HISTORY OF CATTARAUGUS COUNTY, NEW YORK
Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of its Prominent
Men and Pioneers.
L.H. Everts, 1879, Edited by Franklin Ellis
Transcribed from pages 484-495 by Claudia Patterson
Leon is the third from the north of the towns in the western tier of
the county. It embraces all of township 4, in the ninth range of the Holland
surrey, and is bounded north by Dayton; east, by New Albion; west by Chautauqua
County; and on the south by Connewango. It was erected from the latter
town, April 24, 1832, and derived its name from the ancient kingdom of
Leon, in Spain. It is said that James Waterhouse suggested this as being
a complementary term to Castile, Monroe Co. from which he and other settlers
came. The area is 23,023 acres.
The surface in many parts of the town is broken by moderate hills,
but in the northwest and along the western border is level and of a marshy
nature. Much of the land here is subject to overflow, and is not valuable
for farming purposes. The soil is variable, being a clay, sandy, or a gravelly
loam. It is generally productive and susceptible of a high degree of cultivation.
The drainage of the town is afforded by the Connewango and its tributary
streams, the principal one being the east branch of that creek. This flows
from New Albion through the northeastern part of the town, into Dayton,
and after uniting with another, affluent, has a southwesterly course through
the northwest part of Leon. Flowing from the east, south of the center
of the town, with a general southwesterly course, is Mud
Creek. This was formerly known as Butternut Creek from the timber growing
on its bunks, and is yet the better terms; for the stream is rapid, clear,
and has a gravelly bed. It affords several mill sites. The other streams
do not generally admit of improvement for manufacturing. Numerous springs
abound, and the water-supply is ample for domestic uses. On the hilly portion
of Leon the timber growth w not so heavy as in some parts of the county,
but was generally a good quality for fuel and building purposes in the
southwestern part of the town a good building stone is procured from ledges
along the creek, which have lately been developed.
The books of the Holland Land Company, in 1818, contained the names
of Edmund Dudley, James Franklin, James Franklin, Jr.. John Dye, Nathaniel
Cooper, Nathan Skinner, Asher Glover, and Harlon Beach, as contractors
for land in the present town of Leon. Some of these also, were
THE PIONEER SETTLERS.
The first to permanently locate were James Franklin and his son, James.
They came from Monroe County, in September 1818, and settled on lot 50,
where they put up a log house that season, the first in town. Both died
in town the latter about 1848. Many descendants of the Franklins live in
The same season came Abner Wise and his son, Abner Wise, from Otsego
County, and settled on 160 acres of lot 49. The former was generally called
Capt. Wise. His wife was the first white woman in town. She died at the
age of seventy-seven years. Capt. Wise died about 1838, and his son moved
to Waupan, Wis.
Thomas W. Cheney, at that time but a lad fifteen years old, came with
the Wines from Otsego County, and selected 200 acres on lot 48. He joined
Abner W. in building a shanty, in which they lived part of the winter of
1818—19, and cleared their lands. When the weather became too severe they
went to some relatives in Chautauqua County, but returned early the next
spring and resumed work. Cheney became a minister of the Reformed Methodist
Church about 1828, and was ordained a few years later. Subsequently, he
became a Wesley-an, and held the position of presiding elder in that denomination.
He is yet a resident of lot 49, and is the only survivor of those who came
in first. A son, T. Apoleon, became a very learned man, and wrote several
books on geology, which were received with favor in this country and in
Europe. The fellowship of several royal colleges was bestowed on him for
his learning and research. He died at Seneca Lake, in 1878.
In the spring of 1819, Edmund Dudley came from Monroe County, and selected
the west part of lot 41, on which he built a shanty, and then went back
to his old home for his family. Returning in the fall, he passed through
Ellicottville, and called at the Holland Company’s office to article his
land. The agent, on learning that Dudley had a barrel of whisky among his
effects, told him that he might have the laud for half his whisky. To this
proposition Dudley assented, and in this way was the first land in Leon
articled. No other land was articled until 1822, when Nathaniel Cooper
and Daniel Dye articled lot 45. The other settlers coming about that period
had their lands “booked to them on the simple promise that they would make
certain improvements in a given time, prior to articling or making a purchase.
Dudley sold his land in 1843, but remained in this part of the country,
and died at Rutledge.
Robert Durfee, a native of Rhode Island, moved to Mayville about 1812.
In 1819 became to Leon and” booked” parts of lots 50 and 57, - 100 acres
on each lot. In the spring of 1820 he brought on his family, — wife and
two children. The younger of these, Edwin C., at that time six weeks old,
is yet a resident on the homestead, and is the second oldest resident in
town. The elder Durfee died on this place in December 1859.
Otis L. Durfee, a brother of Robert, came in 1820, and settled on lot
57. Seven years thereafter he moved to Crawford Co., PA, where he became
a Baptist clergyman.
The same year came Asa Franklin, and settled on lot 46 and there, a
few years later, opened the first tavern in town. He moved to Erie County.
Wm. Bartlett also came in 1820, and settled on lot 49 He was a millwright
by trade, and helped on some of the first mills in these parts. He left
the town in 1840.
Alexander Oathout, from Rigs, came in 1820, and lived for a time
on the Cheney place, and John Bigler settled on lot 50. After many yean
be removed to Chautauqua County.
On lot 45, settled, this year, Harlow Beach, — Holt, Ireneus Baldwin,
Wm. Morrison, and a few others, all of whom removed before 1830, some of
them settling in adjoining towns in Cattaraugus County.
Luanan Coe settled on lot 27 the same time as the above, and lived
there until his death, in 1875. Mrs. Coe was sister of the noted politician,
Charles D. Shepard. A son, Henry Coe, now occupies the place.
Nathaniel Cooper, a native of New Hampshire, came from Monroe
County about 1821, and settled on lot 45, the whole of which he and Daniel
Dye articled the following year. Cooper died June 26, 1855, but a son,
E. W. Cooper, lives on the old Wise place, and is the third oldest resident
Elisha Cooper, a brother of Nathaniel, settled on lot 53 living there
until his death. Andrew W., a son, now occupies the homestead.
Daniel Brand, a youth, from the town of Perrysburg, was indentured
to the Coopers, and grew to manhood in that family. Since 1831 he has lived
on lot, on the firm which formerly belonged to John Cooper,—also an early
settler,—and is one of the oldest citizens of Leon.
In 1821, Hazeltine Streeter, from Riga, settled on lot 51, Eber Franklin
on lot 52, and Richard Oathout on lot 43. He lived here many years, teaching
the first school in town, and, in 1825, put up the first frame building,
on the farm now occupied by Leroy Rideout. He moved to Pennsylvania. A
number of settlers came to this locality this year. But few of them remained
any great length of time. Among these may be named Levi Sikes, A. McDonell,
Stephen Parish, John Battles, and — Hill.
In 1822, Ichabod Franklin and his son Whitman settled on lot 43, Oliver
Pool on the same lot, Philip Bigler on lot 28, Alpheus Stearns on lot 51.
The same year the Rev. Ezra Amadon, a Reformed Methodist, from Onondaga
County, settled on lot 56. In the course of years he removed to Wisconsin,
where he died; but his son Ezra still resides in town, and is one of the
John N. Keirstead, a soldier of 1812, came from Ulster County, in 1822,
and settled on lot 28, where he yet lives , - the fourth oldest resident
In 1823, Caleb Fairbanks, Norman Coe, Artemas Fairbanks, Fuller Gould,
and one or two others located at Leon Center. All of these are dead except
Coe, who is a resident of Cherry Creek.
On lot 27, Samuel Daniels settled, in 1823. He had sons named Samuel
and Cyrus, who figured in the affairs of the town.
David Ross settled on lot 25 this year (1823). Of his sons, Ahiman
is still a resident of the town.
Zenas Barton located on lot 1; removed about 1830, but returned
and died on this place.
Salem Town, father of Lyman, Samuel, Freeman, William, Salem,
and Sylvanus Town, settled on lot 33, and was a neighbor of Benedict Russell,
who put up one of the first good houses in that section.
About this period Ebenezer Collar settled at what afterwards became
About 1825, Gustavus Warner, an o8icer of the State militia, settled
on lot 39, and Gaylord and Ashbel Kellogg, brothers, on lot 47. The latter
came from Central New York. Their descendants yet live here, and have occupied
prominent places in the town. Doras and Josephus Ingersoll came from Wyoming
County, and settled on the south part of lot 16. A son, Richard Ingersoll,
still resides on this place. Josephus removed to the southern part of Dayton.
A year or so later Justin Wells and his sons, Justin H. and James,
and Richard Darling, settled on Wells Hill.
The Kendall families, on lots 6 and 14, came from Ot5Co_ County about
1828, and after living in town a number of years removed to the West. Charles
Keyser settled on lot 4 about the same time. Charles D. Keyser yet lives
in that locality.
Benjamin Mosher was a prominent early settler in this part of the town,
and his family have remained identified with the interests of Leon to this
John Easton, from Wyoming, came about 1830, and lived for a while in
an unoccupied school-house, but finally settled on lot 16. He died at this
place in 1856. Erasmus, the youngest son, lives in the town of New Albion;
and Ahimaaz occupies the homestead farm.
So many settlers came in about this period it will not be possible
to note them here in detail. Most of them were poor but energetic, and
determined to acquire homes. How well they succeeded is clearly attested
by the subjoined list of citizens owning improved property in 1833:
Lot Value Lot Value
Amadon, Samuel 51 $15 Johnson, Alvah 49 $25
Amadon, Ezra 49 35 Kierstead,John N. 28 30
Barton, Fry 44 45 Kendall, Willaim 6 40
Blasdel1, Nathaniel 29 40 Kendall, James 14 40
Baker, Augustus 38 35 Kelly, Benjamin 17 35
Baker, Freeman 31 4 Kellogg, Gaylore 47 100
Bishop, Elisha 58 20 Kellogg, Ashbel 47 30
Bishop, James E 51 8 Keyser;Charles 4 100
Barby, Joseph 43 10 Leach, Levi 43 100
Bigler, John S 10 10 Lang, John 43 20
Cooper, Nathaniel 45 20 Low, Abrabam 10 32
Cooper, John 44 30 Mills, Moses 40 35
Cooper, Elisha 53 30 Morse, M 38 30
Coe, Luman 37 125 Mills, Thomas 40 35
Coe, James 37 35 Morgan, Newell 36 50
Coe. Korman 36 15 McClellan, A. 40 50
Carpenter, Stephen 9 15
Noyes, James 42 50
Chapin, Chester 58 50 Noyes, Fred 35 50
Doster, Charlie 46 10 Noyes, Thomas 35 45
Daniels, Samuel 40 50 Noyes, Johnson 27 25
Daniels, Cyrus 19 100 Portter, Wilber 16 6
Dye, Elisha 45 28 Phillips, John C 7 6
Day, Alvin 22 100 Perkins, W. 23 6
Day, Ahira 22 100 Pool, Oliver 43 20
Dudley, Edmund 41 45 Rideout, N. 53 20
Durfee, Robert 57 32 Ross, David 25 25
Durfee, John 57 30 Ross,Thomas 26 10
Easton, John 16 105 Ross,Ahiman 25 10
Edwards, David 12 35 Russell,Benedict 32 60
Edwards, Samuel 12 30 Shannon, Samuel 36 20
Eastman, Josiah 19 35 Southwick, Benjamin 37 55
Fitch, Daniel 30 35 Sanders, Ira 45 55
Fairbanks, Joshua 50 36 Solomon, George 29 55
Fairbanks, Thompson 49 5 Sanders, Clark 44 35
Fairbanks, Caleb 49 38 Sanders, William 4535
Franklin, Ichabod 43 20 Sloeum, Eleazer 43 30
Franklin, Whitman 43 20 Seeley,Cyrus 25 10
Franklin, Eber 51 25 Sweet, George W. 13 10
Franklin. Daniel 50 25 Thompson, Jabez 42 1,500
Falen, Charles 35 25 Thomas,James 44 30
Fenton, William 43 6 Town, Lyman 49 40
Fuller, Owen 6 38 Town, Salem 33 40
Gould, Jesse 28 38 Thayer,A 7 5
Green, Am 42 70 Yan Tassel, Nicholas 2 15
Grecn. Alanson 53 70 Whiting, David 35 50
Grover, Asber 27 40 Wise, AbnerW 49 180
Greeley, Clifton 43 40 Wileox, James 50 35
Gibosn, Calvin 9 25 Warner, Gustavus 39 35
Harmon, Simeon 51 55 Wells, James 32 40
Hubbard, Gates 46 35 Wells, Justin 24 34
Ingersoll, Doras 16 20 Wilson, Jospeh W. 36 40
Ingersoll, Josephus 8 25 Williams, David 5 15
Johnson, John 42 25
The population of the town is not as great at present as twenty
years ago. The decrease is shown by a comparison of 1860 and 1875. At the
former period, the town contained 1399 inhabitants, against 1201 at the
Edward Dudley, a son of Edmund Dudley, was born July 3, 1820, -and
this was the first birth in town. He grew to manhood in Leon, then removed
to Buffalo, where he still resides. It. may be noted, in this connection,
that a se\"'ere frost occurred about this time, completely cutting down
the grain and vegetables of the pioneers, in consequence of which some
hardship ensued. Other early births were Philena, daughter of Asa Franklin;
Laura, daughter of John Fairbanks; and Latty, daughter of Abner W. Wise.
In 1820, Abner W. Wise married Laura. Davison, of Connewango; in 1824,
Ira Fish, of Mansfield, was united in wedlock with Julia Collar; and the
same year Alexander Ross married Maria Dudley. Mr. Ross died a few years
ago, but his widow still resides in town.
In 1823, Ezra Amadon erected a frame barn, the first in town; the second
was built in 1824 by Samuel Daniels. The first frame house was put up in
1825, on Riga Street, lot 43, by Richard Oathout. It was intended for a
store, but was never occupied for this purpose.
The first election was held March 5, 1833, at the house of Amasa Green,
when the officers elected were: Supervisor, James Waterhouse; Town Clerk,
Eleazer Slocum; Assessors, John Easton, David B. Whiting, Thomas Noyes;
Collector, John Carpenter; Justices, Joshua Fairbanks, Justin Wells, David
Sweet, John Cooper; Commissioners of Highways, Wm. Kendall, Ahiman Ross,
Theop. Fairbanks; Constables, John Carpenter, Justin W. Wells, Luther Kendall;
Overseers of the Poor, John N. C. Kierstead, Ezra Amadon; Sealer of Weights,
Since the first meeting, the principal officers have been as follow:
Supervisors Town Clerks
1834 John Cooper Eleazer Slocum
1835 James Waterhouse Jabez Thompson
1836 John Cooper "
1837 Gustavus Warner John Cooper
1838 " "
1839 " Eleazer Slocum
1840 John Cooper Nathaniel Cooper
1841 " "
1842 " Harvey H. Holmes
1843 " "
1844 " "
1845 Gaylord Kellogg "
1846 Wm. H. Andrews "
1847 " "
1848 John Long "
1849 " William Hurd
1850 Ezra W. Cooper "
1851 " George Shannon
1852 " Ahiman Ross
1853 John Cooper Ellery Stone
1854 Gaylord Kellogg "
1855 Ara Barton "
1856 " Anthony Day
1857 James Casten Ira R. Jones
1858 " Anthony Day
1859 Isaac N. Smith John Fancher
1860 " Anthony Day
1861 Wm. Fancher William Hurd
1862 Edwin C. Durfee "
1863 " "
1864 " Rufus A. Kellogg
1865 John F. Mosher Wm. O. Tyler
1866 " Anthony Day
1867 Herman V. Ingersoll Edgar Shannon
1868 " "
1869 Edgar Shannon H. J. Trumbull
1870 " H. J. V. Smith
1871 Thomas Caneen Edward W. Clark
1872 " "
1873 John A. Seekins Almon L. Day
1874 Herman V. Ingersoll "
1875 Edgar Shannon "
1876 James F. Town "
1877 John F. Mosher John E. Caneen
1878 Herry J.T rumbull "
JUSTICE OF THE PEACE
1834 David Sweet 1858 David Long
1835 Joshua Fairbanks Moses McMillan
1836 Fred Noyes 1859 Edwin C. Durfee
1837 Ashbel L. Kellogg 1860 Moses McMillan
1861 Almon L. Day
1838 Wm. Randall 1862 David Long
1839 Xury Blodgett Leonard Clark
1840 Fred Noyes 1863 Wm. N. Herrick
John Carpenter 1864 Moses McMillan
1841 Benj. Southwick 1865 Curtis Thompson
1842 Michael Brenenstuhl 1866 Miles Coe
1843 doras Ingersoll David Long
1844 Fred Noyes 1867 Moses McMillan
1845 John Long 1868 E. C. Durfee
Ashbel Kellogg David Jones
1846 John Long 1869 Gabriel J. Wood
1847 Doras Ingersoll 1870 H. M. Hunt
1848 Fred Noyes 1871 H. V. Ingersoll
1849 Corydon Morgan 1872 David Jones
Jonn Carpenter 1873 Albert L. Palmer
1850 John B. Fairbanks 1874 Melville M. Evarts
1851 doras Ingersoll Gilbert L. Mosher
1852 John Rhodes 1875 George W. Press
1853 Corydon Morgan 1876 Marcus W. Cooper
1854 Edwin C. Durfee 1877 Almon L. Day
1855 Harrison Judd 1878 Wm. S. Easton
1856 Leonard Clark
1857 Almon L. Day
One of the oldest roads in Leon is locally known as Riga Street, 80
called from the place where those living on it came from,-Riga, Monroe
Co. It was located principally to accommodate local travel, and after the
Jamestown road was opened that became the principal thoroughfare, and is
yet the chief highway of the town. Other roads were early located to the
different settlements, and worked to the extent of the means of' the town,
the appropriations for this purpose usually being very liberal. In 1833
there were 11 principal roads and 22 districts. The overseers were:
No. 1 Alexander Ross No. 12 Amasa Green
No. 2 Luther Kendall No. 13 John Noyes
No. 3 Charles d. Kiser No. 14 Reuben Ross
No. 4 James Wells No. 15 Fry Barton
No. 5 Alvah Johnson No. 16 Marvin Morse
No. 6 Charles Butterfield No. 17 Daniel Bennett
No. 7 James Ridout No. 18 Samuel Town
No. 8 Thomas Mills No. 19 Ezra Amadon
No. 9 Asa Thayer No. 20 Leonard Clark
No. 10 Samuel Franklin No. 21 David Sweet
No. 11 Elisha Cooper No. 22 George W. Sweet
In 1878 there were 26 road districts, and most of the highways were
in a passable condition. The town has no railway within her bounds, but
by means of the Buffalo and Southwestern Railroad, in the town adjoining
on the west, easy communication is afforded. The old Erie and New York
City Railroad was projected through the western part of the town, along
Laura, a daughter of Capt. John Fairbanks, died in 1821, and was interred
on lot 49, on the ground where is now a cemetery. This was the first death
in town, and as there was no officiating minister, the services at the
burial were conducted by Thomas Northrup, of Connewango, who came in his
pioneer attire and barefooted to attend the funeral. The next death was
that of Henry Stearns, a child of Alpheus Steams, who was so severely scalded,
in 1823, that it resulted fatally. In 1824, Mercy Gould, a widow, living
at Abner Wise's, died, and was also interred on lot 49, which at that time
was covered with forest-trees. Half an acre was finally set aside for a
grave-yard by James Franklin, which has been enclosed with a stone fence,
and is kept in good condition by the- people living in that locality.
The Leon Center Cemetery was the next opened. It contains about an
acre of ground, subject to the same conditions as the above.
The East Leon Cemetery embraces a finely-located tract of ground, three-eighths
of an acre in extent, purchased from the farm of Ahimaaz Easton. It is
well fenced, and is under the supervision of the" East Leon Cemetery Association."
This body was organized March 18, 1878, with the following board of officers:
Richard Ingersoll, President; Cyrus Ingersoll, Secretary; Richard Easton,
Treasurer; Ahimaaz Easton, Erasmus Easton, Walker Ingersoll, Denzil Ingersoll,
Cyrus Ingersoll, George Mosher, and Frank Judd, Trustees.
Many dead from the old burial-ground in the town of Dayton were transferred
to this cemetery, but a child of Richard Easton was the first interred.
There are other places for burial in the town, but the above constitute
the principal ones.
THE MANUFACTURING INTERESTS
of Leon were limited by the water-power to a few of the commoner industries
until many years after its settlement, when steam was employed. The first
improvement was made on lot 42, in the summer of 1826. Ebenezer Collar
put up a saw-mill, which stood nearly on the site of the present grist-mill
on Mud Creek. This became the property of Johnson Noyes in 1828, who put
in a small run of stones for grinding corn and rye.
In 1829, he put up a distillery at this point, which was carried on
six or seven years, and a small factory for woolcarding and cloth-dressing.
The latter was operated about ten years by Noyes and the subsequent owner.
After 1830, Jabez Thompson purchased these interests and erected a
grist-mill, a portion of the frame of which is yet used, and the place
was the scene of considerable activity, being known as Leon Mills. In 1842,
the dam was removed in consequence of the over flow of the contiguous land,
and the stream led to the mill by means of a
race more than half a mile long. In this way good power is afforded,
considering the volume of water. This has always been the only grist-mill
in town, and has had among its owners James N. Allen, David Lang, Hunt
& Shannon, Eri Aldrich, and H. N. Hubbell.
On the same stream, Abner W. Wise put up a saw-mill, near the great
spring, in 1838, which was sold to Lyman Town; and while the property of
Ezra Amadon, was burned. Here, also, the overflow was too great to longer
utilize the power, and the site was abandoned. About 1845, Ezra Amadon
got in operation a mill on the race west of the above place, which, after
many changes of ownership, was last operated by E. C. Durfee.
On lot 35, Daniel B. Whiting put up a saw-mill, in 1832, which was
operated by C. W. Dexter, Benjamin Southwick, and others. This mill is
at present idle. In 1845, Mathew Franklin got in operation a saw-mill at
Peace Vale, which has been rebuilt, and since 1858 has been the property
of J. C. Green. It can cut 3000 feet per day.
In 1861, Judd & Babcock started a steam saw-mill at East Leon,
which had good machinery and a large cutting capacity. The mill was burned
down, and the engine removed to Leon Center, in 1875, by John A. Seekins,
where he put up a lumber-manufacturing establishment, and also supplied
a run of stones for grinding corn. This, too, was destroyed by fire in
In the northwestern part of the town a steam mill was operated about"
1864, which was removed; and on lot 48, Butcher & Keyser put up a steam
mill of good capacity, in 1875, which is at present operated by John G.
were erected in different parts of the town as soon as dairying began
to engross the attention of the people so as to become the leading industry.
The plan of manufacturing on the co-operative principle, or in common,
has proved very satisfactory.
Be East Leon Factory was built in 1866 by Jenks & Ross, and
is operated by them as No.1 in their list of factories. The building is
40 by 100 feet, with a wing 40 by 50 feet. The factory was formerly more
extensively operated than at present, and converted the milk of 1000 cows.
At present there are 14 patrons, owning 300 cows.
The Leon Center Factory was established the same year, 1866, by Hunt
& Cancen, in a two-story building, 30 by 120 feet. It was subsequently
operated by Trumbull & Hubbard, Hubbard & Smith, S. B. Griffith,
and at present by Jenks & Ross, as factory No.2. There are 41 patrons,
who furnish the milk of 500 cows, from which are manufactured daily 14
full cream-cheeses, and butter in season.
The North Leon Factory, near Wells Hill was built in 1869 by Wells
& Thompson, and was first operated by them, making 12 cheeses per day.
The present product is not so large. The milk of 250 cows, owned by 20
patrons, is consumed. Wm. Thompson is the operator.
Be Ackley Factory, east from Leon Center, was put up by G. S. Mosher,
and operated by him one year, when Albert Ackley became the proprietor.
It is supplied with two vats, and manufactures the milk of 200 cows.
The Keyser Hill Factory was built, in 1875, by the farmers of that
section, and is at present owned by Abednego Butcher. The yearly product
is about 40,000 pounds of cheese, which finds a ready sale.
The Peace Vale Factory, at present Jenks & Ross No. 7, was
built, in 1870, by S. B. Griffith. Edward Van Dusen operates it for
the proprietors, manufacturing seven full cream-cheeses per day. There
are 10 patrons.
The South Leon Factory, built in 1872, by B. G. Hubbard, on lot 49,
contains one vat, in which is manufactured the milk of 125 cows. Since
1875 it has been included .in the Jenks & Ross list, and is known as
No.5. Near by is The Leon Creamery, erected in the spring of 1878, by Mahlon
L. Cowley, at a cost of nearly $4000. The factory site contains three acres,
including the fine spring in this locality. This has but few equals in
the county, furnishing a large volume of pure, cool water, which is utilized
in the creamery to reduce the milk to a uniform temperature. The main building
is 28 by 58 feet, two stories high, and a hasement, which is neatly walled,
and forms a splendid cellar. There is also a wing of the same height whose
dimensions are 26 by 28 feet. The power is furnished by a 14 horsepower
engine, and drives a chum, whose capacity is 390 gallons. Thirty-three
tubs of butter are made per week, and cheese is manufactured from the skimmed
milk. The creamery is one of the best appointed in the county, and has
HAMLETS AND VILLAGES.
The first hamlet in town sprung up around the Leon Mills, and about
1830 promised to be a place of some importance. A few years later there
were a tavern, store, shops, and all the attendants of a business place;
but all these interests have been diverted to the village of
or as it is locally known; Leon Center. It enjoys a final location
a little sooth of the center of the town, and contains a few hundred inhabitants.
There are at present a hotel, four stores, half a dozen shops, a very fine
school building, Baptist, Methodist, and Free Methodist Churches, which
are noted with greater particularity in the following pages.
The country surrounding the village is very rich, and it is naturally
a trading point, nothing but the absence of good water-power preventing
it from attaining a greater size. The nearest railway station is Cherry
Creek, six miles distance.
Near the northeastern comer of the town is a small hamlet, containing
a Free- Will Baptist church (in the town of Dayton), a store, several shops,
and half a dozen houses.
TAVERNS AND STORES. I
The first public-house in the town was kept by Asa Franklin, on lot
46, on the old Kent road. Luman Coe opened a tavern on lot 37, about
1826, in a double log building, but soon afterwards moved into a frame
house, where he continued his inn until after 1830.
The second regular tavern was opened by Amasa Green about 1830, in
a frame house on lot 42, near the Leon Mills. In an enlarged condition
this house is yet standing, though used as a dwelling, the last tavern
having been kept, in 1868, by Alonzo Franklin. Besides Amasa Green, John
Carpenter, Alvah Johnson, Alexander Ross, George Purdy, Henry Conklin,
and others were the keepers.
On the road, north of this house, Capt. William Fenton had a public-house
about 1844, which was the stopping place of the stages running between
Buffalo and Jamestown.
About 1834, Thomas Noyes built a tavern at Leon Center, which has been
enlarged from time to time to its present dimensions. A man by the name
of Granger kept it after Noyes. Other landlords at this place have been
Samuel P. Hanford, John Lang, Ellery Stone, S. C. Horton, John Carpenter,
Nathaniel Kierstead, Thomas Snyder, P. A. Snyder, A. Thomas, O. C. Chase,
A. L. Roberts, Russel Barlow, Zelotes Blanchard, B. B. Mosher, and W. F.
On the street leading to the eastern part of the village, John Cooper
kept a public-house, about 1837, which was continued after a few years
by Nathaniel Cooper. It is now a residence, and the old .Noyes tavern is
the only public-house in town.
The first store in Leon was opened in 1827 at Leon Mills, by Johnson
Noyes. He had but a small stock of goods. In 1830, Jabez Thompson placed
a good assortment of merchandise in a building especially erected for store
purposes, and carried on a very prosperous trade a
number of years. In those days liquor was one of the staple articles
sold, and an examination of the account books kept by Thompson reveals
the fact that nearly all the customers bought whisky as regularly as tea
and sugar. After Leon Center became the principal business point, this
store was discontinued, and the building is now used for a barn.
James Dunlap erected the first store-building at Leon Center, in 1833,
on the corner opposite the Noyes tavern. In this building have been as
merchants, Amaziah Strong, Jenks & Cooper, Ezra W. Cooper, Cooper &
Brand, Spencer Horton, J. H. Chaffee, W. O. Tyrer, and one or two others
for short periods. It is at present occupied by William Babcosk for a furniture
room. On the west corner, the second business house in the place was erected
in 1843, by Ira R. Jones, and a store kept in it by James and Porter Dudley.
In time, Edgar Shannon followed here in of in trade, and in 1873 displaced
the old house with a very good business block, which he yet occupies as
The Jones building is at present occupied by M.
W. Cooper and John Caneen for the drug and grocery trade. Formerly, Thomas
Caneen had a grocery-store near this stand.
A hardware-store was opened in the village in 1872,
by C. A. Kingsley, which is at present carried on by Horace R. Ho1Iister.
The same year a small store was opened at East Leon, by Charles Easton,
who was followed in trade by Collins Spencer, and he, in turn, by William
E. Easton, the present storekeeper.
POST-OFFICES AND THE PROFESSIONS.
About 1830 a post-office was established in the eastern part of the
town, with the name of "Pleasant Grove." William Kendall was appointed
postmaster, and held the office until after 1S!0. In the course of these
years the name was changed to East Leon, which is the present title of
the office. Among others who have been postmasters may be named Jonathan
and Oliver Waldron, Ezekiel Seekins, Harrison Judd, William Seekins, and
William Easton, and the office has been moved from place to place, usually
having been kept at the homes of the above. The mail is supplied once a
week from Cattaraugus village.
The Leon office was established at Leon Mills about 1835, and first
bore the name of that locality. John Carpenter was an early and probably
the first postmaster. About 1840, Carpenter went to the village of Leon,
and removed the office with him. Since that period it has been there kept,
the postmasters having been Henry Lang, H. H. Holmes, R. A. Kellogg, Anthony
Day, John Cooper, E. W. Cooper, W. O. Tyrer, C. A. Kingsley, and H. R.
Hollister. The office is supplied with a daily mail, alternately from Cattaraugus
The Peace Vale office was established in 1862, at the' house of Ezekiel
Butler, who was the first postmaster. From 1865 to 187l the office was
held by S. C. Green. It was discontinued in the latter named year.
Dr. Joseph Wilson came to Leon in 1834 as the first regular physician
to locate for practice, and remained several years. But before this period,
Samuel Daniels, a believer in the Thomsonian theory, sometimes practiced
his art. In September 1835, Dr. Everett Stickney came from Erie County,
and has lived here since as a physician. He was in active practice from
the time of his settlement till 1868. That year Dr. A. A. Hubbell located
in the village, and has since been an active practitioner. .
Some time before 1850, Pliny L. Fox resided four or five years in the
town, and followed the attorney's profession. After his removal there was
no lawyer in town until a few years ago, when John F. Mosher opened an
office, and is yet engaged in this profession, at Leon village.
In 1822 a small log house, 16 by 18 feet, was put up on the east part
of lot 49, in which a school was taught that winter by Richard Oathout,
which was attended by members of the Amadon, Dudley, Gale, and Jenkins
families. This was the first school in town, and the territory comprised
in the district now constitutes districts 2, 3, and 4.
The following spring a school was taught at Leon Center by Louis Grover
and Abigail Latham, the latter part of the season. The pupils here belonged
to the Cooper, Beach, and Holt families. Other schools were taught as soon
as the country settled up.
At the first annual meeting it was voted that the money received from
Connewango, as the town's portion of the unexpended funds, should be applied
for school purposes; and that, for the same use, double the amount of'
money be raised that was received from the State.
The commissioners of common schools for the first year were Isaac Leach,
Cyrus Daniels, and Collins Gibson; the inspectors were Johnson Noyes, Leonard
Clark, and Richard Oathout, The records of the early schools are so vague
that nothing satisfactory can be learned from them respecting the schools
of that period.
In 1878, there were in the town10 districts, in which 11 schools were
taught 280 weeks. The number of children of school age was 372, from which
an average attendance of 196 pupils were secured. For the support of these
schools, $1050.40 was derived from the county fund, and $501.84 was raided
by special taxation. Fifty-six volumes were reported in the different libraries,
and the value of the school-buildings and grounds were set at $4300.
The school-house at Leon Center was lately erected at a cost of more
than $2000, and is one of the best buildings of its size in the county.
It is an attractive two-story frame, handsomely finished, and well supplied
with good furniture. The school here taught are noted for their through
scholarship, and are largely attended.
Leon Division, No. 3'72, Sons of Temperaance, was organized about thirty
years ago, having, among others, as charter members, Charles M. Eldridge,
John F. Rhodes, Daniel T. Wood, Charles Everett, Thomas Caneen, and J.
N. C. Kierstead. The latter was elected the first Worthy Patriarch. The
meetings were first held in the school-house, but were afterwards convened
in a hall-secured for the use of the division-over George Shannon's wagon-shop.
Here for a number of years it flourished, but some time about 1853 the
meetings were discontinued. The hall was subsequently used by a lodge of
Good Templars, whose meetings were here held several years. After the lodge
was disbanded the hall was converted to other uses.
Bouquet Lodge, No. 728, L O. G. T., was instituted in 1868, with E.
C. Durfee as the first W. C. T. The meetings were held in the Methodist
church, and were attended with much interest. The membership increased
until there were more than 100 persons connected with the lodge. In time
the meetings were held irregularly, weakening the interest so much that
the lodge finally went down. .
Leon. Lodge, No, 153, A, O. U. W., was instituted May 4, 1878, with
26 charter members. The first officers were H. B. Hollister, p, M. W.;
A. A. Hubble, M. W. j D. T, Wood, G. F.; Cyrus Rhodes, O.; H. J. Trumbnl1,
F. R.;J. L. Casten, Rec.; O. L. Johnson, R.; Belah Dexter, G.; Royal Mills,
J. W.; Emerson Hart, O.W.
The first religious meeting in the present town of Leon was held in
August 1820, at the house of Abner Wise, on lot 49*. The preacher was the
Rev. Daniel Hadley, Beach, a Free-Will Baptist, who came from Chautauqua
County following blazed trees to guide him to this settlement. He
preached in this neighborhood occasionally for two or three years, but
it docs not appear that he attempted to organize a church. The first movement
in this direction was made I by the Rev. Ezra Amadon, a Reformed Methodist
clergyman and one of the original founders of that denomination, at Reedsborough,
Vt., in 1814. It was constituted seceders from the Methodist Episcopal
Church, the defection having arisen on account of a difference in church
government and religions observances. The polity of the new body was not
so strongly Episcopal and was more like that of the Congregational Church.
They laid great stress on faith and perfection of character, striving to
attain a greater degree of holiness. Elder Amadon moved to Leon, in February,
1822, with his family, and at once began preaching the doctrines of the
new order with so much success that, in the spring of the following year,
a Reformed Methodist Church was organized, in the southern part of Leon.
The original members were Elder Amadon and Elizabeth, his wife, Thomas
W. Cheney, John Fairbanks and wife, James Battles, Lucy Whiting and her
daughter, Lucy. In his ministerial duties Elder Amadon was much assisted
by Thomas W. Cheeney, who, though young in years, engaged zealously in
this work. The doctrines of the church being generally acceptable, and
there being no other church in town, many who had formerly been connected
with other denominations in their old homes, became members of this society;
and as the town settled up, this membership was increased until there were
more than 100 communicants.
In the summer of 1828 a frame church, capable of seating 500, was erected
on lot 49, and was probably the first frame church in the county. In this
the subsequent meetings of the Reformed Methodists were held, though nominally
their property, other denominations were invited to occupy it for the occasional
services they at time held. Besides their preaching services, the reformed
Methodists held two prayer meetings per week on weekdays, or in the evening.
Their ministers were the Ezra Amadon and his son Henry, Thomas W. Cheney,
*From data frnished by E. C. Durfee, Esq.
Eleazer Ewers, and, about 1840, Uriah S. Lembocker. These usually served
the church gratuitously, receiving nothing but such gifts as the members
were pleased to give them. Elder Amadon frequently spoke of the libel some
of his members, who presented him with a new vest worth $1.50, as a consideration
for his labors among them; and Elder Cheney, who was a presiding
elder among them often received barely enough to pay his traveling expenses
to his appointments in Eastern Ohio.
In 1840 the Reformed Methodists of the State united
with the Wesleyans or favored a union of the two bodies. The church at
Leon was not agreed on the wisdom of such a step, and became divided in
their sentiments, a portion uniting with the Wesleyans and others adhering
to the original organization. Dissensions ensued, and what with the loss
of members by emigmtion, the interest was so much weakened that the services
were discontinued, and the meeting-house was abandoned and soon went to
decay. The timbers have been removed, leaving no trace of its location;
and of the early members none remain in town, except Rev. Thomas W. Cheney
and Ezra Amadon, a son of the founder of the society.
Some of the settlers north of Leon Center-the Beach, Holt, and Coe
families-were Presbyterians, and sometimes had meetings in the school-house,
where the missionary, John Spencer, preached, but did not form a church
in consequence of the early removal of some of these families.
In 1823 the Rev. Jonathan Blake, in the employ of the Baptist Home
Missionary Society, visited Leon and held services at the house of Robert
Durfee and in the schoolhouse on lot 49. So much interest was manifested
that in the summer of 1824 Elder Blake organized a Baptist Church, which
had among its members Otis L. Durfee and wife, Oliver Pool and wife, Asa
Franklin and wife, Moses Daniels, Mrs. Philip Bigler, and a few others.
Otis L. Durfee was elected the first deacon, but soon after removed to
Crawford Co., Pa., where he became a minister. Elder Blake preached in
Leon a few years longer, then removed to Ohio. After he had left, the Rev.
Theophilus Hastings, who was the school-teacher in the building on lot
49 in 1826-27, sometimes preached, but the congregation was too poor to
maintain a regular pastor, and the Baptist hardly manage to preserve an
Some time after 1830, Elder Bartemas Brahman, of Napoli, preached in
the school-house at Leon Center every two weeks. In 1834 an extensive revival
ensued, from which resulted a large addition to the membership of the struggling
church, which now became known as
THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH IN LEON.
A year later, Feb. 16, 1835, was constituted the" First Baptist Society
in Napoli," to attend to the temporalities of the church, and Samuel Kitwell,
Moses Daniels, Jr., Levi H. Chapin, David Ross, Peter Low were elected
In 1836 a plain but substantial frame meeting-house was built at Leon
village, in which meetings were now held with greater regularity, promoting,
in consequence, the welfare of the church. This house, in a thoroughly
re-paired, remodeled condition, is yet used by the society, and is a comfortable
place of worship. It will seat 250 persons, and is valued at $1500.
No very intelligent account of the condition of the church work is
found in the records prior to 1839. The entry that year contains the names
of the following members: Elder J. Boardman, Curtis Battles, Gustavus Warner,
B. C. Willoughby, John L. Harris, Oliver Pool, Chester Chapin, Levi Chapin,
Eber Franklin, Asa Franklin, Benedict Russell, Samuel Daniels, Peter Low,
David Ross, John Durfee, V. R. Morgan, Maria Amadon, Betsey Battles, Jane
Boardman, Sarah Squires, Jerusha Franklin, Mary Warner, Louisa Harris,
Catherine Low, Rebecca Dye, Sally Daniels, Abigail Chapin, Sarah Chapin,
Among those who here first filled the office of deacon were Chester
Chapin and H. H. Holmes. This position has also been occupied by George
Shannon, William Sanders, Horace Wells, D. H. Horton, George W. Press,
Chas. Oakes, and Salmon Treat.
The clerks of the church wave been Eleazer Slocum, Leonard Clark, H.
H. Holmes, R. C. Jackson, and Everett Stickney.
The pastoral connection has been irregular, and sustained at times
by supplies from other churches. Besides those named, M. F. Wadsworth was
ordained to the pastorate in 1843. Since that period the clergy of the
church have been the Revs. A. Frink, J. J. Trumbull, Samuel Ackerly, H.
H. Phelps, J. P. Islip, - Bemus, - Porter, G. W. Brown, J. A. Pickard,
and the present, R. D. Hays.
The church membership is reported at 41; and in the Sabbath-school
are 40 members, having Charles Oaks as superintendent.
THE LEON METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
At an early period a class of Methodists was organized west of Leon
Center, which had among its members Simeon Harmon and wife, Ichobod Franklin,
and Richard Oathout and his wife. The former was the class-leader, and
the meetings were usually held at his houses. The preachers on the Connewango
circuit also held meetings here at stated times and in the neighboring
school-house. Measures were taken to build a church j and to promote this
object a society was formed Nov. 23, 1835. The first board of trustees
was composed of James Dunlap, Benjamin Southwick, Simeon Harmon, Simeon
L. Winchell, Thomas Mills, Ira Greeley, Ira Sanders, Aaron Edwards, and
Michael Brenninstol. The ensuing season a plain but commodious church edifice
was erected at Leon Center, which was remodeled and modernized in 1858,
by a committee composed of Daniel Brand, Moses Mills, and Gaylord Kellogg.
One of the most notable changes was the addition of a tower, which was
supplied with a good bell. The house will seat 500 persons, and is a comfortable
place of worship. It is worth $3000. A parsonage was purchased about 1847,
which was used until 1873, when it was removed and the present attractive
house erected in its stead. This property is reported worth $1200. The
controlling board of trustee consists of Richard Kellogg, Moses Mills,
George Fuller James Casten, and Stephen Smith. The church has 65 members,
in three classes, having James Casten, Richard Kellogg, and George Filley
as leaders. The Rev. J. E Bates is the pastor in charge of the Leon circuit,
which embraces East Dayton as one of the appointments. The circuit was
formed in 184:7, and has had, since that period, the following ministerial
appointments: the Revs. A. P. Brown, J. Scofield, D. King, J. Blackford,
J. Scott, F. Muse, R. L. Blackmer, A. Norton, G. W. Sisson, L. Borton,
R. R. Roberts, Joseph Allen, W. R. Gehr, P. Burroughs, G. W. Gray, S. N.
Warner, C. E. Woodworth, E. Beardsley, Z. W. Shadduck, W. H. Hover, W.
L. Rile William Rice, and since 1878, J. H. Bates.
Residence of JAMES CASTEN of Leon, NY
JAMES CASTEN of Leon
AMANDA CASTEN of Leon
It will interest some of our readers to have, in this connection, a
list of preachers on the Connewango circuit, which embraced this appointment,
from 1826 10 1847. They were as follows: The Revs. John W. Hill, Job Wilson,
John P. Pent, Joseph S. Barris, Zachariah Regan, David Preston, John K.
Hallock, Nelson Henry, John Prosser, Andrew McCammon, D. Williams, Josiah
Flower, Horatio N. Stearns, J. Scott, M. Hanna, J. E. Hassett, C. D. Rockwell,
D. Rowland, J. O. Rich, J. F. Hill, M. Himebaugh, J. F. Hill, J. Demming,
M. Elkins, D. Prichard, W. W. Luke, J. H. Tagg, D. W. Vorce, J. A. Young,
S. A. Henderson, J. B. Hammond, Wm. S. Warrello, and J. N. Henry.
The first Sunday-school was superintended by James
Dunlap, and was discontinued at the approach of winter. About 1855, Daniel
Brand was the superintendent of the first school that was continued throughout
the year. Richard Kellogg is the present superintendent, and the school
has bout 75 members.
THE LEON FREE METHODIST CHURCH
Was organized in the fall of 1874, by the Rev. J. W. McApline, with
the following members: Joseph Sherman and wife, Melville Everts and wife,
Lyman Franklin and Edwin Kellogg. The meetings were held at the Wells Hill
school-house until "the fall of 1816, when the old school building at Leon
Center was purchased and fitted up for a place of worship. In March 1878,
a board of trustees, composed of Melville Everts, Edwin Kellogg, and Hiram
Harmon, was chosen to attend to the temporalities of the church, which
are valued at $1000.
In 1876 the Rev. John Taylor was sent to the Leon circuit, and remained
one year. He was succeeded by I Rev. W. G. Oakes, who continued until September
1878, I since when the Rev. W. W. Browne has been the pastor. The
church has enjoyed unusual prosperity, and is at present in a flourishing
condition, having 40 members.
Its present board of stewards is as follows: Cyrus Ingersoll, Hiram
Harmon, Levi Towers, Lyman Franklin, Legrand Morgan, Albert Kellogg, William
Among the early settlers of the town were several who participated in
the Revolutionary struggle. Dudley Noyes, the father of Johnson Noyes,
a well-known citizen, was at Bunker Hill; James Franklin served in New
Hampshire; Anthony Day and Simon Bigler had been enrolled in their respective
localities; and Elisha Freeman was another hero of "the times that tried
men's souls." There is on file in the office of the town clerk an interesting
relic of his service,-a copy of his certificate for a Revolutionary pension.
"I certify that, in conformity with the Law of the United States
of the 18th of March, 1818, and the 1st of May, 1820, Elisha. Freeman,
late a private in the Army of the Revolution, is inscribed on the Pension
List Roll of the New York Agency, at the rate of eight dollars per month,
to commence on the fourteenth day of April, one thousand eight hundred
and eighteen. Payable on the fourth of March and the fourth of September
of each year, by the Branch Bank of the United States in the City of New
“No person is payable until the arrival of one or the other of
the above dates after the issue of a certificate.”
“Given at the War Office of the United States, this first day
of May, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-one.”
“John C. Calhoun, Secretary”
In the war of 1812, a great many had participated, among others being
James Franklin, Jr., Asa Franklin, Benedict Russell, John Bigler, Philip
Bigler, Hazeltine Streeter, Levi Sykes, John N. C. Kierstead, Eber Franklin,
Lyman Dean, Daniel Johnson, Levi B. Hubbart, John Sickles, Xury Blodgett,
Ephraim Sweet, Ayers Woodard, Simeon Herman, John Everett, Asa Ewers, Abraham
Low, Eberezer Day, David Ross, Andrus Frankoin, Alvah Smith, Jesse, Ross,
Abner Durfee, Zephauiah C. Durfee, John Hazur, Benjamin H. Paddock, Abial
Davison, Harvey Butler.
Leon responded to the several calls of the President of the endangered
Union for troops to suppress the Rebellion, those who served is found in
another part of this book.
To facilitate enlistments several special meetings were held,
the most noteworthy of which were the ones convened June 15, 1864, and
Feb. 28, 1965, when liberal bounties were voted to volunteers, and aid
to such as would secure substitutes.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. -
A. A. HUBBELL, M.D.,
A. A. HUBBELL, M.D.
A. A. Hubbell was born in Connewango, Cattaraugus Co., N. Y., May 1,
1846 His father, Schuyler Philip Hubbell, was the eldest of nine children-all
now living, and successful in their respective avocations-of Eli Hubbell
and Mary Huxley, who were married Nov. 30, 1820. His mother, Hepzibah Farnsworth,
was also a member of a large family consisting of ten children. He is the
oldest of four children, one of whom died in infancy.
According to traditional history preserved in the family, he
is a descendant of a line of Hubbell’s, the first of whom emigrated to
this country from England early in our nation's history, and settled at
Reddington, near New Haven, Conn. The family comprised, besides parents,
two sons and two daughters. The father was his (the Dr.'s) grandfather's
great-grandfather. At least one of the above sons was in the" old French
war" and also in the Revolutionary war. During the latter he, with a party
of seventy, was poisoned at a spring of drinking water by the English,
who were supposed to have placed it there for the purpose. He left at least
seven children, - Esbond, Richard, Gershom, Benjamin, Enos, Ephraim, and
Abigail. Esbond, who comes into the line of his descent, and was his great-grandfather,
was a soldier in the war of the Revolution, enlisting at fifteen years
of age, and serving his time. Afterwards he married, and engaged himself
in the mercantile business at Ballston, Saratoga Co., N. Y. A speculation
in beef, which spoiled on his hands, and which he intended a foreign market,
ruined him financially. He then went ,to farming. At thirty-five he became
crippled for life by a limb striking him on the back of his neck while
felling some trees in the woods. He died at the age of sixty-three, after
eighteen years of protracted suffering and paralysis.
His children were Francis, who died in the war of 1812, Enos, Ephraim,
Eli, Louisa, Philip Schuyler, and Hannah Lovisa. In 1801 the family moved
to Ovid, Seneca Co., N. Y., and in 1807 to Monroe County (then Genesee
County), near Rochester.
In 1827, Eli Hubbell, with his wife and three children settled in Connewango,
Cattaraugus Co., arriving there October 16. He bought one hundred acres
of land, being a part of the farm now owned by Hezekiah Burt, and lying
east of Axeville, which he cleared and subdued, and to which he afterwards
added more land. Here he reared his family of nine children, who, without
exception, stand on ground of prosperity, and some have risen to distinction.
The whole family are living, and the father has arrived at the advanced
age of eighty two years: now residing in the town of Randolph, near Chamberlain
His father, Schuyler Philip Hubbell, was born Nov. 2, 1821, and on
his marriage, in 1845, 5ettled on a farm in Connewango, about half a mile
west of Axeville, where he was born. He was reared on the farm, and engaged
more or less in the duties attending it until he was nineteen years old.
His education was acquired at the district school till he was thirteen
years old, when he began to attend the Randolph Academy. He could not attend
regularly, but only one or two terms of twelve to fourteen weeks during
each year. During the spring and summer his help was required on the farm.
His time in school was during the fall and winter. In all his attendance
there were six terms. He usually took the lead in his c1asses, and by his
teachers was pronounced a good student. In December, 1861, he was awarded
one of the H. H. Otis prizes for meritorious declamation. He began teaching
district schools when seventeen years of age. He taught five terms with
success. In the summer of 1865 he began reading medicine with Dr. G. J.
Ackley, then located at Cattaraugus village, whose death, the following
winter, resulted in his engaging, as his medical preceptor, Dr. Lyman Twomley,
of Little Valley, N. Y., with whom he afterwards prosecuted his medical
studies till their close. His circumstances at that time demanded economy,
and the tuition at the medical college was a matter for his consideration.
The Eclectic Medical College, of Pennsylvania, offered the greatest inducements
in that direction, together with thoroughness of instruction, and he resolved
to pursue his studies at that institution. He attended medical lectures
there during the two winters of 1867-68 and 1868-69, receiving his diploma.
Jan. 4,1869. The chairs were well filled, and the lectures full and thorough.
On starting for his attendance on his first course of lectures, Dr. Twomley
gave him a certificate of studentship, in which he made the following complimentary
"Mr. Hubbell is a young man possessing more than ordinary industrious
habits and integrity, with an unexceptionable moral character, and well
worthy the confidence of the profession."
He began the practice of medicine and surgery at Leon, N. Y., Feb.
1, 1869 (at the age of twenty-two years), where he has since obtained a
large and lucrative practice.
Being dissatisfied with the reputation of his Eclectic Alma Mater,
he spent the winter of 1875-76 at tile medical department of the University
of Buffalo, graduating there Feb. '23, 1876. His graduation thesis was
on " Observation and Fact, the Basis of Medical Progress-" On this he received
one of the Fillmore Cash Prizes.
His practice has been marked by a few noteworthy matters, such as delicate
operations upon the eye and ear, but the most important was that of laparotomy
for intussusception of the bowels. He performed the operation April 18,
1877, which was, so far as he could ascertain, the fourth for that disease
on record in the United States. (See Buffalo Medical and Surgical Journal,
He has contributed considerably to the medical periodicals of the day.
In the past he has read a number of papers before the various societies
with which he has been connected. He is an enthusiastic advocate of temperance,
scientific and progressive thought, ever alive to questions which tend
to advance or improve mankind physically or mentally. Perhaps he is identified
with the more radical phase of thought, but in it he sees the promise of
a better future.
June 26,1872, he married Miss Evangeline Fancher, daughter of the late
Capt. Wm. Fancher, by whom he has one daughter, born June 27, 1873.
HON. EDGAR SHANNON (by: E. C. Durfee)
EDGAR SHANNON of Leon, NY
Hon. Edgar Shannon was born in Leon, Feb. 23, 1842. He was adopted by
his uncle, Lorenzo Shannon, a substantial farmer and an old resident of
the town of Leon. During the time he lived with his uncle he obtained a
good English education by attendance upon the common school in the district,
and in the two terms spent at the Randolph Academy.
From boyhood until the age of twenty-one he worked with his uncle on
his farm, while not attending school, and engaged in teaching in the common
schools in the vicinity a few terms during the latter part of the time.
In August 1862, Mr. Shannon enlisted in Company
B,154th Regiment New York Volunteers, and served until the order for the
general discharge of the volunteer forces.
On or about the 1st of March 1864, having been for some
time previous first sergeant, he was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant
and quartermaster of the 154th Regiment, in which capacity he served until
the close of the war.
During his military service in the corps commanded by
Generals Hooker and Sigel, he was in the battles of Chancellorsville, Lookout
Valley, and Missionary Ridge; was in the army of General Sherman in his
march through Georgia and the Carolinas, and at the siege of Savannah.
Soon after his discharge from the army Mr. Shannon
became engaged in mercantile business in his native town, and soon merited
the reputation of being" a successful country; merchant."
In 1868 and 1869 he was elected supervisor
of the town, serving two years in that capacity, to the general satisfaction
of his townsmen. He was re-elected to and served in the same office in
In the fall of 1876 he received the Republican nomination for Assemblyman
from the Second District of Cattaraugus County, and was elected by a large
majority. He was re-nominated, and elected by an increased vote the following
year. While in the Legislature, Mr. Shannon served on several important
committees, and made a record pleasing and satisfactory to his constituents.
It is needless to say that Mr.. Shannon has always been a staunch Republican;
his election as representative from the strong Republican Second District
of Cattaraugus County sufficiently attests that fact.
Mr.. Shannon is still engaged in the mercantile business: as the head
of the firm of Shannon & Co., dry-goods merchants and general dealers.
- He was married April 15, 1866, to Miss Francelia Hunt, oldest daughter
of Captain H. N. Hunt, of Leon, captain of Company K, 64th New York Volunteers.
His family at present consists of himself, wife,
and one daughter
CAPT. WILLIAM FANCHER
Capt William Fancher was born at German Flats, Herkimer Co., N. Y.,
June 1823,, and was the youngest of a family of nine children. His father,
Enos Fancher, was a farmer and blacksmith in moderate circumstances. His
mother’s maiden name was Sally Roberts, of English and Welsh descent. His
father died during William’s infancy, but his mother managed to give him
a fair common-school education.
At about the age of sixteen he went to work with his brother. George
Fancher, of West Winfield, Herkimer Co. at the blacksmith business, but
becoming dissatisfied with his occupation and desirous of change, he enlisted
in the ‘United States military service at Albany, on the 13th of July,
1841, and served for a period of five years, when he was honorably discharged
at New York in July, 1846, as first sergeant of Company F (Capt. H. Day
commanding), Second Regiment United States Infantry.
During the period of his enlistment he was much of the time in active
service, first in the Florida and afterwards in the Mexican war, during
which his regiment was attached to Gen. Scott’s command he was present
at the taking and capitulation of the city of Mexico, as well as many other
battles during the campaign. After the close of the Mexican ‘war he was
for some time employed as recruiting officer for the United States army.
Soon after his discharge he re-enlisted in the United States naval
service, in which he served four years, and was promoted to the rank of
During the period of his service he was much
of the time employed in the foreign service, accompanying the expedition
to Japan, China, etc. He was discharged at San Francisco, in 1850, and
was for a short time there employed in the custom-house. In the spring
of 1851, he came to Leon, N. Y., and went to work with his brother John
Fancher (then a resident of Leon), at the blacksmith trade, at which he
worked for about a year, when he and his brother purchased a farm of one
hundred and forty-six acres in the east part of Leon.
In September 1852, he was married to Lydia Mills daughter of Thomas
Mills, an old resident of Leon.
Mr. Fancher worked on his farm until the commencement of the civil
war, frequently holding responsible positions in the town. In the spring
of 1861 Capt. Fancher was elected to the office of supervisor of Leon,
but on the breaking out of the Rebellion his military talent was again
called into requisition; a company of home guards was formed, of which
he was elected captain. Sept. 18, 1867 he enlisted in the military service,
and soon received a captain’s commission in Co. K, 64th Regiment. He was
active service until the latter part of March 1862, when he was stricken
down by typhoid fever, and on the latter part of May following he received
a furlough, and was allowed return home. He reached the residence of his
father-in-law, Thomas Mills, May 17, 1862, and died on the 24th following,
the relentless hand of death cutting short bade fair to be an honorable
and useful career.
Capt. Fancher left two children—a daughter and son. The former, Evangeline,
is now the wife of Dr. A. A. Hubbell, of Leon; and the son, Albert T.,
is in the mercantile business, in the firm of Shannon & Co., Leon.
Capt. Fancher’s widow is still living at Leon. The captain was a man of
strict integrity and good business habits. He was highly respected as a
citizen of his town, and his loss was severely felt by a large circle of
friends. His remains repose in the cemetery at Leon Center, but his memory
is still cherished in the hearts of his friends and townsmen.
Residence of MARTIN H. WOODIN of Leon
MARTIN H. WOODIN of Leon MRS. RUTH S. WOODIN of
JENNIE & CLARIBELL WOODIN of Leon
W. H. FRANKLIN of Leon
ELIZABETH FRANKLIN of Leon
Residence of W. H. FRANKLIN of Leon