and in 1801 settled in Vernon, Oneida Co., N. Y., then called the fur West. Here, on July 2, 1808, he married Miss Hannah Devotie, who died July 3, 1812, March 2,1813, he married Mrs. Elizabeth Enoe, by whom he had one son, William C., born Aug. 20, 1816, and now living in Trumbull Co., Ohio. Mr. Tuttle came to Cattaraugus County in 1826, and was killed in Napoli, Dec. 30,1827, by the falling of a tree. His widow died in Napoli, N. Y., in September 1877.
Ichabod B. Tuttle, father of Chester D., was born in Vernon, Oneida Co., N. Y., March 21, 1809. He came to Napoli a few months after the arrival of his father. He soon after commenced to learn and work at the carpenter and joiner business, and became master of the trade. He was married, Jan. 2, 1834, to Miss Sophronia Boardman, a lady of much worth, and a daughter of Joshua Boardman, an early pioneer into the wilds of Napoli. Mr. Tuttle settled on the farm now occupied by his son, a view of which may be seen upon another page of this work, where he died Oct. 18,1873. He was a fine, tidy farmer, possessing much inventive genius. He was one of the most substantial business men of town, and a powerful aid in developing its resources, and building up and advancing the best interests of society. His private worth was such as to secure the respect and admiration of all who knew him. His widow, who was born in Otisco, Onondaga Co., N. Y., April 18, 1816, resides upon the old homestead with her son, greatly esteemed by a large circle of loving friends. Her father, Joshua Boardman, was born in Connecticut in 1783, and died in Kalamazoo, Mich., in 1848. Her mother, Roena Barnes, was born in Otisco, N. Y., in 1780, and died in Napoli in 1826.
Chester D. Tuttle was married, Sept. 26, 1854, to Miss Rebecca S. Benson, an estimable daughter of David Benson and Catherine Pier. She was born in Connewango, Sept. 19, 1835. They have had one child, Clarence D., born Oct. 13, 1857; died Oct. 17,1862. David Benson was born in Essex Co., N. J., April 17,1798, and died in Connewango, Nov. 3, 1870. His wife, Catherine Pier, was born in Bergen Co., N. J., Sept. 19, 1805, and is now living in Connewango. They were married Jan. 14, 1824.
Charles L. Tuttle, whose name was Frary, was adopted by Ichabod Tuttle when five years of &bra, and had his name changed in accordance with law. He was born in Connewango, Sept. 2, 1852. He is living on the homestead, in partnership with C. D. Tuttle. He is a young man of excellent character and of very industrious habits. He was married, Nov. 23, 1875, to Miss Mary E. Huntington, a young lady of modesty and worth, who was born in Connewango, March 25, 1859. Harvey Frary, father of C. L. Tuttle, was born Nov. 11, 1821, and died in Connewango, 1858. His wife, Elizabeth Boardman, a daughter of Joshua Boardman, was born in Napoli, Sept. 16, 1825, and is now living in Randolph, N. Y.
Horace Huntington, father of Mrs. C. L. Tuttle, was born in Connewango, July 2, 1826. He is a farmer, living upon the same farm where he was born. His wife, Cordelia S. Keene, was born in Mansfield, N. Y., Jan. 12, 1827. She is a daughter of A. R. Keene, an early pioneer into that town, now living in Randolph, N. Y.
Ermina and Orpha, daughters of Ichabod and Sophronia Tuttle, were born in Connewango. The former, born Jan. 10, 1836; died Feb. 16, 1843. The latter, born Nov. 15, 1842; died. Aug. 23, 1861. Mr. Chester D. Tuttle was born on the farm where he now resides, it being one of the best in town. No farm in Western New York is kept in finer order or is more perfect in all of its appointments. He is one of that kind that "has a place for everything and everything in its place." He, in company with C. L. Tuttle, are large dealers in all the most popular varieties of high class poultry, sending eggs and chickens to all parts of the county. It is worth many miles' travel to view their poultry buildings and yards, so perfect in all their arrangements. Mr. Tuttle is one of the masters of music, having taught for more than twenty years. At all concerts, picnics, or other public gatherings, where .it is necessary to have a competent, accomplished leader in music, Mr. Tuttle is sure to have a call. He is liberal in religion, always anti-slavery in his sentiments, strictly temperate in his habits, upright in all his dealings, being animated by an earnest principle and benevolent and conscientious spirit.
HON. ENOCH HOLDRIDGE
Was born in the town of Nelson, Madison Co., NY, Aug. 29, 1818. He is
the eldest son of Prince Holdridge, who was born in the town of Queensburgh,
Washington Co., NY, July 4, 1793, and removed to Napoli, Cattaraugus, Co.,
NY, in February 1832, and has been engaged in the service of his divine
Master, preaching the gospel for more than half a century. In his grand
mission of love he has traveled hundreds of miles on foot through the
forests and over the hills of Cattaraugus County, breasting the storms
and suffering the fatigues of his labors with no hope of regard, except
hat rich inheritance which he expects soon to “go out and posses.: He has
always stood steadfast in the doctrines of the Methodist Church, and his
name will ever be identified with its history and progress. His whole life
has been characterized by untiring industry and the strictest integrity.
He was married in the town of Nelson, Madison Co., NY, Feb. 18, 1816, to
Miss Lydia Robinson, who was born in Edinburgh, Saratoga, Co., NY, June
24, 1799. She was a lady of much worth, and the recollections of her benevolence
and Christian virtues will ever shed a luster upon her name. This aged
couple now reside upon the old homestead in Napoli, with their youngest
daughter, Mrs. Seneca Morton, surrounded with all the comforts and blessings
that filial duty and love can bestow.
Enoch Holdridge of Connewango
David Huntington was born June 27, 1812, in the town of Bethany, Genesee Co., N. Y. He was the seventh son of John Huntington, who was horn in the State of Vermont, Aug. 20, 1775; and was an excellent type of the energy and industry of the people of that noble little State. He was in the service of the government in the war of 1812-15. He was unexceptionable in every relation of private life. He was an early pioneer into the wilds of
Connewango, Settling in that town in 1824, where he died, March 23, 1860. His wife, Betsey Metcalf, another of the subject of this sketch, was also a native of Vermont ; was born May 6, 1780. She was a woman of piety and munch worth. She died in Connewango, April 29, 1862. In the early settlement of the county the opportunities for securing an education were very limited. David attended a few terms of the district school, where he received his only education, He remained with his father, clearing away the forests, until he was twenty—one, which he commenced the battle of life himself. In January 1839, he married Miss Adaline Gordon, an estimable lady of Rushford, Allegany co., N.Y. Her paternal grandfather, a native of Scotland, immigrated to the colonies when eighteen years of age. He was a soldier in the American army during the Revolutionary struggle, serving as aid –de-camp to General Washington.. He died in Rushford, N.Y., at the advanced age of ninety two. His son, Tarbell Gordon, was born in Vermont, July 22, 1785, and was married to Miss Lucy Lawrence, who was born in Vermont, April 12, 1783. They removed to Rushford, Allegany Co, NY in 1810, where Adaline (Mrs. Huntington) was born, Feb. 9, 1815. Mr. Huntington is emphatically a self-made man. He has filled all the most important offices in his town, from supervisor down, in all of which he served with industry, integrity, and fidelity to the best interests of the people. Mr. Huntington was a Whig until the Republican party was organized, when he became an active Republican He is very independent in his politics, having given Peter Cooper the only vote in town, except one, in 1876, being a Greenback of the most advanced views. He was the Greenback candidate for the Assembly in his district in 1877, and ran far ahead of his ticket in his own town amid vicinity. He is a good, logical reasoner, and a ready, off-hand debater, it seeming to make but little difference with him what the subject may be. He is a firm friend of the cause of temperance. In religion, as in politics, He is a liberal, believing the highest type of Christianity and the truest religion consists in doing right.
They have raised a family of five children,-one son and four daughters, all born in the town of Connewango. Loraine E. was born Oct. 19, 1840; married to Marcus J. Benson, Oct. 15, 1860; died May 29, 1863. Mary J. was born Sept. 18, 1841. Charles D. was born July 12, 1843; married Miss Fannie Dean, granddaughter of Hon. Geo. A. S. Crooker, April 19, 1866. He enlisted in the 9th N. Y. Cavalry, serving three years; died Feb. 7,1869, at the home of his parents. Ellen L. was born June 18, 1846; married Hubert D. Nutting, June 18, 1866; now living at Stamburgh, N. Y. Inez G. was born Dec. 9, 1855.
Mary and Inez are living with their parents. The former is a lady of fine literary taste, and an excellent writer. The latter is a young lady of culture, having been educated at Chamberlain Institute, devoting a portion of her time to teaching.
Was born March 31, 1846 at Silver Creek, Chautauqua, Co., N.Y. He is
the second son of Amos and Eliza Ann Dow. He married, Dec. 11, 1867, to
Nellie M., daughter of Jonathan and Diantha Gates, of Pike, Wyoming Co.,
NY, was born Dec. 16, 1846. Mr. Dow engaged in the mercantile business
at East Randolph,NY,Jan.1,1868, and at present (Jan.1, 1879) represents
one of the leading interests of the town.
John Bigelow, grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was of Scotch
descent, and was born in the State of Connecticut, Dec. 8, 1767. He married
Miss Temperance Spencer, Sept. 299, 1791, and in that year settled in Colchester,
Conn. In 1833 he removed to Copake, NY, where his wife died in 1834. In
1835 he moved to Connewango, Cattaraugus Co., and settled upon a farm where
he died, April 14, 1844, having married Mrs. Mary G. Kelly in 1836, who
was the daughter of W. Dudley and Sally Noyes, of Leon, NY. She died Jan.
Wells J. Bigelow of Connewango Laura P. (Wood) Bigelow
Miss Carrie Bigelow - daughter of Wells & Laura Bigelow
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