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

Chapter: Town of Machias, pages 356-368

Transcribed by Joanne Beebe Fisher Donk March 2004

This is an interior town, lying northeast of the centre of the county. It contains a total area of 25, 890 acres, of which 16,831 are improved and in 1875 had a population of 1385.  The surface forms a portion of the elevated tableland which divides the water of the Allegany River from those of the Cattaraugus Creek.  Near the residence of Chester Ashcroft, Esq., are two springs, separated by a distance of only about 30 feet, but the waters of one flow north to the St. Lawrence, while those  of the other start on their way to the Mississippi.  Lime Lake in the northeast part, 1100 feet above Lake Erie, covers an expanse of about 500 acres.  It receives its name from the fact that deposits of shell lime are to be found in its bottom.  Its waters are discharged north into Cattaraugus Creek, the outlet affording fine water-power privileges. Ischua Creek flows south, through the eastern part, in to the Allegany River.

The soil is a clay and gravelly loam, of good quality, and well adapted to grazing, stock-raising, and the cultivation of the cereals.  Stock raising and the manufacture of cheese occupies the attention of the farming classes.

The cheese-factories controlled by Messrs. Neff & Gampp, William Holden, and John Holden, comprising seven different establishments, use the milk of about  2200 cows, and manufacture over 500,000 pounds of cheese yearly. This branch of the industry has grown up since 1866, when R. and W. Follett established the first cheese-factory, at a point about one mile west of Machias village.


            The early settlement of Machias was attended with all the hardships, difficulties and dangers incident to, and shared in common by, the hardy pioneers of Cattaraugus during the two first decades of the past century.

            Placing their wives and children and a few household goods on a heavy, rudely-made sled, the whole drawn by a yoke of Oxen, the settler and his elder children trudging along on foot, would they depart from the comforts and facilities of their home in Eastern New York and the New England States, and went their slow and tedious way through trackless forests and over road well-nigh impassable to their future homes in the howling wilderness. The journey was usually made in the early springtime, as that season afforded the necessary amount of sleighing, and gave the settler time to build a log house, to cut, burn and clear an acre or so of land, and raise a crop for the first season. The cattle, meanwhile, and very often until the second and third year, had to eke out a scanty subsistence by “browsing.”

            Numerous parties of Indians from the Reservations traveled the country, both summer and winter, in their hunting and fishing excursions. They were generally friendly, but a terror to the women and children.

               Cattaraugus County buildings, situated at Machias, N.Y.

           Bears, wolves, panthers and wild cats abounded in every thicket; and it was only by the utmost care and watchfulness that the settlers could preserve their sheep, hogs, and other small domestic animals from the daily and nightly depredations of the savage beasts of the forests.

            Although contracts for land in township 5, range 5, of the Holland Purchase, may have been taken previously, it is believed that that Maj. Timothy Butler may be conceded the honor of being the first actual settler in that part of the Genesee County now known as Machias.  He came from the state of Maine, and, in 1807, settled on lot no. 14, on the Ischua Creek, about one mile south of Machias village.  He was accompanied here by his family, and a young man named Julius Underwood, who was in his employ.  At about the same time, or soon thereafter, Samuel Philbrick and E. Maxson came in from Maine, and were also employed by Maj. Butler.  On the farm now known as the “Cagwin place,” Maj. Butler began an extensive improvement and in the spring-time tapped 1400 maple-trees. In 1810, he established a distillery, and began the distillation of rum from maple-sugar. There are people residing here to-day who remember this distillery and its products.

            Maj. Butler remained here until the spring of 1818, when he removed to Napoli, being probably the first settler of that town.

            Jeremiah Ballard, and a man named Tiffany, also from Maine, came here in 1810.  Ballard settled on lot 13, south of Maj. Butler’s, while Tiffany was on the west part of lot 14; neither remained here but a few years. Julius Underwood was located on the knoll now owned by Welcome Camp.  His infant child crawled in the fireplace during the momentary absence of its mother, and was fatally burned.  This was the first death which took place in the settlement.  All of these partied before mentioned, except Philbrick and Maxson, removed from the town prior to 1818.

            In 1815, Joseph Kinne (Kinney?) and his sons, Friend, Isaac, and Joseph, Jr., settled on lot 23, on the west side of the present site of Machias village.  Joseph, Jr., was quite a prominent man during the early days.  He was one of the first justices of the peace.   The following year (1816) Obadiah Vaughn and John Moreau, from Essex Co., N.Y., and Charles H. Biggs, from Trenton, N.Y., settled on lot 24; also John Grover, a German or Dutchman, on the north part of lot 6.

            The settlement was increased in numbers, in 1817, by the arrival of the families of Elijah T. Ashcraft and Charles Button.  Mr. Button had visited this section the previous year, contracted for his lot, and built a log house.  He came in from Clinton Co., N. Y.,  (although from Vermont originally), and was accompanied here by his sons,--Harvey, Lyman, and Heman G., and three daughters.  He settled on the premises now owned by A. M. Farrar. Numerous representatives of his large family are to be found in the county at the present time, all highly respected citizens.  Hon. Heman G. Button, the third son of Charles, has proved himself worthy of the regard and confidence in which he is held by his social and political friends and neighbors, and at their hands has been the recipient of many ;positions of official trust and honor.

Besides the many years devoted to the interest of his town as supervisor, justice of the peace, etc., he represented his county in the State Legislature during the session of 1867.

            Elijah T. Ashcraft emigrated from Northfield, Vt., to Genesee Co., N.Y., in 1810.  In March 1817, accompanied by his wife and children, viz., Chester, Nathen, and Luvira, he removed by sled and ox-team to Ischua. When within three miles of their destination—the south part of lot 17— their sled broke down and the remainder of the journey had to be performed on foot through snow knee deep.

            Squire Ashcraft was one of the foremost men in the new settlement, and was prominently identified with all that related to its best interests.  He is one of the first justices of the peace in the town if Yorkshire (which was formed in 1820), and also of Machias in 1827.  His latch-string was ever out to the weary and hungry traveler, as well as to the needy of his own immediate neighborhood.  Even the dusky sons and daughters of the forest sought the shelter of his roof, and often, during inclement weather, slept upon his kitchen floor to the number of a dozen at a time.

            Mr. Ashcraft died at the age of eighty-two years. His wife, Betsey Thompson, died in 1877, aged ninety years.  Of a family of twelve children, ten lived to be men and women, and eight survive, as follows: Chester and Nathan, in Mathias; Luvira, in Springfield; Hiram, in Wisconsin; Albert and Norman, in Illinois; Caroline and Daniel, in Michigan.

            In 1818, John Farrar and his family which consisted of himself, wife, and sons Wiggin M., George W., Royal C., John, Jr., and daughter Aseneth, came from Gilmanton, N.H., and settled down for a few years upon the lands which had been opened to cultivation by Maj. Butler.  Afterward they purchased lots upon sections 5, 7, 12 and 13.

            John Farrar, the veteran of the Revolution, who settled here about 1827, was not related to this family. He came from Massachusetts, and is said to have been on of the Boston harbor tea-party.

            Mr. Wiggin M. Farrar, now in his eighty-third year, and his sister, Mrs. Aseneth Leek, are the only survivors of the family who came here in 1818.  As a soldier he represented the State of New Hampshire during the War of 1812. During a long and eventful life he has ever taken a deep interest in all matters relating to the welfare of his town; and in the various official stations he has so worthily filled, has shared in all its burdens and many of its honors.

            In the fall of 1818, Daniel Vaughn, a brother of Obadiah, came in, also Jeremiah Bennett, who took up a tract on the west part of lot 14.

            Mr. Farrar says that at the close of 1818, the only families and representatives of families residing in the settlement were those before mentioned, viz., the Kinnes, Vaughns, Ashcrafts, Buttons, Grovers, Biggs, Philbrick, Maxson, Morean, Bennett, and Farrars.

            Under his own immediate eyesight this little settlement of half a dozen families has spread out and become a broad, populous, wealthy community.  During the years 1819 and 1820, emigrants from various portions of the East came in, and the settlement rapidly increased in importance and numbers.  Mills were erected at the foot of Lime Lake.  Log houses sprang up in a day in each little opening, and the resounding strokes of the pioneer’s axe were heard on every side.

            The wants and necessit6ies of the pioneer settlers were few compared with those of the present day; but they were attained only by the greatest exertion and self-denial.  Fortunate indeed was the family who had a quantity of black salts to exchange for calico, groceries and other minor articles, so indispensable to health and a bare subsistence

            Among those who became settlers here during the years last mentioned were Joshua Daniels, from Essex County, who located on the east part of lot 32;

Howard Peck, on lots 15 and 23; Willard Jefferson, on the County House farm; Alva Jefferson, his brother, at the foot of Lime Lake; Daniel Potter, on lot 1, sixth township; James Colby, on lot 25, sixth township; Andrew McBuzzell , near the outlet of Lime Lake; Barnabus Cushman, just east of Squire Ashcraft; Elisha Judah, Obadiah, J.M.L.., and Brigham Brown on the present site of Machias village.

            Mr. Peck was the first supervisor of Machias, and an active business man.  He established a distillery, also an ashery, at an early day, and at the same time, about 1822, in conjunction with Alva Jefferson, opened the first store in town, at the outlet of Lime Lake.

            The first saw-mill was built by Andrew McBuzzell, in 1820,  and was located at the same place; also the first gristmill, erected by Daniel Potter in 1823.

            Nathan Follett came from Pittstown, Rensselaer Co., and in 1823 entered the store of Messrs. Peck & Jefferson as salesman.  The year previous (1822), while in the employ of Henry L. Baker, he sold the first goods in Yorkshire, at Yorkshire Corners, using as a salesroom a portion of the bar-room of Williams’ tavern.  As a pioneer merchant and town official, Mr. Follett has been prominently identified with the business and interests of his town.  He still resides here at the age of seventy-six years.

            In 1825 we find that Eliphas Lafferty was northeast of the lake, on lot 1, sixth township; Sheldon Holbrook on the southeast part of lot 9, sixth township; David Johnson near John Groves; Alanson Joslyn, on southwest part of lot 14; Brainard and Sylvester Cleveland, on lot 7; Richard Loomis and sons on, lot 13; Samuel Bush, on lot 11; Stephen Austin, on lot 14; Oliver C. Hubbard, on lot 23, where he built the second saw-mill in town; Hiram McIntyre, on lot 25; Seymour Carpenter, on lot 9; Sylvester Carver, on lot 12;  the brothers, Moses, Allen, Isaac, and Micah Gage, in the northwest part; the brothers Hollister, Calvin and Norman Brace, on lots 20 and 11, in the central part; and George Arnold and his sons in the northwest part.

            Machias was formed from Yorkshire in 1827.  In 1830 it had a population of 735 inhabitants, and less than 1500 acres of improved lands.  Farms were small and families large in those days.


            Mr. Wiggin M. Farrar is the only survivor of the men who were here prior to 1818.

            Heman G. Button, Chester and Nathan Ashcraft can claim the earliest residence having lived her since 1817.  The first frames house in town was erected by Wiggin M. Farrar, in 1821; when nearly finished, he sold it to J.M.L. Brown, who completed it.  It stood southeast of the corners, in Machias village, on land now owned by Mrs. Allen.  Obidiah Brown built the first framed barn.  It is now owned by Jared A. Brewer. Andrew Mc Buzzell built the first saw-mill, on the outlet of Lime Lake, in 1820.  The first grist-mill, a small affair with but one run of stone and no bolting, was established by Daniel Potter in 1823.  When Lime Lake burst its boundaries in 1832, and went bowling down the valley which confines the outlet, this mill was swept from its foundations and was replaced by the present mill.  G.W. Farrar owned the first buggy.  Warner Sanford kept tavern at the Lake, 1830, and Ira Stevens at Machias village, 1832.  Howard Peck and Alva Jefferson opened the first store, in 1822, at the Lake.  Joseph Kinne, Jr., was the first postmaster.  His office was established at Machias village about 1827.  Isaac Carpenter of Franklinville carried the first mail, on horseback.  Miss Amrilla Brown taught the first school in the summer of 1820, in a house built by John Morean, which was situated on the south part of lot 24.  Nathaniel Bowen taught the winter following, and his school was the first which was entitled to school funds.

            The first school-house was built in 1827, in district No. 1, and was situated about one mile north of the village.  It was burned in 1830, and an insane man, Henry Davis, who had been placed there for safe-keeping though the night, was burned with it.  The Free-Will Baptists formed the first religious society, 1818, and Rev. Herman Jenkins was the first preacher. Drs. Barber, Kneeland, and Isaac Shaw were the first physicians to reside here. Nehemiah Lovewell was the first surveyor.  The first marriage was that of Elisha Brown and the widow Mason, about 1820.  Jeremiah Bennett and Oliva Brown the second, and Brigham Brown, son of Elisha, and Polly Mason, daughter of the widow, the third marriage.


            Many incidents some of a comic and others of a more pathetic nature, occurred in all these settlements during the first quarter of the present century.  The old historians of the taverns, the participants and witnesses of these scenes, have nearly all passed away, and the following are recounted as illustrative of pioneer lige in the wild woods of Cattaraugus sixty years ago.

            The old Revolutionary hero, John Farrar, in passing through the woods in the north part of the town, discovered a bear ascending a large hollow tree, and watched him until he had disappeared inside; then hurrying to the Corners, a dozen men and boys, and as many dogs were gathered together, and marched upon Bruin’s quarters.  Arriving there, the tree was surrounded, and then began a loud and contradictory discussion, as to the means to be employed to encompass the bear and destroy him. Whether the tree should  be cut down, or whether they should endeavor to drive  him out by loud noise, etc, etc., Meanwhile Bruin had concluded to change his base, and emerging from his hiding place had backed down to within about 12 feet of his enemies, before being discovered.  The next moment he dropped, or rather rolled right among them, like a huge black ball.  The snarling, yelling pact closed upon him, but rising upon his haunches, he shook them off, and , while cuffing them to the right and ¸began his retreat to a swamp near by.  The hunters dare not shoot for fear of killing their dogs, which were valuable in those days.  Bruin finally escaped unharmed. The ludicrous termination of this bear-hunt was the subject of much merriment among the rollicking, boisterous, frequenters of the neighborhood taverns, and the participators did not hear the last of it for many a day there after.

            But Daniel Vaughn was more successful as a bear-hunter. At an early day he was the owner of two cows, and traded one of them for a dog.  This was considered by his neighbors as a very poor trade, but Vaughn was fully equal to the vocation he had chosen, and the following winter, with his dog, rifle and spear ( a weapon he extemporized by affixing an old bayonet to a stout pole) killed fifteen bears, and earned more money that would then have been the value of several cows.

            Indeed, many of the first settlers of Machias and Yorkshire paid for their land with money received as bounty for the killing of noxious animals.

             In the fall of 1828 three daughters of George Arnold, ranging from ten to seventeen years of age, started out one pleasant Sunday morning in quest of wintergreen berries. They did not intend to go farther than half a mile from the house, but, after entering the woods, lost their way, and began wandering.  Go whichever direction they would, it was all, all wilderness; no opening could be found.  As they did not return at dinner-time, their people became alarmed, and began to halloo for them, but got no answer.  In the afternoon search was begun by a few neighbors, there numbers constantly increasing as the news spread through the settlements that lost children were in the woods.  Nightfall came, and still no tidings of the lost ones.  A drenching rain-storm set in, and the search was discontinued, except by two men, who volunteered to remain out all night and listen for any unusual sound or cry of distress.  By this time the search had been carried over into Ashford, three or four miles northwest of Mr. Arnold’s house. Late in the night these two men heard a cry as if of a female or a panther, they could not determine which, but concluded not to investigate further until morning.  They then proceeded to a settler’s house in Dutch Hollow, and remained until daylight.

            The following day a militia company were to meet at Machias Corners for training.  They assembled early, and, learning of the lost children postponed their contemplated military evolutions and joined in the search.  At daybreak the two men who had been out through the night sought the locality from whence proceeded the cry of the night before, and there, away up on a high bluff, near the creek, were found the girls, shivering with hunger, cold, and fear, but otherwise unharmed.

            They had walked the woods and called for help all through the long night.  Once they passed very near and disturbed some animals, which they described as making a noise like little pigs.  There, no doubt, were young cubs.  Although this happened fifty years ago, the girls (now quite elderly ladies) are all here to-day, viz., Mrs. Chester Ashcraft and Mrs. Nathan Ashcraft, of Machias, and Mrs. Mercy Read of Arcade.


Machias was formed from Yorkshire, April 16, 1827. (See laws State of New York, Chapter 309, fiftieth session.) The south tier of lots of township 6, range 5, and the southwest corner lot of township 6, range 4, were annexed in 1847. It derives its name from Machias, Maine, from whence came several of its first settlers.

            “At a town meeting of the freeholders and inhabitants of the town of Machias, held at the house of Jeremiah Bennett, in said town, on Tuesday, May 8, 1827, for the purpose of electing town officers, and to transact such other business as should be deemed most proper, the following officers were elected.

            Supervisor, Howard Peck; Town Clerk, Nathan Follett; Assessors, Willard Jefferson, Wiggin N. Farrar, Sylvester Carver; Collector, Jeremiah Bennett; Commissioners of Highways, Sheldon Holbrook, Samuel Bush, Isaac Arnold; Overseers of the Poor, Richard Loomis, Robert Hollister;  School Commissioners, Wiggin M. Farrar, Willard Jefferson, Elijah Odell; Inspectors of Schools, Nathan Follett, Howard Peck, Wiggin M. Farrar; Constables, William Loomis, Jeremiah Bennett; Sealer of Weights and Measures, and of Leather, Howard Peck.

            The following is a list of the supervisors, town clerks, and justices of the peace from 1827 to 1878 inclusive.


1827-31. Howard Peck.                                           1855-56. Jared A. Brewer.
1832-33. Willard Jefferson.                                     1857. John Weir
1834-36. Wiggin M. Farrar                                      1858-59. Peter van Dewater
1837-40. Rensselaer Lamb.                                    1860-61. William Napier.
1841-44 Lyman Twomley.                                        1862-64. Almeran Leek.
1845. Jedediah Robinson.                                      1865. Rufus L. Whitcher
1846. Rensselaer Lamb.                                         1866. Heman G. Button
1847-48. Wiggin M. Farrar.                                     1867. Andrew L. Allen
1849. Joseph H. Wright.                                          1868-74. Edwin Baker.
1850. Lyman Twomley                                             1875-76. Marvin Austin.
1851-53. Wuggin M. Farrar                         1877. Moses Jewell
1854. Heman G. Button                                            1878. George A. Stoneman


1827-32. Nathan Follett.                                           1852 Nathaniel M. Brown
1833. Seth Washburn.                                              1853. C.A. Parker.
1834. Nathan Follett.                                                1854-56. A.H. Peck.
1835-37. Lyman Twomley.                                       1857-62. Daniel S. Tilden
1838-39. Thomas Clark.                                          1863-64. Wesley Follett.
1840. Nathan Follett.                                                1865-66. Daniel S. Tilden
1841. Benjamin Shearer.                                         1867. George A. Stoneman
1842. Rensselaer Lamb.                                         1868-69. P.M. Orme
1843. John Farrar, Jr.                                               1870-74. George A. Stoneman.
1844-45. Rufus L. Whitcher                         1875. Moses Jewell.
1846. Joseph H. Wright                                           1876. Abner A> Smith.
1847-49. Rufus L. Whitcher                         1877. Henry S. Crandall.
1850-51. John Wier.                                     1878. Stephen P. Randall


1827-30. Willard Jefferson.                                     1851. Heman G. Button.
1830. Joseph Cline, Jr.                                            1852. John Farrar, Jr.
            Elijah T. Ashcraft.                                          1853. Jasper Andrews.
1831. Willard Jefferson.                                           1854. Rufus L. Whitcher.
            George Sheldon.                                           1855. Heman G. Button.
1832. William Loomis.                                             1856. Jasper Andrews.
            Seymour Carpenter.                         1857. Andrew L. Allen.
1833. Joseph Kinne, Jr.                                           1858. Edwin Baker
1834. William Loomis.                                             1859. Heman G. Button.
Nathaniel Blackman.                         1860. Quinton Rogers.
1835. Howard Peck.                                     1861. John Farrar.
            Isaiah S. Masters                                          1862. Edwin Baker
1836. Rensselaer Lamb.                                         1863. George W. Blackman
            Newton Hawes.                                             1864. Quinton Rogers.
1837. William Roscoe.                                                         Andrew L. Allen.
            Thomas Clark.                                               1865. Peter Van Dewater.
            Wiggin M. Farrar.                                                      A. M. Farrar.
1838 Howard Peck.                                                  1866. Horace Brockway.
1839. Rensselaer Lamb.                                         1867. Heman G. Button.
            Lyman Twomley.                                                       Edwin Baker.
1840 Wiggin M. Farrar.                                                       Stephen S. Randall.
1841. Albert B. Stephens.                                        1868. Peter Van Dewater.
1842. John Farrar, Jr.                                               1869. Daniel C. Vaughn.
            Sylvester Carver.                                           1870. James M. Velzy
1843. Rensselaer Lamb.                                                     Calvin Smith.
1845. Lyman Twomley.                                           1871. Heman G. Button
            Albert B. Stephens.                                                   Rufus L. Whitcher.
1846. Simeon H. Watson.                                        1873. Rufus. L. Whitcher
1847. Rensselaer Lamb.                                         1874. James L. Velzy
1848. Lyman Twomley.                                            1875. Heman G. Button.
            Jasper Andrews.                                                       George A. Stoneman
1849. William Roscoe.                                             1876. Moses Jewell
            Almeran Leek.                                               1877. Daniel S. Tilden
1850. Jerome B. Jewell.                                          1878. Omer Murphy.

            William Roscoe.

E. T. Ashcraft, Willard Jefferson, Increase Locke, and Alvin Boyce were elected justices of the peace Nov. 7, 1827, but their names do not appear in their order on the town records.

            The Following is an alphabetical list of the resident landowners of the town of Machias in 1834; showing, also, the number of acres owned and improved by each

 Owned.   Imp.                                                 Owned   Imp.

Allen, Solomon, and

Lafferty, Eliphas             54          4                    Hawes, J.P 48        3
Arnold, Samuel .81          7                    Hubbard, O.C ...91        4
Arnold, Alden ....46          4                    Newton, Hawes 98       30
Arnold, George .88        12                    Hawkins, Henry 98        2
Ashcraft, E.T .65        18                    Harver, Ithmar ..96           2
Ashcraft, Chester .72           2                    Heart, Joseph .  75       
Austin, Stephen 92          8                    Halfert, John .76       
Andrews, John . 83        15                    Jewell, P.T 36          3
Andrews, Jehiel ... 41        10                    Jewell, Abel ..45        4
Andrews, Marshall .. 34         10                    Jewell, Jerome .59       
Isaac Arnold 130        20                    Jackson, John ..79        2
Hollister, Brace .47        14                    Jackson, Russel .101       4
Bush, Samuel .195        53                    Johnson, David ..138      15
Butler, Joseph    77        20                    Jacobs, Orrin C. 172       8
Butler, Samuel 182        16                    Judd, Liberty .72       5
Baker, D.M.L .96          4                    Johnson, Leone ...41       3
Bard, Robert 125       15                    Jefferson, Willard .59         9
Blunt, William 64        15                    Joslyn, Alanson 24       3
Brace, Calvin 86        20                    Kinne, Friend 49      
Burbank, Eli .138         8                    Kilsey, Milo ..7       2
Brace, Norman 141       15                    Kinne, Isaac .44        4
Burt, Edward ..57       12                    Kinne, Joseph ..66        9
Biggs, C.H ..44         1                    Kibbe, Jarus .46        3
Bessy, Judah .74       18                    Lewis, Richard .40        3
Button, Lyman ...137      21                    Loomis, Jacob .56        4
Butler, Wilder ..61        1                    Lalkin, Noah .44        2
Beckwith, Simeon ..40      10                    Loomis, Job .48          1
Burlingham, Paleran ..64       10                    Loomis, Alanson .60         6
Bennett, Jeremiah ..90      30                    Leek, Almeran .45       
Brown, Peter .140      .                   Lock, Chester .126       20
Brown, John ....93      .                   Lock, Increase .48       
Coe, James    195       6                    Lock, Philander 64         15
Cone, M 145       4                    Lawson, Elijah . 17           3
Cushman, Barnabus .... 50                          Lewis, Barnabus . 97        
Carpenter, Seymour . 70       20                    Lovewell, Zacheus . 42          6
Colby, James . 91      14                    Loomis, Richard 109         16
Colegrove, B.H 6        1                    Merriam,______....... 268        
Chrovalo, Charles ..13         2                    Miller, George . 43          6
Cleveland, Sylvester 118      ...                     Mixer, Rufus ...121        18
Coleman, Samuel .100                         Martin, Maro 48        
Cameron, Richard ....100       3                    Martindale, Elisha .. 38           2
Carpenter, Milo .174       9                    Miller, Thomas 139          9
Clark, William G ..84     14                    Moon, Almond 120        30
Carver, Sylvester 78      18                   McIntyre, Joseph, Jr...83          5
Davis, Joshua ..96        6                   McIntyre, Hiram 43          5
Dake, E.M.B .88       8                   Myers, Eliphalet ...96       
Daniels, Joshua ...48      6                     Maxson, E .87           5
Deniston, James 100                        Osgood, James 110            5
Dodge, Isaac 60                        Prescott, Horace ..82          8
Edson, I.B .54     28                   Peck, Howard .140          16
Farrar, W.M 146     24                   Potter, Daniel 80         20
Farrar, G.W 114     15                   Potter, David .72         8
Farrar, R.C 78    22                    Pugsley, George .111        4
Farrar, John ..44      4                    Peck, Nelson .91      
Farrar, John, Jr ..2       1                    Pearsall, Elijah ..57         3
Freeland, John ...183    17                    Paul, Alvah ..160       
Follett, Nathan ..48                         Philbrick, Samuel .34         13
Follett & Colegrove ..14      5                    Perkins, Waterman .80         20
Ford, Cyrus 86   14                   Parmelee, Luman 78        
Ford, Hiram 42     6                    Roscoe, William .126         20
Ferguson, John .48                        Rose, Samuel ..64          2
Grover, John 150   10                    Ritter, Daniel 96          3
Gage, Moses 115    5                    Runnels, Luther    96          3
Gage, Allen .96    3                    Rogers, M.J ..62          14
Gage, Isaac 75   10                   Richardson, Jospeh 76          5
Gage, Micah    38     6                   Rowley, Seth ...135        15
Griffin, Orrin ..179   13                   Stevens, Albert B 135        33
Gillet, Samuel ...224   10                   Slick, John .39         2
Griffin, Orlen .112       3                  Sanford, Warner 64        1
Holbrook Sheldon ..60                       Smead, Willard 8         1
Holmes, Stephen .178    21                  Strong, Nelson ...50

Owned.       Imp.

Sheldon, George .102               8
Skiff, Stephen ..353            12
Snow, Sylvester 40                6
Seeley, Sheldon ...48             .
Talbot, Morris 51                8
Taylor, Amos .60                5
Taylor, Andrew 130             12
Taylor, Philander ..20             .
Thomson, Jacob 33            .
Van Pelt, Samuel .172            37
Vaughn, William .48             2
Vaughn, J.T 82            .
Watson, J.S 82               15
Warner, Junia ...64                   2
Washburn, Noah ..78              14
Wright, Elikum .124               20
Wright, Joseph B ..44                1
Willis, William 72             
Willis, Hiram ..43                  2
Willis, Isaac ...94                  4
Willis, Isaac, Jr ..94              
Wisrel, Otis ..120                 1


Is situated in the northeast part of the town, near the head of Lime Lake and the head-waters of Ischua Creek and is about 1 ½ miles northwest of the junction pf the Buffalo, New York, and Philadelphia, and Rochester and State Line Railroads.

             It is built upon a broad plain, is irregularly laid out, and contains 2 churches (Methodist Episcopal and Christian), 1 temperance tavern, 5 stores of general merchandise, 1 hardware store, 12 grocery store, post-office, district schoolhouse, 2 medical offices, 2 clergymen. 1 watch manufacturing shop, 1 harness-shop, 3 wagon-shops, 3 blacksmith-shops, 2 shoe-shops, 1 cooper-shop, millinery, dress-making, etc., etc., and about 350 inhabitants.  The county house for the care of the indigent and insane of Cattaraugus County is situated one-half mile west of the village. The original owners of its site were Joseph Kinne and his sons and the brothers Elisha and Judah Brown.  The first log house, was built, in 1820, by Elisha Brown, who soon after converted it  into a place of public entertainment.  The first frame house was built by Wiggin M. Farrar, in 1821.  The post-office was established about 1827. Stephen Holmes kept the first store, in 1832.

            In the early days it was know as Machias Five Corners, and sometimes Chickasaw.

            During the days of stages and teaming between Olean and Buffalo it was an important stopping-point for teamsters and travelers.  The resources of “mine host,” Ira Stevens, as regards rooms and stabling, were very often taxed to the utmost to accommodate his patrons.


At the outlet of the lake of the same name, contains a hotel, a grist-mill, district school-house, and half a dozen dwelling houses. Here was established the first store and mills in the town, also the only woolen-works that ever existed in Machias. These works of Messrs. Follett & Colgrove about 1835 were kept busy day and night. People came from distant places, camped out, and awaited their turn to get work done.


The first town legislation we find concerning schools is as follows:

            “We, the undersigned, Commissioners of Common Schools of the town of Machias, in the county of Cattaraugus, do certify that in conformity with the Act entitled an act for the support of common schools, passed April 12, 1819, we have designated a site for a school-house in District No. 5, in said town, and it is to be built on the south-east side of the Ellicottville road, on a gore of land around by O.C. Hubbard’s, on lot No. 23, township 5, range 5.

                                                                                                Willard Jefferson
                                                                                                Wiggin M. Farrar

                                                              Commissioners of Common Schools

 Machias, November 8, 1827.

            We, the Commissioners of Common Schools for the town of Machias, having met this day for the purpose of making an apportionment of school moneys, do apportion as follows:

                                    School district No. 1 $23.11

                                    School district No. 7 ..19.71

                                    School district No. 8 ..12.96

                                    School district No. 2 ..23.66


Total $79.44

                                                                                                Wiggin M. Farrar
                                                                                                Thruman Gilbert
                                                                                                Augustus Hurlburt

                                                                        Commissioners of Common Schools

Machias, April 3, 1828

            In comparison with the foregoing, the following statistics, taken from the report of the school commissioners if Cattaraugus County for the year ending Sept. 30, 1878, are herewith appended:

            The town contains 12 school districts; with 12 school buildings, valued with site, at $3180; volumes in library, 290, valued at $193.  The number of teachers employed was 12, to whom was paid in wages $1974.20.  The number of children of school age was 457; average daily attendance was 194.  Number of weeks taught was 280 2/5. Amount of money received from the state $1284.54; amount of money received from tax, $764.87.


            The Free Will Baptists formed the first religious society, in 1818, at the house of Obadiah Vaughn.  Rev. Herman Jenkins and Elder Brown came in from the Genesee valley, and preached to then occasionally.  In their absence, Mt Vaughn was the leader and preacher.  The little society was dispersed, a few years later, on account of the peculiar opinions of a Rev. Mr. Patchen.

THE FIRST METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN MACHIAS was organized in 1822, and consisted of 5 members.  Joseph Kinne and wife, and Daniel Potter and Lydia, his wife, were among the first members.  Rev. Mr. Bronson was their first pastor.   Their first meetings were held in the school-house of District No.1.  In 1839 the Methodists, Christians, and non-denominationalists erected a free or union church edifice, which was the first house of worship built in the town.  This was occupied by the Methodist Episcopal Society until 1853, when their present church edifice was erected at a cost of $2500. It will seat 300 persons.

            The society, which numbers about 60 members, is under the pastoral care of Rev. M.D. Jackson.


Was organized July 21, 1827, by Rev. Joseph Bartlett, and consisted of the five following named members, viz.: Samuel Lyon, Betsey Ashcraft, Mrs. Charles Webb, Mary McIntyre, and Abigail Colby.  Amelia Locke, Jerusha Wisrell, Sylvester Carver, Norman Brace, Calvin Brace, Hollister Brace, and Elijah T. Ashcraft joined the society soon after.  Their early meetings were held in the school-house of District No. 1.  Their present house of worship, which will seat 300 people, was bu9ilt in 1839, and cost $1400.  The pastors who have ministered to the spiritual wants of this church are named in the order of their succession, as follows: Revs. Joseph Bartlett (who remained here some 8 or 10 years), Joseph Locke, Peter Cook, N. Perry (who was here when the house was built), Warren Skeels, Henry C. Davis, _____ Smith, and J.M. Field, the present pastor, who is just entering upon his twenty-seventh year of pastoral duty at Machias.  The church property is now valued at $2000.  Present membership 95; number of pupils in Sabbath school and Bible-classes, 112; Rev. J.M. Field, Superintendent.


            The old cemetery, one mile north of Machias village, was laid out and assigned for such purposes in the summer of 1819. The first interment in this ground was that of Esther, daughter of Elijah T. Ashcraft, who died Dec. 6, 1819.

            The Maple Grove Cemetery Association of Machias, composed of Messrs. Heman G. Button, R.L. Whitcher, A. P. Adams, F.A. Howell, William Napier, William Joslyn, William Ruby, Edwin Austin, Melville Farrar, D.C. Vaughn, M.B. Lamb, F.D. Folts, D.H. Cheney, J.M. Field, L. Warren, Wm. S. Bussey, L. P. Warren, John Seaman, and E. M. Gould, was organized Oct. 26, 1874 , in accordance with a statute of the State of New York, Passed April 27, 1847.  The grounds of the association, which contain five acres, and were purchased of Mrs. A.E. Edson are situated about one-half mile west of the village.  A few fine monuments have already been erected. L As its name signifies, it is shaded by a beautiful grove of young maples. Much remains to be done, however; but when the contemplated improvements in grading and ornamentation are completed, it will compare favorable with those other places of interment which dot the surroundings of towns and cities throughout the State.


            Machias Lodge, No. 131 was instituted Feb. 17, 1878, and organized by electing the following officers, viz., Wesley Follett, M.W.; H.S. Crandall, G.F.; Moses Jewell R.; William Howden. F.; A.P. Adams. Receiver; A.A. Smith, P.M.W.; John Seaman, O.;F.D. Folts, G.; George Weaver, I.G.; A. Walters. O.G.


            The old State road which enters the town near the south-east corner, and running in a general southwesterly direction passed through the village of Machias, and leaves the town east of the centre on the north border, was the first high way improved, and was laid out by the authorities of the old town of Ischua about 1813.

            About 1858 considerable work was done upon the road bed of the projected Buffalo and Pittsburgh Railroad.  The line extends through the central part from north to south.

            The Buffalo, New York and Philadelphia Railroad enters the town near the northeast corner, and running in a general southerly course through the east part passes Lime Lake and Machias Junction, and leaves the town near the southeast corner.  The road was completed in 1872, and the town was bonded to the amount of $14,000, to aid in its construction.

The Rochester and State Line Railroad enters the town north of the centre on the east border, and continuing in a southwesterly direction passes the junctions, and leaves the town west of the centre on the south border. It was completed in the spring of 1878, and the town pays $8000 to the company.


            The following-names pensioners for the Revolutionary and other military services were residents of Machias in 1840, viz., Gad Taylor, aged eighty-one years; John Farrar, aged eighty-one years; Richard Odell, aged eighty years, and Edward Burt, sixty-eight years of age.

            Mr. Wiggin M. Farrar, eighty-three years of age, is a pensioner of the war of 1812.

            Emmett Rowley, and the brothers Peter and Jacob Bush, were soldiers during the Mexican war.



            A history of Machias without a sketch of this gentleman would be like “the play of Hamlet, with Hamlet left out.” He is not only one of the oldest living settlers of the town,*but, during the many years of his residence, he has been prominently identified with all its varied interests.

            Heman G. Button was born May 1, 1816, in the town of Concord, Erie Co., New York. His father and mother were both natives of Rutland Co., Vt.; they moved to Clinton Co., N.Y., and from thence to Erie County, in the year 1815.  Two years later Heman came, with his parents, into Machias.

            Mr. Button’s father, who died when Heman was but sixteen years old, was a farmer, but in moderate circumstances.   When the country in this section was an unbroken wilderness, his parents were among the first who faced the primitive mode of living which attend pioneer life in a new country.  They were hard-working people, whose wants were few, and their advantages not of the broadest kind, but possessed of honest hearts and satisfied with their lot.  Although they were unable to give their son, Heman, any other educational advantages than those he could acquire in a few terms spent at the district schools of the neighborhood, the moral principles inculcated at home, and the healthy, sinewy frame developed by manual labor in the years of his early manhood spent on his father’s farm, were a better legacy than “broad acres or golden store.”  It was just the schooling to turn out a self-reliant successful man.

            March 4, 1838, he married Miss Jerusha Joslin, of Machias, who died in 1856, leaving seven children, --Daniel W., Kingsley, Millard Fillmore, Naomi, Alvira L., Adell and Ida. All except Kingsley and Ida are married. Nov. 26, 1856, he married Sarah M. Hall, widow of the late Elisha Hall, of this town. Her maiden name was Sarah Prescott, and she was born Dec.11. 1832, in Sanbornton, Belknap Co.,N.H., of which place her parents were natives.

            Mr. Button taught school for fourteen winters, but has followed farming mainly as his vocation through life, until a few years since, when, owing to poor health, he leased his farm.

            *There is no person now living who came to Machias earlier than Mr. Button, although two others, Nathan and Chester Ashcraft, came in the same year.

Mr. Button early gained the esteem and confidence of his associates by his unostentatious manners and manifest integrity; and on repeated occasions have his townsmen elected him as their representative, and called him to fill stations of honor and trust.   In 1841 he was first elected school inspector, and has held that or other offices almost continuously ever since, having held almost every office in the gift of the people.  He was town superintendent of schools for four years.  For twenty-four years he has served as justice of the peace in the town of Machias, thereby acquiring a very considerable legal knowledge.  He was county superintendent of the poor for several terms, and retired from that office with unblemished reputation, after fourteen years incumbency.  He served as justice of the sessions one term, and as supervisor for his town in the years 1854 and 1866.  He is now justice of the peace, and notary public; one of the loan commissioners of the United States deposit fund; and railroad commissioner, for Machias, of the Buffalo, New York and Philadelphia Railroad.  In 1866 he was elected to the State Legislature, as a member from the first district of Cattaraugus County.  He served on the committee on Internal Affairs of Towns and Counties, and (with two of his colleagues) presented a minority report against the proposed amendment of the metropolitan excise law, which was introduced in the interests of the liquor-dealers.  The Brooklyn Union referred in very complimentary terms to the course taken by Mr. Button on this question: “And the many friends of the excise law, as it is, will remember him and the other representatives who had sufficient honor and courage to stand firm against the many and strong inducements from the Liquor-Dealers’ Association.”

            Mr. Button was formerly a Whig, but united with the Republican Party upon its organization.  He was a strong supporter of the war against the efforts of treason, and in addition to his influence and money, which he used without stint, he lent to the army and the country two sons, who were a long time in the service, and who fought with commendable heroism. Notwithstanding the many times Mr. Button has been a candidate for the suffrages of his friends and townsmen, he never was defeated at the polls, ---a record that speaks for itself.

                                  Heman and Sarah (Prescott) Button

                                Heman Button Residence of Machias

There being no lawyer in the town, he is much employed in legal business in executing papers, and in the administration of estates, very much of his time of late years being thus engaged.  The late Judge Ten Broeck, the founder of the Ten Broeck Free Academy in Franklinville, having unbounded confidence in Mr. Button’s practical sense and integrity, before his death appointed him as one of its trustees.

            Heman Button is an honest, upright man, a faithful public servant, and a worthy citizen and neighbor.



            The father of Mr. Brewer was of German, and his mother of Scotch descent, his grandfather emigrating from Germany and settling on the Hudson River.

            Jared A. Brewer, the only son of Jacob T. and Esther (McIntyre) Brewer, natives respectively of Stillwater, Saratoga County, N. Y., and of Vermont, was born in New Berlin, Chenango County, N.Y., on March 1, 1811.  His father moved to Cattaraugus County, in May 1833, from Chenango Co., N.Y., and located a farm in the town of Farmersville, where he died Feb. 23, 1850, aged sixty-six years, having been born Sept. 2, 1784.  After his death, his widow went to reside with her son Jared, the subject of this sketch, who had previously (1848), purchased the farm he now occupies.  He was married in New Hartford, Oneida Co., N.Y., in 1830, to Miss Sybil Emeline Porter, a native of that county, which was also the home of Mr. Brewer for the twenty years preceding his advent in Cattaraugus County. The farm on which he resides was the first deeded land in the town, having been originally patented by an Army pensioner named Vaughan; It originally contained one hundred and thirty-two acres, but its area has been extended by Mr. Brewer’s subsequent purchases, until it now comprises four hundred and two acres in four contiguous lots, all located in Machias, and northwest of the village.  (See view of this home on another page.)

            Two daughters came to cheer and bless the home of Mr. Brewer; but after they had attained to womanhood and motherhood, he was bereft of both.  Esther Eliza was born Aug. 4, 1831, married Jesse E.K. Button of Machias, and died Jan. 7, 1872, leaving two sons and two daughters.  Maria Jennett, born June 24, 1833, married Luther A. Beckwith, a resident of Ischua, this county.  She departed this life Oct. 23, 1861 leaving two sons and one daughter.

            Ira Porter, the father of Mrs. Brewer, was of English ancestry, and moved from Connecticut with his parents, when but six years of age, to Oneida County, where he and his wife, Lurancy Dean spent their days, and died “full of years, “---she in the year 1861, he is 1866. Her maternal grandfather and grandmother lived and died in Onondaga County.

            Mr. Brewer was brought up on a farm, and has always followed the farmer’s vocation with deserved success.  He is now, and has been from the days of Jackson, a Democrat.  He has been called upon to fill various local offices; was assessor for three years and in 1855 was elected to represent his town in the Board of Supervisors, and re-elected in 1856 by a considerable majority, when the town was strongly Republican, showing his popular5ity, and the esteem and confidence of his townsmen of both political parties. H is one of the three loan commissioners of his town for the Buffalo, New York, and Philadelphia Railroad.  Both himself and his estimable wife are honored and esteemed residents of Machias.

           JARED A. BREWER                           SYBIL EMELINE (PORTER) BREWER

(Daughters of Jared A. and Sybil Emeline Brewer)

Residence of Jared and Sybil Brewer of Machias



One of the oldest of the living pioneers of the town of Machias, and a man who, unaided has carved out his own fortune, was born in Gilmantown, N.H., Feb 14, 1797.  His parents were in comfortable circumstances, his father, John Farrar, being a farmer, innkeeper, and merchant.  Wiggin, the eldest son, was educated in the district schools of his neighborhood, ----such as they were in the days of his youth, -----his opportunities therein being limited to two or three months in a year.

He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and is one of the surviving pensioners.  Following the war he clerked in a store until he was nineteen years of age. His father failing in business during the War of 1812¸ moved with his family to New Berlin, Chenango Co., N.Y. They arrived there with money exhausted, and had a sever struggle to maintain themselves through the winter.   In the spring of 1817 they moved to Rochester, N.Y. and purchased the chance of a partly-improved farm, giving as a consideration for the transfer of the “articles” a span of horses, carriage, and harness, valued at four hundred dollars,---all the property he owned at the time. They commenced cutting staves, square timber and saw-logs, purposing to send them down the river to Rochester. When they had gathered a lot of timber on the river bank, his father was prosecuted for trespass, and a judgment of eighty dollars obtained against him, which he was obliged to pay in hard labor to avoid going to jail! Wiggin then purchased a boat and, in partnership with another man, went to boating on the Genesee River.  Made some money, but eventually the boat went over the falls, and proved a total loss.  His father’s health was poor and after his failure became low-spirited and devoid of ambition; Wiggin then took charge of the family, and virtually became its head.

            In the year 1819, Wiggin took his father’s family, and started for the west, with an ox-team, to establish a home in the then wilderness.  Influenced by the representations of old friends from his former home in New Hampshire, he was induced to settle in Machias, in Cattaraugus County.  He there took an articled tract of land, made a small improvement, and then sold his claim.  He subsequently purchased other tracts, in different portions of the town, and in 1828 bought the farm on which he now resides.

            Mr. Farrar was married in 1826 to Hannah Doolittle, who died about a year later.  The following year (1828) he married Betsey Loomis, a worthy woman, who has been his faithful companion for fifty years.  John Farrar died in Machias, in 1854. Wiggin Farrar became a leader in the new settlement, and was prominently identified with the town form the start until some twenty years ago when deafness compelled him to relinquish public and official duties.  He has held nearly every office in the gift of his townsmen.  He was justice of the peace for seven years, coroner for three years, assessor for many years, supervisor for fourteen years, and for five years was county superintendent for the poor.  In politics he was a Whig, and later a Republican.  His hearing had been failing for many years, and some ten years ago he became totally deaf, ---- a calamity he bears patiently.

            Mr. Farrar’s family consisted of two children,----Aleanzor M. and Mary Elizabeth. The former married Lydia Carver, a lady of refinement and worth; he resides on the home farm, which he shares and manages for his father.  Mary E. Farrar married Mr. Thomas J. King, a prominent physician of Machias, who has twice been elected to the State Legislature, where he served with honor,; she died in 1863, leaving two sons.

In his prime, Mr. Farrar was a man of great energy, a good financier, and of marked business ability. Although always engaged in farming, he also carried on a flouring-mill business successfully for many years, and engaged largely in the purchase and sale of cattle and produce. He is an example of what can be accomplished by energy and perseverance.  Starting in life without a dollar, or the assistance of friends, he has accumulated a handsome property. He has a fine farm of five hundred or more acres, and out of his competence, which will make comfortable his old age; he has always given liberally to the poor, and for the support of church and school interests.

             WIGGIN FARRAR


            Among the citizens of the town of Machias whose residence does not exceed a quarter of a century, none have won a warmer place in the hearts of the people, deservedly so, than Dr. Thomas J. King.  His intelligence and practical benevolence have secured for him popularity as genuine as it is enduring.

            Thomas J. King was born at East Hampton, Suffolk, Co., Long Island June 4, 1825; He was the only son of Samuel T. and Martha (Leek) King, the former of whom was of English and the latter of Welsh descent. His ancestors removed to East Hampton as early as 1680, and for generations have been characterized by respectability and honesty.  At an early age young King was sent to the public schools, and afterwards to the Clinton Academy, of which, at a subsequent period of his life he became the honored principal.  He subsequently attended Williams College, from which he was honorable graduated in 1848.  He then chose medicine as a profession and for its study entered the Albany Medical College in 1852, and after attending two regular courses of lectures, received his diploma and degree of M.D. in 1854.  Prior to his attendance at Albany, he read medicine with Abraham Van Scoy, M.D., at East Hampton, and also at intervals between his graduation.  He first commenced the practice of his profession at Machias, in the spring of 1856, and has since continued to reside there.  By his scholarly attainments and extensive knowledge of medicine and surgery he is considered by his brother practitioners and by the people at large an ornament to the profession and a generally useful citizen. He has been a member of the Cattaraugus County Medical Society from its reorganization until the present time.

PHOTO Residence of John Napier, Machias, Cattaraugus Co., New York

In politics he has always been a consistent Republican, and though not seeking political honors, rather preferring to devote his time and attention to his profession, yet the people, recognizing his ability and personal worth, have twice elected him their representative in the Assembly, first in 1876, and again the year following.  In the House his talents were recognized and he was made chairman of the Committee of Public Health and a member of the Committee of Apportionment.  He made an able and (what is of far greater merit) an honest legislator; and did his inclinations and aspirations tend to political preferment, the people would intrust to his care the management of their affairs in almost any position within their gift,

            On the 4th of October, 1860, Dr. King was united in marriage with Mary Elizabeth, daughter of W.M. Farrar, Esq., of Machias. There were two children born to them namely, Clarence, born June 6, 1861; Harold, born April 27, 1863.  On the 31st of May the doctor sustained the loss of his wife, which was naturally a sore bereavement to him, particularly as the care of his young children devolved almost entirely on him.  But he is not a man to shirk responsibilities, and we doubt not but that his sons will be properly and judiciously reared, and in youth and manhood will reflect credit and honor upon their worthy parent.

            Upon Dr. King’s general character and reputation we bade the following assertions:  the he occupies a prominent position in the medical profession of Cattaraugus County, as is shown by the fact that he enjoys an extensive practice, and is often called in consultation; that he possesses more than ordinary executive and business ability; that he is scrupulously honest; that his political record is irreproachable; and that he admirably sustains the relations of the Christian gentlemen and the worthy and upright citizen. In fine, his life and character have been such that we fear no honest contradiction to the above, which, though, seemingly containing much of eulogy, is in reality but a plain, uncolored statement of fact,



Was born at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Sept. 15, 1816. His ancestry are numbered among the Napiers who have figured quite conspicuously in the history of Great Britain for several centuries past.  His father was James Napier, who was born in the town of Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and his mother Rachel (Michael) Napier, who was born in the adjoining parish of Gartley.  They emigrated to Halifax, Nova Scotia, in the year 1816, and after remaining there twelve years returned, with their family, to Scotland.  In 1834, John and his elder brother, William, again crossed the ocean landing in Halifax, removed t Windsor, where they remained about one year.  They then went to New York, and soon afterwards to Quincy, Mass, where John was apprenticed to the stone-cutter’s trade, at which he served three years, and at the expiration of that time was a first-class journeyman.  He removed to Virginia, and worked at his trade on the James River Canal, and from there embarked for Scotland with his brother John in the fall of 1838.  In the following spring they returned to America, accompanied by their parents whom they brought out and subsequently cared for.  They resumed work at their trade on the Erie Canal, and in 1840 arrived at Hinsdale. While there he (John) visited Machias, and took the contract to erect the stone house for Samuel Butler, in which he now resides.  In 1844 he went to Buffalo, and after working there a brief period he removed to New London, Conn., and worked at Mill Stone Point, six miles from New London.  After three months’ service he was promoted foreman, over the stone-cutters, having sixty journeymen under him, and from that time to the present has always been engaged either as superintendent on public works or contracting for the same.

            On the 13th of April, 1845, he married Miss Emeline T. Beebe, who was born at Waterford, New London Co., Conn., Dec. 16, 1827. They had six children born to then, ---one son and five daughters, ---of whom two daughters and one son survive.  Margaret, born Feb. 1, 1846, married George L. Napier, April 13, 1875; Mary Isabella, born Sept. 19, 1848; Griselda, born May 27, 1851, died Jan. 18, 1863; Lovinia, born Dec. 22, 1856, died in infancy; Sarah Jane, born April 27, 1860, died July 28 1863; James Allen, born March 23, 1862 resides with his parents.

            In the winter of 1846 he left Connecticut and went to Lawrence, Mass, and was employed as foremen over stone-cutters in the construction of a dam across the Merrimac, and in the erection of manufacturing buildings. In the summer of 1848 was engaged on the Portage Aqueduct across the Genesee River, at Portageville.  From that time until 1857 and 1858 himself and the brothers mentioned above, and their brother-in-law, Charles Brodie, were engaged in the building of the stone-work on the bridge spanning the Mississippi River at St. Paul.  In 1860 he became superintendent of the construction of the new enlarged lock on the Louisville and Portland Canal, at Louisville, Ky., and was thus engaged until 1864.  The succeeding two years he was employed in the superintendency of masonry on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad.  A part of the year 1866 he was occupied with his brothers in the erection of the Ten Broeck Free Academy at Franklinville. In 1867 he obtained the contract to get the stone from the Nauvoo, Ill., quarries, the same as used in the building of the Mormon Temple, and for building the post-office and customhouse at Springfield, Ill. In 1868 they erected the county poor-house in the town of Machias. In July of the same year he went to Springfield, Ill., and became superintendent over the construction of the stone-work of the State Capitol and thus continued until December, 1876. In 1869 he was engaged as superintendent of the Grafton Stone Quarries on the Mississippi, forty miles above St. Louis, for the building of the building of the St. Louis Bridge and Water-Works.  While there he had from two hundred and fifty to three hundred men under his supervision,  In the mean time he and his brothers built the masonry, Trestleing, and piling on the Buffalo, New York and Philadelphia Railroad from Machias to Emporium, a distance of about sixty miles.  In the summer and fall of 1876 they built the Springville and Sardinia Railroad (narrow gauge).  In addition to the above, Mr. Napier and his brothers and Charles and Robert Brodie, were engaged in bridging the Wabash and other streams on the New Albany and Salem, and Toledo, Wabash and western Railroads.

Mr. Napier has been a man of indomitable energy and untiring industry.  For more than forty years he has been actively engaged in superintending the construction of public works and various other enterprises, many of which, among others the Harlem High Bridge and the State Capitol at Springfield, Ill., remain as monuments to his mechanical skill. He is a Republican in politics, but never had time to accept political preferment. His ambition has been in the line of his trade and in the perfection of his knowledge of constructive art. His various contracts have been honestly managed, and completed according to the terms of his agreements. He is generally considered a man of irreproachable personal integrity, a kind husband, father, and friend, and a good citizen in every sense of that term.

         JOHN NAPIER of MACHIAS                      JAMES ALLEN NAPIER of MACHIAS

John Napier Residence of Machias



One of the respected yeomen of the town of Machias, is the son of Joseph B. Wright, a native of Oneida Co., N.Y. His father removed to Gainesville, Wyoming, Co., N.Y., where he married Nancy Lewis, a native of Delaware, from which State her parents had emigrated to Wyoming when she was very young.  Joseph Wright came to Cattaraugus County in 1823, locating in the western part of the town of Machias, near the Ashford town line.  The county was then a wilderness; there were only three houses, and those built of logs, in what is now Machias village; and “blazed” trees, in lieu of roads, marked their route through the dense woods. He cleared his farm of fifty acres, afterwards increased to three hundred and there he resided until his demise in the year 1860(January1), aged sixty-one years, six months, and twenty-eight days.  His wife died Oct. 23, 1865, aged fifty-six years.  His family embraced seven children, of whom six survive, ---viz.: Sanford, Myron, Cleantha (deceased), Dennis, Mandada, Lafayette, and Paulina. Dennis is located on the homestead farm.

            Danford Wright, the eldest son of Joseph and Nancy Wright, was born in Gainsville, N.Y., Sept. 25, 1825. He was about a year and a half old when his parents removed to Machias.  He remained with his father upon the home farm until he was twenty-three years of age, when he married Eliza Wright (not related), purchased a tract of seventy-four acres in the neighborhood of his father’s place, and commenced life for himself. That he prosecuted his labors with success is evidenced by the fact that his acreage was subsequently increased to three hundred fifty acres. He sold one hundred fifty acres. The remainder embraces two farms, ---one occupied by a tenant; the other, in the northeast portion of the town, has been his home since the date of its purchase in 1858.

            Mrs. Danford Wright’s father, Rueben Wright, was also an early settler of the town; he died on his farm near Machias village, in the year 1858m aged eighty-two years.  Her mother, whose maiden name was Susanna Stebins (Stebbins), was a native of Wilbraham, Mass; she died also on the homestead farm, Oct 2, 1868, at the advanced age of nearly eighty-three years.  Eliza Wright was born Jan. 13, 1821, at Alexander, Genesee Co., N.Y. to which place her parents removed from Massachusetts in an early day, and thence to Cattaraugus County.

            The family of Danford and Eliza Wright consists of an only son, Amon D., who was born July 25, 1851. In 1869 he married Miss Mary Lewis, of Gainsville, N.Y., who was born July10, 1851. They reside on a farm bear Machias Junction.

            Mr. Wright is, and has ever been, a hard-working, calculating, and prudent farmer, whose many years’ toil has yielded him competence for his declining years, although he now enjoys good health and is possessed of a rugged constitution.

           DANFORD WRIGHT                                    ELIZA (WRIGHT) WRIGHT

AMON WRIGHT                                        MARY WRIGHT




Is the son of Jacob and Rosina Wurst, and was born in Wurtenberg (Germany), Sept. 29, 1843.  He was educated at the National schools of his native land, and when twenty-three years of age emigrated to America, first arriving in Buffalo, where he learned the butcher’s trade.  He remained there about two years, and then removed to Holland, Erie Co., N.Y., where he engaged in the butchering business, continuing in the same five years.  In 1874, he established himself in the same business at Emporium, Pa., in connection with conducting a grocery-store.  During the latter part of the same year he sold out and removed to Lime Lake where he purchased the Lime Lake flouring and saw mills. In December 1875, his brother-in-law, John E. Euchner became a partner with him, under the firm name of Wurst & Euchner, as at present.  They now transact quite an extensive business. Their grist-mill has two run of stone and an annual capacity for twenty-five thousand of custom and one thousand barrels of merchant work. Their saw-mill has a circular saw and a capacity for six hundred and fifty thousand feet of lumber per annum. They have a cider-mill also, and purchase lumber and bark; making, in all quite a large general business.

            On the 2d of February, 1869, Mr. Wurst was married to Miss Lovina Euchner, by whom he has had four children; their names and dates of their births being as follows: Dora R. born March 19, 1870; Paul G., born June 23, 1872; Alma J., born March 24, 1875; Perry L., born Jan.7, 1878.

            Mr. Wurst is a first class business man, and possesses the requisite amount of industry and enterprise to make a successful career, which he will doubtless do. His, partner, (See bio on John E. Euchner)

                 JACOB WURST                                       LOVINA (EUCHNER) WURST

JOHN E. EUCHNER of Machias

was born at Holland, Erie Co., N.Y., October 30, 1855. He is the son of Christopher Euchner, a respectable farmer of Erie County.  Young Euchner has many fine business qualifications, and with the senior partner of the firm makes a strong team and only one that wields a respectable influence in the community where they reside.  They have the best possible facilities for their business, a fine waterpower, good arrangements for transportation, and all the necessary improvements in machinery, etc. They are just the men Lime Lake Mills require to make them successful, and gain for them a creditable name abroad.  They now enjoy a good patronage, which under the present able management, is rapidly increasing.

Royal C. Farrar

Was born in Gilmantown, Belknap Co. N.H., April 27, 1806, where his parents resided for many years.* In 1818 he, moved to New Berlin. N.Y., and from thence to Rochester, N.Y. In 1819, with his father and family he emigrated to Machias, Cattaraugus Co., N.Y.  He was a younger brother of Wiggin Farrar, and remained with the family until he attained his majority.  After spending a few years at farm labor, working by the month he purchased, in 1832, the farm where he spent the remainder of his days, where he died, and where his widow now resides, ----one of the finest farms in the town, and so rated by the assessors.

            Mr. Farrar was not as office-seeker, but held the office of assessor for several years, and some other minor positions.  He was an unostentatious, hard-working man, who rather avoided publicity, and stuck close to this chosen vocation, ----that of a farmer.  The three hundred acres of which he was possessed had been so wisely managed as to leave upon his death a competence for his family.  He died Jan. 31, 1875, highly esteemed as a citizen and neighbor.

            By his first wife, Sarah A. Bradley, whom he married in 1835, has but two surviving children: Martin V. and Melville.  The former is living in Canborough, Canada; the latter (who served during the war of the Rebellion, as a faithful and brave soldier of the 72d New York Volunteers) is a successful cattle-broker, and resides in Machias.  Mrs. Farrar died in 1845, and the following year Mr. Farrar married Miss Luna Roscoe, daughter of William Roscoe, of Machias.  Her demise occurred in 1847, leaving one daughter, Luna E. who married Mr. A.P. Adams, a merchant of Machias, in 1870.  Mr. Farrar made a third venture in matrimony April 25, 1850 by taking as his companion Maria E. Spoor, of Farmersville, daughter of Asel Spoor, who settled in that town as early as 1826.  Mrs. Maria (Spoor) Farrar was born in Arcadia, Wayne Co., N.Y., Oct. 9, 1824.  There were born unto Royal and Maria Farrar seven children,----Sarah W., who died in 1876; Stanley R.; Anna E., who in 1877, married Arthur E. Wright, a well-to-do farmer, of Machias; Gilbert T.; Ernest H; Cora E.; Orville L., who died in 1870.  Of the above-named children, Gilbert, Ernest and Cora reside with their mother on the homestead farm, a view of which may be seen on another page of this work.

See Biography of Wiggin M. Farrar

MR. and MRS. ROYAL FARRAR of Machias

        Residence of Mrs. Royal Farrar of Machias



            The perpetuation of family records and genealogies is commendable. It exhibits a reverence for the memory of those departed that is as admirable as it is just.  It is a noticeable fact that families in this country are imitating the example set by those of the old world, in the preservation of family histories.  When the ancestry of a person in America can be traced back a couple of centuries, it becomes an honor and a pride to the individual as great, in our estimation, as for old and long-established families in Europe to trace their pedigree five times as far back.  In the history of the Prescotts in America is offered a fair example to illustrate the above argument. We find that James Prescott, the progenitor of the family in America, emigrated from England and settled in Hampton, N.H., between the years 1660 and 1668.  He married Mary Boulter, daughter of Nathaniel and Grace Boulter of Hampton.  The exact date of his birth and marriage is not known.  His wife was born May 15, 1648.  He removed to Kingston, N.H. (being one of the grantees of that town), where he died in 1728.  A fac-simile of the family coat of arms is retained, a photograph of which is in the possession of the subject of this sketch.  It is of elegant design, and bears the motto “ Vincit qui Petirur”  (he that conquers endures).  We trace the genealogy of the family through seven generations as follows:

            James Prescott, son of James Prescott above mentioned, born Sept. 1, 1671; married Maria Marston, March 6, 1695.  Samuel Prescott, born March 14, 1697; married Mary Sanborn, Dec. 17, 1717.  William Prescott, born June 21, 1728; married Susanna Sanborn, Nov. 22, 1750. William Prescott, born Oct. 14, 1762; married three times: first, Deborah Welch, second Sarah (Gibson) Forest; third, Jane (Smith) Kezar. John Prescott, born March 28, 1787; married twice: first, Rebecca George; second Eunicia Dawson.

            Horace (of whom we write), born at Franklin, N.H., Feb. 10, 1810. He married Laura Blunt, of Machias, Jan 12, 1840. They had issue, two sons and two daughters, namely: Emily, born March 6, 1842; died March 16, 1843. Adelaide, born March 25, 2844; married Philetus Martin, Nov. 19, 1868, resides in Farmersville. Edgar, born June 15, 1846; married Mary Jane, daughter of William Napier, of Machias, Oct. 21, 1869. Urban , born Aug. 9, 1848;unmarried.

            Mr. Prescott removed from Franklin, N.H., to Covington, Genesee Co., N.Y., when a youth, and from there to Machias, on the 28th of February 1827, where he has since resided. The country was wild and unsettled when he arrived.  There were no roads or other material improvements, so that it required both energy and industry to effect a permanent settlement.  Both of these qualifications he possessed, and as a result he succeeded in accumulating a fine farm of four hundred and ten acres, upon which he has recently erected a good substantial barn, forty by fifty feet, at a cost of about fifteen hundred dollars.

            Mr. Prescott has never taken a very active part in politics, having has his time and attention well occupied in improving and bettering his farm.  He has, however, acceptably filled the office of assessor ten years, and also other positions in the town government. He espoused the Greenback cause at the organization of that party, and has since advocated its principles, believing them to be the best for the general public good.  He is a man of considerable force of character, and has done much towards the advancement of the best interests of his town. His neighbors esteem him as a good practical farmer, and respect him as an upright and honest citizen.

           HORACE PRESCOTT                              LAURA (BLUNT) PRESCOTT

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