Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of its Prominent Men and Pioneers.
L.H. Everts, 1879, Edited by Franklin Ellis

Transcribed from pages 153-185





Transcribed  by Jeanette Sauntry, Linda Albright, Mary Bryant, Laura Greene


Photographs/portraits included in this chapter: James G. Johnson, George Van Campen, William Mandeville, George W. Dickinson, Nelson S. Butler, John L. Eddy, C. V. B. Barse, Residence of C. V. B. Barse,  Olcott Boardman, Lambert Whitney, Jarius BIssell Strong, Ansel Adams, Rueben Smith, Charles Austin Woodruff, William Conklin, Dewitt Conklin, James H. Brooks, Colonel Enos c. Brooks





            A retrospection extending over three-quarters of a century carries us back to the time when the first settlement was made at “Olean Point,” which also constituted the first permanent settlement effected within the present limits of Cattaraugus County. Seventy-five years, with their momentous events and changing vicissitudes, have passed into the silent night of eternity since the first white settler made his permanent location within the present corporate limits of the village. Although there are none now living, within the scope of our work, who remember that time, yet there are those whose years antedate the first settlement of Olean. Some there are whose memories extend back to the time when the log cabin constituted the only habitation of the pioneer, and not a semblance of the present progress and development existed. To these is left the recollection of the hardships and privations they and their families had to endure in order to effect the marvelous change their industry has wrought. Yet, blended with the remembrance of their early trials are memories of the broad hospitality, the Christian fortitude, and the cheerfulness under difficulties that characterized the pioneers.  Indeed, as the poet has happily said,


“There are moments in life that we never forget,

Which brighten and brighten as time steals away;

They give a new charm to the happiest lot,

And they shine in the gloom of the loneliest day.”


            The imagination can scarcely depict  the realities of those “days of the past,”―the unbroken wilderness, which presented a wildness in every object upon which the eyes rested, except the sky o’erhead. The only marks in all this region that gave any evidence that the foot of civilized man had trodden the soil were the blazed trees that denoted so indefinite pathway. Such was this village and town when the youthful Benjamin VAN CAMPEN came hither, in the service of Adam HOOPS, to survey the lands at and about Olean Point. True, a permanent settlement had been made at Almond, Allegany County, as early as 1796, by half a dozen emigrants from Luzerne County, PA, two of whom were Moses and Benjamin VAN CAMPEN, uncle and father of George VAN CAMPEN, Esq., now well known as an active and prominent citizen of the village. There was also one John KING, and his family and servants, who settled on Oswayo Creek in 1798; and still another Quaker settlement established on Tunessassa Creek (better known as Quaker Run), in South Valley township, this county.

            It was in November, 1802, that young VAN CAMPEN, Esq., was delegated by Adam HOOPS and David HEUSTON top make an examination of the lands in this vicinity. He made his headquarters at King’s, on Oswayo Creek, and spent two months in making his examination.[3]

            On the favorable report of Mr. VAN CAMPEN, Messrs. HOOPS and HEUSTON purchased of the HOLLAND Land Company, a tract of about 20,000 acres, and in the spring of the year Enos KELLOGG was sent on to locate and survey the tract. In the year 1804, Robert HOOPS, a brother of Adam, came to the location as agent for the lands. He erected a double log house, which was the first building erected in the town. It stood upon the river bank, almost exactly in the rear of the present MARTIN farm, and in close proximity to an Indian mound. Some of the trees of the orchard still remain, the venerable landmarks of “ye olden time.” The old log house is no more. Time and the vandalism of the age have conspired to remove the only vestige of the past, which should have been preserved with jealous care, as the sole link between days long since departed and the present, and as a historic monument of primitive architecture.




            The origin of the name of the village offers an interesting item of history. It appears that up to 1804, the stream went by the Indian name of Ischue or Ischua. From a letter written by Adam HOOPS to Joseph ELLICOTT, it appears that the former gentleman wished to change the name from Ischua to Olean. The subjoined copy of the letter, furnished by Hon. George VAN CAMPEN, is the most authentic document bearing upon this subject now in existence:


Canandaigua, N.Y., April 15, 1804


“To Joseph ELLICOTT, Esq., Batavia, New York.


            “Dear Sir,―It was proposed to me at New York to drop the Indian name of Ischue or Ischua (it is also spelt other ways). Confusion might arise from the various spellings, of which to obviate all risk I have concluded so to do as proposed. The neighborhood of the oil spring suggests a name different in sound, though perhaps not different in meaning, which I wish to adopt,―it is “Olean.” You will do me a favor by assisting me to establish this name. It may easily be done now by your concurrence. The purpose will be most effectually answered by employing the term, when occasion requires, without saying anything of an intended change of name. To begin, you will greatly oblige me by addressing the first letter you may have occasion to write to me, after I receive the survey, to the Mouth of Olean. The bearer being properly instructed, there will be thereafter no difficulty. Your co-operation in the matter (the effect of which, though not important in itself, may be so on account of precision) will oblige.

“Your Obed’t servant,




            Whether or not Mr. ELLICOTT acted on the request of Adam HOOPS is not shown, but from careful research, we find no definite use of the name “Olean” to the village property until 1823. In his admirable series of articles on the early history of Olean, James G. JOHNSON, Esq., says:

            “When the village was first laid out it was called ‘Hamilton,’ in honor of the great and popular statesman, Alexander HAMILTON, but the local designation of ‘Olean Point’ was generally used, and in course of time entirely supplanted the name of Hamilton. There never was any formal change of names, the substitution of one for the other being made by common custom and consent. I think the first semi-official abandonment of Hamilton and adoption of Olean was in the authorized village map, published in 1823.”

            In a communication touching the establishment of the post office at Olean, Acting Assistant First Postmaster-General James H. MARR states that the post office was never officially named Hamilton, but was established as Olean in 1817.[4]




            The settlement of the village proper was commenced in 1808, by James G. JOHNSON, father of the well-known citizen of the same name. Mr. JOHNSON came from Canandaigua. He died early in 1811, and was the first interment in the present beautiful village cemetery. Sylvanus RUSSELL and Bibbius FOLLETT came at the same time Mr. JOHNSON did.  He (Russell) came from Angelica. He kept a tavern on the site of the present residence of George CHAMBERLAIN. He was the father of the venerable Mrs. Seymour BOUTON, now residing in the town of Allegany.

            Speaking of Adam HOOPS and his settlement here, Hon. D. H. BOLLES, in his excellent address delivered at the Centennial Anniversary of American Independence, July 4, 1876, says:

            “In 1804, Adam HOOPS, who had acquired some distinction by his Revolutionary services, and had at one time been a member of Washington’s staff, in conjunction with Ebenezer F. NORTON, Birdseye NORTON, and Joel STEELE, purchased from the HOLLAND Land Company a tract of twenty thousand acres where Olean now is. The project originated with HOOPS, who believed that his purchase would derive important and permanent advantages from its location on the Allegany River. His theory was that the river was navigable at all seasons, except when closed by ice, and that the locality would become in time a stirring commercial depot, connecting the State with the west and Southwest. Although that dream was never realized to the extent of his anticipations, it was by no means at that time so visionary as it now would seem. Independently of the fact that at the period of his purchase, the means of accurate information as to the habits and capacity of the river were not accessible, it is to be remembered that in that early day, while the whole watershed tributary to it was densely covered with forest, the streams were much deeper and more capacious the year round than they have been since the country has become cleared. But his immediate enterprise did not prosper. He was unable to complete his payments for the purchase, the mortgage he had given was foreclosed, and the greater part of the tract reverted to the company, a portion of it subsequently passing into the ownership of Norton (Ebenezer F.), his coadjutor. HOOPS eventually retired, a ruined and disappointed man, to West Chester County, in the State of Pennsylvania, where he lived in poverty, subsisting on his Revolutionary pension, and there died in 1845

            “But prior to this catastrophe, he had made considerable progress with his design. In 1804, he commenced a settlement here and laid out this village, which he called Hamilton, after his compatriot in the Revolutionary service, the distinguished soldier and statesman of that name.”

            Robert HOOPS, who came here in the interests of his brother, Major Adam HOOPS, in 1804, was a widower, and died in the village in reduced circumstances, about 1816, and his remains are interred in the village cemetery, the ground comprising which he donated nine years before. After his death, his housekeeper, a maiden lady named Nancy FURBELOW, kept house for John FOBES for a few years. Afterwards, being quite aged and left totally unprovided for, she went to live with a Mrs. CAMPBELL in Pennsylvania, her board being paid by the town. She thus became the first pauper in the county.

            The most rapid influx of settlers to the village occurred between the decade commencing in 1810 and ending in 1820, and the place began to assume a numerical importance that led the proprietors to form visionary ideas as to its future growth and ultimate progress. One of the greatest impediments to its permanent development was the existence of the mortgage held by the Holland Land Company, which debarred HOOPS or his agent from giving a clear title to purchasers; hence few, comparatively, could be induced to buy except on contracts, many of which fortunately, were recognized and honored by Ebenezer F. NORTON and his co-purchasers of the foreclosed mortgage of Adam HOOPS, in 1821.

            Prominent among those who settled in the village previous to the year 1820, the following are deserving of mention. It is impossible to obtain the exact dates of the arrival of these pioneers in the various interests represented by them severally, but we subjoin a brief notice of the most important personages among them, as a part of the history of the community in which they lived and labored.

            Judge F. S. MARTIN[5] arrived in 1819, and became one of the leading men of the place. He was born in Rutland County, VT., April 25, 1794. In December, 1830, he was appointed postmaster at Olean. He was appointed judge of Cattaraugus County, by Gov. SEWARD, in 1840. He was elected State Senator in 1847, and remained in the Senate and House of Representatives until 1850, when he was elected to the Thirty-Second Congress. He died in Jun, 1865.

            Hon. Timothy H. PORTER was the first judge of the county, appointed in 1817. By profession, he was a lawyer, but gradually withdrew from the practice of law and finally settled on his farm, the next north of Judge BROOKS, where he died about the year 1840, leaving an interesting family of six sons and one daughter. At various times, he was chosen a member of either branch of the State Legislature, and latterly was a member of Congress from this incipient and widely-extended district.

            Henry BRYAN, one of the earliest lawyers of the place, and an inveterate practical joker, will be remembered by the few remaining early settlers, particularly as his memory has been immortalized in the annals of local history in the series of articles entitled “Fun, Fact, and Fancy,” from the pen of Col. James G. JOHNSON. In this connection might be mentioned the pioneer “merchant tailor,” H. L. OSBORN who was the counterpart of BRYAN, and the practical jokes perpetrated by each upon the other―in which, by the way, Judge PORTER usually took an active part―forms the most interesting item in the humorous history of the county. The following is quoted from a local writer:

            “Ón a certain occasion BRYAN wanted to have his hair cut, and as barbers were not as numerous in those days as they are here now, he was innocently inquiring for someone who could do the job for him. OSBORN heard his inquiry, and was not long in discovering a chance for a joke. So he promptly spoke up, ‘I’ll cut your hair, if you’ll go over to my shop;’ and seeing a look of incredulity on BRYAN’s face, quickly dissipated it by stating, ‘I used to cut hair a good deal before I came here, and don’t think I have entirely forgotten how, yet.’ ‘All right:’ and they forthwith repaired to OSBORN’s shop, where he was speedily put in a chair and his shoulders enveloped in a dirty towel. OSBORN got a comb and combed BRYAN’s hair down over his eyes, and getting his big shears, began clipping away. At the same time, he kept up a ‘perfect stream of talk,’ telling some ludicrous tale and snapping his shears to the time of his voluble music. He kept on until BRYAN began to think he had been working on one side of his head long enough. As soon as he remarked this it struck him forcibly that the entire performance of OSBORN was quite unusual, and he quickly clapped his hand on the side of his head where the tricky tailor had been so persistently clipping away. To his horror, he found that that side of his head was cropped close down to the scalp. Without waiting a moment for explanation, BRYAN leaped down from the chair, and catching OSBORN by the throat, landed him squarely on his back on the floor, sat upon him, and began pounding him and pulling his hair and ears, and tumbled him around generally, until he was complete exhausted. Meanwhile, all the hands in the shop were convulsed in laughter, and ever poor OSBORN laughed and screamed with mirth between the blows and pulls of the irate BRYAN. After fining there was nothing but fun to be pounded in or out of the tailor, BRYAN left to find some more reliable hand, or at least equalize the damage as best it could be done.

            “Something more than a year afterwards BRYAN discovered OSBORN coming out of the tavern, bent over sideways, with his hand up to the side of his face, groaning, apparently as if in great agony of pain. With a feeling of honest solicitude, BRYAN inquired what was the occasion of the trouble. OSBORN replied that it was a terrible toothache, which had kept him awake all night. ‘Why don’t you have it out?’ inquired BRYAN. ‘I can’t,’ said OSBORN; ‘Dr. MEAD and Dr. SMITH are both out of town.’ Quick as lightning BRYAN saw his chance to repay the old haircutting score, but without betraying it by look or word he said, ‘Come over to my office; I’ve got a pair of turn-keys’ and will jerk it out for you in a minute;’ and then, with a malicious repetition of OSBORN’s specious statement, he continued, “I used to pull teeth a good deal before I came here.’ Over they went to BRYAN;s office, OSBORN groaning and moaning, and BRYAN chuckling over his long-desired opportunity for retaliation. Getting into the room, OSBORN was seated in a chair while BRYAN pretended to be rummaging in the back room for the turn-keys, and soon managed to slip out of the rear door, run to Dr. MEAD’s office (which was nearby), and getting in through a back window, soon got hold of a pair of turn-keys, and quickly returned. Placing himself before the tailor, and speaking a few encouraging words, he began winding a handkerchief around the stem of the instrument, to prevent it hurting the mouth. Having made a roll sufficiently large to fill OSBORN’s mouth, he carefully hooked on to the troublesome tooth, and getting all ready he gave it a little twist, just enough to break the connection but not to remove the tooth, and then stopped! OSBORN was in a perfect agony of pain, but in consequence of having his mouth full of handkerchief and turn-key was unable to utter a word of remonstrance, though his smothered groans could be heard out in the street. He leaped to his feet and struggled desperately, but BRYAN, being the strongest, held his head in a fixed position, the same as one would hold a newly-hooked fish, while, like the fish’s tail, OSBORN’s legs gyrated in every direction, doubling and twisting in more grotesque shapes than were ever attributed to the elongated pedestals wherewith NAST elevated Carl SCHURZ into notoriety. Holding him securely, BRYAN began to talk to the writhing cabbage-maker:  “You cut hair, don’t you? Dash you, how long did you cut hair before you came here?  You’re a dashed good hand at cutting hair, aren’t you? You cut it all on one side, don’t you?’ and so he continued holding him up by the aching tooth, and reminding him of the hair-cutting exploit. Poor OSBORN wriggled and squirmed like a worm on a hook, and vainly essayed to beg for mercy and relief from his torture, but the handkerchief prevented everything but a horrible muffled groan. BRYAN continued to exercise him thus until, out of sheer pity and fear of consequences, he gave the keys another turn and brought out the tooth, while OSBORN dropped into a chair without the least effort on his part. BRYAN had at least got even with him and the account was square again.”

            OSBORN removed to Peru, ILL., some time in 1830, where he died about fifteen years later, leaving a wife and several daughters. Another noted character in the early history of the village was Sylvanus RUSSELL. As a means of perpetuating the memory of this pioneer, we mention a personal incident which is typical of the character of the man. He was prominent among the best men of his day; prompt, active, decided, and exceedingly resolute, especially in his adherence to his opinions. The anecdote we refer to is as follows:

            Benjamin SEELEY had just come into the country. He was a large, strong, bony, active laboring young man, and among other things in which he excelled was the then not uncommon art of chopping cord wood. He boarded with RUSSELL, and soon engaged with him to chop some wood at a given price per cord, board included. After breakfast each morning SEELEY would take his axe and go to the woods. The scene of his labors covered a part of the public square, and to and beyond the present site of the Episcopal Church. Returning for dinner, he would always go into the bar room playing at checkers, as was a favorite and common practice. After a week or ten days of this kind of work, RUSSELL became uneasy and surly. He was positive SEELEY was not fairly earning his board. Accordingly, one afternoon, when SEELEY was seating himself for his regular pastime, RUSSELL approached him, and roughly said, “Young man, I think it about time we measured up what little wood you have cut, and have a settlement.” “All right,” answered SEELEY, quietly, and out to the woods they went. After they had taken the dimensions of the various piles, they returned to the tavern and “figured up” the total. To RUSSELL’s surprise, they ‘figured’  that SEELEY had cut an average of three cords per day. Without hesitation RUSSELL handed him the balance due, and then said, “Young man, you can leave now.  I’ll be d—d if I’ll have a man around me who will put up three cords of wood a day, and spend half of the time playing checkers in the house.” And SEELEY had to leave. Mr. RUSSELL died about 1840, respected by all who knew him in the years of his prominence and prosperity. Seven of his children are still living,―five daughters and two sons. They are,―Jane, widow of Leander KIMBALL of Jackson County, Mich.; Evert, a farmer, residing in Farmersville; Catharine, now the wife of Seymour BOUTON, of Allegany; John N., of Hamilton County, Ohio; Harriett, widow of William SMITH of Westfield, Chautauqua Co., N.Y.’ Mary, wife of Luke B. LATIN of Great Valley; Esther C., widow of Wm. HARNS of Ellicottville.

            Ebenezer REED, who, with his numerous family, arrived about 1815, and soon thereafter became proprietor of that historic hostelry, the ‘Old Boat House.” He had a family of twenty-four children, of whom more than a score were by his first wife. He resided here about thirty-five years, and then died, acknowledging a readiness to “shuffle off the mortal coil.”

            Luman RICE was a prominent citizen, coming here in 1818. He was born at Blastenbury, Conn., January 18, 1787, and married at Homer, Cortland County, N.Y., December 2, 1810. On arriving here, he kept the old tavern, built partly of logs, with a frame wing at each end, that occupied the present residence of Hon. D. H. BOLLES, south of the Moore House. In 1819, he purchased the tavern, then in an unfinished state, now forming part of the Olean House, and kept a hotel in it until 1822, when he moved to Portville, and became owner of about 300 acres, including the site of the present village. He there erected a sawmill, a store, and subsequently, in 1826, a hotel, which was burnt in 1831. He had seven children, namely: Deila A., married Alfred WRIGHT of Portville; Marcia P., married O. P. BOARDMAN of Olean; Luman E., married Sallie HARRISON, of Cincinnati, Ohio; Ambrew D., married Sarah S. SMITH, now postmaster at Portville; Harriet L., married a Mr. SMITH of New Orleans; Susan B., married John D. PARK of Cincinnati; and Malvene M., married Harvey SCOVIL of Chicago, Ill. Mr. RICE, notwithstanding the fact that he lost his arm at an early day, while landing an ark laden with plaster, was quite an energetic and enterprising man, and one of the most prominent pioneers of Portville. He died June 18, 1874, at the advanced age of eighty seven years.

            David BOCKES was an early merchant and hotelkeeper. He came in about 1817 from Albany, N.Y. He frequently held various town offices, which he filled with fidelity and remarkable ability. He became quite wealthy. He died some twelve years since, and his family have all moved to the West.

            David DAY was a highly-respected citizen for nearly half a century. He represented his district in the Legislature in 1835. He held the office of postmaster from 1839 to 1849, and from 1853 to 1857. He died about 1862. His only daughter now lives in Corry, Pa.

            Col. James G. JOHNSON came in 1819, and has resided in the village ever since, with the exception of twelve years which he spent in the town of Allegany. He has been engaged in mercantile and lumbering business, and latterly as an oil producer.[6]

            Among other early settlers who arrived prior to 1820, might be mentioned Jacob DOWNING, an old hotel man’ Samuel BRONSON, father of Mrs. Samuel OOSTERHOUDT; James BRONSON, a brother of Samuel; Judge James ADKINS; Henry MILLER; Milton B. CANFIELD, a prominent ex-sheriff; Samuel BARROWS, lawyer, who left about 1823; John BOARDMAN; Henry L. KINSBURY, an early schoolmaster; Master MORRILL, an eccentric justice of the peace, who kept his docket chalked on the side of his log house; Allen RICE; John ROBES, father of Milton B. and George N. FOBES; and others.

            The influx of immigration during the decade ending in 1840 was not very extensive. Among those who arrived within the period indicated, who subsequently became prominent citizens, were Lambert WHITNEY, M.D., in 1833, who still resides here, having practiced medicine for forty-five years; James SENTER, mechanic; Norman BIRGE, the well-known harness maker; Ansel ADAMS, at one time a merchant, now a landowner; C. H. THING, a prominent merchant, who died in 1865. After the passage of the notorious “Stop Law” of 1842, work was abandoned on the Genesee Valley Canal and the New York and Erie Railroad, and for about ten years remained unfinished. On the completion of these enterprises, several persons of means, mentioned hereafter, came in and permanently located.

            The period embraced within the years 1849 and 1865 witnessed the greatest acquisition of capital to the village, particularly during the decade ending in 1860, which included the completion of the New York and Erie Railroad, and the Genesee Valley Canal, which gave an impetus to commercial and manufacturing enterprises, the beneficial effect of which is one of the most prominent features of today. During the period above named (1840-1865) the following capitalists and business men arrived, namely: C. V. B. BARSE and A. BLAKE, hardware merchants; N. S. BUTLER and R. O. SMITH, the principals in the general mercantile line; W. H. and D. C. CONKLIN; the MYRICK Bros.; Jacob COSS; Charles GILLINGHAM and the BRICKELL Bros., prominent manufacturers; Drs. John L. EDDY, Charles HURLBURT, and Charles A. WOODRUFF, prominent physicians; H. C. and M. A. BLAKESLEE; H. S. MORRIS, oil speculator; C. S. CARY and H. Harper PHELPS, lawyers; George VAN CAMPEN and M. V. MOORE, hotel proprietors; Hollis W. MORE, carriagemaker; Wm. B. PIERCE, grocer, baker, and provision merchant; Charles DOTTERWEICH, brewer; George W. DICKINSON, the present publisher of the Times, succeeded his brother C. F. DICKINSON, in 1872; H. MC KENZIE became publisher of the Record in 1877; Amos BRONSON, druggist, now retired from business, came to Olean in 1858.

            The first incident of a melancholy nature that occurred in the town was the death of David HEUSTON, by the falling of a tree in 1807.




            One of the chief characteristics of the Indian is superstition, which, added to his natural ferocity of disposition, combines to constitute a nature which, from the earliest knowledge of the race, has distinguished them as savages. The ancient and foolish belief in witchcraft was a predominant trait in the aborigine. As late as 1807, and within the present corporate limits of Olean village, was enacted the execution of an Indian squaw, whom the Indians accused of being a witch. It appears from various narratives of the circumstances that during the earlier part of the year 1807, a terrible sickness prevailed, which in its ravages became epidemic. Indians and whites alike were attacked. The squaw who was the victim of her people’s barbarity had been absent in Buffalo, and on her return she visited some of her friends who were afflicted, and foretold their death, evidently basing the prediction on the general fatality of the disease. For this she was denounced as a witch, and was sentenced to death, as many in so-called civilized communities had been, less than a century before, the cruelty of the mode of death being the only distinguishing feature in otherwise parallel cases. The death sentence was carried out in a manner, the extreme cruelty of which was typical of their savage rites. She was tortured to death by the thrusting of burning sticks down her throat, the operation being continued until death ensued and put an end to her excruciating agonies. It is said that the execution took place in the presence of several whites, who allowed the sentence of the Indian tribunal to take its course, that perhaps being the wisest policy to pursue under then existing circumstances. Mrs. HICKS, a venerable pioneer of Portville, relates that some time subsequent to the execution of the squaw, she endeavored to convince an old Indian, Sam PARKER by name, of the folly of a belief in witchcraft. The only reply she could elicit from his was, “Squaw bad woman; poison Indians; ought to die.”

            This was followed by the accidental drowning of four persons in the spring of 1820. Their names were Dr. BENNETT, Jeremiah OSBORNE, Joseph LOCKWOOD, and a young emigrant named KIBBEY. How the accident happened was never positively known, but it was generally supposed that in going down the river (the accident occurred down near Plum Orchard Bend) their boat became entangled in an old treetop, was upset, and the whole party unaccountably drowned. They were on the way to Ellicottville to attend court. The usual route was down the river to Great Valley, and thence up the creek to the then county seat. The bodies of Dr. BENNETT, OSBORNE, and KIBBEY were recovered after long search, but that of LOCKWOOD was never found. The others were buried, and their remains are still in the village cemetery. Originally, a wooden slab or board was set up at the head of each grave, and the name, age, and circumstances of death was painted thereon. In time, these planks rotted away, were buried in the earth, and for a long period lay flat, each on the grave of the man whose name it commemorated. One of them finally disappeared, but the other was reset, and can be seen today a short distance to the left of the cemetery entrance. There is nothing left now but a weather-beaten plank, rounded at the top, having on one side some ridges and elevations, slightly suggestive of lines and letters. These are occasioned by the better preservation of the wood where the black lettering covered the original white ground, the double coating of paint much better resisting the action of summer’s heat and winter’s storm. It is nearly sixty years since the accident occurred, yet the consternation which it created in the little community will rise fresh in the minds of the few yet left who can recall the period of the occurrence of the accident.




            Those of the old settlers remaining, who were here in 1834, will remember with feelings of awe, which forty-five years have failed entirely to efface, the terrible tornado that passed over this village and town in March of that year. O. P. BOARDMAN relates vividly the way in which it came near demolishing their house, and how people being caught in the current of the wind wave whirled around like feathers in a fitful breeze; and how their unfinished barn was devastated, the awful force of the tornado breaking off six-inch joists as though it was done by mechanical skill, under human agency. A regular opening was made in the forest, which remained visible for years, and until obliterated by pioneer development was known as the “fallen timber.” Rollin PRATT also relates the sad catastrophe that befell Mrs. ORTON, in which, for obvious reasons, he was incapable of rendering her assistance.




            In 1830, a steamboat named the “Allegany,” came up from Pittsburgh to Olean. Judge James BROOKS acted as pilot from Warren. It was a difficult undertaking, owing to the number of mill dams and other obstructions that impeded the progress of navigation on the Allegany River. The old citizens had quite an enthusiastic time over this event, looking to the possibility of making the river permanently navigable.




            From the time of the establishment of the first store in Olean to the present time, the mercantile and business interests of the place have prospered. The first store was opened by Levi GREGORY in 1811. It was situated on the lot now occupied by the Baptist church. “For many years,” says one who knew him well, “he prospered and did a good business. He built and lived in the house now occupied by Hon. C. V. B. BARSE. His store building now forms the rear part of the house known as the residence of Seth WARREN. Some time during the latter part of 1818, GREGORY’s finances became disturbed and after much unavailing effort, the sheriff sought him on a civil process; but GREGORY successfully barricaded himself in his house, and the officer could not get service on him. On Sunday morning, however, he came boldly out, took a boat, and hired several men to row him beyond the State line before the day expired.”

            Following GREGORY, and contemporarily with him in some instances, came G. E. WARNER, William DE FOREST, Hoyt WEBB, Joseph and Odell LOCKWOOD, and Ebenezer LOCKWOOD, David JONES, Henry MILLER, Samuel MC CLURE, and many others, who flourished in the place in early days.

            As mentioned in the history proper of the town, Sylvanus RUSSELL kept the first tavern, and among his contemporaries and followers in that business were Ebenezer REED, Luman RICE, Jacob DOWNING, Jehiel BOARDMAN, and others. Both RUSSELL and REED were also engaged in building flat boats for navigation on the river.

            Among the first physicians were Drs. EASTMAN, SMITH, BENNET, MEAD, and FINN, who each practiced their professions here prior to 1825. In 1833, Dr. WHITNEY arrived.

            In the list of early lawyers, we find the names of John A. and Henry BY\RYAN, Timothy H. PORTER, Squire HAZEN, Roderick and Justus WHITE, and  others.

            In “Williams’ Register,” for 1837, is contained the following notice of Olean:

            “The village of Olean is situated at the point formed by the union of the Olean Creek with the Allegany River, and contains at present about 70 dwelling houses, 5 stores, and 3 public houses. On the creek at the village are several mills, 1 tannery, and 1 iron foundry. The Allegany is here fifteen rods wide; the north bank of the river rises gently, and forms a beautiful site for a town.

            “The village was laid out thirty years since, and before the construction of the Erie Canal, was the deposit for all the property sent from that part of the country down the Allegany, and the place of embarkation for the emigrants who annually embarked for the valleys of the Ohio and Mississippi. The construction of that canal temporarily changed the line of travel; but of late years, Olean has again attracted public attention. The population of the town increased between 1830 and 1835, from 561 to 830, of which about 500 are in the village. At the junction of the creek with the Allegany is a level plat, where the village is located, running from 20 to 60 feet above the level of the river, which affords hydraulic power sufficient to propel extensive manufacturing establishments.

            “The water power of Olean Creek is owned by a company, to whom belongs the north bank of the Allegany as far as the mills and dam in the Allegany, four miles above the creek. A bill is now before the Legislature to authorize that company to construct a canal and slack water navigation from Olean Creek to the Pennsylvania line. This canal is to empty into Olean Creek, thus augmenting the hydraulic power at that spot with the stream of the Allegany, and also communicating with the bituminous coal mines at Smethport, PA., 22 miles above Olean.

            “When the Rochester and Olean Canal shall be finished, it will attract a great transportation from these mines for the supply of Western New York, and furnish a ready means of transportation of goods to the great West.”




            An act was passed by the Legislature in 1847, empowering any hamlet, not already incorporated by special law, containing a population of 300, and having an area of one square mile to become incorporated. Under this law, Olean was incorporated in 1854. The trustees elected at the first town meeting were Lambert THITNEY, M. D., C. B. B. BARSE, Charles H. THING, and John K. COMSTOCK. Enos C. BROOKS was appointed clerk. The village existed under this municipal arrangement until April 1, 1858, when a special act was passed by the Legislature, the first two clauses of which read as follows:

            “1.  The territory within the following limits in the town of Olean, Cattaraugus County, New York, shall constitute the village of Olean, to wit:

            “Beginning at the north bank of the Allegany River, at the north end of Fifteenth Street, as described on a map of the village of Olean, made by T. J. GOSLINE; running thence north on the east line of said street, 75 chains and 11 links, to the north line of township No. 1, in the fourth range of the ‘Holland Land Company’s Purchase;’ thence east on the said north line 92 chains and 128 links to the west bank of the Olean Creek; thence southerly, following the west bank of said creek, to the north bank of the Allegany River; thence westerly along the said river to the place of beginning.[7]

            “2.  The said village shall be divided into four wards, each ward to comprise the territory and be numbered as follows, to wit:

            “All that part of said village lying west of the centre of Union Street and south of the centre of State Street shall be the First Ward; all that part lying east of the centre of Union Street and south of the centre of State Street shall be the Second Ward; all that part lying east of the centre of Union Street and north of the centre of State Street shall be the Third Ward; and all that part lying west of the centre of Union Street and north of the centre of State Street shall be the fourth Ward.”


            The first corporation meeting for the election of officers was held in May, 1858; but the records of the village, including the period from 1858 to 1872, having been destroyed by fire it is impossible to give the data ordinarily furnished touching the first meeting, with the presidents for the years missing. Subjoined is a list of the presidents of the village, from 1872 to 1878, inclusive, together with the present corporation officers:

            F. H. MYRICK, 1872; C. V. B. BARSE, 1873-74; C. W. PHILLIPS, 1875; Dr. John L. EDDY, 1876-78.

            The trustees for 1787 are H. W. CHAMBERLAIN, First Ward; D. C. CONKLIN, Second Ward; A. T. EATON, third Ward; Lyman LATIMER, Fourth Ward. George E. RAMSEY, Treasurer; E. C. BROOKS, Esq., Clerk; and John KING, Police Constable.




            The earliest and most important public improvement, enhancing the prosperity of Olean and vicinity was the construction of the




which was commenced in 1836, and completed in 1856. In alluding to this item of local history, in his Centennial Address, Judge BOLLES said:

            “The subject of public improvements attracted the attention of the people at an early day. The Erie Canal commenced under great difficulties and against bitter ridicule and opposition, but completed with vast  éclat and enthusiasm, and crowned with magnificent success, at once gave rise to many projects of that character, the general drift being then in the direction of canals as it now is in the direction of railroads. As we have seen, Major HOOPS selected this locality for settlement, in consequence of being, as he supposed, at the head of navigation on the Allegany River, expecting to make it an important port by connecting the river at this point with the commerce of the State. No sooner was it seen that the Erie Canal was destined to be completed, and likely to prove a success, than an effort was put forth to connect that work with the Allegany by a lateral extension. With that view, petitions were presented to the Legislature from the people of this county, Allegany and Genesee, in 1825, and the Senate at once responded by a series of resolutions, one requesting the canal commissioners to explore the route, and the other referring it to the joint committee on canals, to inquire into the expediency of making a survey of the route from the headwaters of the Allegany to the Genesee River at Scottsville, in the county of Monroe. The agitation of the project was kept up by a series of urgent applications to the Legislature from the citizens of the counties interested, and by the speeches and votes of their representatives, till on the 6th of May, 1836, an act was passed providing for the construction of the work as now located, except that it contemplated the intersection of the work with the Allegany at this place instead of Portville, the distance being 108½ miles. In 1840, it was opened for navigation from Rochester to Squakie Hill, a distance of 36 miles, and in 1853, against many discouragements and drawbacks, it was completed to this point amidst great enthusiasm and celebration. It was an important feature of the original project to render the river permanently navigable to Olean by slack water navigation, and thus connect the canal and river into a continuous water route; but this was never consummated. Pursuant to an act of the Legislature passed in 1856, the canal was extended to Millgrove, and there made to form a junction with the Allegany, its originally-intended junction with the river here (Olean) being abandoned.”




was completed in 1851. The formal opening of the road took place May 15, 1851. The train on that occasion contained the President and his cabinet officers, and was greeted with the booming of cannon and the rolling and continuous shouts of enthusiastic crowds along the line. The route as originally intended would have brought the depot near the present site of ROOT & KEATING’s tannery, but by some adverse influences, it was located without the corporation limits, although the necessary conveniences for conveyance to the central portion of the village are furnished, so that the only annoyance experienced is a ride of about a mile; perhaps not a very good grievance, considering the generally prevailing powers of extensive and wealthy monopolies.




            This important improvement was projected in 1865, and William WALLACE, the veteran civil engineer of Buffalo, was prominently identified with it. The people of Buffalo being somewhat tardy in prosecuting the enterprise, Mr. WALLACE proceeded to Olean, where he quickly sold stock to the amount of $28,000, of which $8,000 was subscribed by C. V. B. BARSE, J. K. COMSTOCK, R. O. SMITH, N. S. BUTLER, Frank L. STOWELL, L. WHITNEY, A. BLAKE, Fred EATON, Bradley E. FAUNCE, and $20,000 by the town of Olean. The road was opened to Olean, July 3, 1872. Its entire length from Buffalo to Emporium is 121 miles. The road has been one of the most beneficial of all the enterprises with which Olean has been identified.




            The project for the construction of a narrow (3 feet) gauge railroad, to open communication with the Bradford oil district, was first considered in 1877, and immediately put into execution. The road from Olean to the State line was completed January 1, 1878, and one month thereafter the extension from the State line to Bradford was in running order. C. S. CARY, Esq., was largely instrumental in the successful issue of the enterprise, aided by C. V. B. BARSE, H. S. MORRIS, J. G. JOHNSON, J. B. STRONG, R. W. EVANS, and others, citizens of Olean.




            Quite an important item in the line of public improvements is that of bridges. The greatest economy is in iron structures. This is, perhaps, a question upon which differences of opinion exist, yet experience and observation have taught the people of different localities that the construction of iron bridges on the most public thoroughfares is the cheapest and best in the end. There are several very obvious reasons why this is so. Among the most pertinent of which are,--first, the durability of iron structures; and second, the fact that the people intending to settle in a community usually take into consideration whether there will be even the remotest prospect of burdensome taxation on account of bridges, particularly where so many are required as in Olean.

            It is flattering to the enterprise of the taxpayers of this town and village that three handsome and substantial iron bridges have been constructed within a few years, at a cost of nearly $20,000; and after the current assessment is collected they will be entirely paid for. One of these bridges spans the Allegany River, at the foot of Union Street, and the other two are over Olean Creek, one near the Olean Mills, and the other near the residence of O. P. BOARDMAN.




            The speculations indulged in by the early settlers of Olean as to the future importance of the village as a manufacturing centre were not by any means of a visionary character. The excellent water power and other natural advantages were looked upon by those of the past as items of very considerable value, and these advantages have been largely developed by the utilitarian element that has characterized the citizens of Olean in the various stages of its history.

            Prominent and perhaps chief among the establishments that have added to the name and fame of Olean as the seat of some extensive industrial institutions is




owned and conducted by W. H. and D. C. CONKLIN. It is the largest establishment of the kind in the State of New York, if not in the Middle and Eastern States, and is about the only concern of its character that appears not to be affected by the rivalry of the enormous wagon factories of the Western States. Its reputation holds good, and perhaps with an increased popularity, in neighborhoods where the senior partner sold wagons and carriages more than thirty years ago, and no opposition of interested parties seems to have any effect in counteracting this popularity. It has always been a principle of the firm that to succeed well, an article manufactured should be worth the price asked for it, and by adhering to this principle may be attributed their marked success. The partners superintend personally every department of the works, hence are at all times informed of the quality of the material and the excellency of the workmanship that has won for their wagons such golden opinions wherever introduced; and the capital invested has been earned by them by hard and persistent labor in the business. They keep no traveling agents, believing that an article in use will always reveal its good and bad qualities, and knowing that teamsters and farmers are the best advertisers when an article suits. Their facilities for obtaining good timber are unequaled, and they always have on hand, ready dressed and seasoned, a sufficient quantity to last for a year to two. They employ only sober, skilled, and honest workmen, and their wagons are made to combine lightness, strength, durability, and easy draft. They have machinery requisite to make, if necessary, 3,000 wagons a year, all of which is of the newest and most improved kind. When run to their full capacity, they employ 40 men.

            It is unnecessary to add anything of a laudatory nature concerning their wagons, for they are so extensively used, and so generally known, that further notice of them would be superfluous. The Messrs. CONKLIN understand thoroughly every branch of their business, both having commenced to learn it in early life, each serving his apprenticeship at home, under their father.




            The Olean tannery was established about 1866, by JEWETT & KEATING of Buffalo, and conducted by them jointly until the former retired and a Mr. ROOT, also of Buffalo, purchased his interest. He, as one of the present proprietors, does not care to have the establishment noticed in the customary manner. We visited the tannery for the purpose of obtaining the necessary data for an extended description, but the requisite information was refused. Appearances would indicate that the establishment was running, however, although no more general activity or enterprise was apparent than at the establishment of Levi BARRETT. There were some men working, perhaps fifty or more, and the movement of machinery was perceptible.




            The Tannery of which Levi BARRETT is the proprietor was established by KELLEY & LENHAM of Boston, in 1859, and was conducted by them until 1866, when the present owner purchased it. The old buildings were burned in 1871, and with characteristic enterprise, Mr. BARRETT rebuilt them the same year. He employs 12 hands, tans 14,000 sides, and used 9,600 tons of bark per annum.




            This establishment was originally started by SMITH & SC CLURE about 1854. It was conducted by them until 1857, when owing to the general depression in financial matters that prevailed that year, they were compelled to succumb, and the property passed into the possession of C. B. V. BARSE, Esq., who disposed of it to EASTMAN & MYRICK. This partnership was formed in 1857, and dissolved in 1864, by the retirement of Mr. EASTMAN. The present style of the firm is MYRICK Bros. & Company; the average number of hands employed is 25; nature of business, the manufacture of various kinds of machinery and agriculture implements. This is one of the solid establishments of Olean.




            The Chamberlin Manufacturing Company of which George CHAMBERLIN & Sons are the proprietors, was first established by the senior partner of the present concern in 1848, and was at that time located on the site now occupied by Charles GILLLINGHAM. In 1873, the establishment was removed to its present location. Their principal business is the manufacture of stump-pullers and ditching plows. They employ at the work an average of ten men.




            The Olean Handle Manufactory of Jacob COSS & Sons was established by the late Jacob COSS, in the fall of 1868, and is now continued by his sons, Charles G. COSS, Frederick COSS, and Frank COSS, under the style and title of Jacob COSS’ Sons.  They manufacture hoe, fork, rake, and shovel handles, dowels, trunk slats, hardwood lumber, and dimension stuff, also band and ball wheels, and oil tank and sucker rods. They employ an average of 40 hands and do an extensive and profitable business.




            The Olean Hub Factory was established in 1874 by L. S. WHITNEY. In 1875, R. M. WHITNEY, brother of the original proprietor, was taken into the concern as a partner, and in July 1878, the latter, purchasing the interest of the former, became sole proprietor. The principal articles manufactured are black birch hubs, which have been quite extensively used by STUDEBACKER Bros., the well-known wagon manufacturers of South Bend, Ind., and other large wagon manufacturers. Capacity, 124,000 hubs per annum. Hands employed, 15.




            The Olean Sash Factory was established in March, 1866, by GILLINGHAM & BAGNALL. In January, 1867, it was destroyed by fire, but the proprietors, with characteristic enterprise, rebuilt it immediately. In August of the same year, Mr. BAGNALL was accidentally killed in the factory while working at a circular saw. The present style of the firm is GILLINGHAM & Co. Besides regular factory work, they contract for the building of public and private structures, churches, schools, residences, etc. They usually employ from 20 to 30 hands, and do a business amounting to from $30,000 to $50,000 annually.




            The Planning Mill of BRICKELL Bros. & Co., was established in the early part of 1878, and after running for a short time, was burnt by an incendiary, May 15, of the same year. The firm proceeded at once to erect their present building.  They are largely engaged as contractors, and employ from 20 to 25 hands, doing quite an extensive business in their line.




            The Olean Brewery, Charles DOTTERWEICH, proprietor, was established by him in 1856. In 1872, it was destroyed by fire, and in 1874, the present substantial brick building was erected. The capacity of the brewery is 3,000 barrels per annum; the number of hands employed, 6.




            The Olean Pottery was established about 1852 by Isaac H. WANDS, a practical potter and a good business man. He conducted the business for about twenty years. From 1872 until the present proprietor, James H. BROOKS, purchased the concern, Oct. 31, 1877, it changed hands several times.  Mr. BROOKS succeeded JOHNSON & KNAPP, and they CRANE, and he MONTELL. The goods manufactured include all kinds of stoneware, which is made of South Amboy (New Jersey) clay, the best clay in America for the purpose. The capacity of the factory is about $10,000 per annum, and employs 10 hands.





            The Olean Flouring and Grist Mills were erected by Judge F. S. MARTIN in 1851, and were conducted by him until his death in 1865, when they reverted to his heirs and from them to a. H. MARSH. In the spring of 1878, the CHESBRO bros. purchased the property and in the winter of the same year, Mr. John SAX, a man of some means and a practical miller, entered a copartnership with them under the style of Frank CHESBRO & Co. The mills have six runs of stones and all the latest improved machinery. Their capacity is about 75 barrels of merchant and 200 bushels of custom work per day.




            Up to 1874, the oil developments in the Bradford district were limited. A few wells on both sides of the State line, in Cattaraugus and McKean Counties, were producing small quantities of what is known as “slush oil’” the third sand oil, up to that time, had not been found. The oil that was produced was in close proximity to the Bradford branch of the Erie Railroad. Some of the oil being of heavier gravity was sold to various parties for lubricating purposes, the remaining portion being shipped over the Erie, by parties loading the car of Mr. PRATT, and consigning the oil to men in New York, and, in the course of a week or ten days, receiving a remittance for the same. About this time (September, 1874), J. H. DILKS came here, and after looking over the ground very carefully, concluded from general indications, that the Olean district would, at no distance day be productive of a large quantity of oil. In consequence of these favorable indications, Mr. DILKS commenced the organization of the “Olean Petroleum Company (limited),” which was composed entirely of Eastern capitalists. Rights of way were obtained, and the construction of a pipeline from a point in Cattaraugus County on the State line was commenced. Stations were erected and terminal facilities provided on the Buffalo, New York, and Philadelphia Railroad, at Olean, and on Thanksgiving Day, 1874, the first oil was pumped through the pipeline a distance of fourteen and a quarter miles, and over an elevation of 968 feet with one pump of 60 horsepower. Naturally enough, the completion of such a project was hailed with rejoicings and demonstrations of pleasure. And as the stations, pipeline, and terminal facilities were all within the limits of Cattaraugus County, the enterprise was claimed as a local affair, to which the people of the county gave their hearty cooperation and support. From a production of a few hundred barrels per day, the district within three years from the starting of the operation, was producing 20,000 per day, and from the loading of 7 cars a day at Olean, it had grown into 150 cars a day. At first, only a two-inch pipe was used; now the line consists of one three-inch and one four-inch pipe with ample tanking facilities. In 1875, the Olean Petroleum Company passed into the hands of the “Empire Transportation Company,” which also controlled the Empire Pipe line. In 1877, the Empire Pipe Line was disposed of the Standard Oil Company through the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. The original pipeline at Olean was constructed at a cost of about $225,000, which with subsequent improvements, has at least doubled in value and capacity. The amount of oil pumped through during the month of November, 1878, exceeded 175,000 barrels.




            In the fall of 1876, WING, WILBUR & Co. commenced the construction of an oil refinery at Olean, and completed it early in 1877, at a cost of $22,000, and having a capacity for 500 barrels per diem. After operating it one year, they sold out to the Standard Oil Company, who have trebled its capacity, refining now 1,500 barrels per day. Being situated at the terminus of the pipeline, with the advantage of three railroads for distribution and competition, it is considered one of the best locations in the whole country.

            The oil developments in the immediate vicinity of Olean north and east of the ridge separating it from the Bradford district proper―with the exception of three or four ill-judged experiments which proved failures, made by some piratical parties who, like camp followers and parasites of an army, are a kind of pensioners upon legitimate oil operators―were not commenced until in October, 1875, when J. G. JOHNSON, of Olean, A. MARSH, N. A. DYE, E. C. HOWARD, and W. H. SMITH of Allegany, and R. W. EVANS, then of Bradford, organized a company called the “Allegany Oil Company,” with sufficient capital to make a thorough test of the lands in Olean and Allegany. Their first effort was on the lands of J. g. and E. M. JOHNSON in Allegany, where they obtained a good paying well to the perfect surprise of the whole community, who were waiting for the result, and ready to apply the old maximum, “fools and their money are soon parted.” In little more than two years from the successful issue of their enterprise, more than 150 good, profitable wells are in operation in the vicinity of the visionary project, so called by the knowing ones, and 2,000 barrels of oil flow daily from the great underlying reservoirs, which is to reward the courage and energy of the pioneers in oil within the Olean district, who in face of discouragements and difficulties, preserved on to success.

            Among those residents of Olean who are extensively engaged in oil operations are J. G. JOHNSON and his son, Elisha M. JOHNSON, C. V. B. BARSE and his son Mills W. BARSE, H. C. MORRIS, R. W. EVANS , J. H. DILKS, Joseph N. PEW, and Capt. THOMPSON.


RESIDENCE OF R. W. EVANS, Union Street, Olean NY




















            The first banking institution having a nominal existence at Olean was the “BUTCHERS’ and  DOVERS’ Bank,” established in 1848 by Rufus HATCH, now of New York with headquarters at Buffalo, and a resident cashier, George W. SMITH, at Olean. This bank loaned its money and transacted its general business in Buffalo, but made its bills payable at Olean on account of the difficulty the redeeming agent of the State had in getting to its so-called headquarters. To get to Olean at this time required a stage journey of three days. The institution died gradually, without doing any good and very little harm.

            In 1860, a private banking office was started by STOWELL CHAMBERLAIN & Co., of which Calvin T. CHAMBERLAIN was manager and F. L. STOWELL, cashier. It quietly ceased its existence in 1866.




            In 1869, there was a deep-felt want of a bank in Olean. At that time, a majority of the business men of the place, and of the towns adjoining, kept their accounts and did their banking business at Cuba. Several attempts were made to organize a bank, but failed to secure the necessary amount of cash capital. About this time, C. V. B. BARSE had returned from Bay City, Michigan, where he had disposed of his hardware business, and with his son and partner, took nine-tenths of the stock of the State Bank, which was organized with a paid-up cash capital of $100,000, and began business in the summer of 1870. Since that time, the bank has been under the personal care and supervision of Mr. BARSE, and has been so soundly and conservatively managed as to secure the unlimited favor and liberal custom of the best business element of the country.

            The first and present officers of the bank were and are C. V. B. BARSE, President; Henry S. MORRIS, Vice President; Mills W. BARSE, Cashier. R. O. SMITH and Charles S. CARY, with the above, are its directors.

            The subjoined is the official statement of the financial condition of the bank at the close of business, December 21, 1878;




                Loans and discounts........................................................................................................... $230,110.10

                Overdrafts................................................................................................................................ 3,205.00

                United States bonds to secure circulation............................................................................. 100,000.00

                Due from approved reserve agents....................................................................................... 18,067.98

                Due from State banks and bankers........................................................................................ 12,528.41

                Real estate, furniture, and fixtures........................................................................................... 8,000.00

                Current expenses and taxes paid............................................................................................. 1,767.62

                Checks and other cash items...................................................................................................... 736.32

                Fractional currency (including nickels)........................................................................................... 29.24

                Specie...................................................................................................................................... 1,441.41

                United States legal tender notes............................................................................................ 20,780.00

                Bills of other banks................................................................................................................... 4,660.00

                Redemption fund..................................................................................................................... 4,500.00


                                Total        ........................................................................................................... $405,836.08




                Capital stock paid in ........................................................................................................... $100,000.00

                Undivided profits      ............................................................................................................... 16,651.29

                National  bank notes outstanding........................................................................................... 90,000.00

                Individual deposits   ............................................................................................................. 144,397.23

                Demand certificates of deposit............................................................................................... 49,378.09

                Certified checks       ...................................................................................................................... 38.50

                Due to banks and bankers....................................................................................................... 5,370.97


                                Total        ........................................................................................................... $405,836.08





            The First National Bank of Olean was organized in September, 1871, with William F. WHEELER as President; Nelson S. BUTLER, Vice President; L. f. LAWTON, Cashier; John E. DUSENBURY, E. G. DUSENBURY, Geo. S. MC INTOSH, Samuel OOSTERHOUDT, James G. JOHNSON, and Asher W. MINER (and the above officers), Directors. This institution was established for the purpose of facilitating the banking interests of the village and vicinity through the medium of a national bank. The gentlemen connected with the establishment are all capitalists and first class business men, and most of them men of considerable financial experience and ability. The First National Bank is a government depository, and at the close of business, December 21, 1878, held $14,606.99 to the credit of the United States.

            The following is the statement of the financial condition of the bank, as per the last official statement:




                Loans and discounts...............................................................................................................................                 $358,094.56

                Overdrafts               ...............................................................................................................................                 3,383.99

                U. S. bonds to secure circulation.......................................................................................... 100,000.00

                Other stocks, bonds, and mortgages........................................................................................ 1,927.03

                Due from approved reserve agents....................................................................................... 10,725.00

                Due from other National banks................................................................................................... 655.43

                Due from State bank and bankers........................................................................................... 9,864.87

                Real estate, furniture, and fixtures......................................................................................... 15,360.34

                Current expenses and taxes paid............................................................................................. 4,302.67

                Premiums paid        ................................................................................................................. 3,057.50

                Checks and other cash items................................................................................................... 2,239.24

                Bills of other banks  ................................................................................................................. 3,410.00

                Fractional currency (including nickels)......................................................................................... 701.52

                Specie                     ................................................................................................................. 2,480.65

                Legal tender notes  ............................................................................................................... 10,980.00

                Redemption fund with U. S. Treasurer (5 percent of circulation)............................................. 4,500.00

                Due from U. S. treasurer, other than 5 percent redemption fund.............................................   700.00


                                Total        ........................................................................................................... $532,382.80




                Capital stock paid in ........................................................................................................... $100,000.00

                Surplus fund            ............................................................................................................... 22,000.00

                Undivided profits      ............................................................................................................... 16,823.06

                National bank notes outstanding............................................................................................ 90,000.00

                Dividends unpaid     ................................................................................................................. 2,805.00

                Individual deposits to check................................................................ $155,584.98

                Time certificates of deposit..................................................................... 74,832.93

                Certified checks       ...................................................................................... 37.00............. 230,455.51

                Cashier’s checks outstanding................................................................................................... 1,000.00

                United States Deposits........................................................................................................... 14,606.99

                Due to other National banks................................................................................................... 31,281.51

                Due to State banks and bankers.............................................................................................. 1,410.73

                Notes and bills rediscounted................................................................................................... 22,000.00


                                Total        ........................................................................................................... $532,382.80




            Among the institutions that have gone out of existence was the “Western Insurance Company,” which was incorporated on the 22nd of January, 1853, and did business until December, 1855, when its affairs passed into the hands of a receiver.




            One of the greatest obstacles to the progress of Olean has been the frequency and extent of its conflagrations. The most serious visitation of this kind occurred on Monday, January 15, 1866. It commenced in and destroyed George JOHN’s store, and spread with terrible rapidity until all the buildings on that side of the street to the corner above BARSE’s store, were consumed. The lost to the business portion of the village was great, aggregating $250,000, upon which the total insurance was $169,555. In this fire, H. Harper PHELPS lost his life, endeavoring to save his library.

            About two years subsequent to the above, namely, on the 10th of March, 1868, the wooden block from the Olean House to the Petroleum Hotel, was destroyed by fire, including in its devastation the Advertiser office. The loss this time was $65,000, and the insurance $30,000. Notwithstanding these calamities the business interests of the village have progressed. The burnt districts have been rebuilt in most instances by substantial brick blocks, which are alike an ornament to the place and a credit to those erecting them, respectively.




            The first successful attempt at organizing a fire department in the village was made on the 17th of September, 1856, when the old “Pioneer Hook and Ladder Company” was organized with a good working membership. The first officers of this company were J. A. PETRIE, Foreman; William B. BARSE, First Assistant Foreman; J. F. JOHNSON, Second Assistant Foreman; H. Harper PHELPS (who subsequently lost his life in a fire while endeavoring to save his library), Secretary; W. P. WILCOX, Treasurer; Nelson S. BUTLER, Steward; M. A. BLAKESLEE, Axeman; D. T. STRINGHAM, First Assistant Axeman; William BROWN, Second Assistant Axeman. This company was in existence until 1865, when it was allowed to disband, and the village was without a hook and ladder department until December 27, 1877, when




was organized at the office of W. H. MANDEVILLE, at which the following officers were elected:  Charles PHILLIPS, First Foreman; H. PULLMAN, First Assistant Foreman; E. S. ANDREWS, Second Assistant Foreman; J. K. VAN CAMPEN, Treasurer; R. C. HILL, Secretary. The present membership is 24.




was organized in 1857, with a full complement of working members of 40 men. This company has kept up its existence, sometimes a somewhat feeble one, since its organization. The last election of officers was held May 8, 1877, at which the following officers were elected, namely: M. A. BLAKESLEE, Foreman; E. M. JOHNSON, First Assistant Foreman; S. R. SILL, Second Assistant Foreman; F. W. KRUSE, Secretary; D. C. CONKLIN, Treasurer; C. W. HAVENS, Steward; John WILLIAMS, Nozzleman.




was organized in 1857, and has maintained its organization uninterruptedly ever since. It has generally been well officered, and noted for the promptitude with which its members mustered for a fire. The present officers are Fred. D. MAYER, Foreman; Thomas RANDOLPH, First Assistant; W. D. HATCH, Secretary; Herman SCHUTZ, Treasurer. Present membership, 25. The present fire department consists of a Chief Engineer, W. H. MANDEVILLE, and Assistant Chief Engineer, Chas. H. EMERSON; a Treasurer, A. H. ABBEY, and three other members, ―Fred. C. MAYER, C. H. PHILLIPS, and M. A. BLAKESLEE, who each occupy the position of foreman of the respective companies.




            The official establishment of the Olean post office was effected November 10, 1817. Prior to this date, a weekly mail was carried from Olean to Moscow by Calvin ABBOTT. In the latter part of the decade ending in 1830, Stephen OLNEY carried a mail between this place and Warren, Pa. Moses HANEY, now of Hinsdale, was another early mail carrier. The late John MAGEE, of Steuben Bank memory, together with his brothers, T. J. and Hugh MAGEE, were the first contractors for carrying the eastern mail between Olean and Bath in stages. In writing on this subject, Col. James G. Johnson says, “It is undoubtedly best to state in this connection, that the principal routes of travel from the east to the west led to Olean, and thence by the river. One of these routes was from Canadaigua through Geneseo, Moscow, Perry, Pike, Rushford, Cuba, and Hinsdale. Another was through Dansville, Almond, Angelica, Friendship, Cuba, and Hinsdale. There was also a turnpike road beginning at Bath and terminating at Hinsdale, which was a toll-road, and within my recollection there was a toll-gate on it at what was then know as the Howe Farm, two and a half miles from Hinsdale”


Fram a communication received from the post-office department at Washington, we are enabled to give the list of  the postmasters at Olean; together with the dates of their appointments respectively. They are as follows, namely: Horatio Orton, appointed Nov.10, 1817; Sylvanus  Russell, July 20, 1820; Henry Bryan, May 26, 1824; Darrar Swain, Oct. 26, 1829; Frederick S. Martin, Dec. 25, 1830; David Day, Nov. 14, 1839; Olcott  P. Boardman, July 11, 1849; David Day, May 23, 1853; Henry W. Fish, Dec. 19, 1857; Rufus L. Page, March 27, 1861; James G. Jahnson, Oct. 25, 1870; George N. Fobes, May 28, 1878.




The religious history of a community constitutes one of the principal and most important features of its social civility. Liberty of conscience in religious matters is one of the chief traits of American freedom. Nor was it in indifference to religious convictions that this religious liberty originated, but in the finally well-understood and well applied principle of the freedom and equality of moral as well as of political rights. Religious freedom and independence were almost paramount to all other aims and objects which were had in view by the primitive emigrants to America; and those of all creeds came here with the purpose of establishing and enjoying the freedom of religious convictions. Intolerance and persecution stained, however, even in this land, the first pages of Puritanic establishment. It was the momentary victory of the dark spirit of the past overpowering at times the bight coruscations of truth. Big bigoted ferocity finally yielded before the light of reason, before the vital and all-absorbing force of principles. And the justice of religious tolerance had been handed down from father to son through all the generations succeeding the Pilgrim fathers. In all communities is found not only the innate love of religious equality, but also its full enjoyment. The pioneers of this village, like those of all other localities, were of various religious beliefs, but sectarian prejudices were abandoned, and for a time at least, all worshiped together until the followers of each denomination represented were numerically and financially strong enough to establish religious societies according to the tenets of their faiths, respectively. Thus we find, after some years, churches of each denomination organized, and as soon as circumstances permitted, edifices were erected, used separately by the different sects, or alternately by two or morw of them. Finally, the Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Episcopalians, Lutherans, and Roman Catholics severally erected houses of worship in the village, and the members of each now worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and yet remain devoid of intolerant bigotry and sectarian animosity.




The first missionary of this denomination in Western New York was Rev. John Spencer, for which his worth and years reverently called Father Spencer. Sent out by the Home Missionary Society of Connecticut in 1809, he received as his field of labor all the tract then know as the Holland Purchase. He probably preached the first regular sermon in this place.


The first church organization was formed Aug. 28, 1822, by Rev. William Stone, missionary, who came on from the East. The organization and early meetings were held in the chamber of a store, then owned by Hoyt Webb, which stood upon the present site of the hardware-store of C.V.B. Barse. The original documents of this organization - “the confession of faith,” “the covenant,” etc, with names of original members – are still preserved. The original members were Cornelius Brooks, Ahijah C. Warren, Anson King, Norman Smith, John Boardman, Bathsheba Warren, Sophia King, and Abigail Smith. The first church meeting was held the same day, and Anson King, Norman Smith and Ahijah C. Warren were chosen elders. Anson King was elected deacon and Norman Smith clerk.


This infant society placed itself under the care of  the Presbytery of Bath. The Presbytery of Angelica, which was formed in Angelica, Nov. 25, 1828, has this church enrolled upon the minutes of its first meeting. Weakened by the removal of several of its members, this organization in a few years passed out of existence.


A second organization took place in the latter part of the year 1838, under the ministerial care of Rev. Reuben A. Willoughby.


Judge Adkins and family came into town some time before this and held prayer-meetings in their house, and from this influence the organization sprang. The building in which the society was formed – the house of Judge Adkins – is still standing, on the east side of the Olean Creek. Many of the original members are still living. Among those who then became members are Henry Dusenbury and wife, Wm. F. Wheeler, Judge Adkins and his wife and two daughters, Erastus E. Platt, and John W. Mulford. Others afterwards prominent in the society were James G. Johnson, Norman Birge, A. S. Wheeler, Celab Smith, and O.P. Boardman.


In the spring of 1839 a lot was purchased, which now constitutes a part of the church property, and a wagon-shop upon it was remodeled and repaired for a house of worship. The cost of the entire property was $200.


On Dec. 9, 1841, there was organized the society in connection with the church. This was done to meet the requirements of the revised statutes of the State. The chosen was most appropriately that one set apart by Gov. Leonard, as the day of thanksgiving. Deacon Henry Dusenbury presided over the meeting. On motion of Erastus E. Platt the society was legally organized. The first trustees chosen were Henry Bryan, Wm. F. Wheeler, Edwin M. Birge, Olcott P. Boardman, James G. Johnson. Rev. John




J. Aiken was chosen pastor. Among others than those already mentioned, prominent in the society, were Samuel Bradley and Caleb Smith.


The present church edifice was built in 1856, under the supervision of Mr. Joseph Ditto, Mr. Flemming being contractor, at a cost of $6000, the Rev. Sylvester Cowles being pastor at this time, and prominent in effecting the organization of the church. The dedication service was held March 7, 1857. Prominent among the subscribers were C.V.B. Barse, N.S. Butler, Jacob Coss, Samuel Bradley, Abraham Merritt. The edifice was remodeled and repaired in 1865, under the supervision of Jacob Coss at a cost of $3500, and a parsonage built in 1870 , costing $3300.


The following ministers have been engaged in labor by this society: Rev. William Stone, 1882; Rueben Willoughby, 1838;  Charles Hequemberg, 1839; J.J. Aikens 1840-1842; Nathaniel H. Barnes, 1845-47; Jahn Lane, 1848-50; Sylvester Cowles, D.D., 1850-60; Wm. W. Taylor, 1860-61; A.D. Axtel, 1861-62; J.B. Beaumont, 1862-66; G.R. Alden, 1866-69; M.W. Clute, 1869-74. Present pastor, Henry M. Curtis, came Dec. 22, 1874.


The church building has lately (1878) been greatly enlarged, and is one of the most complete and beautiful church edifices in this part of the state, the cost of improvement being $5000. The work was completed under the supervision of Jacob Coss. The main edifice has a seating capacity of 550. In addition to the audience-room there has been erected a fine chapel and Sunday- school room, with church parlors, dining-room, and kitchen adjoining, all completely furnished.


The church membership is 240. The average attendance of the Sabbath-school is 165.


The Session of the church at present consists of F.H. Myrick, Abraham Merritt, James H. Brooks, L.F. Lawton, Nelson S. Butler, Dr. C. H. Bartlett.


The Board of Trustees is constituted of F. H. Myrick, Charles G. Coss,  Mills W. Barse, Edwin M. Bailey, William G. Collins


William Wilkinson is Superintendent o the Sunday-school.


The church has rapidly grown during the last four years. One hundred and four have been added to the membership of the church. The pew-rentals amount to $2400 annually.


Among those who have died as honored officers of this church are Deacons Isaac H. Wands, John P. Olson, Caleb Smith, and Jacob Coss.




The history of Methodism in Olean dates back to 1819, in July of which year Olean Circuit was formed, and a minister, named Rueben A. Ailsworth, was appointed to preach the gospel according to the tenets of the Methodist faith within its limits. The circuit remained as originally constituted until the summer of 1823, when it was united with that of Friendship and called Friendship Circuit. In the following summer it was connected with Rushford Circuit, and was part of the latter until 1929, when Friendship Circuit was re-formed, and Olean again became a part of it. They held their first quarterly meeting at Friendship, July 18, 1829.


At the Genesee Conference, held in October, 1834, the  circuit was devided, and Olean held its first quarterly meeting at Bolivar, October 26, of that year; the second at Cuba, the third at Hinsdale, and the forth at Height, now New Hudson. The next year they were again united with Friendship. There were three preachers who traveled both circuits that year, with a claim of $827. Their deficiency was $244. The next year ( The fall of 1836 ), Olean was again set apart as a separate circuit, and has so continued to the present time. It now has three appointments, viz., Olean, Hinsdale, and Allegany. Portville was taken from Olean at the conference held at Lockport, September, 1852.


The class at Olean was formed by A.C. Du Bois, Sept. 25, 1836, with twenty-two members, and this is the date of the regular organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the village, and not in 1819, as has been erroneously stated in previous publications. The first gospel sermon preached by the Methodist minister in the territory now included in Olean Curcuit was on the occasion of the funeral of William Shepard, father of Wm. B. Shepard, Sept. 23, 1809, by Josiah Bullard, a local preacher, who had once belonged to the traveling connection.


The circuit preachers following Rev. Reuben A. Ailsworth have been as follows: Jasper Bennet, Richard Wright, James Hazen, James B. Roach, John Arnold, J. S. Lent, John Hill, Warren Bannister, Elijah Boardman, Jacob Sanborn, Sheldon Doolittle, Jonathan Ramson, William Gordon, Samuel W. Wooster, R. L. Waite, Marshall St. John, John Cozart, E. B. Hill, William Buck, Alvin T. Waller, William McKinstry, Abram C. Du Bois, Francis String, Samuel Pitt, Horatio N. Seaver, Orin F. Comfort, J. D. B. Hoyt, Hugh Ely, Loomis Benjamin, Carlton Fuller, Thomas B. Hudson, Milo Scott, Joseph W. Thins, John Rennard, Gilbert De Lamater ( now a member of Congress from the West ), Schuyler Parker, B. F. McNeal, E. M. Buck, C.P. Clark, A. F. Curry, J. W. Ready ( 4 years ), W. Terry, W.C. Willing, Lambert Newman, M.W. Ripley (4 years ), D.B. Worthington ( died in Olean Sept. 25, 1865 ), G. G. Lyon ( 4 years ), S. B. Dickinson, C.B. Burlingham ( 3 years ), L.A. Stevens, E.B. Williams, present incumbent, appointed 1877.


The first church edifice was erected in the spring of 1852, and dedicated by a local preacher, who held some position on the Erie Railroad, then recently completed at this point, and who had made a liberal donation towards the new edifice.


The present trustees are Reuben Brooks, William P. Myrick, George Baker, George Chamberlain, Charles Gillingham, David P. Godfrey, and J.W. Hoyt. Stewarts, Charles Gillingham, George Baker, George Chamberlain, Reuben Brooks, Moses Drake, M.C. Follett, W.C. Myrick ( Recording Steward ), and A. Spreater. The present membership is probatures, 5; full members, 165; number of teachers in Sabbath-school, 22; number of scholars, 160; Superintendent, Charles Gillingham. The church and Sabbath-school are both reported in a flourishing condition.




Was originally organized as a conference class about 1830, by Rev. Eliab Going, who was pastor of the church at Hinsdale, who preached at Olean every alternate Sunday. It was about 1839 that the Rev. Mr. Tillinghast, a grad­uate of Hamilton Theological Seminary, was appointed the first resident pastor, in which capacity he remained until the early part of 1841, when the Rev. Benjamin Thomas succeeded him, and continued in the pastoral relation over the church up to the time of the disbanding of the society, which occurred in 1843. During his pastorate the mem­bership numbered about 50. In 1846 the society was re-organized by Rev. D. W. Titus, now in charge of a Baptist Church in Detroit, Mich. There were about 20 members included in the reorganization, a few of whom, notably Deacon S. W. Warren, Dr. Lambert Whitney, and Eph­raim Simmons, were among the constituent members of the original society. These have continued active and zealous members through the entire existence of the church at Olean, and are now among its honored and influential mem­bers. Rev. Titus remained in charge about five years, and was succeeded by Rev. Robert Fisher. There were three pastors who remained but a year or two each, among them Rev. William Tilly, in 1856, during whose ministrations the largest revival in the history of the church occurred. In 1860, Rev. L. S. Stowell was pastor, and following him the Revs. Farr, A. N. Tower, W. Mudge, L. W. Olney, and the present incumbent, Rev. D. D. Brown.

In 1848 the first church building was erected. It was formerly used as a store, and donated to the Baptist society by Dr. Andrew Mead, one of its old active members. This building served the requirements of the congregation until 1860, when the present edifice was erected, during the pas­torate of Rev. L. S. Stowell. An addition of 20 feet has recently been made to the main building, intended for the organ, the choir, and church parlors. The building will now seat about 500 persons, and is with the organ and fur­niture valued at $12,000. A fine new organ has just been purchased at a cost of $1500, of which amount Dr. Lam­bert Whitney subscribed $500 as a memorial to the choir, of which his daughter, Miss Frances Sarah Whitney (familiarly known to her acquaintances and friends as Frankie), was a member from her early girlhood, and for the twelve years preceding her decease its talented organ­ist. Miss Whitney departed this life in the summer of 1878, to join the celestial choir, and among its angelic voices to sing her Saviour's praise, whom she loved on earth and delighted to devote her peculiar talents to his honor] and glory.

The present officers of the church are S. W. Warren John Gray, and D. L. Simmons, Deacons, and S. K. Hale Clerk. The Trustees are John Williams, George E. Ram sey, and John Pratt, and Dr. Lambert Whitney, Clerk o the Society.

The present membership is 200 ; number of teachers and scholars in the sunday-school, 200; Superintendent, D. L Smith. The church and Sunday-school are both prospering



at Olean was organized Feb. 22, 1830. Rev. William W Bostwick, missionary at Bath, Steuben County, and adjacent parts, was called to the chair ; Horatio Orton am Ebenezer Lockwood were elected wardens; Sylvanus Russell, William W. Penfield, David Day, David Bockes, William Low, Nathaniel Goodspeed, Henry Stephens, and Horatio L. Osborn, were chosen vestrymen. At this, the first meeting of the society, it was decided that Monday in Easter week should be the day for annual meetings for the election of church officers.

The first rector was Rev. Thomas Morris, who was rector of the church at Ellicottville from 1836 to 1840. Itis suc­cessors to the rectory have been Revs. Humphrey Hollis, M. E. Wilbour, Charles E. Beardsley, G. W. Dunbar, Henry H. Loring, John A. Staunton, C. T. Seibt, C. J. Machin, B. D. Borom, M. B. Benton, and John J. Andrew, the present incumbent.

The church edifice (the first erected in the village) was commenced in 1836, and completed Jan. 21, 1839, at a cost of $3882. It was consecrated by the Rt. Rev. Wm. H. De Laney, bishop of the diocese of Western New York, on the 17th of September, of the above year.

The present church officers are Ansel Adams, senior warden ; M. A. Blakeslee, junior warden ; C. P. Moulton, Judge D. H. Bolles, H. C. Blakeslee, B. P. Crosby, John Hill, Oscar W. Hamilton, and S. T. Brickell, vestrymen.

The present communicant membership is about 100 ; the number of teachers and scholars in the Sunday-school, 125 ; the Superintendent of Sunday-school, Rev. John J. Andrew, the rector.

The church and Sunday-school are prosperous.


was organized on the 2d of January, 1857, by Rev. Adam Ernst, the first pastor. The successors in the pastorate since Rev. Adam Ernst have been as follows: Revs. F. H. Doer­mann, C. Engelder, and J. Bernreuther, the present incum­bent. The first church officers were F. G. Lang, president ; J. Seefried, secretary ; C. Gross and H. Stumpf, church wardens.

The church edifice was erected in 1857, at a cost of $2100 ; its present value is $3000 ; its seating capacity, 200. The first trustees were J. H. Kuehl, G. Stinz, and H. Stumpf; present trustees, M. Scheiterly, P. Mueller, and C. Alles. The acting church officers are J. Bernreuther, president ; G. J. Rotschky, secretary ; M. Scheiterly and G. J. Rotschky, church wardens. The present voting membership is 20 ; communicants, 87 ; number of teachers and scholars in Sunday-school, 35; Superintendent of Sun­day-school and secular schoolmaster, Rev. J. Bernreuther.


The congregation of this church commenced worshiping in 1851, with about sixteen members. Father Doran, the first priest, said mass for these in different shanties about the town, and only six times yearly. Father McGiver fol­lowed the same plan a few years, when Father J. McKenna bought a lot from Dr. Lambert Whitney, and built upon it a small structure, which was temporarily used in worship. Bishop Timon appointed Father Pamphelo, O. S. F., pastor; who built a frame church 40 by 60 feet, in 1857, and at-tended it monthly. As the congregation increased, services were held semi-monthly, then weekly. From 1857 to 1876 the church was attended regularly by Franciscan Friars, who resided in Allegany. In 1876, Bishop Ryan appointed Father J. Hamel the first resident pastor of the congrega­tion, under whose charge the church has been enlarged and improved. The congregation, which numbered sixteen families in 1851, now (1878) numbers over two hundred families. The church as it now stands, 110 long by 40 feet wide. The transept is 64 by 31 feet. Seating capacity, including gallery, 800.

The religious societies of Olean are unusually well sup-ported. The pulpits of the various churches are filled by earnest and eloquent preachers, who very generally receive the hearty and earnest co-operation of the laity in the prosecution of religious duties. A prosperity rarely met with is enjoyed by each denomination, which results in much good to the moral welfare of the village.


Paramount in importance with the pioneers of Olean was the education of their youth, hence is found in its earliest annals the establishment of schools and the main­tenance of a regular system of instruction. The early settlers of this section of country evidently realized the vast and beneficial results that have characterized the American system of education, and the fact that in its public common schools is presented the highest triumph of democracy and self-government. Education had been do­mesticated among the people in the Eastern States for years, and those who for the betterment of their mate­rial positions emigrated to what was then, as it were, the Ultima thule of civilization brought with them the knowledge of systematic general education ; and no sooner did they effect a permanent settlement than schools were in­augurated, and as soon as practicable the excellent common-school polity was established, and ever after sustained.

Fresh from the eastern schools, young men and women devoted the first years of their matured activity to teach in these primitive schools of the past. They fulfilled their tasks with the unshaken confidence of youth in its energies, and thus not only exercised their intellectual functions in a noble calling, but disciplined their own minds for the rigorous avocations of life in the new country. In the galaxy of the names of those who honored the position of village school-teachers here in the early years of its history that the kindly remembrances of past scholars bring forth from the memories of the "long ago," are Henry L. Kings-bury, Anna Carpenter, Lewis Seymour, John K. Faulkner, Rollin Pratt, all save the latter having passed away. Mr. Pratt survives, a model of old-time chivalry and innate courtesy. He is a man withal, who rightly prides himself on the purity of his language and the dignity of his de­portment. When he does an act of kindness he charac­terizes it with a politeness and suavity that would reflect honor upon Chesterfield himself; and his every action carries the indelible impress of the suaviter in modo. As an example, we quote from one who knows him well the following incident :

A young lady named Sheffield had been out horse-back riding, and returning, found Mr. Pratt just leaving the place where she was about to alight. With a polished bow, stepping forward to assist her, he said, " Miss Sheffield, I hope you do not experience any accession of fatigue from the protracted length of your equestrian excursion ?" During the tornado that visited Olean in 1834, an incident occurred that called forth a grandiloquent display from the worthy dominie, which, from the same reason that debarred him from rendering much-needed assistance, we are compelled to omit.


The public schools sufficed for the purposes of education in the village until 1851, when it was deemed expedient to establish an academy, which was done in the fall of that year. Prefacing a lengthy report on the subject, appears the following note to the editor of the Republican from Rev. S. Cowles, one of the prime movers of the under-taking :

" SIRS I am directed by a vote of the citizens in Olean, who feel an interest in establishing an academy in this place, to forward you for publication an abstract of the report presented by a committee to a public meeting on that subject, on the evening of the 30th ultimo.

" Ever yours,



Then follows the report, which contains several pertinent reasons why an academy should be established at Olean.

The board of trustees consisted of Messrs. Lambert Whitney, M.D., Henry Dusenbury, James H. Brooks, Olcott P. Boardman, Judge Frederick S. Martin, John

Fohes, Abraham Merritt, and Rev. Sylvester Cowles. The first principal was Prof. J. A. Woodruff. The trustees erected a commodious building, similar to the present one occupied by the public schools, in which educational mat­ters flourished until April 1, 1857, when the building was accidentally burned to the ground. The present structure was immediately erected, and the institution conducted with varied success until Oct. 3, 1868, when it was merged into a union public school, with an academic department, and the building purchased by the school district in which it is located. It is now under the control of the village board of education, which consists of Messrs. R. W. Evans, Presi­dent ; John L. Eddy, Olcott P. Boardman, H. F. Morris, H. W. Moore, Fred. Eaton, M. C. Follett, R. M. Whitney, and C. H. Emerson, Secretary.



was organized in the spring of 1871 by about twenty prominent citizens, subscribing five years, at $1.50 per year, each in advance. Messrs. Jewett & Keating sub-scribed $100, and several others smaller amounts. The first officers elected were Miles R. Bull, President ; W. H. Mandeville, Secretary ; W. F. Burlingham, Librarian. Those occupying the position of president of the associa­tion to the present have been as follows : M. R. Bull, 1871; W. P. Culver, 1872 ; W. H. Mandeville, 1873 ; C. P. Moulton, 1874 ; W. H. Mandeville, 1875 ; Prof. W. H. Truesdell, 1876 ; W. H. Mandeville, 1877-78.

The present (1878) officers are W. H. Mandeville, Presi­dent; Mrs. D. H. Bolles, Vice-President; Fred. B. Coss, Secretary; Charles Gillingham, Treasurer; Miss Anna Hazlett, Librarian. The managers are Charles H. Emer­son, M. A. Blakeslee, and Mrs. Dr. Wilcox. The present number of volumes is 1500. The library is located in the store of J. P. Hastings. The general rules of the institu-tion are, that books can be kept three weeks, and on those retained longer than that a fine of ten cents per week, or fraction thereof, is imposed. The yearly membership-fee is $1.50, payable in advance.


The organization and maintenance of ancient and honor-able secret and benevolent societies constitutes quite an important factor in the history of a community, and one which, despite occasional sectarian opposition, invariably flourish, equally with religious or business enterprises. The village of Olean is admirably well supplied with asso­ciations of this character, all of which are in a generally prosperous condition. The societies here represented are Olean Lodge, No. 252, F. and A. M. ; Olean Chapter, R. A. M., No. 150 ; St. John's Commandery, K. T., No. 24; Crescent Lodge, No. 60, A. 0. U. W.; Olean Lodge, No. 417, I. O. O. F. ; and a lodge of I. O. G. T. Sub-joined we give a brief historical sketch of each of these organizations, as forming a portion of the social history of the village.


was instituted by dispensation, in March, 1852, and received its charter from the Grand Lodge in June of the same year. The first chief officers were Andrew Mead, W. M. ; David Bockes, S. W. ; Edwin B. Andrews, J. W. ; Aaron J. Allen, Treas.; David Day, Sec. The present principal officers of the lodge are M. Southeron, W. M.; John L. Eddy, S. W. ; L. M. Crake, J. W. ; William B. Pierce, Treas. ; L. F. More, Sec. The lodge now numbers 90 members, has regular communications every first and third Tuesday in each month, and is in a generally flourish­ing condition.

OLEAN CHAPTER,. It. A. M., NO. 150,

was organized March 26, 1855, with John Jakin, H. P. ; Russel Martin, K.; David Day, S.; Samuel R. Homer, Treas. ; and H. S. Shular, Sec. Those occupying the chief offices in the chapter at present (1878) are Milton B. Fobes, H. P. ; L. Durkee, K. ; George Van Campen, Jr., S. ; William B. Pierce, Treas. ; and L. F. More, Sec. The present membership numbers 75. Regular convocation every second and fourth Friday in each month.


received its dispensation Jan. 5, 1854, and worked under the same until Feb. 8, 1856, when it was granted a charter. The first officers were Hiram Turk, E. C. ; C. S. Farnham, Gen. ; James S. Mott, C. G. ; H. H. Nye, S. W. ; W. A. Baldwin, J. W.; D. D. Gardner, Treas ; S. P. Swift, Rec. Present officers, M. B. Fohes, E. C. ; H. O. Wait, Gen. ; M. W. Barse, C. G.; E. M. Johnson, S. W.; G. W. Dickinson, J. W. ; C. V. B. Barse, Treas. ; C. S. Stowell, Rec. There are 121 sir knights, and their regular con-clave is every third Thursday in each month.

There was a Masonic organization in Olean prior to 1819, but the records of its existence have been destroyed, hence no reliable information concerning it can be obtained.


The Odd Fellows had an organization in Olean as early as 1851. We learn from one of the original members of the old lodge that Caleb Jewett was its N. G. ; J. K. Com-stock, V. G.; and T. A. E. Lyman, P. G. It had a good working membership, numbering upwards of 100. The records, regalia, etc., were destroyed in the great fire, and the lodge was allowed to suspend until Aug. 14, 1878, when


OLEAN LODGE, NO. 417, I. o. o. F.,

was organized by A. Pringle, D. D. G. M., assisted by Brother Norton. The present chief officers of the lodge are A. I. Cotton, N. G.; W. C. Winsor, V. G.; W. Smith, Sec. ; George Brickell, Treas. ; Dr. Lambert Whit­ney, George Brickell, and George S. McIntosh, Trustees_ The present membership is about 30. Meeting in the hall over Merritt's store, corner Union and State Streets, every Wednesday evening.


was organized Feb. 3, 1877. The first principal officers were William D. Chamberlain, M. W. ; George E. Rum­sey, P. M. W.; Myron A. Dodge, F.; H. W. Eaton, O.; E. C. Blighton, Rec. The present chief officers are William D. Chamberlain, M. W.; George E. Rumsey, P. M. W.; D. W. Godfrey, F.; H. W. Eaton, 0.; A. H. Morris, Rec. Present membership, 40.


was organized with 54 charter members, on the evening of Oct. 2, 1878. The officers elected at the first meeting of the lodge were F. W. Marsh, L. D. W. C. T. ; Rev. E. B. Williams, P. W. C. T.; R. A. Rapp, W. C. T. ; Mrs. W. J. Wise, W. V. T. ; W. H. Burroughs, W. S. ; L. A. Washburn, W. F. S. ; Mrs. L. A. Washburn, W. T. ; Rev. D. D. Brown, W. C. ; William L. Myrick, W. M. ; Mrs. Shumway, W. J. G. ; W. J. Wise, W. 0. G. The present number of members is 65.


In 1807 Robert Hoops donated three acres of land, the present site of the Olean Cemetery, for burial purposes, for which it has ever since been used. The first inter­ment in it was that of James G. Johnson, in April, 1811. Among the old and prominent settlers whose remains re-pose within the hallowed precincts of the old grave-yard are Deacon Anson King and wife, the latter the mother of James G. Johnson, Robert Hoops, Sylvanus Russell and wife, Cornelius Brooks and wife, Judge Timothy H. Porter and wife, Judge Frederick S. Martin, Pardon Thrall and wife, Jehiel Boardman and wife, Zachariah Oosterhoudt and wife, James Brooks and wife, Dr. Bennett, Jeremiah Osborn, and young Kibbey (the three recovered bodies of the four persons drowned in 1820), Ebenezer Reed, David Day, Col. Luke Goodspeed and wife, David Bockes, Dr. Edward Finn and wife, and others.

The grounds are now inclosed within a neat white fence, the graves are tenderly cared for and tastefully decorated with flowers and shrubs, those emblems of per­petual remembrance and ever-recurring change. Here and there, dotted amid humbler graves, are handsome monuments, erected to the memory of dear departed ones as tokens of affectionate regard and of undying love. But whether lying under marble or only under the cool green sod, faithful hearts and willing hands bring oft-repeated offer­ings from Flora's treasury to deck the mounds or to orna­ment the marble shaft. Many whose names we mention left a posterity to mourn them, and all a record worthy the emulation of those who follow. Then let us who re-main endeavor so to live that those we love and those who know us best may in the future deem us also worthy ex­amples for succeeding generations.


Patriotism is an innate and heaven-born virtue. Next to the love of God and of family comes the love of country. Indeed, he who is naturally the champion of family ties is also the fearless opponent of oppression and the ardent con­servator of the national honor. From the inauguration of American independence to the close of the Civil war, and in all intermediate struggles, patriotism has shown itself to be the characteristic trait of the American people. This quality, even in the dark ages of the past, and in the classic history of medieval times, has been the most admirable and the most glorious.

The citizens of Olean during the Rebellion made an ex­cellent record, and one which will forever remain a bright page in her annals. When the government called for aid many left the peaceful avocations of industry and became a part of that citizen soldiery that soon became alike the wonder and the admiration of the world. And those who, by age or infirmity, could not enter the ranks generally gave of their means to preserve the country's credit and to help sustain the good old flag that their forefathers, many of them, had fought to win.

In the military history of the county data pertaining to the regiments in which many of the soldiers who went from Olean to the front will be given.

It is right and proper that these things should be pre-served ; for in the future, when the great struggle shall have passed from actual remembrance, when those who par­ticipated in it shall have filled honored graves, and when even their children shall have quietly followed them, and only the beautiful offerings of flowers, the lovely feature of our Decoration Day, shall remain,-then on the pages of history, written in letters of gold, shall be the honored list of the gallant ones who gave their best energies, some their blood, and thousands their lives, to perpetuate the Union, and to immortalize the well-earned assumption that our country is "The land of the free and the home of the brave."

It is but a day in the calendar of Time when the place where Olean now stands was a dense and unbroken forest,-when the towering monarchs, the growth of centuries, waved their green tops in the breezes of summer, and rocked their gigantic arms in the tempests of winter; all was solitude and silence save the voice of Nature and the plash of the beautiful Allegany. Then, as though some spirit of power had arisen in its strength and waved its magic wand o'er this lovely spot of creation, the forest vanished, and in its place this fair village, with its streets teeming with com­merce and resonant with the hum of a busy and intelligent population ; its spires glittering in the sunbeams stands forth in the beauty and splendor of material development and intellectual progress.

To whom is due this wondrous change? Where seek for the untiring energy and the restless enterprise that has caused this growth and prosperity ? To the pioneer and his posterity primarily, and then to the capitalist, the merchant, and the mechanic,-to these various elements belongs the honor of making a city ;" for, ere the future historian shall be called upon to continue Olean's annals, she will be a city in both numerical strength and commercial importance.


Around the town of Olean cluster the most important events in the history of the settlement of Cattaraugus County. It was within its limits that the original settle­ments were made, and upon its territory the embryo com­mencement of the principal factors that have led to the present wealth, happiness, and prosperity of the county originated. Hither the first pioneers came ; here the first mills were erected ; the first white child born ; the first tavern opened ; the first road laid out; and here began the establishment of the elements of culture and civilization that have since developed so materially and progressed so rapidly all over the county.

The earliest settlement of which any record exists was made 75 years ago, and the redemption of the wilderness from its primitive state to a fertile and productive agricul­tural condition was a work of considerable magnitude, and fraught with a vast amount of toil and care. But the pio­neers of Olean, like those of other new sections of country, were a hardy and industrious class, and sought to establish their homes with the greatest possible expedition. The process was naturally slow and laborious ; but diligence and unremitting labor triumphed, and we behold to-day the magnificent result of the work of their hands and the benefits of their intelligence.

Olean is geographically located upon the south border of the county, near the southeast corner. As now constituted it is designated on the map as township 1 and part of town-ship 2, in range 4 of the Holland Land Company's pur­chase.* The surface of the town is hilly upland, separated into two distinct parts by the valley of the Allegany. The highest elevations are 500 to 600 feet above the valley. The soil in some parts is adapted to agriculture, in others to gra­zing. A large portion of the land is covered with timber, hence lumbering is one of the principal occupations. The principal streams are the Allegany River and Olean Creek, the latter of which flows south through the northern part.


at the village of the town was commenced, in 1804, by Robert Hoops, brother of Major Adam Hoops, whose agent he was, and David Heuston, who was accidentally killed, in 1807, while getting out spars, probably to be used as oars for the pioneer rafts made that year. These made their locations near the river. Following them, in 1806, came Cornelius Brooks, a Revolutionary soldier, who was taken prisoner at the battle of Long Island, who made his location this year, but did not permanently settle thereon until 1808. He was quite a prominent man in the history of the town. In 1814-15 he held the office of supervisor, and subse­quently several important positions in the town government. His son, James Brooks. who accompanied him here, was appointed the first side judge of the county, and sat at the Court of Common Pleas, held at the home of William Baker. in the village of Hamilton (Olean). the first Tuesday in July, 1817, with Timothy H. Porter, first judge, and Ashbel Freeman, his associate side judge. Several members of the Brooks family still reside in the village and town, notably Col. Enos C. Brooks, a justice of the peace of Olean, and Reuben A., a farmer, who, with the heirs of Amos C. Brooks, resides on the old homestead farm. John Brooks, a brother of Cornelius, accompanied him hither, in 1806.

Judge Brooks was noted for his profuse hospitality, and it is said by one who knew him well, that for several years prior to his death the family scarcely ever sat down to a meal without some visitor. The judge's residence was familiarly known as the " Methodist Tavern and House of Refuge," from the fact that the itinerancy of the Methodist Church of Albany always found a cordial welcome there. Judge Brooks was reverently recognized as the father of Methodism in this section of country. He was also a firm supporter of the temperance cause, and did all in his power for its general advancement, believing that much of the pre­vailing misery and vice was attributable to intemperance. After an eminently useful life, Judge Brooks died at the old homestead, April 17, 1854, having lived to within a few months of the allotted space. Judge Brooks raised a family of ten children, namely, Polly C., married Jabez C. Per­cival, resides at Palo, Mich. ; James H., married Harriet L. Hastings ; residence, Olean, N. Y. ; Reuben A., married Eliza Hastings, Olean ; Elizabeth A. (deceased), married Rev. Robert Thomas ; Enos C., married Margaret A. Hill, Olean; Cornelius D., married Harriet A. Minear, Monroe Co., N. Y. ; Amos C. (deceased), married Mary M. Miner, Olean ; Rachel E. (deceased) ; Julia A. (deceased) ; Sarah K., married Rev. W. H. Kellogg ; resides in Wisconsin.

William Shepard, father of William B. Shepard, settled on the farm now occupied by the latter in 1806. Pardon Thrall, father of Willis and Erastus Thrall, arrived in 1806, and settled on the farm on the opposite side of the creek to the Boardman place, upon a portion of which now stands the Olean tannery. James Green moved to and built a saw-mill on Haskell Creek, in 1809, but soon thereafter sold out, and moved to Great Valley, and subsequently re-moved to Golconda, on the Ohio River, where he died. Zachariah Oosterhoudt, father of Samuel Oosterhoudt, now a prominent merchant of Olean, settled just west of Reed's tavern and buildings at an early day.

Just outside the present corporate limits of the village in March, 1814, Jehiel Boardman settled. He was born at Bolton, Conn., Sept. 30, 1761, and died at Olean, in the place where he first settled, July 27, 1834. He had nine children, as follows : Sallie H., married Stephen Eaton, of Derby, Vt. ; Patty, who died at Olean, Nov. 6, 1876, aged eighty-five years ; Orville (deceased), married Catharine Freer, of Albany ; was a prominent citizen of Allegany Co. ; John (deceased), twice married; Polly, married Calvin H. Carner, Olean ; Worcester, died in 1822 ; Emma, twice mar­ried ; Roxy, died in infancy ; Olcott P., married Marcia P. Rice, daughter of the late Luman Rice, of Portville, now living on the old homestead. Jehiel Boardman was a man well calculated by disposition and inclination for a pioneer. He was energetic, industrious, and scrupulously honest, and for the score of years he lived and labored in the newly-settled town of Olean, his influence was greatly felt and duly appreciated by his fellow-citizens.

Among other prominent settlers who arrived from 1818 to about 1830, and located permanently within the present limits of the town, the following are worthy of mention, namely :

Abijah C. Warren, father of Seth W. Warren, Samuel Dickinson, David P. Godfrey, Rollin Pratt, an early sur­veyor and school-teacher ; Jerome Rose ; ex-sheriff Rich­ard Welch, Ephraim Simmons, Thomas IT. Oviatt.

Coming several years later than the above, are Asa Burlinghame, Erastus Parker, Samuel R. Homer, and others.

The primitive events in the history of a community have an interest that forms an important feature, and one which deserves a conspicuous place in its annals. Hence, we present the annexed information, having verified its authen­ticity by the best existing authorities.

The first birth within the present bounds of the town of Olean, was that of Olean, daughter of William Shepard, May 22, 1807.

The first death was that of William Shepard, who died on the 21st of September, 1809. His remains now repose on the old homestead occupied by his son, William B. Shepard.

The first house erected was by Robert Hoops, and stood on the farm now known as the Martin homestead, in the summer of 1804.

The first tavern was kept by Sylvanus Russell, near the " Old Boat-house," at Olean Point, in 1808. In writing of Mr. Russell, James G. Johnson, Esq., has the following : " Sylvanus Russell was from Angelica, and was the first man married in Allegany County. His wife's maiden name was Esther Van Wickle, and the event occurred in 1805. He afterwards kept a tavern on the site of the present re­sidence of George Chamberlain, and was father of the venerable Mrs. Seymour Bouton, now residing in the town of Allegany."

The first saw-mill was erected by Willis Thrall and Wil­liam Shepard, on Olean Creek, three miles above its mouth, on what is now known as the Van Dusen farm, in the winter of 1807. The first lumber cut in the county was at this mill, and the first raft was made up. in the spring of 1807, and run down the creek and river by Bibbius Follett, Jedediah Strong, and Dr. Bradley. This mill was of primitive construction, being a single upright saw, yet for many years it was actively engaged, and did good duty as late as 1830, and perhaps a few years later.

The first grist-mill was built by Robert Hoops, at the mouth of Olean Creek, in 1809. It was a small frame building, about 24 by 32 feet, and two stories high. It had a single run of stones, yet for nearly a score of years (until about 1828) it did all the grinding for the entire popula­tion, the bolting having to he done by hand.

The first road authoritatively constructed was by an act of the Legislature, passed April 5, 1810.* The road was to run " from Canandaigua by the head of Conesus Lake, by the most eligible route to the mouth of the Olean River." Messrs. Valentine Brother, of Canandaigua ; George Hor­nell (afterwards Judge Hornell, of Hornellsville), and Moses Van Campen, of Angelica, were appointed Road Commissioners, and Moses Van Campen, Surveyor. Roads prior to this were little better than bridle-paths, requiring the most careful driving to avoid stumps and other obstacles with which they abounded.


The town of Olean was formed at the same time the county was erected, namely, March 11, 1808, and at that period included all the territory now embraced within the present limits of Cattaraugus County. A map of that part of the town containing Hoops' purchase was made July 16, 1805, and designated as townships 1 and 2, ranges 3 and 4 of the Holland Land Company's Purchase. Olean re­mained as originally created until July 16, 1812, when Ischua, afterwards Franklinville, was detached ; a part of Perry (now Perrysburg), April 13, 1814; Great Valley, April 15, 1818 ; Hinsdale, April 20,1820 ; and Portville, April 27, 1837. At its formation in 1808 the town con­tained an area of 725,760 acres, which has since been ju­dicially (and judiciously) reduced to 21,846 acres, as at present.

The first town-meeting held in the town as originally formed was at the house of Joseph McClure, at Franklin­ville, then the centre of population in the newly erected town in April, 1808. The first town-meeting held in Olean as at present constituted was held in the house of Sylvanus Russell, many years later. After a careful and extended search we found the old town record, from 1809 to 1812 inclusive, which consists of a few leaves from the original book; also in another volume the records from 1813 to 1849; and still in the book at present in use, those from 1850 to 1878. Prior to our investigations, it was supposed by all those who take an interest in the preservation of records and documents relating to events occurring in the history of the town government, that all such antedating 1850 were destroyed in the great fire of 1866, which would have been the case had the book not been borrowed by a person who resided without the burnt district. Subjoined we give a list of the town officers elected in 1809, together with all the supervisors and town clerks from that year to 1878, inclusive, and the justices of the peace from the time the office was made elective by the people (1830) to the present :

Supervisor, James Green ; Town Clerk, David McClure; Assessors, Ira Norton, Robert Hoops, John McClure ; Constable and Collector, Thomas Morris ; Constable, Willis Thrall ; Poor Masters, Henry Conrad, John Brooks ; Com­missioners of Highways, Cornelius Brooks, William Ather­ton, Joseph Hunter ; Overseer of Highways, District No. 1, Asahel Atherton; Overseer of Highways, District No.

*See Session Laws, 1810, chapter cxlv.

2, William Shepard ; Overseer of Highways, District No. 3, Daniel Cortright ; Overseer of Highways, District No. 4, Ebenezer Reed ; Overseer of Highways, District No. 5, Robert Hoops ; Overseer of Highways, District No. 6, Seth Humphrey ; Pound Masters and Fence-Viewers, William Atherton, Willis Thrall, Josiah Hollister, Jonas Burroughs.


"Fences to be 41 feet high in the first 2 feet from the ground, the openings not to exceed 4 inches, and the top . openings not to exceed 8 inches."


1810.-James Green. Supervisor; John Brooks, Clerk.

1811.-Cornelius Brooks, Supervisor: John Brooks, Clerk.

1812.-Cornelius Brooke, supervisors; John Brooks, Clerk.

1813.-Nathan Horton. Supervisor; Cornelius Brooks, Clerk.

1814.-Cornelius Brooks, Supervisor; Sylvanus Russell, Clerk.

1815.-Cornelius Brooks, Supervisor; Silas Knight, Clerk.

1816.-Israel Curtis, Supervisor; Silas Knight, Clerk.

1817.-Israel Curtis, Supervisor; Horatio Orton, Clerk.

1818.-Seymour Bouton, Supervisor.

1819.-Ebenezer Lockwood, Supervisor; Timothy H. Porter, Clerk.

1820.-Israel Curtis, Supervisor; Griswold E. Warner, Clerk.

 1821.-Ebenezer Lockwood, Supervisor; Timothy H. Porter, Clerk.

1822.-Ebenezer Lockwood, Supervisor; Griswold E. Warner, Clerk.

1823-24.-David Bockes, Supervisor; Griswold E. Warner, Clerk.

1825.-Allen Rice, Supervisor; Sylvanus Russell, Clerk.

1826.-Samuel Barrows, Supervisor; Sylvanus Russell, Clerk.

1827.-Allen Rice. Supervisor; David Bockes, Clerk.

1828.-Samuel Barrows, Supervisor; David Bockes, Clerk.

1829.-David Bockes, Supervisor; Sylvanus Russell, Clerk.

1830.-Frederick S. Martin, Supervisor; Sylvanus Russell, Clerk;

Jonathan More, Justice of the Peace.

1831.-Frederick S. Martin, Supervisor; Sylvanus Russell, Clerk; Timothy H. Porter, Justice of the Peace.

1832.-David Day, Supervisor; Sylvanus Russell, Clerk; James Bowers, Justice of the Peace; Joseph Crandall, Justice of the Peace, to fill vacancy.

1833.-David Day, Supervisor; Sylvanus Russell, Clerk; John W. Barton, Justice of the Peace; Andrew Mead, Justice of the Peace, to fill vacancy.

1834.-David Day, Supervisor; Slyvanus Russell, Clerk; Jonathan More, Justice of the Peace; George Pinkerton, Justice of the Peace, to fill vacancy.

1835.-David Day, Supervisor; Sylvanus Russell, Clerk; Timothy H. Porter, Justice of the Peace; David Day. Justice of the Peace, to fill vacancy.

1836.-Frederick S. Martin, Supervisor; Sylvanus Russell, Clerk ; William Wales, Justice of the Peace.

1837.-David Day, Supervisor; Sylvanus Russell, Clerk; Harvey May, Justice of the Peace.

1838.-Frederick S. Martin, Supervisor; Sylvanus Russell, Clerk; Lambert Whitney, Justice of the Peace; James Brooks, Justice of the Peace, to fill vacancy.

1839.-Elkannah Day, Supervisor; Sylvanus Russell, Clerk; Timothy If. Porter. Justice of the Peace.

1840.-James G. Johnson, Supervisor: Evert Russell, Clerk; Lam­bert Whitney, Justice of the Peace.

1841.-Elkanah Day, Supervisor; William W. Penfield, Clerk; John S. Birge, Justice of the Peace.

1842. Elkanah Day, Supervisor; William W. Penfield, Clerk; Andrew Mead, Justice of the Peace; David Day, Justice of the Peace, to fill vacancy.

1843. James G. Johnson, Supervisor; William W. Penfield, Clerk: Timothy H. Porter, Justice of the Peace.

1844.-James G. Johnson, Supervisor : John N. Russell, Clerk ; William L. Stork. Justice of the Peace.

1845.-James G. Johnson, Supervisor: Ansel Adams, Clerk; James Brooks, Justice of the Peace.

1846.-Roderick White, Supervisor ; Homer C. Blakeslee, Clerk ; Caleb Smith, Justice of the Peace; Christopher Whitney, Justice of the Peace, to fill vacancy.

1847.-Elkanah Day, Supervisor; Julius R. Smith, Clerk; David Day, Justice of the Peace; William W. Penfield, Justice of the Peace, to fill vacancy.

I848.-David Day, Supervisor; Julius R. Smith, Clerk; William W. Penfield, Justice of the Peace.

1849.--David Day, Supervisor: Julius R. Smith, Clerk: William W. Penfield, Justice of the Peace: Christopher Whitney, Jus­tice of the Peace, to till vacancy.

1850.-Daniel Hickox. Supervisor; Henry Milham. Town Clerk: A. J. Moses, Justice of the Peace.

1851.-Samuel Oosterhoudt, Supervisor: Hiram G. Cook, Town Clerk: Olcott P. Boardman, Justice of the Peace : Paul Recd. Jus­tice of the Peace, to fill vacancy.

1852.-Hiram G. Cook, Supervisor; David Day, Town Clerk: Lam­bert Whitney, Justice of the Peace.

1853.-George F. Stevens. Supervisor: Joseph L. Savage, Town Clerk; Lambert Whitney (held over          

          on a tie vote).
1854.-M. A. Blakeslee. Supervisor; Christopher Whitney, Town

Clerk; John Fobes, Justice of the Peace.

1855.-M. A. Blakeslee, Supervisor; Lyman Packard, Town Clerk; Elkanah Day, Justice of the Peace.

1856.-Justus S. White, Supervisor; John Fobes, Town Clerk: Abram Merritt, Justice of the Peace.

1857.-Justus S. White, Supervisor; John P. Osborne, Town Clerk.

1858.-George S. McIntosh, Supervisor; James F. Johnson, Town Clerk; John S. Shaw. Justice of the Peace.

1859.-Frederick Crocker, Supervisor; Fred. Eaton, Town Clerk;

Lambert Whitney, Justice of the Peace.

1860.-George S. McIntosh, Supervisor; H. Harper Phelps, Town Clerk: E. H. G. Meachem, Justice


1861.-James T. Henry, Supervisor; H. Harper Phelps, Town Clerk; Nathan P. Wilcox, Justice of the Peace.

1862.-E. H. G. Meachem, Supervisor; Lambert S. Whitney, Town

Clerk; John S. Shaw, Justice of the Peace.

1863.-Frederick Eaton, Supervisor; Wm. A. Comstock, Town Clerk;

Henry Johnson, Justice of the Peace.

1864.-Hollis W. Moore,* Supervisor; James Kelsey, Town Clerk;

E. H. G. Meachem, Justice of the Peace.

1865.-J. T. Henry, Supervisor; Morgan Merritt, Town Clerk; L. H. Kelsey, Justice of the Peace.

1866.-J. T. Henry, Supervisor; Edward J. Finn, Town Clerk; Jas.

F. Johnson, Justice of the Peace.

1867.-Salmon Shaw, Supervisor; C. S. Cleveland, Town Clerk; Mar-tin Carr, Justice of the Peace.

1868.-Russel Martin, Supervisor; E. A. Adams, Town Clerk; Wm. Ellithorpe, Justice of the Peace.

1869.-Russel Martin, Supervisor; Calvin S. Stowell, Town Clerk; Daniel Collins, Justice of the Peace.

1870.-Frank L. Stowell, Supervisor; Elisha M. Johnson, Clerk; James F. Johnson, Justice of the Peace.

1871.-Hiram C. Miller, Supervisor : John Smith, Clerk; Lyman Lat­imer. Justice of the Peace.

1872.-Levi Barrett, Supervisor; John Smith, Clerk; Martin Carr, Justice of the Peace.

1873.-C. W. Phillips, Supervisor: John Smith, Clerk; L. II. Kelsey. Justice of the Peace.

1874.-Calvin S. Stowell, ' Supervisor; John Smith, Clerk; John S. Shaw, Justice of the Peace.

1875.-Calvin S. Stowell, Supervisor; H. W. Rugg, Clerk: James F. Johnson, Justice of the Peace.

1876.-Charles W. Phillips, Supervisor; William D. Chamberlain. Clerk; Martin Carr, Justice of the Peace.

1877.-Samuel H. Bradley, Supervisor; G. H. Phelps, Clerk; M. A. Dodge, Justice of the Peace.

1878.-Charles W. Phillips, Supervisor; George H. Phelps, Clerk; Enos C. Brooks, Justice of the Peace.

The present town officers, other than those above men­tioned, are : Assessors, O. P. Boardman, George S. McIntosh, Manly A. Blakeslee ; Overseer of the Poor, Jos. M. Bristol ; Collector, John King ; Town Auditors, Samuel Oosterhoudt, Hollis W. Moore, Joseph R. Jewell ; Inspec­tors of Election, William Carter, Charles D. Judd, William D. Chamberlain; Constables, John King, Joseph Bergher, J. H. Andrews, James K. Van Campen, Francis E. John-son ; Excise Commissioner, Frank S. Stowell.

* Tie between Fred. Eaton and J. K. Comstock. and Hollis W. Moore appointed.


The town of Olean, in 1845, had a population of 550, including the village. The number of inhabitants, each lustrum since, has been as follows : In 1858, 899 ; in 1855, 1611 ; in 1860, 2706 ; in 1865. 27111; in 1870, 2668 ; and in 1875, 3109. The four years from 1875 to 1879 have received the largest augmentation to the popu­lation of' any similar period in the history of the town, most of which has been added to the village, the population of which is now estimated at about 3600.

From the report of Hon. Neil Gilmour, State Superin­tendent of Public Instruction, we glean the following sta­tistics of the public schools of Olean, for the year ending Sept. 30, 1878:

Number of children of school age, 1332 ; average daily attendance, 482___ ; number of teachers for 28 weeks or more, 14; number of weeks taught, 191 ; amount of pub­lic money received, $2157.37 ; amount of tax raised for schools, $4091.04; amount paid for teachers, $8406.95 ; number of districts, 6 ; number of school-houses, 7 ; value of school-houses and sites, $20,370 ; volumes in school library, 319 ; value of books, $240.





The subject of this sketch, whose birth was nearly coeval with the organization of the county, and whose retrospect embraces substantially the whole subsequent record of events, is, more emphatically than any other man now living, iden­tified with its history. With mental faculties of a superior order still unimpaired and vigorous, and particularly a mem­ory retentive to a remarkable degree of the scenes and oc­currences which have filled up the intervening years, and in many of which he played an active and honorable part, no occupation delights him more, in the mellow evening of his life, than to entertain his friends with reminiscences of incidents long ago transpiring, and of persons who have passed into the world of shadows. Of his early friends and contemporaries but few are left, and the number is fast diminishing. It is well worth while to preserve and per­petuate the names and memories of the worthies who, with toil and sacrifice, laid deep and strong the foundation of the prosperity which subsequent generations have enjoyed.

James G. Johnson was born at Bloomfield, Ontario Co., on the 13th day of September, 1811. He was the second son of James G. Johnson, a gentleman of English descent, and one of the original settlers in the village of Olean, which, however, at that time and for some years afterwards was called " Hamilton." His mother, whose maiden name was Sophia Stone, was of Scotch parentage, and, on her mother's side, a descendant of the Dudley family. The death of his father, in 1811, led to the return of his widowed mother to her father's house, where she remained until 1819, and then went back to her home in Olean, ac companied in the removal by her infant son. At about the age of eight years he commenced attending school, and continued his attendance about two years, from the end of which time until he reached the age of thirteen his school­ing was limited to the winter months, the residue of the year being devoted to work. And this was the sum of his educational opportunities and advantages.

Of course the institution he thus attended was of the roughest and most primitive description, and yet it is by no means certain but that these schools in the wilderness, which, compared with our modern ample and costly facilities, seem scanty, mean. and inefficient, did not supply a discipline quite as profitable as those of our own day. Certain it is. that the pupil whose honest poverty compelled him to labor nine months in the year, to enable him to spend the three winter months in school, would improve the advantages of instruction with a keener application and prize them with a higher appreciation than one who was obliged to put forth no effort and practice no self-denial to obtain them. Indeed, it may be taken for granted that the stimulus supplied by an ambition so cheerfully submissive to sacrifice much more than overbalanced the splendid opportunities that proffer themselves to the modern scholar. So it is with other things, and the world over. What we gain with toil we prize, while what we win without exertion possesses but slight appre­ciated value.

At the age of fourteen, Mr. Johnson left his mother's roof, to provide henceforth for himself. In those days of scanty resources and patient industry young men did not expect to jump into a fortune without an effort, and he was content to give his time and labor for board and clothing. For eight months he performed the duties of a clerk in a little country store at Centerville, in the county of Allegany, at the end of which time the merchant failed, the store was closed, and the subject of our memoir was again adrift. But he was much too ambitious to remain idle, and soon found employment in the store of Ebenezer Lockwood, then a merchant at Olean, in whose service he remained for two years, and until the concern was discontinued. After serv­ing a year in the same capacity with William Bagley, on the same terms of compensation, to wit: board, clothing, and an occasional trifle of spending -money, he entered the store of Osburn & Bockes, where, for the first time, he re­ceived a regular stipend, and where he remained a few months. The following year he was out of employment, but being of a jovial and sociable disposition, he spent his time in fun, frolic, and social pleasure, which, while minis­tering greatly to the enjoyment of himself and others, pro­duced no harm to any.

Having thus sown his wild oats," which, thanks to a conscientious mother and an old-fashioned New England training at her hands. were still oats with no admixture of tares, and thus prepared himself for the sober duties and responsibilities of active life, he entered into an engagement with the late Judge Martin, as clerk in his store, at a salary of ten dollars a month, besides board and washing. This was in 1831, and he continued the connection with a grad­ually increasing compensation for five years, and then en­tered into partnership with his employer, under the firm-name of Martin & Johnson during his clerkship  and under the instruction of Mr. Martin, acquired a com­plete and efficient mastery of the business in all its aspects and details. During the period of nine years the partner-ship business continued with decided success and to the marked advantage of both. The connection terminated in 1846, when, having purchased a quantity of timber land and a saw-mill in the adjoining town of Allegany (then called Burton), he removed to that place with his family, and entered upon the business of lumbering. In company with Eleazar Harmon, Esq.. of Ellicottville, he laid out the plat where now the village of Allegany stands, dividing the area into lots, which were advantageously sold. As was customary at that time, and indeed to some extent still, he carried on a mercantile business in connection with his lumber enterprise.

In 1851 he added another to his list of occupations by uniting with Gilbert Palen in building and operating the sole-leather tannery which was afterwards owned by Mr. Strong, and which was the first of the kind on the line of the Erie Railway west of the county of Delaware, the pio­neer of a countless host of similar establishments waging a war of extermination upon the apparently interminable hemlock forests, that seemed to invite and defy the onslaught.

The outburst of war, in 1861, found him still in the man­ufacture of lumber, and for a time effectually wound up the business, prostrating the markets and practically blockading the Ohio River, one side of which was in possession of the Confederates. More fortunate, however, than many other lumbermen, none of his property fell into rebel hands. In the summer of 1862, without his solicitation or knowl­edge, he was, at the instance of Hon. R. E. Fenton, then member of Congress from his district, and afterwards Gov­ernor, commissioned by the President as captain and assist-ant quartermaster, and assigned to brigade duty in the Army of the Potomac. He was present at the battles of South Mountain and Antietam, and was with the army under McClellan and Burnside in its march to Fredericks-burg. His health becoming greatly impaired by the hard-ships of army life and the arduous duties of his post, he was detached from field service and stationed at Aquia Creek in the memorable winter of 1863, and subsequently at Harrisburg, where he remained till the close of the war, discharging the duties of his place, although greatly reduced by diseases contracted in the service, from which, indeed, he has never fully recovered. For meritorious service he was promoted to the rank of a colonel of volunteers.

Returning to Olean in 1865, he became engaged for some years in mercantile pursuits, and established an active, ex­tensive, and prosperous business ; but his health would not admit the attention and activity necessary to its prosecution, and he resigned it to his sons. He took a prominent and active part in the establishment of the First National Bank at Olean, of which he still remains a director, contributing his full share to the sagacity and success that have distin­guished that institution. When the oil development be-came an established fact in the Bradford district, and long before any successful experiment had been made north of the Pennsylvania line, Mr. Johnson persisted in the belief and declaration that petroleum would yet be found in pay ing quantities in the towns of Allegany and Olean. He manifested his faith by his works, and the event amply jus­tified his prophetic shrewdness. Associating himself with a few enterprising neighbors. a company was formed. The first well in either town was sunk on land leased by him to the company, and the result was the fulfillment of a project which had been generally regarded as chimerical. This enterprise was the forerunner of the whole great and ex-tending development of that vast interest in this locality,-a development which has clothed an immense area of broken, barren, and hitherto seemingly worthless territory with enormous value, and is destined to add millions to the resources of that portion of the State. Since his successful experiment, Mr. Johnson has devoted his time and atten­tion to that business, and is reaping the reward of his prescient sagacity in a steady and handsome revenue from the interests of which he is the fortunate proprietor.

Although he never has been possessed by any ambition for office, preferring greatly the pursuit of a legitimate business and the quiet enjoyment of domestic life, he has taken, from the outset, a decided interest in politics. It was impossible that a man of his devotion to principle and capacity for business should be overlooked by his party. Entirely against his wishes and his protests, he was nomi­nated by the Whigs, in 1848, for the Legislature, and although his district was Democratic by over three hundred as a current majority, he was elected. It is a singular fact that his brother, Marcus H. Johnson, nominated by the Democrats the same year for the same office in the Second District of the same county, was also elected against a standing Whig majority of about three hundred. In the fall of 1849 he was again nominated by the Whig party for the office of county clerk, and triumphantly elected over a popular Democratic competitor. In 1871 he was appointed .postmaster at Olean, performing the functions of the office most efficiently and acceptably till in the year 1877, when he voluntarily resigned. On repeated occasions and in many ways has he been honored by emphatic evidences of neighborly and popular regard, and it may be said of him, with perfect truth, that he has deserved and justified them all.

It would be scarcely possible that a life so long as his, though its general tenor has been pleasant and successful, should be without its troubles and its sorrows. His wife, whose maiden name was Clarissa Gaylord, a most estimable lady, whose companionship and love for nearly forty years ministered incalculably to his happiness and well being, left his side a few months ago, and waits a reunion with him in another and a better world. Of his two sons, the elder, Henry, a spirit bright, gracious, and universally beloved, preceded his mother to that inevitable bourne whither we all are tending, and to which in a few short years she fol lowed him in the same path of faith worn by so many Christian feet. At still earlier periods of his history death was busy in his family, taking from his household four of his sons, each bright and full of promise. Mournful as his later life has been made by this domestic desolation, and in spite of failing health, he has borne the heavy burden with the uncomplaining fortitude that forms a conspicuous trait of his character, and he finds with his surviving son a home replete with comfort and kindly ministration. Neither age nor feeble health has quenched his energy or dimmed his interest in the occurrences of the time. None are better in-formed than he as to passing events. In every enterprise conducive to the public advantage he bears an active and influential part. In all the relations that man sustains to his kind, as an associate, a citizen, a trusted adviser, and a friend, he stands high in the general regard. The com­munity in which he lives could better spare many a younger man, and this imperfect sketch will but echo the universal sentiment in closing with the expression of a fervent hope that he may long remain among them, a source of benefit to all around him and an embodiment of the virtue and intelligence of an earlier time.








This gentleman bears an ancient and distinguished name in the history of Holland. The name in its early application signified land-men,-men of the fields, or camp-men. Van, prefixed, was intended as a designation of distinction or eminence which they, in common with other Dutch families, were supposed to have merited. The name in its early spelling was with " K," and was pronounced " Fon-Kompe."

Three centuries ago the Dutch stood pre-eminently in the front rank of the nations of Western Europe, and among her citizens of note were Jacob Van Campen, Lord of Ran­denbrook ; Vice-Admiral Van Campen, of the East India Naval Squadron ; John Van Campen, commanding one of Admiral Van Tromp's ships in the war with England ; Lieu-tenant Lambert Hendrickson Van Campen, in the West India naval service ; John Nicholas Van Campen, Governor of Curacoa, one of Holland's West India dependencies ; and among the more recent of Holland's honored names are Nicholas Godfried Van Campen, the son of a florist, who, by his own efforts, rose to the Lecturate of the German Language and Literature in the University of Linden, and afterwards to the Professorship of Dutch History and Lit­erature in the Amsterdam Athenaeum, a celebrated old school, enjoying the same rank as the Linden University. He was a great scholar and a laborious writer, mainly in the domain of history. His historical works enumerate in all nearly sixty volumes, while he translated numerous works from both ancient and modern languages, having a knowledge of seven or eight foreign tongues, and writing French and German equally with his native language. He was a great patriot and a warm admirer of America. He died in 1839, and his son is now an esteemed and influen­tial publisher and bookseller in Amsterdam.

The first of the name in America, John Aerensen Van Campen, farmer, arrived in New Amsterdam (now New York), June 19, 1658, in the ship " Brown Fish," Cornelius Maerten, master. In the month of March, 1662, his wife, Grietje (Grace), and his son, Nicholas, arrived in the ship " Faith." Soon after, John A. Van Campen and other sturdy Hollanders formed that wonderfully prosperous settlement on the Delaware River, above and below the Water Gap, including Minisink. They were followed by a very im­portant and valuable addition composed of French Hugue­nots. They made treaties with the native races, lived in peace and concord many years, and until disturbed by influ­ences beyond the control of the little colony. They followed with great success the peaceful pursuits of agriculture; they cleared lands and built upon them ; they erected saw-and grist-mills, and operated them ; they opened mines and utilized their treasures; and they constructed macadamized roads for the convenience of travel. For more than three-quarters of a century they lived in peace, and enjoyed the prosperity their industry had wrought, in happiness and contentment.

By the year 1750, such had been the prosperity of the Van Campens that they were the owners of large tracts of land on both sides of the Delaware, in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. In the adjustment, settlement, and disposition of various vexatious questions arising from their Indian neighbors ; the proprietaries ; boundaries, both public and private ; in provisions, both civil and military, the name of Van Campen stands conspicuous. Colonel Abram Van Campen, of Sussex County, who was ap­pointed Judge of the Common Pleas by King George II., was one of the most trusted and honored citizens of New Jersey. His old stone mansion on the Delaware was the seat of unbounded hospitality. It was here that the dis­tinguished patriot, John Adams, notes in his diary, after driving in his coach from home, on his way to Philadelphia, that, "when he arrived on the Delaware, he always stopped several days to rest with 'Squire Van Campen."

On the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware were settled several members of the family,-Jacob, Aaron, John, and Cornelius Van Campen, the latter the grandfather of the subject of this sketch. In the conflicts which Pennsylvania encountered with the Connecticut colony on the Susquehanna all of these brothers were conspicuous, and always as the true, wise, and trusted adherents of Penn­sylvania's finally-successful rights. Between the years 1769 and 1773, three brothers of the Van Campens, including Cornelius, were members of the Delaware Company, in opposition to the Connecticut colony, to settle upon the lands and maintain the claims of Pennsylvania under the grant of King Charles II. The fierce strife and often bloodshed between the Pennites" and the Yankees," as they were called, was continued, and only gave way to the all-absorbing struggle of 1776, and was followed by that relentless and barbarous system of warfare adopted by England in employing the savage Indian as her allies.

In common with others, all the resources, tact, courage, and endurance of the Van Campens was offered on the common altar of defense and patriotism.

On the 28th of March, 1780, while Cornelius and his brother were preparing to rebuild their farm buildings, before burnt by the Indians, a party of ten of these savages made a stealthy and sudden descent upon them. First killing Jacob, they secured his young son and Peter Pense, and then cautiously advancing to the farm of Cor­nelius, who was aided by his elder son, Moses, and younger son, Nicholas, suddenly sprang upon them, running a spear through the father and tomahawking Nicholas. An Indian made a spring at Moses, who dexterously parried the spear aimed at him, and was shielded by one of the Indians, who was attracted by his coolness and skill, his life thereby being

saved. Thus suddenly two families were left fatherless, Cornelius leaving five sons (besides he who was slain) and four daughters. Benjamin, the father of he who forms the subject of this biography, being the youngest. then a little past two years of age. By this catastrophe a happy and united family was broken up, the remaining members never afterwards being united in one household. The mother, with the younger members of the family, returned to the Delaware re, the home of her childhood and of her venerable and respected father, Moses De Pew.

J. F. Meginniss, in his "History of the West Branch," published in 1857, after several references to the exploits of the Van Campens, says, " Nearly all the old people yet living on the West Branch are familiar with the names of Moses and Jacobus Van Campen. They were remarkable adven­turers as well as noted Indian killers, and distinguished themselves in many a bard-fought battle. Their services were very valuable in the protection of the frontiers."

In the moving tide of population in the year 1796 was founded that heroic settlement on the western verge of the Phelps and Gorham Purchase, in township No. 4 of the seventh and last range west, consisting in that and the following year of fifteen families from Eastern Pennsylvania, in which came Rev. Andrew Gray, a Scotch Presbyterian, and son-in-law of the lamented Captain Lazarus Stewart, who fell at the Wyoming massacre, and his brother William, Major Moses Van Campen, and his brothers Samuel and Benjamin, Captain Henry McHenry and his brother Matthew, Joseph, Samuel, and Walter Karr, George Lockhart, together with other excellent material. Next to the felling of the forest and erecting their own dwellings, they built the school-house, in which they also worshiped God. In this house the aged and scholarly widow Van Campen taught school in the summer, and the Rev. Andrew Gray in the winter, and held stated religious services on the Sabbath. Of this and another settlement Colonel Charles Williamson, in a series of letters published by T. & J. Swords, New York, in 1799, says,‑

"Of these begun in 1796 there were two worthy of notice : that of the Rev. Andrew Gray, who moved from Pennsylvania, with a respectable portion of his former parishioners, and a Jersey settlement on the head of the Canascraga Creek. Both of these exhibit instances of in­dustry and enterprise rare as uncommon."

It was in the former of the above-referred-to settlements that George Van Campen was born, Nov. 13, 1817. His father beginning on seventy-six acres of land in 1796, with his beloved mother as housekeeper in 1797, with whom she remained until her death. Here he continued to live for more than fifty years, prospering, and accumulating four hundred and forty-six acres of land, mostly productive and adapted to agriculture. The son (George) remembers with pleasure the pride with which his father told him that he had never sued a man nor been sued on his own contract or obligation during a business career extending over fifty years.

His mother, a woman of great energy, industry, and deep piety, was the daughter of George, and the granddaughter of Hezekiah Saunders, of Rhode Island, both of whom served faithfully through the Revolutionary war, and were active in that memorable and closing event that brought joy to the heart of every struggling colonist,-the battle of Yorktown and surrender of Lord Cornwallis. Ile remembers his grandfather relating that so chagrined were the British officers on marching out to surrender that they tore their hair from their heads, and that George Washington's colored body-servant felicitously said of Cornwallis to his master, " Massa, he no more Cornwallis, he Cobwallis."

Here, in the midst of these favorable surroundings, his early years were spent, commencing school in the sixth and continuing until the close of his fifteenth year, and by earnest study and close application laid the foundation for his most cherished purpose, a thorough and liberal education. In the month of November of that year a sad bereavement fell on his father's family. His older brother, the first-born of his mother, aged seventeen, and his sister, next younger, aged thirteen, died within twelve hours of each other.

These melancholy events made necessary a complete change of his youthful plans. He was then the oldest son at home; his father, in addition to his large farm, had, in 1826 to 1828, organized under the post-office department a system of postal service for the easterly part of Allegany, parts of Steuben and Livingston Counties, which contracts he held until 1842. For nearly six years he had charge of this service, its quarterly collections, its reports and correspond­ence with the department at Washington. During these years all his spare time was devoted to study, mostly under the direction of that celebrated instructor, Rev. Moses Hunter, founder afterwards of a noted school at Quincy, Ill.

These now much-prized engagements brought him largely in contact with the leading business and public men of the time. Spending several years after his majority in a gen­eral merchandising establishment, on the 25th day of De­cember, 1843, he made his first engagement in Randolph, in this county, where he continued in the same business until 1851, when he exchanged his real estate for timber lands in Allegany, where he removed and continued his business, adding lumbering and the buying and selling of real estate, succeeding in the year 1856 to the contract of purchase made by Rev. John Doran with the late Judge Benjamin Chamberlain and Hon. E. Harman. of over eleven thousand acres of land, to which afterwards he devoted his time, giving up his merchandising to his ever trusted and re­spected clerk, partner; and friend, Adelbert EI. Marsh.

On the 1st of March, 1869, he removed to Olean, where he has since continued to reside, continuing the same pur­suits ; owning with his sons, James K. and George, Jr., the Olean House, managed by his sons.

In the year 1845 he made the acquaintance of Sophia T. King, then a pupil in the Leroy Seminary, now Ingraham University, to whom he was married on the 4th of August, 1847. She was the daughter of the late Anson and Sophia King, who in their early years came with their respective parents, about the beginning of the century, from the New England States to Ontario County. Her grandfather, Gideon King, from Massachusetts, in company with Zadock Granger, purchased twenty thousand acres of land, which tin sold afterwards successfully. Her grandfather, Isaac Stone, from Connecticut,-her grandmother Parthenia

Stone being the daughter of David Dudley, of Guilford, and sister of Mrs. Rev. Timothy Field, mother of the four well-known brothers, Field ; David Dudley Field being the oldest. They have been blessed with eight children,

-   five daughters and three sons : James King, born in 1851 ; George, Jr., in 1854; Benjamin. in 1866 ; and Josephine Maria, in 1868. Four daughters dying in infancy and childhood. Mrs. King, by her first husband, was the mother of Hon. Marcus H. and Colonel James J. Johnson.

For more than forty years he has been an active and deeply-interested participant in the stirring and momentous events of those years. Always a thorough Democrat in the best sense of that much-abused term,-never a partisan,

-   always asserting the right and exercising the freedom to act with that organization which seemed to him at the time most likely to promote the greatest public-good.

In the struggle of 1860 he took the middle ground, sup-porting the Douglas ticket, but afterwards, when the country was threatened with dissolution and disintegration, his whole energy and efforts were at once and unhesitatingly thrown in favor of any and every sacrifice-to the last man and dollar-for the maintenance of the supremacy and integrity of the Union.

He was, in the early part of 1363, offered a special con­sulate by the lamented Lincoln, at Liege, Belgium,-a city of over 100,000 inhabitants, manufacturing almost exclu­sively arms. This he accepted, and was commissioned under date of Feb. 19, 1863, and was accredited by Leopold, King of the Belgians, which position he held until there was no further need of such consular service.

In the spring of 1867 he was elected one of four from the Thirty-second Senatorial District as a member of the convention to revise and amend the constitution. The convention met on the first of June, and continued in ses­sion, having two recesses, until the last day of the next February.

The convention took high rank as a learned, laborious, and painstaking body. Almost all its important provisions have since been adopted, becoming a part of the funda­mental law.

The Van Campens have been for generations Dutch Re-formed or Presbyterian. Such was the religious denomi­national conditions surrounding his early years, to which lie recurs with pride and gratitude.

Although such have been his highly-prized associations, yet in no element of his nature is he sectarian, holding firmly to that catholic declaration, that "in every nation, he that feareth Him and worketh righteousness is accepted of Him ;" and, as the sum of Christian philosophy, that "all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them."

Finally, the inspirations of his nearly fifty years of active life have not been riches or honor, but those fields offering the greatest opportunity of usefulness, and the labors and duties the most difficult, were to him the most attractive.










W.H. Mandeville

In the various departments of business none require more tact and energy or a closer application than that of which W. H. Mandeville is pre-eminently the representative in this vicinity. The difficulties in the way of success in this line of business are manifold, and to many insurmountable. Among the greatest of these is the competition that characterizes all branches of insurance, which, by unscrupulous and financially worthless companies, is carried to such an extent that it requires the finest sort of executive ability, coupled with shrewdness and an indomitable will, to accomplish results even bordering on success. Therefore, when we encounter a man who has achieved not only more than ordinary success, but also a creditable and extended reputation, it is nothing less than his due to place him in a prominent position among the very best business men in the community in which he lives. Such a position we unhesitatingly assign the subject of this sketch.

William H. Mandeville was born at Millport, Chemung Co., N. Y., Aug.

15,1841. He is the son of John D. Mandeville, for some years a prominent merchant, and latterly a well-known insurance agent, who died in Olean, in 1867. In 1847, Mr. Mandeville removed with his parents to New York City, and from thence to Belmont, Allegany Co., in 1851. At the public schools of these two places he obtained what little of literary education he ever had, except a brief period at an academy. The requisite general commercial knowledge he has gained by observation and practical application, and by the same means has also added materially to his literary attainments. In 1858 he went to Almond, and entered the mercantile establishment of H. W. Crandall, where he remained for about one year. Returning to Belmont, he entered the store of John Thompson, with whom he stayed two years. In June, 1861, he removed to Hornellsville, and engaged with Martin Adsit, a prominent merchant of that place. This engagement terminated in 1863, and he returned to Belmont and became associated with his father in the insurance business, under the firm-style of J. D. Mandeville & Son. In 1865 they removed to Olean, where they continued a successful and growing business jointly until 1866, when-the firm became J. D. Mandeville & Sons, and so continued till the death of the senior partner, which, as before stated, occurred in 1867. The business was afterwards continued under the name of Mandeville Bros. In September, 1869, his brother retired from the firm, since which W. H. Mandeville has conducted the business alone. He now does the most extensive insurance business in Western New York. He represents fifteen companies, the financial solidity of which is above cavil or doubt. Of this, the promptitude with which they pay their losses is a sufficient guarantee. Mr. Mandeville has paid out for losses by fire more than half a million of dollars, and in the thirteen years he has been doing business in this vicinity he has had but three contested losses, and they were dishonest ones, as one was proven to be at the time; and subsequent developments in the other two showed his status in the suits to have been correct. The Cattaraugus County Board of Underwriters, recognizing Mr. Mandeville's aptitude for the position, elected him their president, which office he has since retained. He was also chosen to the same position in the McKean County (Penna.) Board, and served with eminent satisfaction. At the organization of the Olean Library Association, he was elected secretary; in 1873 he was chosen president; elected to the same office again in 1875, 1877, and 1878, now occupying the position for the fourth time. In 1876 he was made Chairman of the Centennial Committee of Arrangements for the Celebration of the One Hundredth Anniversary of American Independence. In 1877 he was elected Chief of the Olean Fire Department, and re-elected in 1878.

On the 22d of August, 1872, he married Miss Helen L. Eastman, daughter of W. W. Eastman, Esq. They have one son, "the image of his father" and the joy of the household.

Mr. Mandeville is comparatively a young man, who has much of his life's history yet to make. We can say of him, however, and that, too, without undue praise, that he possesses the requisite qualifications for a successful business man, tact, energy, industry, and, above all, unswerving personal integrity. These, joined to a commendable ambition, never fail of the most flattering ultimate results.

















    The subject of this sketch was born in Jerusalem, Yates Co., N. Y., Nov. 14, 1847.   After receiving the rudiments of his education at a common school, he entered the Penn Yan Academy, in his native county, where he remained two years.  He then, in the year 1863, laid aside text-books and engaged as an apprentice in the office of the Yates' County Chronicle, S. C. Cleveland, publisher.
    In March, 1864, he entered the office of the Angelica Reporter, then published at Angelica, Allegany Co., and the following year became  In November, 1870, he became sole editor and proprietor of the Angelica Reporter, and soon after removed the office to Belmont, the “hub” of Allegany County, at the same time changing the name of the paper to The Allegany County Reporter, thereby enlarging its sphere of usefulness.
    Jan. 1,1872, he purchased the office of The Olean Times. and published The Allegany County Reporter and The Olean Times in conjunction until 1874, when he disposed of the Reporter establishment to a stock company, retaining one-half interest, and filling the station of editor-in-chief.
    The same year a consolidation was effected with the Wellsville Times, and the enlarged and improved Allegany County Reporter made its first appearance in Wellsville, January 21 of that year, where it is still published, under the same title.
    In 1875 he fitted and furnished the office of the Northern Tier Reporter, at Port Allegany, now successfully operated by A. J. Hughes, editor and proprietor.
    In July, 1875, he disposed of his interest in The Allegany County Reporter to Enos W. Barnes, since which time The Olean Times has received his personal attention, occupying foremost rank in the field of country journalism.
    As a citizen. Mr. Dickinson has an honorable reputation, and his course as editor and publisher has been such as to entitle him to the thorough confidence and respect  reposed in him wherever his lot has been cast.
    He became a member of the Masonic fraternity at Belfast, N. Y., in 1869, and has attained the rank of J. W. in St. John's Comnandery, No. 24, of Knights Templar.  He is

also a member in good standing of Crescent Lodge, No. 60, A. O. U.



























The most pleasurable duty of the biographer is to narrate the principal events in the career of a self-made man, to follow step by step the various interests that, by persistent labor and unremitting energy, have been brought to a successful issue. As in the life of a nation, so in that of an individual, the march of progress is slow, but when founded upon the basis of integrity is sure of ultimate triumph, to the admiration of the world on the one hand, and to that of a community on the other. In the salient points in the life and character of Mr. Butler are presented many features alike worthy of notice and of imitation.

Nelson S. Butler comes of New England origin, and both of his grandfathers served in the Revolutionary war, both participating in the battle of Bunker Hill. He was born in the town of Sanford, Broome Co., N. Y., Oct. 7, 1829. His preliminary education was received in a select school kept by a Miss Shipman at Binghamton, whither his parents had moved when he was about four years of age. He afterwards attended the public schools, and subsequently completed his studies under Prof.

William Gates, the well-known educator of Maine, Broome Co., this State, to which place his parents removed about the year 1837. Mr. Butler left school in the spring of 1845.

Alexander Butler, the father of he of whom we write, was a tanner by trade, and later in life became a farmer. He was originally from Connecticut, but immediately from Otsego Co., N. Y. He was a man of eminent respectability, and by example and precept inculcated into the minds of his children the importance and imperative necessity of habits of industry and morality. His mother came from the good old Massachusetts family of Tarbell, and was a lady of great force of character, and admirably aided her husband in the correct training of their children. Under these influences young Butler developed into a stead and industrious youth, and the benefits of his early bringing up have been eminently instrumental in shaping his subsequent career.

It was on the 12th of November, 1845. that N. S. Butler, then in his seventeenth year, embarked on the sea of life, his first active employment being in the mercantile establishment of H. P. Badger, at Painted Post, Steuben Co., N. Y. In this position he remained until the spring of 1852. During his clerkship he acquired a great deal of practical business knowledge, and by economy saved a small amount of money. When he attained his majority, which was during his engagement with Mr. Badger, he tendered to his father his savings up to that period ($150), as was-the custom with dutiful youth in those days, but his father declined to accept it, telling his son to keep it as a portion of his first capital.

In 1852, Mr. Butler removed to Olean, and entered the store of the Smith Brothers, with whom he remained two years. At this time (1854) he had accumulated $875, with which, and some credit,which he could readily get, for his honesty and steady habits were well known,he purchased the stock of goods of C. H. Thing, and entered a copartnership with F. P. Thing, a brother of the former. This business connection lasted three years, when it was dissolved by the retirement of Mr. Thing. In 1857 he entered into copartnership with C. H. Thing, who also conducted a small banking business. During this year the store occupied by N. S. Butler & Co. was destroyed by fire, as also was a large portion of the business part of the village. Nothing daunted by this calamity, they erected a shanty store on the public square with a promptitude and dispatch that was creditable to their enterprise. Here they conducted a thriving trade until I860, the major portion of the business being transacted by Mr. Butler, his partner's attention being required in his banking institution. During the winter of 1859-60, Mr. Butler purchased the old Petrie store, which,. with his characteristic energy, he set about remodeling and enlarging. It occupied a part of the site of his present fine store building, erected by him in 1866. At the termination of the partnership of Butler & Thing (doing business under the firm-style of N. S. Butler & Co.), a copartnership consisting of N. S. Butler, Dr. A. Blake, and L. W. Gifford was formed under the old title. In the spring of 1861, Dr. Blake sold his interest to C. R. Hawley, one of the clerks of the concern, and the business was continued under the latter arrangement two years, when it was dissolved by mutual consent, and the business was conducted by Mr. Butler alone until August., 1866, when he associated with him H. C. Miller, one of his former clerks. The style of the firm was then changed to Butler & Miller, and so continued until 1872, when Mr. Miller retired and removed to Williamsport, Pa. In the spring of 1872. Mr. Butler took Messrs. William H. Stenson and F. C. Burlingham,. two of his clerks, into partnership with him. In the spring of 1876 Mr. Stenson retired, and the business of the establishment was continued by the remaining partners until Sept. 4, 1878, when Mr. Burlingham disposed of his interest to Mr. Butler, who continues the business alone. In the fall of 1865, in connection with C. R. Hawley, he established a dry-goods store at Bay City, Michigan, under the firm-name of C. R. Hawley & Co., and in the winter of 1872 started a branch store at that place, under the style of F. A. Bancroft & Co., and in the fall of 1878 established a branch store at Alpena, Mich., under the firm-name of C. R. Hawley & Co.

On the 26th of August, 1857, Mr. Butler married Miss Elizabeth A., daughter of Aaron Wade, of Portland, Chautauqua Co., N. Y. They have an interesting family of three children.two sons and one daughter. In religious affiliation Mr. Butler is a member of the Presbyterian Church, having united with the church of that denomination at Painted Post in 1851, and by letter with the First Presbyterian Church of Olean in 1852.

The first year of his connection with the church at Olean he was elected superintendent of the Sabbath-school, which position he filled faithfully and well for fifteen years. He was re-elected to the same office in 1873, and elected each year successively until 1877, when he declined. In the fall of 1869 he was chosen an elder of the church, and has been elected each term since. In 1874 he received a certificate from the Normal Department of the Chautauqua Sunday-school Assembly, which was a fitting recognition of his proficiency as a Sunday-school teacher.

Mr. Butler never aspired to any political distinction, his time and energy being required in his extensive business operations. The only office he ever accepted was that of village trustee, which he filled with fidelity to the best interests and to the satisfaction of the tax-payers. He was mainly instrumental in the establishment of the Bank of Olean, now the First National Bank of Olean, of which he has been vice-president since its organization.

During the war of the Rebellion the patriotism of Mr. Butler naturally led his sympathies on the side of the Union. In 1861 his partner. L. W. Gifford. enlisted, and was promoted captain in the Bucktail Regiment of Northern Pennsylvania, and three of his clerks also enlisted, leaving it impracticable for him to go to the front. But he gave freely of his means, and sent a substitute to represent him in the conflict, and his entire support and assistance was rendered in behalf of the Union Government.

Mr. Butler is now one of the best business men in the county. His industry and enterprise are widely known. His success is due to his own exertions, and the uncompromising spirit of personal integrity that has actuated every movement in his business career. Possessing sound judgment, perfect knowledge of commercial transactions, and a determination to be eclipsed by no competitor, he stands to-day pre-eminently at the head of the mercantile business of Cattaraugus County. He has a true sense of moral obligation, and a due and unswerving faith in providential interposition in the affairs of mankind; hence his domestic as well as business life is above reproach, and as such a record of it ought to be preserved to posterity.











was born in Rutland Co., Vt., Nov. 27, 1829. He is the son of Deacon John C. Eddy, who was a native of Rutland, Vt. He received his preliminary education at Ludlow Academy, Vermont, and his medical studies were first commenced at the Pittsfield (Massachusetts) Medical College, and subsequently at a similar institution at Castleton, Vt., from the latter of which he was graduated, with honors, in June, 1854.

The year prior to his graduation he spent in the office of the celebrated surgeon Middleton Goldsmith, M.D., LL.D., of Castleton. In

1854 he entered a medical partnership with J. M. Copp, M.D.,at Machias, Cattaraugus Co., whither he had removed in August of that year. In 1857 he removed to Allegany, this county, and ten years later to Olean. He has practiced his profession in this county for nearly a quarter of a century with marked success, and now enjoys as extensive a practice as any physician within its limits.

On the 1st of November, 1855, he was united in marriage with Miss Elvire L., daughter of William Loomis, a prominent farmer and politician of Machias. They have had five children, of whom threetwo daughters and one sonsurvive.

Dr. Eddy entered politics as a Republican, at the organization of that party, in 1854, and has since remained an advocate and supporter of its principles. He has never allowed his name to be put forward for political preferment, rather choosing to devote his time and attention to his profession. Like all patriotic men and good citizens, however, he has taken an interest in local politics, and has evinced an intelligent consideration for the success of his party. In 1876 he was elected president of the corporation of Olean, to which office he has been twice re-elected. Prior to this he was one of the trustees of the village, and is now a member of its board of education. In these various positions, Dr. Eddy has striven to faithfully discharge the duties incumbent upon him, and that he has succeeded is shown by the general popularity he enjoys with all classes of the people.

At the reorganization of the Cattaraugus County Medical Society he became one of its members, which connection he has since maintained. In religious belief, Dr. Eddy is a Baptist, of which society he is an active and zealous member. For a number of years he held the office of trustee in the society, besides other positions in the church government.

As a physician and surgeon. Dr. Eddy stands at the head of his profession in Western New York. He has been a careful student, and has kept pace with the advancement in medicine and surgery that has marked the period in which he has practiced. He is rapid and sure in diagnosis, careful in the application of remedial aid, and being of a genial and kindly disposition, his conduct in the sick-chamber is characterized by a gentleness of manner and cheerfulness of mien that is oftentimes as efficacious as medical skill itself. As a neighbor, friend, and citizen, Dr. Eddy bears an irreproachable reputation, and as a Christian he is noted for his charity and benevolence.




























Among the truly representative men of Cattaraugus County, few, if any, have been more intimately associated with the material development of the county than has Hon. C. V. B. Barse, and none occupy a more prominent position in commercial circles, deservedly so, than he. His life offers a marvelous example of what well-directed energy and personal integrity can accomplish, and as such is worthy the emulation of others.

C. V. B. Barse was born in Manchester, Ontario Co., N. Y., Dec. 11, 1817. He received his education at the public schools of his native town, and at the Penn Yan Academy. His first business occupation was as a clerk in the hardware-store of Morgan & Smith, of Penn Yan, in whose employ he remained about three years. He subsequently filled a similar position in the store of Wood & Seymour, of Geneva, and continued in the capacity of a clerk until he attained his majority. He then left Newark, Wayne Co., N. Y., where he was last thus employed, and came to Franklinville, this county, where he embarked in the general mercantile business on his own account, remaining in that business venture uninterruptedly until 1851. As showing the spirit of enterprise he always possessed, we mention the fact that, while engaged in the hardware business, he thoroughly mastered the tinner's trade, and became quite an expert mechanic. In 1848 he established a branch store at Olean, and on the opening of the New York and Erie Railroad, in 1851, he came himself to this village, and enlarged and otherwise extended his business.

During his residence at Franklinville he became acquainted with, and, on the 7th of September, 1841, mar- ried, Miss Mary H., daughter of Aaron Wade, a prominent and respectable farmer of that town. This union has been blessed with three children, namely : Frances L., born June 20. 1844, married D. C. Lefevre. an extensive leather merchant of Albany; Mills Wagner, born Dec. 6, 1846; William Claude, born March 11, 1855; the latter of whom is deceased. His son, Mills W. Barse, is now the cashier and one of the directors of the Exchange National Bank, and is quite an active business man.

In 1864, Mr. Barse visited Bay City, Mich., and while there saw a favorable opportunity to establish a hardware-store, which be did in connection with H. S. Morris, now vice-president of the Exchange National Bank, at Olean. They conducted this business with satisfactory success for five years, during four of which Mills W. Barse represented his father's interest in the store.

In 1868 he received the Republican nomination and was elected to the State Legislature, and served in that position to his personal credit and to the general satisfaction of his constituents. We quote the subjoined touching his political life, from an article written by Colonel James T. Henry, who was, perhaps, the most impartial and best informed political writer of the county:

" We never regarded Mr. Barse as a successful politician. He had all the requisite ability to become a conspicuous leader, but, whether from timidity or an aversion to the ways and modes of politicians, we never clearly understood. We always gave him credit for an obstinate contempt for the tricks and devious manipulations of the active managers of his party in dealing out political preferment. His first political officethat of the Loan Commissioner of the countywas conferred upon him by Governor John Young, in 1847. He was subsequently re-appointed by Governor Hamilton Fish, and thus held this important position for four years. He discharged his duties faithfully, honestly, and well. Mr. Barse was appointed the first Canal Collector at Olean, in 1857.

"As member of the Assembly, in 1869, he took high rank as an incorruptible legislator, free from every suspicion of jobbery or class legislation. The two years he was in the Assemblyfor he was re-elected' The Tweed Ring' reigned supreme. All the measures for robbing the city of New York were perfected and became laws; but Mr.

Barse opposed them all. While hundreds of thousands of dollars were prodigally paid to members of the House and Senate for their support given to these plundering enactments, Mr. Barse voted steadily with the minority against them. He obtained prominence as a conscientious, upright law maker, absolutely free from taint of corruption or the suspicion of it. During his service in the Legislature he was a member of the committee of ways and means, and notwithstanding the fact that the House was the second year Democratic, he retained his position on that committee, a very sure evidence of his fidelity to his duties thereon. After the close of his second term in the Assembly he retired to private life. In 1871 he was nominated by an irregularly-constituted senatorial convention for senator, and declined it; why, we have never been able to ascertain. Judge Allen D. Scott was nominated by the same convention, and by the same vote given Mr. Barse, and was elected."

Another important enterprise which owes its establishment to Mr. Barse was the organization of the State Bank, in 1870. The bank begun business in the summer of 1870. with a paid-up cash capital of $100,000, of which six-tenths was owned by Mr. Barse and his son, Mills W. Since that time the bank has been under his personal care and supervision, and has been so soundly and conservatively managed as to secure the unlimited favor and liberal patronage of the best business element of the country. On the 1st of January, 1878, to accommodate its increasing business, and to conform to the popular desire for a uniform and national banking system, the capital stock was increased, and the State Bank merged into the Exchange National Bank, of which Mr. Barse is the president, and his son. Mills W. Barse, is the cashier and one of the directors.

The general good fortune that has attended Mr. Barse in most of his business transactions, while bearing on their ever-successful issue the imprint of good luck, was not in any way accidental. It was rather the necessary consequence of untiring industry, good management of his interests, and. above all, a firm, uncompromising spirit of personal honor and integrity. When he began trade, the speculative tendency which has so conspicuously marked the conduct of mercantile pursuits in this country of late years was comparatively unknown. Capital was limited, business principles few and simple, and the standard of individual rectitude severer than we find them to-day. Hard and persistent labor, diligence, punctuality in fulfilling engagements, were the primewe might almost say the onlyfactors of success. These Mr. Barse possesses in a marked degree. From his embarkation in business to the present his name has continued a synonym for excellent judgment and fine business qualifications.





































was born in Chittenden County, Vt., July 1,1825. When about fourteen years of age, his parents removed to St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., and he attended the St. Lawrence Academy (now the State Normal School) at Potsdam, procuring his education with his own earnings. His father, John B. Blake, was a native of New Hampshire, from whence he emigrated to Vermont, and from there to St. Lawrence County, in 1839, where he died in 1840, leaving the duty of taking care of the widow and daughter incumbent upon his son, which duty the latter faithfully and cheerfully performed for three years.

After leaving school, young Blake removed to Orleans Co., N. Y., and studied dentistry at Allison, where he practiced that profession about three years. He then moved to Buffalo, and established a route which included Aurora, Sardinia, and Olean, and traveled that, visiting the places named, as a dentist for about fifteen years. In 1859 he made his permanent residence in Olean, where he formed a partnership with Nelson S. Butler in the dry goods business, and remained in that about two years. He then purchased the mercantile establishment formerly conducted by Fred Eaton, in which he remained until 1864. During the latter year he purchased a hardware stock and commenced in that business, in which he is still engaged, in connection with a large furniture business, which he added in 1875.


In I874 he erected “Blakes Opera House,” at a cost of about $20,000. It is a fine building of brick, and is in every sense an ornament to the village and an enduring monument to the enterprise of its builder and owner. Its entire construction was superintended by Dr. Blake, and as a result of his industrious supervision it was completed and an entertainment given in it eight months from the time its foundation was laid. Dr. Blake has been actively engaged in building and real estate transactions from the time he first settled in 0lean to the present, and has done much towards the material development of the place.

In the great fire of 1866 Dr Blake lost $18,000, on which he had insurance of but $7000, of which he owed $3500 for goods, etc. At the end of thirty days after the calamity he had paid up everything, dollar for dollar, and had but a small capital with which to commence business again. Notwithstanding this misfortune, Dr. Blake has succeeded in establishing himself on a firm basis On the 1st of September 1858 he married Miss Anna M., daughter of George Bigelow, Esq., of Erie Co., N. Y. They have had four children, of whom but one --a daughter --survives The general characteristics of Dr Blake are his enterprise and personal integrity. He has always been faithful in the discharge of his business obligations, hence he enjoys an excellent credit and a good reputation as a successful business man. A fine illustration of the Opera House can be seen elsewhere in this volume.

















OLCOTT P. BOARDMAN, youngest son of Jehiel and Sallie (Hatch) Boardman, was born at Derby, Oleans Co, Vt., March 28, 1810, and at the age of four years his parents emigrated to and settled in Olean, N. Y., purchasing from Adam Hoops lot 1, section 5, town 2, range 4 of the Holland Land Company Survey, where his father commenced to clear and make a home in the dense pine forest that then existed on the north bank of Olean Creek, where his boyhood was spent.  He experienced all the hardships and privations of a wilderness home, which experiences had an admirable effect on his after-life and character.  He obtained a limited education by attending the district school a few months now and then, as opportunity and circumstances would admit.

            At the age of nineteen he engaged for one year as a clerk in the employ of Hon. F. S. Martin, who then kept the “Olean House” and was partner in a store of general merchandise.

            His next engagement was with G. E. Warren, a lumber dealer, of Pittsburgh, PA, during which he spent the spring and summer seasons in Pittsburgh, and the winters in the lumber districts of the upper Allegany, purchasing lumber.  In 1832 he repurchased the old homestead (hif father having lost title by the failure and bankruptcy of Hoops) from Frederick A. Norton, who had become land proprietor of part of the “Hoops’ Purchase” derived from the Holland Land Company.

            He was married Oct 3, 1833, by the Rev. Alexander Frazer, to Marcia P. Rice, second daughter of Luman Rice, of whom mention is made in the general history of this village.  She was born at Homer, Cortland Co., N. Y. May 8, 1815.

            They have one son only, Luman Olcott Boardman, born at Olean, Dec 16, 1835; married at Ellicottville, Sept 5, 1867, to Miss Emeline C. Bartlett, born at Olean, Sept 7, 1837, daughter of Joshua N. Bartlett, Esq.  They have had two children: a daughter, Marcia Rice, born at Olean, Sept 4, 1868, living; a son, Olcott P., born at St. Clout, Minn., Jan 24, 1871; died ug 1, 1871.  In the spring of 1870, Luman O. Boardman moved to Minnesota, where he extensively engaged in farming.

            Having made extensive repairs upon the premises re-purchased from Norton during the season of 1833, all was destroyed by the notable tornado of March 20, 1834.  With all his timber, of over two hundred acres, there was scarcely a tree left standing.

            The catastrophe left him comparatively penniless; but being neither daunted or discouraged, he rebuilt and repaired his premises, his parents, brother-in-law, and others residing upon it until 1849.

            From 1834 to 1849 he was engaged in the lumber trade, residing a part of the time in the town of Portville, purchasing lumber and running to the Ohio River markets, - Pittsburgh, Pa, Cincinnati, O., and Louisville, Ky., being the most important ones - and entirely supplied from the pineries of the Allegany River and its tributaries.

            Then in 1849 he moved on to his homestead premises, repairing and making it his home, farming and continuing in active enterprises as had always been his custom, and filling various public offices of trust.  In 1851 he was elected justice of the peace, and to other town offices at different times.

            From 1849 to 1853 he was postmaster; 1860-62, collector of tolls on Genesee Valley Canal, at Olean; 1862-66 assistant assessor of United States Internal Revenue.

            In the fall of 1867, with Hon. H. Van Aernam, the made a partial tour of the “northwest”, purchasing considerable tracts of agricultural and pine-timbered lands in the State of Minnesota, situated on the head-waters of the “Red River of the North”.

            He was an early advocate of iron bridges, (of which the town has three).  The first one was built over Olean  Creek in 1871, under his supervision as highway commissioner, at a cost of $5000.

                        Mr. Boardman has always maintained and advocated temperance principles; has been a professed Christian and member of the Presbyterian Church nearly forty years; is now in his sixty-ninth year, and owing to an industrious and temperate life, bids fair to exceed the allotted span.

            He is now one of the town assessors, and also a member of the board of education.

            In the various stages of life, from his youth up, Mr. Boardman’s career has been marked by an enterprising spirit of progress and development; by a desire to promote the best interests of the town in which nearly all his life has been spent; by a firm and resolute will; and by an individual rectitude and integrity that leaves him an untarnished reputation and an exalted position in the estimation of his fellow-citizens.










was born at St Johnsbury, Vermont,  Oct. 10, 1812.  After receiving his  preliminary education at the public school of his native town, he commenced the study of medicine, and chose that as a profession, which he has successfully practiced for upwards of forty years.  His parents moved to New Hampshire when he was a youth, and it was there he began the study of the profession he has so long honored.  After an interval of five year in his studies, and in June, 1833, he removed to Olean and entered the office of Edward Finn, M. D., and subsequently completed his office studies under Dr. Andrew Mead, a prominent pioneer physician of this village, in the fall of 1836. He then went to Geneva and attended a course of medical lectures, and in January, 1837, he received his diploma from the New York State Medical Society.  He immediately thereafter settled in Olean, and began an active and successful professional career.  During the summer of 1837 Dr. Whitney became aa member of the old Cattaraugus County Medical Society, and remained such as long as it retained its organization.  He is also an honorary member of the present society.

            In May, 1834, Dr. Whitney united in marriage with Miss. Sallie Senter.  They have had six children, five sons and one daughter, of whom three of the sons survive.  Of these, L. S. and R. M, were the founders of the Olean Hub Factory, and one,  the younger son, James 0., is now a member of the firm of E. M. Jones & Co., of San Francisco, a long established and influential fancy goods and notion  house of that city.


            In1834, Dr. Whitney received the appointment of deputy sheriff, and .served in that capacity one term with satisfaction.  In 1838 he was elected a justice of peace and served in that office in all, twelve years.  In 1853  he was chosen to represent his town on the board of supervisors, and also occupied the same position the following year,  owing to a tie vote between  Warren Mills and J. L. Savage, the opposing candidates.  In 1860 the people of Cattaraugus County, having confidence in the doctor's integrity, elected him to the office of county treasurer, which responsible position he filled acceptably and well for three years.  He now holds the offices of coroner of the county and of health officer of the corporation, the latter a position of great responsibility and considerable discretionary  power, neither of which Dr. Whitney either neglects or abuses.   He always sustains an independent deportment in the administration of official duties, and, being actuated by a desire to do the best possibly to do the best possibly for the taxpayers, they appreciate his worth, and insist on his retention in office.


            In religion, Dr. Whitney is a Baptist, and far nearly half a century has been an active member of that denomination.   His liberality in religious enterprises and his public spirited activity in secular concerns are alike commendable, and through these qualities, and by reason of his general worth as a citizen, neighbor, physician, and friend, he enjoys a prominent position in the community, and the esteem and respect of all to whom he is known.
























            Although the subject of this memoir was not a native of the county of Cattaraugus, and, indeed, had resided there but a few years, his pre-eminently sterling and attractive qualities of mind and heart had endeared him to every person with whom he came in contact, and his early and sudden decease fell upon every heart with the crushing effect of a personal bereavement.  It is a rare destiny, reserved to the select few among mankind, to be so endowed with gracious attributes as during life to win from all a brotherly love and confidence, and at death to leave a memory which all will cherish with a brother's tender and lasting sorrow.  Mr. Strong was one of the favored few. Brief as was his career, dying as he did in his early prime, his life was a continuous benediction, evidenced and emphasized by the poignant and universal grief that shadowed and enshrined his grave.


            Mr. Strong was born at Woodbourne, in the county of Sullivan (N. Y.), on the 13th day of September, 1834.  He was an offshoot of genuine New England stock, his family being represented in the ante-colonial annals of Massachusetts by Elder John Strong, who, driven by religious persecution from his English home at Taunton, settled near Boston, in 1630.  The family, even in the mother-country, was an ancient one, boasting its coat of arms, which consisted of a mural crown, with an eagle volant and the legend underwritten, "Tentanda via est."  Like most New England families, an irrepressible genius of enterprise impelled the young and ardent spirits of this Puritan household to migrate into more promising fields of adventure, and as a result of this transplanting process some of them sought and found a home in the State of New York.  Austin Strong, the father of Jairus, was born at Ashland, in the county of Greene, in 1799, and his mother, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Bigelow, was a native of the same place.  The same spirit of piety and Christian zeal that prompted the ancestors to sacrifice their worldly ease and comfort and brave the perils of trans-Atlantic life actuated these their descendants, and from the earliest dawn of his intelligence they inculcated into the mind of their son those sentiments and principles of morality which so eminently distinguished the entire current of his history.  With true New England fidelity and care they provided him also with a sound and liberal education, and sought by every means in their power to fit him for the intelligent and conscientious discharge of the duties and responsibilities incident to his approaching manhood. With what success their fostering care was attended, and with what affectionate and appreciative zeal he responded to it, was evidenced by the whole tenor of his pure and useful life.


            His father's feeble health and failing eyesight compelled this son, at the age of nineteen, to assume the entire financial charge and oversight of an extensive tannery, and this was his introduction to a business which he followed through his whole career, and with conspicuous success. The responsibility thus devolved upon him at this early age was a heavy one, but he confronted it with the cheerful courage that formed so prominent a trait of his character, mastered the theory, practice, and details with singular ease and efficiency, and evinced a capacity for business that settled the question of his prosperity at the outset.  With no taint of the rashness or presumption that often detracts from the usefulness of young men placed in positions of authority and trust, his modesty was equal to his merit, and from the first he won the affection and confidence of his men.


            In 1858 he was married to Helen G., the only daughter of Gideon Howard, Esq., then residing at Tanner's Dale, in the county of Sullivan, a lady greatly admired and beloved, who, after having for nineteen happy years filled his household with the radiance of her love, survived to bless their offspring with a mother's tender care. Three interesting children were the fruit of this auspicious union.


            He remained at Black Lake, where his father's tannery was located, till 1864, when he removed to the village of Allegany, in the county of Cattaraugus, and there carried on an extensive tannery until the time of his death.  In the summer of 1877 his business was for a time suspended by the destruction of his establishment by fire, but with characteristic enterprise, while the ruins were still smoking, he commenced the work of reconstruction, and his affairs were again in full and successful operation at the time of his decease. Nor did he confine his attention to this one enterprise. The oil development in that vicinity opened attractive opportunities of investment, of which he availed himself with signal judgment and success.


            Although his principal place of business remained located at Allegany, he removed his residence to the village of Olean, in 1875, purchased an elegant mansion and grounds, and gratified his own taste and that of his neighbors by beautifying and adorning them.  And there, surrounded and made happy by such an aggregate of blessings as rarely falls to the lot of man, and with the seemingly auspicious promise of their continuance for many years to come, he was, on the 18th day of February, 1878, in a moment and with hardly a moment's warning, without the opportunity of gathering the children around him for his benediction or commending his spirit to God who gave it, summoned away from his agonized and awe-struck family and friends forever.


Mr. Strong, though by no means a politician, took nevertheless a warm and intelligent interest in political and governmental questions, and was indeed thoroughly conversant with the current of events.  He was naturally and often, without any intrigue or suggestion on his part, designated for posts of honor and trust.  He was several times elected to the office of supervisor of the town of Allegany during his residence there, and was in 1875 elected on the Democratic ticket to the office of county treasurer, although the usual Republican majority was over fifteen hundred, a position he continued to fill with singular ability and efficiency to the time of his death.  Indeed, to every trust he was true and faithful; and yet, though never sacrificing or compromising the slightest requirement of duty or honor, he so bore himself in all the varied transactions of an active life that acquaintance with him at once and irresistibly quickened into a strong and lasting regard.  There was indeed in his demeanor something singularly winning.  His frank, fresh, open countenance, his hearty and contagious laughter, his genial, whole_souled manner, his quick and generous sympathy, and, in fine, all the emanations of the man, were combined into a potent but gentle force that captivated every one who came within the sphere of his influence.


His capacity for disseminating a wholesome hilarity and of calling into active and competitive play the social forces and proclivities around him was unrivaled. He breathed an atmosphere of jocund and healthy merriment.  From him there radiated a fervent joyousness that imparted warmth to the coldest heart and kindled a cheerful smile on the visage of despondency itself.  His life was a perpetual jubilee, without, however, a taint of cynicism or heartless levity.  But it was in the gracious light of his domestic life, in his benignant character of husband, son, and father, that all his nobel and tender qualities put forth their fullest and most delightful exercise.  Upon his family he lavished a boundless wealth of provident and devoted love, and more precious far than mere earthly riches was the memory of his rare and splendid

nature, --a legacy that profusion cannot waste and time cannot destroy.







            For more than forty years the subject of this sketch has resided in Olean, and in that time has witnessed is transition from a small hamlet to a prosperous and flourishing village and by his industry and enterprise has assisted not a little in effecting this change.  A period of business activity extending over more than half a century, of which four_fifths has been passed in his present place of residence, entitles him at least to a brief mention on  the pages of the history he in his life and character has helped to make.

            Ansel Adams was horn at Oak Hill, in the town of Durham, Green Co., N. Y., July 16, 1804. He is  the son of Thomas and Anna (Thorp) Adams, who were old and respected settles of that  county.

            Mr. Adams was married to Miss Ruth A., daughter of Benjamin and Laura (Hickox) Nichols, on the 4th of March, 1835, and three years afterwards, namely, in the spring of 1838, they removed to Olean, where they have since resided.

            In 1839, Mr. Adams was chosen one of the vestrymen, of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church of Olean, and for the past fourteen years has been its senior warden.  From his arrival here he has been one of the most active and zealous members of that church.

            After an extended mercantile career, Mr. Adams retired on a well-earned competence, and is now, though past the allotted “threescore years and ten," enjoying remarkable good health, which is greatly attributable to a moderate and regular mode of life.  He is generally respected as an upright man and a good citizen.










            Born in Bath, Steuben Co., N. Y., Feb. 22, 1823, Reuben O. Smith was the fourth of seven children.  His father,  Henry Smith, was a native of Dutchess Co., N. Y., but attained his majority in Bradford Co., Pa.., where he married Anna Spaulding, and immediately settled in Bath, where, 'midst privations known only to the pioneers of that time, this honored father and mother reared their seven children and hewed a home from the then unbroken forest.

            With a firm belief in and willing obedience to the divine command, "by the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat thy bread," their home became, from principle as well as by the necessities of the time, one of industry and economy from which went forth this family of sons and daughters thoroughly prepared by precept and example for the exigencies of responsible life, but with slight inheritance save a knowledge of useful labor and the rich and wise counsels of a revered father and saintly mother.

            Through the district school of that day, with a few months at the Athens (Pa..) Academy, Reuben 0., dissatisfied with the unremunerative a farm labor of that period,with the consent of his parents, obtained a situation as clerk in a store; at the village of Avoca, in his native county, and after three years' clerkship at this and one or two other situations, at progressive salaries of thirty, sixty, and ninety dollars per annum, he obtained a more satisfactory situation with Henry Brother at Bath, with whom he remained two years, and then, at the urgent solicitation of

this Honored and respected merchant, who he remembers with nothing but pleasure and gratitude, and with him as a partner, he entered upon his mercantile life at Painted Post, N. Y.   This copartnership continued a successful business for seven years, when it was dissolved by mutual consent .

            Becoming a partner in a large lumbering firm in 1854, he went to Williamsport, Pa., where under his personal supervision was constructed one of the largest water-mills ever built in the country.

            Retiring from this firm in 1856, he soon after took up his residence in Olean, where he in 1852 , he and his younger brother Erastus H., had established the firm of Smith Brothers.   This firm was dissolved in 1859 by the retirement of Erastus H. on account of failing health since which, as sole proprietor or with former clerks raised to a partnership, he has continued in business at Olean.

            The advent of this firm caused a revolution in the then existing methods of business in that village.  It was new departure.  Hitherto credit, and that long continued, had been universal.  No one  thought of paying for goods

when they were bought.  Credit was the idol, the ledger its temple, the merchant the high_priest, the people the votaries, who at this shrine paid burdensome tithes.    A new era, in business opened.  Goods were offered over the counters of this young firm at prrices so low as to, as to attract universal attention and it is safe to say that during the first two years eighty per cent of all cash paid in this vicinity for merchandise was paid to this firm.  But the old merchants were not disposed to sit quietly by and see their business, slip from their hands.   Intrenched behind ample capital, and a thorough knowledge of the country, they accepted the gage of battle, clinging however, to the old methods.  It was no struggle between pigmies.   The strife was prolonged and bitter, and as a consequence prices were greatly reduced.  The public enjoyed the fight and benefited by its results.  One by one the old firms were forced from the field, and of all who were in the dry_goods trade when Smith Brothers commenced business in Olean not one, nor the representative of one, remains at this writing, But this conflict resulted in making Olean a center of trade, and in giving the village an impetus that has placed it among the most important in Western  New York.

            The comparative  insignificant wooden structure in which Smith Brothers commenced business was destroyed by the disastrous fire of 1866 end its place is now occupied by a commodious, well_built and well_appointed brick building of three stories, erected in that year by Mr. Smith all of which is occupied by the present firm, consisting of himself and two of his former clerks.     

            Though previously a Democrat, the struggle in the nation over human slavery from 1848 to1854 disgusted him with the subserviency of that party to the behests, of the slave-power, and he assisted   in the formation of the Republican party, and gave liberally of his money, time, and influence to insure it, final success; and  when the rebellion broke out he was thoroughly aroused and though so far as his business interests were concerned perhaps sometimes unwisely bitter, he never spared a copperhead, or allowed those interests to interfere with his denunciation of the rebels and their Northern allies, while during those four dark and bloody years he gave of his money with unsparing hand to sustain the life of the nation.

            Though often tempted, he has never entered upon the treacherous sea of speculation but confining himself to legitimate business he has guided that business, with a master’s hand, and has reaped the reward which attends industry and application, and fairly won an honorable place among the solid and successful men of the land.

            Many of his former clerks in addition to a practical business training have been materially assisted by him, and are now prosperous merchants elsewhere.

            His wife, a daughter of Judge Lyman Balcom, of Painted Post, is a lady of culture and refinement and the twenty four years of their married life has bound them more closely in mutual love and esteem while the lengthening years of her, residence in Olean but continue to increase the respect and honor in which she is held by a large and continually widening circle of friends.

            This sketch would be incomplete and unsatisfactory to its subject  without further reference re Erastus H.,  his brother and former partner, to whose ability and energy he freely ascribes a large part of the success, which attended their copartnership in Olean   He  was gifted with and exercised a degree of wisdom and fairness not to common among business men, and the geniality and kindness of his social life in 0lean is remembered with pleasure by all who knew him.  Upon his retirement from the firm of Smith Brothers he moved to Towanda Pa.,. and at its organization these brothers both became large stockholders of the First National Bank of that place.  Erastus H. was shortly after its organization elected  president, which post he most acceptably and honorably filled until his death in 1872 .  He died respected and lamented by all who knew him, and most by those who knew him best.

            In conclusion, but with no desire to flatter its subject, the writer of this sketch must be permitted to commend his example to young men, knowing him intimately as he does, and that the habits of strict temperance, industry, and integrity, coupled with a proper degree of economy, followed by Mr. Smith, laid the foundation of and insured his ultimate success.





















            Although not a native of this county nor one of its pioneers, yet, owing to the professional reputation Dr. Bartlett has acquired, no history of the village of Olean would be complete, without some mention of him.  The best years of his life hove been devoted. with unremitting assiduity, to the study and acquisition of perhaps the most important of all the learned professions,-_that of medicine.  The marked success that has attended Dr. Bartlett in his practice is not altogether attributable to his extensive knowledge of his profession, but to a genuine love for it which he has always entertained, and which constituted the principal incentive that led him the choice of  medical career.

            Cornelius H. Bartlett was born at Pine Plains, Dutchess Co., N. Y., May 10, 1825.  He is the third son of Nathaniel and Sarah (Waters) Bartlett, the former of whom was a native of Connecticut, and an influential citizen of the place.  He was a man of an energetic temperament and great force of character, which qualities are reproduced in his son; of whom we write.  He was engaged in the tanning, business at Pine Plains and other places.

            When  the subject of this sketch was about two years of age his parents moved to  Groton, Tompkins Co., N. Y., and there remained about six years, when they removed to Homer, Cortland Co., N. Y.   He obtained his preliminary education at the Groton Academy and completed his literary course at the  Cortland Academy.   After  leaving the latter institution he entered upon the laudable duties of teaching in the  public schools of Homer, in which vocation he continued three years.   He then directed his attention and energies to the study of medicine, entering the office of  Ashbel Patterson, M. D., with whom he remained four years, excepting a short period which It spent in the office of Prof. Caleb Green, M. D.  He subsequently attended a regular course of therapeutical and clinical lectures at Buffalo, and afterwards entered the medical department of the Geneva College.   He received his diploma in June 1849, and immediately entered upon the practice of his profession, locating at Summerhill, Cayuga Co.,N. Y., where he remained about four years.  In May, 1853, he removed to Portville, and soon secured an extensive and lucrative practice.  In June. 1876, he permanently located at Olean, where he had many patrons.   Not only has Dr. Bartlett a large general practice, but so fully does he enjoy the confidence of his fellow -practitioners that he is frequently called in consultation at all points within a radius of thirty miles.  The doctor keeps pace by reading and study, with the  scientific advancements that have been made in medicine of late years.  He takes pleasure in scientific researches, and is always well supplied with the current medical literature.

            Dr. Bartlett has been a member of the Cattaraugus County Medical society since its reorganization, and has twice been called to its presidential chair.  He now occupies a seat in its board of censors.  He was chosen as a delegate to the State Medical Association, and was honored with a like position in the National Association.  As a recognition of his general worth in the profession, he was chosen one of the curators of the Buffalo Medical College, which office he still retains.      

            In delicate cases, where  there is a difficulty in establishing a correct diagnosis, and where a malady assumes a dangerous or obstinate aspect, and in a difficult surgical operations, Dr. Bartletts’s counsel is frequently sought.   In the constant competition which characterizes professional as well as business pursuits, the doctor always retains a gentlemanly deportment and a conscientious courtesy that is one of the most admirable traits of a scholarly and exalted profession.


            While in Summerhill, Dr. Bartlett became acquainted with Miss Sylphia Bennie,  daughter of David Bennie, M. D., whom he married at Portville, this   county, on the 26th of June, 1850.  They have three children,-_two daughters and one son,– the latter now reading medicine with his father, with favorable prospects of a successful professional career.











 was born at Farmersville Cattaraugus Co., N. Y., Feb. 7, 1840.  When quite young his parents removed to Rushford, Allegany Co., N. Y., where he attended the Rushford Academy.  He completed his literary education in 1858, and for the following two or three years he taught school, with marked success.  At the breaking out of the Rebellion he had just attained his majority and was ardent in what he believed was right for the cause of liberty, and was the first in his town to take active measures in getting recruits for the Union army.  He induced some eight or ten other young men to join him, and they chose him captain.   This small party of heroic young men, sanguine in the buoyancy of youth and the ardor of their patriotism, proceeded at once to arouse the enthusiasm of the citizens.  They paraded on horses; went to the woods and obtained a large and beautiful tree, of which they made a liberty_pole; got the ladies interested, so that they made and presented to the little company a flag of the old stars and stripes, which have been the pride of the last century in this “Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.”  They obtained a speaker to make a fitting oration at the raising of the pole, and amid the booming of cannon and the blaze of bonfires they ran up the national flag which many of that noble band afterwards fought gallantly to sustain.

            At first young Woodruff did not consider it his duty to leave home, rather thinking that those older than himself ought to go; but. many expressing, a desire to accompany him, and on the advice of some of his friends, he went. assuming the responsibility as a duty greater even than those of self_interest and love of home.  They were mustered in at Elmira, under Colonel (afterwards General) Slocum, where they remained some time.  Young Woodruff was sent home twice on a recruiting expedition, and each time took a number back with him.  He participated in many battles, was thrice wounded, once quite severely at the battle of Bull Run or at that of Malvern Hill.  His letters home during his service created great excitement, and  many collected at the post_office to hear them read. The descriptions of battles they contained, and the accounts of army life, had a peculiar interest to those at home, while the patriotic sentiment expressed in them tended to keep alive the prevalent enthusiasm of those times.

            On leaving the army, which be did on account of wounds, arid a severe lung disease contracted during his service, young Woodruff  commenced the study of medicine under, C. S. Hurlbut, M. D., of Olean, with whom he remained about three years. In 1866 he entered the Bellevue Hospital Medical College, from which institution be was honorably graduated March 1, 1867, receiving a diploma endorsed by the entire faculty.  He also received a certificate of private instruction in auscultation and percussion from Austin Flint, M. D., and a certificate from Alexander B. Mott, M. D., Professor of Surgery at Bellevue Hospital Medical College,  Chemistry and Toxicology , and also a certificate  from R.  Ogden Doremus, M..D.,  Professor of Chemistry and Toxicology of the same institution.  These all show that Dr. Woodruff became proficient in the various medical sciences indicated.   On returning from New York, Dr. Woodruff purchased the practice of his old preceptor, Dr. Hurlbut, and entered upon the duties of his profession at ()lean, where he remained actively engaged until within a year of his death, and practiced some until the March preceding that sad event.  He loved his profession and adorned it.  He way eminently successful, both as a physician and surgeon, and had he been spared he would undoubtedly have acquired a brilliant reputation.


            Dr. Woodruff married Miss E. M. Charles, daughter of John Charles, and niece of Richard Charles, M. D., of Angelica.  She survives, and is a lady of fine general abilities.

            As showing in a slight measure the esteem in which Dr. Woodruff was held, the quote the subjoined obituary notice of him, from the Titusville Sunday Morning News.

            “His complaint was lung disease, contracted in the service of the United Stares.  He enlisted early in the war, and was sergeant in Company I, of the Twenty_seventh New York volunteers.   He was wounded in battle by a ball in the left leg, which could not be extracted with safety, and was carried for about ten years and buried with his remains. He participated in several battles and was wounded three times, on account of which he received a pension, as a partial compensation for his suffering.  He enlisted from Rushford,  New York, and about eight years ago he came to Olean, for the purpose of a medical examination by Dr. Hurlbut then one of the most skillful physicians who has ever practiced in this part of the country.  The doctor became interested in young Woodruff and gave him an invitation to remain as a student in his office, which was accepted.  From close application to study he made rapid progress in mastering the science of medicine, and graduated at Bellevue Medical College, New York, in the class of 1867, with the highest honors.   He soon because the successor of Dr. Hurlbut in his extensive practice at Olean.  He had a laborious and successful practice of several years, suffering much in the mean time from his wounds and injuries in the army.  For about a year past his failing health has prevented his attending to his professional business.  Dr. Woodruff was a member of  Olean Lodge, and Chapter, F. and A. M.   He leaves a widow and a large circle of relatives and sympathizing friends, who mourn his death as that of a young man of good qualities of heart, fine attainments and promise of future usefulness and success in life.”



 was born Dec. 12, 1811 in Greenfield, Saratoga Co. N. Y., and lived in that town until he was thirteen years of age.  In the fall of 1824 his father moved into Western New York, and settled in what is now Wyoming County, in the town of Castile.  His father took up a new farm, but worked also at his trade, -making wagons.  Working with his father he soon learned  to make a good wagon, and be the time tie was sixteen years old had the most of that kind of work to do.  His opportunities for an education were not very promising, as he only had the privilege of attending district school about two months each winter until seventeen years. old, but be dint of application during odd hours anti evenings, he acquired education sufficient to pass a rigid examination and obtain a certificate to teach a district school, and commenced teaching the winter he was nineteen years of age.  As a measure of his success as a teacher it may be remarked that, while the average !

 wages for teaching was about fourteen dollars a month, he easily obtained twenty.

            At the age of twenty-one years he was elected school commissioner for the town of Castile, and assisted in organizing and arranging the school districts of the town.  When the office of commissioner was abolished, he was elected superintendent of schools for the town.  He held the office of justice of the peace nearly four terms, until he moved from the place.   He also represented the town on the board of supervisors a number of years, and served as chairman of the board.

            He was married, Jan. 7, 1835 to Miss Elizabeth Tallman, daughter of Giles Tallman, a farmer and early settler of  the town of Castile, and the prosperity of her husband is owing much to her good judgement, skill, and economy.  They have but two children living., D. C. Conklin, the efficient and popular junior partner of the Conklin Wagon-Works, and Mrs. Anna Conklin Ross, wife of L. P. Ross, Esq., of Rochester, N. Y.

            In the fall of 1843 he removed to the village of Castile, and, in the spring following, bought a little place on which was a blacksmith-shop, built a small wagon-shop, and commenced business on a limited scale.  He had not much means, but plenty of push and ambition, and had already quite a reputation for making good work, and had an intimate acquaintance with most of the best citizens of  the town.  He was obliged to enlarge from time to time, until he had a large establishment under his control.   He sold extensively in and about Olean, becoming well acquainted with the business men of the place, and at that time marked it as one of the best points for his business in Western New York.  Hon. R. White was his first agent in Olean, after his death Justus White, afterwards Cary & White.  Mr. Cary is still living, and the firm acknowledge many kind favors from him personally.  He finally concluded to remove the works to Olean, and came on here in 1860 and built a shop, and in the fall of that year the machinery and stock were removed, and manufacturing commenced in Olean, and the business has gradually increased to its present proportions.

            It has been no small task to work this business up to its present magnitude; both members of the firm have worked incessantly with-out rest for eighteen years.  Mr. Conklin could most always be  found working some one of the machines, when: he would accomplish as much or more than a journeyman, besides at the same time attending to all the. details of the factory.   He is still in vigorous health, found at his place of business daily, and capable of doing a large amount of labor.   Mr. Conklin is rather retiring, not fond of show, not seen much on the street or in society.  He is quick in his judgment and decisions, and decided in his opinions.  He hopes to live long enough to see the works still doubled or trebled, and in a new building of sufficient magnitude, and arranged and equipped according to plans that his long experience has suggested.

























            Dewitt C. Conklin was horn June 28, 1837, in the village of Castile, Wyoming Co., N. Y.   He is the oldest son of William Conklin and junior partner of the Conklin Wagon-Works in Olean.

            He attended the district school in his native village, and was noted for his quiet demeanor and strict attention to his studies.  From the district school he entered the select school kept by  Davis W. Smith, in the village ,one of the ablest educators and teachers in  Western New York at that time.

            He left this school with a good English education. The mechanical skill and sound judgement developed at this time gave promise of more than common manhood.   He was early set to work in his father’s office and became a correct accountant, and was soon capable of directing the business of a large establishment. He was taken into partnership when twenty-one years of age, and when it was decided to remove the works to Olean the closing of the business and removing the machinery and stock fell to him, while the senior partner removed to Olean to build and prepare for its reception.  His share of this laborious task was: performed in a very efficient and satisfactory manner.

            He was married, Nov. 5, l859, to Miss Hester Fuller, a young lady of good education, and daughter of Elijah Fuller, a prominent farmer near Castile village.  They have three children.  He moved with his family to 0lean, late in the fall of 1860.  Mr. Conklin is a hard worker.  During a number of years after he came to Olean be acted as engineer, and at same time would run some one of the machines, doing nearly the labor of two men, and there are but few men that accomplish as much business daily as himself.  He takes upon himself the book-keeping, shipping work, ordering and assorting up stock, also the financial matters of the works, all of which he performs with excellent ability.

            He is now in his early prime, affable and courteous, and lives some-what retiring; not inclined to show off, with a temper extremely even.  Clear from the habits of the use of tobacco or intoxicating liquors, popular as a man in every respect, the pride of friends, and idol of his family.

























elder son of .Judge James Brooks, was born on the old homestead in the town of Olean Nov. 16, 1818.  In the days of  his youth the country was comparatively new, so that his opportunities for learning were meagre. He attended the district schools, however, and there obtained the rudiments of an education,  which one term at Smethport  Academy and subsequent of self-study and observation largely augmented.  He spent most of his life at farming and lumbering, the latter of which he followed more or less for forty years, generally with good success.

            On the 15  of September, 1846, be married Harriet  L., daughter of Barnabus Hastings, Esq., of Sardinia Erie Co., N. Y.  She was born Sept. 17, 1820.   They have raised an interesting family of four children, of whom the two sons are deceased..   Their names, with the dates of their birth, are as follows:

            Willard H.,born Nov. 8, 1847; died Dec 13, 1863.  He was a promising youth, and in him was reproduced a spark of the old patriotism that his great grandfather, Cornelius Brooks the old revolutionary hero, possessed for on the breaking out of the Rebellion he, when not more than fifteen years: of age,  wanted very much to accompany his uncle, Colonel Enos C. Brooks, to the front.

            Mary E. was born Sept. 11, 1849.  Married Frank C. Burlingham  Sept.1, 1875.

            Luella K., was born May 21, 1854.   Married Charles S. Hubbard April 2, 1877.

            James T., was born Aug. 11, 1866; died Sept 19, 1860.


            Mr. Brooks has always been an advocate  and strong supporter of the temperance cause, as his respected father was before him.  He is an active and zealous member of the Presbyterian Church, of which he at present occupies the position of elder.

            In politics Mr. Brooks is a Republican, but has never sought political preferment .  In 1859 .he was elected to the office of coroner, and several terms has served as one of the assessors of his town; also as an inspector of election.

            In 1877, Mr. Brooks became the proprietor of the Olean Pottery, which he has since conducted with, considerable success.  This is decidedly one of the chief manufacturing interests of Olean, and is more fully noticed in the history proper, of Olean, under the head of “Manufacturing Interests”

            In public as well as in private life, the chief characteristics of Mr. Brooks, have been his enterprise, industry and  integrity.   No man can successfully impung his honor, and his name is above reproach.  Faithful to every trust imposed in him, constant in his friendship, and true in his dealings with his fellow-men, he occupies a prominent place in the estimation of the people, and an honored position among the best citizens of the place.





























third son of Judge James and Betsey Brooks, and grandson of the well_known and prominent pioneer Cornelius Brooks, was born in the town of Olean, Sept. 4, 1823.  He received the principal part of his education at the public schools finishing his literary studies at the Lima Seminary, at Lima, Livingston Co., N. Y.   Immediately after leaving the latter institution he turned his attention to the study of law as a profession. and on Sept. 4, 1850, entered the law_office of Roderick White, of Olean, and three years thereafter emerged forth, an applicant for legal recognition.  Accordingly, on September 4, 1853  he passed the necessary examination at the general term of the Supreme Court, held at Angelica, and was admitted to practice.  He continued actively engaged in his profession until 1856, in which year his library and office effects were destroyed fire.   He then served one term as deputy sheriff of Cattaraugus County.

            June 15, 1853 , he  married Miss Margaret A. Hill, of Olean, by whom he bad three children, namely: Ida J, born Nov.12, 1855;  married, Oct. 30, 1878 to Asa C. Couse, of Maine, Broome Co., N.. Y.   James E., born June 12, 1858, and died Aug 11. 1865.  Maude D. born Jan 10, 1869. 

            Politically, Colonel Brooks started out in life as a Democrat, casting his first ballot for James K. Polk.  On the organization of the Republican party he espoused its principles, and remained a member of it until 1872, when be voted  for Horace Greeley for the Presidency.

            At the breaking out of  the Rebellion, in 1861, Colonel Brooks at once took an active part in its suppression, and continued until the close of the conflict to do all in his power to sustain the Union that his forefathers fought to inaugurate.  We subjoin a  brief sketch of Colonel Brooks’ military history.

            In 1853, Colonel Brooks was commissioned major of the 64th Regiment New York State Militia.   On Aug. 17 1861, his regiment was accepted as a part of the quota of the state, and on the 28th of  November following he was regularly mustered in.  The organization and recognition of that regiment. was due to the exertions of Colonel Brooks, who through its varied service, remained with it until wounded at the battle of Fredericksburg, Dec. 13, 1862.

            Among the engagements in which the colonel participated might be mentioned those of Seven Pines, May 31,1862; Fair Oaks, June 1,1862; Malvern Hill July 1, 1862.  After this battle Colonel Brooks had an attack of typhoid fever, and was obliged to ask for a leave of absence for thirty days.  At the expiration of this he returned, and met his regiment at Arlington Heights, Aug 29, 1862; then marched through Maryland, and participated in the battle of South Mountain;then led the advance from South Mountain to Antietam, commanding the regiment.  After the battle of Antietam moved on to Loudon Heights, near Harper’s Ferry, at which place, his gallant conduct in prior engagements having been favorably reported, he received his commission as lieutenant_colonel; after which he continued with his  regiment and went with the Army of the Potomac, under General Burnside, commander-in-chief.  He took an active part in the battle of Fredericksburg, where be was dangerously wounded by a ball passing through his left shoulder, Dec. 13, 1862.  He received a leave of absence until April, 1863, and was then assigned to duty as a provost- marshal of Western New York, under General Diven, at Elmira, and by him appointed  inspector of draft for eleven Congressional districts.  He continued in that position until January 8, 1864; was afterwards placed on duty as commandant of Barrack No. 1, at Elmira.  On May 4, 1864, reported to Washington, and was honorably discharged.  On December 28  following he was made Commissioner of Enrollment, and so continued until the close of the war.


            In the fall of 1867, Colonel Brooks was elected county clerk.  He is now serving his second term as a justice of the peace.   From February, 1876, to March, 1877, he served as clerk in the State prison in Clinton Co., N. Y.   In these positions be has exercised sound judgment and a desire to fulfill the duties incumbent upon him; and that he succeeded  is shown by the general satisfaction evinced by the people at large.











[3] His son, George VAN CAMPEN, Sr., has now in his possession the compass used by this father to shape his course through the then almost impassable forests.

[4] See under head of “Olean Post Office.”

[5] For further information concerning Judges Martin and Porter, see under head of “The Bar.”

[6] See biographic sketch and portrait of Col. Johnson.

[7] Chap. 566, Laws 1868, Sec. 2, amends this section by changing the west boundary line as follows:

                “Beginning at the north bank of the Allegany River at the south end of Seventh Street, as described on a map of the village made by T. J. GOSLINE; running thence north, on the east side of said street, to the north line of township No. 1, in the fourth range of the Holland Land Company’s Purchase.”

[8] See fuller particulars in the general history of the county, and under head of “Internal Improvements.”

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