Everts 1879 Town of Franklinville


Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of its Prominent Men and Pioneers.

Philadelphia:L.H. Everts, 1879, Edited by Franklin Ellis

Chapter: Town Franklinville

Transcribed by Samantha Eastman & Cindi Clark

This is an interior town lying northeast of the centre of the county, and is embraced within the limits of township four in the fifth range, and three tiers of lots on west side of township four in the fourth range; and is bounded on the north by the towns of Machias and Farmersville, on the east by Lyndon, and south by Humphrey and Ischua, with Ellicottville on the west.  It is watered by Ischua Creek, which flows southerly through the eastern part of the town, Great Valley Creek passing through the northwest corner, and by the branches of Forks Creek (named Morgan Hollow and Sugartown Creeks), which take their rise in the centre and western part and flow southerly into Great Valley.  From the northeast corner of the town broad flats extend down Ischua Creek to below Cadiz, from whence to the south boundary the valley is much narrower, and is bordered by hills, which rise to heights varying from three hundred to five hundred feet.  The surface of the western part is undulating and hilly, traversed by narrow valleys along the Morgan Hollow, Sugartown, and Great Valley Creeks, the last named crossing the northwest corner of the town.
    It contains 31,008 acres, of which 20,198 are improved, and has a population of 1654, according to the census of 1875.


    First among the pioneers of the town of Franklinville stands the name of Joseph McClure.  He was born in Belchertown, Worcester Co., Mass., May 14, 1775.  Of his early history comparatively little is known, save that he was educated to the medical profession, the practice of which soon became repugnant to him, and was consequently abandoned for more congenial pursuits.  About the period of his majority he married an estimable young lady by the name of Betsy Grice, slightly his junior, from a neighboring town in his native county.  Thus the pair set out upon the journey of life, and after various fortunes not material to this brief sketch, at the age of twenty-nine, early in the year 1804, they found themselves with a family of four small children, in the primitive hamlet of Angelica, in the neighboring county of Allegany.  Among the studies of early life, Mr. McClure had acquired a taste for mathematics and geometry, and through these agencies he soon became a adept in the art of surveying.
    His reputed skill and accuracy soon became known to Joseph Ellicott, the principal agent of the Holland Land Company; negotiation culminated in an agreement, and Mr. McClure, with his compass and chain, was sent into the wilderness, accompanied by Solomon Curtis and Ira Pratt as axemen, to survey the subdivisions of the Purchase.
    Beginning at the eastern boundary of the Purchase, and progressing westward, they at length reached the broad and beautiful valley of Ischua.  Here Nature had lavished her beauties with a profuse liberality.  A broad vale of unbroken symmetry, a soil of almost exhaustless fertility, bearing a burden of succulent herbage, with a dense growth of forest-trees, tall, graceful, and majestic as giant sentinels guarding fairy ground; the pure waters of the Ischua, lightly fringed with nodding alders and dipping willows, washed its western boundaries, while Gates’ Creek, a considerable affluent from the east, swept in a general curve across the southeastern corner, separating a romantic acclivity from the alluvial delta formed by the convergence of the two streams.
    Contemplating this scene in the wild grandeur of its primitive loveliness, under the mellowing influences of a mild Indian summer, the autumn leaves reflecting the many-tinted rays of a September sun, what wonder that a man of cultivated taste and refined sensibilities like Joseph McClure should select lot 39, in the fourth township and fourth range, as his future home.  Such was the man and such the home to which he brought his family in March, 1806, cutting and clearing the road as they came, a distance

    * The early settlements of Franklinville, Ischua, and Lyndon are contributed by Mr. Marvin Older.

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of thirty miles, through an unbroken wilderness, camping at night amid the dissolving snows of early spring.  Thus was formed the nucleus around which clustered other homes, a radiating point from which have sprung the growing and diversified interests of the Franklinville of to-day. 
    They erected their log cabin upon the ground now occupied by the residence of Mrs. Permilia Campbell.  The barn, constructed of the same material, occupied the more pretentious position, viz., the corner lot where now stands the brick store of Ely & Smith.  The trials and triumphs, the dangers and escapes, the grievous hardships and patient endurance incidental to a life of isolation, are more easily contemplated by a lively imagination than described by the historian’s pen.  Suffice it to say that, like Robinson Crusoe in his involuntary seclusion, “by dint and by thrift they managed the shift,” until the dawn of an advancing civilization lent its charms to dispel the gloom of solitude, and brought with it the comforts of social, civil, intellectual, and domestic life.  After a long and varied experience, he died of heart-disease, Sept. 11, 1833, aged fifty-eight years and four months.  His wife survived him eleven years, and was buried by his side in the family burying-ground, a few rods south of their first habitation.  During the present summer, 1878, their remains were transferred to Mount Prospect Cemetery, where a humble slab marks the final resting-place of the first pioneer of the Ischua Valley.
    The family of Joseph and Betsy McClure consisted of five sons and three daughters, of whom Samuel, Manly, and Joseph, Jr., settled upon the hill road leading from Franklinville to Ellicottville.  Samuel married Lucy Carpenter; Manly married Emily Wightman, and Joseph married Patty Long.
    Of these, all have paid the debt of nature, except the aged widow of Joseph, who now resides with her brother in the town of Sardinia, Erie Co., N.Y.
    Of the girls, Emily, the eldest, married Roswell Warner, and settled upon lot 5, township 4, range 5, and subsequently upon lot 35, in the same township and range, where she died, about the year 1870.  Harriet, the second daughter, was married to Pardon T. Jewell, in 1825, and died in 1857.  Caroline, the youngest, was married to John C. Mathewson, in 1826, and settled upon the north part of lot 4, township 4, range 5, and subsequently removed to Michigan, where she died several years ago.  Roswell Warner and Pardon T. Jewell still survive, both of whom are octogenarians, and their lengthened shadows stretch for backward o’er the pathway of life.  Mr. Warner, during his prime, was a match for any man in the wrestling-ring, or at other athletic sports, and has probably slain more deer, and felled more timber, than any other man in town, while to Mr. Jewell many a man and woman with wrinkled brow and silvered locks looks complacently as the model school-teacher of the olden time.  The only surviving members of the original McClure family are David and Freeman, the latter of whom first located on the south part of the old homestead, and subsequently upon the southern part of lot 38, township 4, range 4.  He served in the army from November, 1861, to about the commencement of the year 1863, when he was discharged in consequence of ill health, returned to his home, was pensioned by reason of injuries sustained, which impaired his constitution, sold his patrimony in Franklinville, and now resides somewhere in the interior of the State of Iowa.
    David McClure has always resided within a stone’s throw of the old primitive lob cabin; he has been a resident of this town nearly seventy-three years, and as a child, boy, and man has numbered more pulsations within the limits of the county than any other human being that ever trod its soil.  He early learned to play the violin, at which he soon became an adept, playing sometimes for amusement and sometimes for money.  In 1817, when he was thirteen years of age, he drove a team to Ellicottville weekly, laden with flour and other provisions to supply the wants of Baker Leonard, while erecting the first hotel built in that place.  Notwithstanding the limited facilities for study, he managed to acquire a fair English education; he chose the law as a profession, which he has followed with varied success up to the present time.  He has represented the town on the Board of Supervisors, and filled other positions of honor and trust, which are duly noted in other parts of this work.  In February, 1825, he married the daughter of Thomas Morris, a neighboring pioneer.
    One of their sons, Leonard D. McClure, was the first man that enlisted from this town, and in the spring of 1861 he left the city of Buffalo with the 21st New York Regiment for the tented field, which he never left, save on leave of absence, until the final disbanding of the army in the summer of 1865.
    John, the youngest son, enlisted in Company I, 6th New York Cavalry, Nov. 1, 1861, and fell on the field of battle in the autumn of 1864, and his remains are deposited in Mount Prospect Cemetery, by the side of those of his honoured grandfather.  In honor to the memory of the “Old Pioneer,” who struck the first blow to redeem this “vast wilderness and boundless contiguity of shade” from prowling beasts, and men scarcely less fierce and wild than they, I have been thus explicit in tracing the fortunes of some of his descendants.  I might still continue the narrative in detailing the self-sacrifice and noble daring of William W. and David Phillips, of the 6th Cavalry, the bold riding of young Mathewson, the successful scout attached to the 3d Wisconsin, - these, too, were grandsons of the veteran pioneer, - but I forbear; want of time and want of space admonish me that I must to other topics and other men.
    Contemporaneous with the settlement of McClure upon lot 39, Solomon Curtis, from Chenango Co., N.Y., located a claim upon lot 40, township 4, range 4.  He subsequently sold his interest in the east half to one Mallory, and it eventually passed into the hands of James Cravath.  In 1808, Curtis erected his log house on the extreme south bounds of the lot, on the site now occupied by the residence of N.B. Deibler, a few rods west of the centre stake in the village of Franklinville.
    Hunting and trapping were his primary, and agriculture his secondary, pursuits.  The bounty for a wolf’s scalp was then $60, and he was often known to take three in a day.  The scalp was taken before some judicial officer, deposition was taken as to the time and place of its captivity and death, the ears were cut off and ceremoniously burned, and

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forthwith the certificate for the legal bounty was issued, which passed as current “upon Change” as the government bond of to-day.  Wolves were a grievous pest to the early settlers, as well as a terror to the brute creation; the hunter’s dog crouched tremblingly at his master’s heels; sheep and cattle left the uncropped herbage, and fled in terror to their folds in close proximity to the abodes of man.
    Large bounties were offered under the mistaken idea that the effect would be their total destruction, or at least a diminution of their numbers, but the reverse proved to be the result of the experiment.  Mr. Curtis sold his farm and removed to Erie County about 1825.  Of his descendants, three sons and three grandsons are now residents of the town.  Two grandsons, Azor and James M., served with distinction during the war of the Rebellion, were both promoted for meritorious conduct, both pensioned in consequence of wounds received, and at this time James holds a position of trust and emolument in the Interior Department at Washington.  Early in April, 1806, David McClure, from Vermont, a cousin to Joseph McLuer, * selected as his future residence the north part of lot 5 and the south part of lot 6, township 4, range 5.  Here, on the 30th day of April, 1806, near the northeast corner of lot 5, - the place still marked by a clump of wild plumb-trees, - was born Hiram Warner McClure, the first child of Anglo-Saxon extraction born within the limits of Cattaraugus County.  Mr. and Mrs. McClure, after faithfully performing the duties of husband and wife, father and mother, citizen, neighbor, and friend, after a long and eventful career laid down the burden of a wearisome life.
    But the child grew and waxed strong, and at length, like Nimrod, became a mighty hunter; and in the autumn succeeding the anniversary of his seventieth birthday, during one of his “still-hunts” in the wilds of Northern Pennsylvania, he shot and killed four wild deer inside of two minutes, watch-time, showing that “his eye was not dim nor his natural strength abated”; and he is to-day, at the age of seventy-three, hale and erect, with a step as lithe and elastic as modern productions at the age of twenty-five.  Such was the stock of the old pioneers. 
    During the summer of 1806, Moses Warner, with his four sons, Moses, Jr., Parley, John, and Roswell, all from Vermont, settled upon lot 5, township 4, range 5; and three of the boys, on attaining their respective majorities, took part and parcel of the same lot.  Of the old gentleman comparatively little is known at this date, save that he was a cooper by trade, and supplied the wants of the scattered community as their wants and circumstances suggested.  Moses, Jr., adopted the calling of his father, which he followed with indifferent success until the time of his death, in about 1828.  Parley, John, and Roswell became tillers of the soil.  Their mother was a woman of uncommon intellectual powers, the very soul of sarcasm, wit, and mimicry, and possessing powers of physical endurance equalled by few and surpassed by none.  Owing to the absence or incapacity of resident physicians, she was frequently called to the performance of the more delicate duties ordinarily assigned to the medical profession.  No night was too dark or tempestuous for her courage and intrepidity, no forest path too steep, winding, or obscure to be overcome by her energy, traced by her knowledge of woodcraft, or rendered palpable by her keen perceptions.
    Disdaining the cumbersome appliances of horse, carriage, or pill bag, equipped with a rustic hat and a bundle of fragrant herbs, she was instantly on the trail; and many a patient sufferer has had abundant occasion to say, “God bless Mother Warner!”
    The boys inherited their mother’s constitution and many of her peculiarities, and were proverbial for their good nature, daring courage, physical energy, powers of endurance, and love of fun.
    The four boys could man one side at the raising of an ordinary 30 by 40 frame barn, and always worked up the motto “Our end first.”
    John Warner married Naomi Holister, in 1811, this being the first marriage within the limits of the town.  In 1807, Thomas Morris, from New Jersey, and Henry Conrad, form Tompkins Co., N.Y., located their lots and erected their dwellings.  Morris selected the north part of lot 38, and Conrad the north half of lot 37, township 4, range 4.  During the same summer Morris opened a store upon the ground now occupied by the residence of Horatio Stilwell.  Conrad commenced the erection of a mill the same season, about twenty-five rods northwest of the mill now owned and operated by Thomas Grierson.  The mill was not completed until the summer of 1808.
    Nicholas, John, and Daniel Kortwright, three burly Teutons from Tompkins Co., N.Y., settled upon the north part of lot 36 and south part of lot 37, township 4, range 4, in the early part of 1807, on lands now owned by Jonas K. Button and James and John Johnston.  They were millwrights by profession, and superintended the building of the first grist-mill for Henry Conrad, and initiated “Uncle Hank,” as he was familiarly called, into the mysteries of primitive millcraft, particularly into the science of taking liberal toll.  The mill was but a crazy affair at best, weak in its propelling force, and sadly demoralized in its mechanical behavior.
    To illustrate a prominent characteristic in the Warner family, a brief anecdote is in point.  Parley Warner, who lived hard by, on the discovery of some customer emerging  from the forest with a bag of grain athwart his brawny shoulders, would quietly approach the rear of the mill, and seizing the arms of the wheel in his giant grip, his turgid muscles firmly set for the ordeal, would patiently await the approaching conflict with one of the clements; the water-gate was slowly raised, but the wheel was as firmly fixed as was Prometheus to the rock in the dominions of Pluto.
    After delivering himself of some horrid imprecations in bad Dutch and worse English, Uncle Hank, armed with axe and bar, would go around the mill to see “Vat was der ail mit der tamn veel.”  Meanwhile, Parley would betake himself to an ambush among the alders, to enjoy with a high zest Uncle Hank’s perplexity and amazement.
    To overbalance his few shortcomings, Mr. Conrad possessed many amiable qualities, and beneath a rough exterior

    * The pronunciation of the two names is identical, but different branches of the same family have adopted different orthography.

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carried as kind a heart as beat in the bosom of man.  Mr. Conrad’s children, by the first marriage, were Samuel, Katy, Betsey, and Peggy, the two former being deaf mutes, who were sent to New York in about 1820, where they learned to read and write, and to converse by means of the hand-alphabet.  Samuel died of smallpox at the residence of his brother-in-law, Deacon Elijah Sill, of Hinsdale, in about 1830.  Katy still survives, and finds a pleasant home among her numerous relatives, patiently waiting for those delicate organs to be unsealed in the better land not far distant.
    Certain traits of their nationality exhibited themselves in this family.  Accustomed to the vigorous exercise of out-door labor, Betsey or Peggy would rake and bind as much grain in a day as any man in the country could cut with a cradle, invariably taking the last clip as the cradle swung to the rear to complete the sheaf, and with a mock challenge, go through the performance of sharpening her rake handle with a dry elder every time the cradler stopped to whet his scythe. 
    Peggy was married to Thaddeus Farwell, and Betsey to Elijah Sill, in about 1824.  Five of their daughters now reside in the immediate vicinity of the “Old Mill,” and are respectively the wives of Lyman Searl, Thomas M. Sill, James Morris, Fayette Searl, and Robert E. Gardner.  In the spring of 1807, Benjamin Gibbs settled upon the north part of lot 30, township 4, range 4, on the farm now owned by John Davis; and his tree sons, Benjamin, Jr., Elijah, and Elisha, settled upon lot 30, on the farms now owned by Eunice Bacon and Wilson Hogg.
    The same year Deacon Ira Norton, father of the Hon. Nelson I. Norton, of Hinsdale, settled upon the east part of lot 21, township 4, range 4, but subsequently removed to the town of Great Valley, where he died a few years since, full of years and full of honors.
    The proverbially cold season of 1816, when snow fell to the depth of several feet, completely discouraged many of the settlers.  They abandoned their farms and habitations, and sought the more congenial climate of Western Ohio; and many broad acres were left to commons, - a grazing-ground for wild deer and domestic animals that roamed at large.  Up to the period of the organization of the county the people were almost without the pale of laws; and being of a romantic and adventurous class, some novel scenes were enacted.  Owing to some disagreement with regard to the location of a certain State road, the people took sides, and were nearly equally divided into parties, each of which, under their respective leaders, was known by the unique and inharmonious names of “Monkeys” and “Railanders.”  One took its name from a fancied resemblance that “Dancing Dick Robeson” bore to a full-grown chimpanzee, while the other took its title from a free use of rails in barricading windows and doors to prevent a mob from forcibly disorganizing a court-martial, convened for the purpose of trying delinquents for an infraction of the military laws.  Prominent as leaders in these parties were the names of Joseph McClure, Ashbel Freeman, Seymour Boughton, Henry Conrad, Julius C. Underwood, - Wheelock, and Lewis Wood.
    Another peculiarity of some of the early settlers may here be mentioned.  Prior to their division into the two parties before named, a society was formed, called the “Lazy Society,” and one of its fundamental articles was that no member should perform any act of physical exercise that could be possibly avoided, under severe penalties.  It will be remembered that at that period the eastern part of this county was attached to Allegany.  The division of the population into the Monkey and Railander factions produced a schism in the Lazy Society, and hence frequent complaints for the purpose of annoyance.  Two incidents may be cited as a sample.
    Dr. James Trowbridge and Elijah Rice were summoned, with all due forms of law, to appear, at the stated time, before the court at Angelica, to answer to the charge of committing high crimes and misdemeanors.  The charges were not specifically made in the warrants, which was a cunningly-devised sham, - as near to a reality as could be without absolute forgery.  They, however, had the desired effect, and brought the accused to Angelica, where a corresponding court was speedily organized in a bar-room, and the accused were put upon trial.
    Trowbridge was charged with the crime of unnecessary activity, in that he raised his cane to drive a poodle-dog from making too free use of the leg of his pantaloons, when he should have obeyed the law of perfect supineness, and allowed the dog the luxury of obeying the laws of instinct. 
    Rice was charged that, while seated in a cushioned rocking-chair, in the shade of his old log barn, he resolutely held a loaded gut at arms’ length, to shoot a mink that was dragging away one of his hens, when he should have waited until his wife brought another chair upon which to rest his gun.
    To these grave charges the accused pleaded guilty, and confidingly placed themselves upon the mercy of the court.  Stern justice lifted her scales, and the oracle spoke forth that it would require two gallons of rum to adjust the balance; the culprits to stand committed until the beverage was forthcoming.
    With all their foibles and romantic follies, kindlier hearts never beat in the human bosom, with hands to do and souls to dare.  Too benevolent to be rich, too proud to beg, and too honest to steal, they lived on in a state of reckless contentment until the almost general hegira that followed the cold summer of 1816, when many of them sought new adventures in distant places, while their children’s children occupy respectable positions in society, and are numbered among the best inhabitants in our land.
    During the seven years from 1817 to 1824, the tide of immigration centered largely in this region, and Franklinville received its share of the influx.  During this period, Isaac and Jacob Sear., Aaron Osgood, Eleazer Densmore, William, Deodatus, and Elijah Sill, and John Reynolds, with their families, settled in the Ischua Valley, in the south part of the town; Oliver Root, John Scott, Henry and Hiram Morgan settled in the southwest part; Eli Rockwell, Jacob Ford, and Moses Chamberlain settled in the western part; Samuel and Elijah Silliman and Henry Huych in the northeast part.  Ephraim Fitch, Edward E. Smith, and Ashbel Church settled upon what is known as East Hill; John McNall, Nehemiah Rogers, and Howland Washburn settled at or near Cadiz, in the summer of 1817.

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John McNall erected the first saw-mill at what is now the village of Cadiz, in 1826, and Tilly Gilbert erected a carding-machine and clothing-works in 1825.
    The early merchants were Cook & Day, Wm. Phoenix & Co., E.C. Hyde & Co., Partridge and Gates, Flavel Partridge, I.H. Lyon, Lyon & Newton, Carpenter & Newton, and L. &  J.R. Salisbury, most of whom dealt largely in pot- and pearl-ashes, thousands of tons of which were here manufactured and sent to Eastern markets, they being at that period the principal marketable commodity of the county.
    Among the physicians of olden times we point with laudable pride to the names of Charles McLouth and Lewis Riggs, both of whom achieved an enviable reputation in their profession and an ample fortune of worldly goods.  Among the teachers of Franklinville antiquity may be mentioned P.T. Jewell, H.W. McClure, Rogers, the Burlingames, and the Olders, all of whom left their impress upon the rising generation.  Their pupils filled honorable positions in the pulpit, the bar, and the bench, with no other diplomas than those issued from the rustic school-houses of the primitive pioneers.
    Among the mechanics and builders were William Stillwell, Otis W. Phillips, and William McNall; and some of our oldest buildings bear the impress of their handiwork, made more than a half-century ago.  In the preceding part of this article mention was made of the name of James Cravath, who, in an early day, purchased a part of lot 40, adjoining the village.  In the summer of 1822, Uncle Jim, as he was called, cleared eighty acres of new land, and in the fall it was sown with wheat, and the next season being favorable an abundant crop was produced, which was very fortunate for the many new-comers who had just settled, and were destitute of provisions.  This being the only stock of grain for sale anywhere in this vicinity, the circumstance presented a rare chance for speculation.
    And here let me digress, to give a brief outline of some of Uncle Jim’s prevailing characteristics.  He was a widower with one daughter, whose mother died when this child was in infancy.  Uncle Jim was a miser and a anchorite.  Though possessed of great wealth, he never had on a cotton, linen, or silk garment in his life; he never wore a suspender, a fur hat, or a fine boot, and his face never felt the touch of a razor.  He knew not the taste of tobacco, and seldom or never used any stimulant. 
    He was never known to be angry or in a hurry, and never indulged in levity or jest.  He never used profane language or attended a church.  He never took a penny unjustly or gave one in charity; yet, with all these peculiarities, there was one trait of character which challenges the admiration of mankind.  Possessing, as he did at that time, all the marketable grain in the country, with an active demand, he refused to take advantage of the situation, or to allow others to do so.  His price for the wheat was $1, or a day’s work for a bushel.  Two of his neighbors offered him $1.25 per bushel, for all he had, but he refused, saying, “If you get this, you will raise on the price and distress the poor.”  He offered them ten bushels each for their own use, but refused the offered price for the purpose of speculation.  The past and passing events subsequent to 1824 are within the memory of many of our citizens, and would therefore be commonplace and tiresome.  I will therefore relate one circumstance and have done.  The organization of the first Sunday-school in the county, so far as I have been able to learn, was in this wise.  In the summer of 1821, a young lady by the name of Velina Older taught the district school in a small log house build amid the forest-trees, and three-quarters of a mile north from the village of Franklinville.  Being fully impressed with the importance that religious instruction should go hand in hand with a secular education, she resolved to try the experiment by organizing a Sunday-school, an institution which no person in town, except herself, had ever attended.  Accordingly word was given out that on a given day the new school would be opened.
    Speculation was rife and curiosity on tiptoe to know what might be the outgrowth of such an innovation upon the established usages of our democratic empire in the forest.  The young lady in question being a Methodist, and about the only one in town, those who had been educated in other creeds became alarmed at the ghost of proselytism among the youth.  The day came; the slab benches were lined with children of all ages with bronzed faces and naked feet, clad in neat and tidy homespun slips and trowsers, all sedately waiting the progress of events.  There, too, were the sceptics and scoffers of both sexes, but that faithful girl was equal to the occasion.  When the hour arrived she arose from a seat in the corner of the room, and coming to the front briefly stated the object of the meeting, with the remark that she thought the importance of the occasion required the blessing of God, and that was the only to be had by asking.  She politely invited each of her seniors to open the exercise by prayer, which each declined.  I knew every lineament of that young girl’s face as I knew my spelling-book, and could read the conflict going on within, but the triumph was complete as she bended her knee and said, “Let us pray.”
    I have heard eloquence before and since, but never so intensified, and with the word “Amen” the first Sunday-school was organized in Cattaraugus County, and from that day to this there has never a Sabbath passed without a Sunday-school. 
    The first land contracts issued by the Holland Land Company in the county were to Adam Hoops in 1804, on townships 1 and 2, range 4, now Olean.  Joseph McClure early in 1805, in township 4, ranges 4 and 5, now Franklinville.  Still later in the same year the following took contracts:  John Kent, John L. Irwin, Solomon Curtis, Henry Conrad, Daniel Cortrecht, David McClure, John S. Warner, Job Pixley, Thomas Horton, Willard Humphreys, and John Warner.


    On account of the loss of town-records many of the facts pertaining to its early history can not be ascertained.  In the act of March 11, 1808, erecting the county, the town of Olean was also erected, comprising the whole territory of Catttaraugus County; and in the act it was specified that the first town-meeting should be held at the house of Joseph McClure, giving to this town the honor of being the

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birthplace of town organization.  In an old manuscript of about twenty-five pages, containing the records of the town of Olean from its first meeting in 1809 to 1812 (recently found in the town clerk’s office at that place), the following occurs:  “At a special town-meeting held at the house of Wyllys Thrall, on Saturday, the 16th day of May, 1812, for the purpose of dividing the town of Olean, the following votes were passed: 

    “1st.  That the town of Olean shall be divided.
    “2d.  That the division line shall be the line between the third and fourth towns, running east and west.
    “3d.  That the south part of said line shall retain the name of Olean.
    “4th.  That the north part of said line shall be called Ischua.
    “5th.  That the first town-meeting in the town of  Olean shall be held at the house of Sylvanus Russell.
    “6th.  That the first town-meeting in the town of Ischua shall be held at the house of Joseph McClure.
    “7th.  That the postage for to send the same to Albany shall be paid out of the contingent money in the town of Olean.”

    A copy of the proceeding of the meeting was sent to Albany, and June 16, 1812, by an act of Legislature, the town of Ischua was erected.  For many years the belief has obtained that this town was erected by the name of Hebe and changed to Ischua, April 17, 1816, but this is a mistake, as may be seen by reference to the original act, in 1812, and “Revised Statutes,” edition of 1829:  “Franklinville; organized by act June 16, 1812 (6W., 516), by name of Ischua; taken from Olean.”
    In view of the intrinsic value of town-records affecting matters of home administration, it might be expected the people would immediately, on the organization of a town, make arrangements for a permanent and safe town clerk’s office, supplied with necessary appliances for the proper filing and preservation of records.  Documents growing more valuable with the lapse of time are often mixed with recent reports, and stowed carelessly away in some dry-goods box subject to the chances of fire, and all papers and books are bundled loosely together and carted from shop to store, office or private house as often as the office changes, frequently leaving the old papers behind as valueless.  Again, committees are appointed to look over old papers and destroy those that are considered valueless.  The town of Franklinville was erected as Ischua, and comprised the north half of the county, and the assessment-roll of 1812 or 1813 would have given the taxable inhabitants of what now comprises the towns of Franklinville, Farmersville, Freedom, Yorkshire, Machias, Ellicottville, Ashford, Otto, East Otto, Mansfield, New Albion, Persia, Leon, Dayton, and Perrysburg.
    The first written record that can be obtained of supervisors is in the journal of the first and second annual meeting of the Board of Supervisors, after the organization of the county, and covers the years 1818 and 1819.  Thomas Morris was supervisor of this town both of those years.  Joseph McClure was clerk of the Board.  Nothing more was ascertained till 1839.  From that time the list of supervisors, town clerks, and justices are given correctly from the records.

1839 H.W. McClure
1840 Isaac Searl
1841-42 Thomas Seward
1843 James Burt
1844 Otis N. Phillips
1845 Isaac Searl
1846-48 David McClure
1849 William Smith
1851-52 Alanson Crosby
1853-54 Jonas K. Button
1855 O.M. Seward
1856 Lewis J. Mason
1857 Jonas K. Button
1858 Samuel Searl
1859 John Johnston
1860 Jonas K. Button
1861-62 Isaac Searl
1863-66 William F. Weed.
1867 Nathan T. Weed
1868-72 Isaac Searl
1873-74 William A. Day
1875 Solomon Cummings
1876 Alfred Spring
1877-78 Cyrus W. Fay
1839 Warren Kingsley
1840 Perez N. Bradford
1841 Warren Kingsley
1842 Hiram W. McClure
1843-44 John R. Pollard
1845 Le Roy Burlingame
1846-48 James I. McClure
1849 Merlin Mead
1850 James I. McClure
1851 Tilly Gilbert
1852 Henry E. Green
1853 Francis O. Clark
1854 Tilly Gilbert
1855 Le Roy Burlingame
1856 Robert Reed
1857 Joseph Lawrence
1858 Le Roy Burlingame
1859-60 Merlin Mead
1861-63 Dexter C. Weed
1864 Sylvester Curtis
1865-66 David Phetteplace
1867 Marcus Smith
1868 Wallace Howard
1869 J.W. Howard
1870 Andrew Chandler
1871 John Sherry
1872-75 Delos J. Graves
1876 Avery W. Kingsley
1877 Christopher Whitney
1878 Ira T. Gleason
1840 William Elliot

Tilly Gilbert

P.F. Jewell

F.G. Clark
1841 Tilly Gilbert
1842 Manley McClure
1843 Francis G. Clark
1844 William Elliot
1845 Merlin Mead
1846 Manley McClure
1847 Francis G. Clark
1848 Lewis Mason
1849 William F. Weed
1850 Manley McClure
1851 Francis G. Clark
1852 Lewis I. Mason
1853 William F. Weed
1854 Ira L. Burlingame

John Little
1855 Solomon Curtiss
1856 Elnathan Wing
1857 William F. Weed
1858 William Smith

Nathan P. Williams
1859 Le Roy Burlingame
1860 John Burlingame
1861 Solomon Cumming
1862 Peter Carr
1863 Edward Shearn
1864 Pardon Jewell

Nathan P. Williams
1865 Solomon Cummings
1866 Peter Carr
1867 John Burlingame
1868 Le Roy Burlingame
1870 Pardon Jewell

Solomon Cummings
1871 William F. Weed
1872 Marcus Smith
1873 Pardon Jewell
1874 Solomon Cummings
1875 Merlin Mead
1876 Delos J. Graves
1877 Pardon Jewell
1878 George H. Chamberlain


    The two characters who have been prominent in the early settlements of our country are the gospel preacher and the school-teacher.  The two edifices which almost universally adorn our villages are the Christian church and the school-house.  Three or four years at most passed by after the first settlement of the village of Franklinville, as we now call it, before the gospel preacher appeared on the scene. 
    The Rev. John Spencer, who was sent out by the Connecticut Mission Society in 1807, was the first minister of the gospel who labored in this region.  He was a Congregationalist minister, and his work consisted in traveling and preaching; and wherever he could find six Christians who desired church organization, he proceeded to organize a

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church.  He traveled on horseback with his effects in the old fashioned saddle-bags.  His custom was to preach in houses in winter, in houses or barns in summer.  He would go through, preach, and have appointments for service when he returned. 
    The Rev. John Spencer organized the First Church in this place.  The date of the organization is not known, but from records preserved by the Connecticut Missionary Society, it has been ascertained that there was a church here as early as 1813.  The following is an abstract report of some of his labors here, which has been very kindly furnished by the secretary of the Connecticut Missionary Society,  Rev. M.N. Morris, of West Hartford, Connecticut.  In that early day there was no name given for this place in Rev. Mr. Spencer’s reports, but it was known as No. 4 – 4th Range.
    The following is the abstract of report:
    “The church in No. 4 – 4th Range, as he (Rev. J. Spencer) always expressed it, must have been formed previous to 1813, for he mentions preaching there Tuesday, May 18, Thursday, 20, and Sunday, 23, and says in connection with the last, ‘Should have communed, but could not obtain wine,’ – a reason for deferring the Lord’s Supper in several other places.  The war was raging and the sparse settlements not abundantly supplied with wine.  The same year (1813) he preached at No. 4 – 4th Range.  Friday, May 30, also Lord’s day, August 1, when he administered the Lord’s Supper and received one member to the church.  In 1814 he preached Friday, July 8, Monday, July 11, Saturday and Sunday, July 16 and 17, administered the Lord’s Supper and four baptisms, and received two members to the church.  In 1815 he preached Monday, September 4, and Sunday, 17, when there were two baptisms and communion.  In 1816 he preached Thursday, November 7, and Saturday and Sunday, November 9 and 10, received one member, administered two baptisms, and Monday, November 18, five baptisms.  In 1817 he preached Sabbath, August 24, and two baptisms, and Tuesday, August 26.”  The secretary adds, “The journals for parts of 1808, 1810, and 1811, I am not able to find, and names of persons admitted to membership or of those baptized are not given.  Mr. Spencer’s labors closed in 1825.”  The earliest settlers were from the New England States, and the churches which Mr. Spencer organized were Congregational Churches.  They were not formed into associations, but on the “accommodation plan,” were accustomed to send delegates to the Presbyteries, and were under their care.
    After Mr. Spencer had finished his labors there was an interval when the church had no preaching.  In 1828, Rev. William J. Wilcox, a Presbyterian minister, visited the place and held meetings in the Red School-House on North East Street.  An on Sunday, the 2d day of November, 1828, there was a reorganization of the former church.  There were living here at that time three persons who were members of the Congregational Church, viz., John Warner, Mrs. Betsey McClure, and Mrs. Aurelia McClure; these persons, together with the following-named persons, viz., Youngs E. Benton, Mary Ann Benton, Seth Ely, Laura Ely, Parma Dennison, and Mary Ely, presented themselves as candidates for membership in the church.  The Rev. William J. Wilcox was chosen moderator.  Articles of faith and covenant were adopted, and they took the name of the First Presbyterian Church of Franklinville.
    At a meeting of the church held Nov. 28, 1829, by formal vote the church decided to adopt the Presbyterian form of government, and at the same meeting three elders were elected , as follows:  Seth Ely was also chosen to act as deacon.  It was also voted at this meeting to unite with the Presbytery of Angelica. 
    And at the next meeting of the Presbytery, which was held at Angelica, Feb. 24, 1830, and of which Rev. Robert Hubbard was moderator, the church was received into the convention.
    At the next meeting of the Presbytery, which was held in Franklinville, Aug. 31, 1830, the church made the following report:  At organization of church, 9 members; since added, on examination, 12; by letter, 14; total, 35; dismissed, 4; baptisms – adults, 2; infants, 7.
    About the 1st of January, 1831, the church had the first resident minister, the Rev. John T. Baldwin.  He was a graduate of Auburn Theological Seminary, class of 1826, and was ordained by the Presbytery of Buffalo, 1831.  Mr. Baldwin was engaged by the church to preach one-half the time, on salary of $100 per year; he remained until spring of 1834.  About the time that Mr. Baldwin began preaching the White School-House, as it was called, was built.  It was a sort of high-school building, and chapel for the use of the different congregations.  It used to stand on the site where the Baptist church now stands.  It was moved when the Baptist church was built, and is now occupied by Mr. Salisbury as a store.  In the year of 1832, at the annual meeting for the election of trustees, a committee was appointed to take measures to build a house of worship.  And at the annual meeting of the trustees, Feb.2, 1833, a new committee was appointed for the same purpose; and at the annual meeting of the trustees, Feb. 1, 1834, the committee reported “that a site had been given the church by Gen. Joseph McClure; and that there had been erected thereon a meeting-house, which is covered, at the expense of $850; and that there is still due on the subscription $300.”  This was the first building erected in town expressly for church purposes.  It was dedicated Aug. 13, 1835, Rev. Sylvester Cowles preaching the dedication sermon, and is said to have been the third meeting-house built in the county.
    On Wednesday, May 11, 1835, the following temperance resolution was presented to the session by a committee previously appointed for that purpose, and adopted:
    “Whereas, the drinking of intoxicating liquors of every kind is the prolific source of crime, and that to such a degree as to call for the particular expression of the church on this subject, therefore we agree hereafter to receive no person into fellowship with this church unless they will engage not to deal in or use intoxicating liquors as a drink.”
    The church enjoyed many revival seasons, and additions were made almost every communion for years.  There was no year, from 1828 to 1846, when there were not additions.

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The largest number of additions that were made in one year was in 1843; during that year a total of 104 was added, 75 on profession of faith.
    The first church-bell in town was procured by the church in 1850, at a cost of $100.
    The succession of pastors, as nearly as can be ascertained, is as follows:  Revs. John T. Baldwin, 1831-34;  Wm. J. Wilcox, 1834-35;  John T. Baldwin, 1835-36; William Howden, 1836-37;  C.W. Gillam, 1837-42;  H.H. Sackett, 1842-47;  Joshua Lane, 1847-49;  C.H. Baldwin, 1850-52;  Mr. Jerome, 1852-53;  E.J. Stewart, 1854-55;  J.T. Baldwin, 1860’  J.E. Tinker, 1867-70;  W.C. Gaylord, 1871-72;  J.L. Landis, 1875-76;  T.W. Fisher, 1876 to present time.  During the history of the church from 1828 to 1878, there have been 492 different members of the church; of these 294 have joined on profession of faith, 198 by letter.  Baptism has been administered to 299 persons.
    The church building now in use is the one built in 1834.  It was repaired in 1868 at a cost of $1962, and in the year 1876 it was furnished throughout with cushions, at a cost of $185.  And during the present year (1878) has been repaired and improved at an expense of $660.  Present membership is 55.  A flourishing Sabbath-school of 147 members, a ladies’ missionary society, a ladies’ aid society, and a young people’s aid society are some of the various forms in which the church’s activity is manifested.  The church is in a healthy and growing condition.  Some of the gifts to the church have been as follows: 
    Mr. Merlin Mead, who moved here from New York, brought with him a set of communion plate, a gift of three young men, of New York City, in 1830.  This service is yet in use.  One hundred acres of land, given by the Holland Land Co. to the first religious society in East town.  As the Congregational Church of 1813-28 is one and the same with the Presbyterian, from 1828 to the present time, this grant was made to the church by deed, July 8, 1831.  The deed was given to the trustees of the church at that time, who were Flavel Partridge, James S. Bishop, and Seth Ely, as per records in county clerk’s office.  Mrs. Sarah Claflin left by will $500.  This is now in the hands of the trustees, and is to be used towards building a parsonage.


    The members of the Lyndon congregation living in and near the village of Franklinville, feeling the inconvenience of having preaching only occasionally, resolved on having a separate organization ; and accordingly a petition for the same was presented to the Caledonia Presbytery at its meeting in Geneva, May 7, 1867, and the Rev. John Rippy was appointed to effect the organization when requested.  On the 25th of June, 1867, a meeting was held in the house then occupied by the N. S. Presbyterian congregation, and, in the absence of Mr. Rippy, Rev. W. Galbreath, the following persons were received from the United Presbyterian Church of Lindon:  John Johnston, Charles Thompson, Jane Thompson, Daniel McKinlay, Agnes McKinlay, Robert Meikleham, John Little and Mrs. John Little, James Fraser, J. Fraser, Margaret McVey, Mary Jane McCaa, Lizzie McCaa, Mary McCaa, David Copeland, Christiana Dallas, Lizzie Laidlaw, William Swinton, Mrs. William Swinton, Mary Jane McVean, Agnes Morton, Mary Morton, Mrs. Kissock, and Mrs. Duncan.  The congregation was duly organized by the re-election of John Johnston, Charles Thomson, and Daniel McKinley as elders.
    The church was organized under the name of the First United Presbyterian Church of Franklinville.  For some time after the congregation was organized, having no house of their own, they worshiped in the other church buildings. But mostly in the Good Templars’ and Globe Hotel halls.  The discouragements of wandering from place to place, and the uncertainty of getting these places when desired, led them to soon take the steps for securing a church edifice of their own.  The lot which they now occupy was bought of Samuel P. Bard and Cynthia Bard, and deeded Nov. 14, 1867, to John Little, James Johnston, William Swinton, James Fraser, and William G. Laidlaw, trustees, for $200.  For some reason the building of the church was delayed.  It was not ready for occupancy before 1870.  It was not until the fall of 1870 that it was formally dedicated to the worship of God.  The dedicatory sermon was preached by the Rev. J.P. Sankey, of Rochester.  The text of his discourse was from Habakkukk ii. 20:  “The Lord is in his holy temple ; let all the earth keep silence.”  The building cost something near $5000, but was all provided for by the congregation and its many friends of the village at the time of dedication.  The congregation, having now a neat and comfortable house of worship, took steps to secure a pastor.  At a meeting of Presbytery, May 6, 1868, by the request of the congregation, Rev. W. McLaren was appointed to moderate in a call; and that call was made out for Rev. J.M. Waddle, then a member of Chillicothe Presbytery.  This call was declined, and the congregation was supplied by various ministers, among whom was Rev. J.G. Madge.  Mr. Madge labored for some time among this people, and was highly esteemed by them, and in token of their regard for him they gave him Miss Maggie Morton to wife, this being his urgent request.
    The first pastor of the congregation was Rev. William Donaldson.  Mr. Donaldson was born in Washington Co., Pa.;  was graduated at Washington and Jefferson College in the class of 1866, and the Allegany Seminary in 1869;  was licensed as a probationer for the ministry in the spring of 1869, by the Presbytery of Chartiers.  At a meeting of the congregation of June 6, 1869, a unanimous call was made out for Mr. Donaldson; Rev. W.J. Robinson having been appointed to moderate.  The salary offered was $1000.  The call was forwarded to Chartiers Presbytery and accepted.  Mr. Donaldson began his labors in the congregation Nov. 1, 1870, and was ordained and installed as its pastor Dec. 7, 1870.  The ordination sermon was preached by Rev. R.G. Campbell. The pastor was addressed by Rev. C. Kendall.  The charge to the people was delivered by Rev. J. P. Sankey.  The first and the only death in the session was that of Charles Thompson, who died Sept. 8, 1872, while on a visit at the house of his son in Breedsville, Mich.  He was a man loved by all who knew him.  In his death the session

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lost an active and efficient member and a wise counsellor, the congregation a faithful officer and liberal supporter, and the community a respected citizen.  Having obtained a good report through faith, he has gone to receive his reward.  To supply the deficiency caused by his removal, an election of elders was held May 3, 1873.  At the meeting Mr. John Little and James Fraser were chosen.  Mr. Little did not accept the nomination.  Mr. Fraser having signified his willingness to accept the office, he was ordained as elder May 15, 1873.  At a meeting of Presbytery Jan. 27, 1874, Mr. Donaldson presented a petition asking for the dissolution of the pastoral relation.  Rev. H. W. Crabbe declared the pulpit vacant on the second Sabbath of February, 1874.  The pastorate of Mr. Donaldson was short but successful.  Under his short ministry the congregation enjoyed steady and substantial prosperity.  Mr. Donaldson was esteemed by those who knew him.  As a pastor he was diligent and laborious, as a preacher he was earnest and acceptable, as a Christian he was an example.  His memory is yet fondly cherished, and the good report he obtained through faith will not soon be forgotten by his friends on earth not left unrewarded by his Father in Heaven.
    The present pastor, Rev. D. G. McKay, was born in Mercer Co., Pa.; graduated in Westminster College, Pennsylvania, in the class of 1872, and at the Newburg (New York) Theological Seminary, in the class of 1875; was licensed to preach by the New York Presbytery April 8, 1874.  Having supplied in this congregation during the months of November and December, 1875, a call was made out Feb. 1, 1876, Rev. H.W. Crabbe acting as moderator.  This call was accepted April 4, and the ordination and installation took place 15th of May.  Rev. D.F. Bonner preached the ordination sermon and addressed the pastor, and Rev. R.G. Campbell gave the charge to the people.  The relation between pastor and people is still sustained.  The present membership of the church is 75.  A Sabbath-school in connection with the church has an average membership of 146 pupils.  The superintendent is William Swinton.


    In 1814, a Baptist minister by the name of Beckwith passed through Franklinville on a missionary tour, preaching at private houses, and in 1815 became pastor of the Baptist Church at Rushford.   In 1816, Elder Eliab Going began to preach more frequently, having been through there occasionally.  He was a licentiate of the Rushford Baptist Church.  On the 20th day of October, 1825, Elder E. Vining and Nathaniel Bryant, from Ellicottville, Elder Eliab Going and Deacon Junio Freeman, from Rushford, met the Baptist brethren in the Franklinville conference (so called), by their request, and were duly organized into a regular Baptist Church; the following persons becoming constituent members: Deodatus Sill, Simeon R. Lewis, Elijah Sill, Caleb Barber, Margaret Sill, Harriet Sill, and Polly Marfitt.  Of these constituent members Caleb Barber is yet living.
    Sept. 10, 1831, a few of the citizens of the community resolved to build a school-house, and which was also to be used for religious purposes.  A committee composed of J. Burlingame, J.M. Bosworth, --- Fuller, and ---St. John were appointed, and it was erected and known as the “White School-House.”  The Baptist Church had the privilege of using the edifice for their religious services, and held their first meeting June 19, 1832.
    The Presbyterian Church held their service in the old red school-house; but this becoming too small for their use, they asked permission of the Baptists to use the “White School-House” one half the time, which was granted Dec. 29, 1832.
    The Rev. Eliab Going was the first pastor one-half the time for ten years, or until 1835, and was succeeded by the Rev. Adrian Foot, J.G.L. Haskel, --- Tillinghast, J.C. Bywater, D. Searl, V. Bemis, W.S. Phillips, C.B. Reed, D.H. Paul, J.H. Green, G.W. Varnum, A.S. Kneeland, and Geo. W. Varnum, who is the present pastor.
    The whole number added to the church by baptism is 450, by letter 223, by experience 15.  The church at present has a membership of 173.
    In 1842-43, 100 were added to the church, followed by a sad experience of that delusion, Second Adventism, that swept over the country at that time.
    The church to-day is in a prosperous and healthy condition.  A union school was organized at an early date, and in May, 1868, a distinct and separate school became connected with the church, and has a membership at present of 167; Rev. Geo. W. Varnum acting as superintendent.  A second church edifice was erected in 1852-53, repaired in 1858, and destroyed by fire March 12, 1869.  The present edifice was erected in 1869-70, at a cost of $9000.


    Methodist ministers were preaching in this section as early as 1828.  In 1837 a meeting was held in Franlinville by the Rev. Loomis Benjamin and Rev. S. Comfort that was successful in its results, and a class was formed, but it was not until 1842 that a church was organized.  In that year sixteen persons met together at Cadiz, presided over by the Rev. Thomas B. Hudson, and a church was organized.  Mr. Hudson was the first pastor; those who have succeeded him are the Rev. Dr. Whaland, S.B. Rung, John Kent, John C. Noble, --- Durr, Loomis Benjamin, J. Hagar, Dr. S. Hunt, J.A. Wells, Nathaniel Jones, F.W. Conable, Henry Hornby, Andrew McIntyre, --- Tuttle, --- Rogers, --- Rooney, --- Gold, J.A. Willson, Horatio Ripley, John Hill, Joseph Latham, J.C. Whiteside, F.E. Clayton, F.D. Goodrich, and the present pastor, J.H. Freeland.  A church edifice was erected at Cadiz in 1844 at a cost of $2400.  The society having purchased a lot in the village of Franklinville, and intend erecting a church edifice during the year 1879 at a cost of about $4000.  Mrs. Dr. Reed, of Sugartown, has generously donated $1500 for that purpose.

    This church was organized at the school-house on what is  known as East Hill, in 1863, with fifteen members.  The Rev. Otis Bacon was the first pastor, and was succeeded by the Revs. J.C. White, William Manning, M.C. Burritt, George Joscelyn, Levi Metcalf, C. Wilsey, William Ingoldsby, and A.H. Bennett, who is the present pastor.

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    Meetings were held alternately on East Hill and in the Methodist Episcopal church at Cadiz.  In 1875 a church edifice was built in the village of Franklinville, and dedicated Jan. 6, 1876.  The Rev. R.W. Hawkins, from Oil City, preached the dedication sermon.  The church has a present membership of 34, and a Sunday-school connected with it of about 30 pupils.


    This church was erected in 1874-75 at an expense of $2300, and dedicated Aug. 1, 1875.  Father J. Brady, of Ellicottville, was the first pastor, having this in charge with the church of that place.  The pastors who succeeded him were P. Maloy, J. Long, and Bernard B. Clark, who is the present pastor.
    The number of families connected with the church is 43.



    The first duly authenticated body of this order organized within the limits of what is now the town of Franklinville was Cattaraugus Lodge, No. 393, and the first notice or record that can be found would seem to indicate the formation of the lodge, and is as follows :  “Nov. 16, 1824, Cattaraugus Lodge, No. 393, convened at lodge-room at Franklinville.  Present, Brother Jacob Wade, Past Master.  Proceeded to install Brother Joseph McClure as Junior Warden, agreeable to the order of the Right Worthy Grand Master, Joseph Enos, of the date of Oct. 23, 1824.  Petitions received and put on file of Samuel McClure, of Franklinville; Solomon Curtis, of Franklinville; James L. Bishop, of Farmersville.
    “Brothers Thomas Morris, Elwin Seward, and Levi Peet were appointed a committee of inquiry.  Lodge adjourned until two weeks from this day, at two of the clock p.m.
    “Nov. 30, 1824. – Lodge opened at lodge-room.  Present, Joseph McClure, Thomas Morris, Ezekiel Flanders, Samuel Putnam, Elam Seward, Levi Peet.  They proceeded to elect officers for the ensuing year, with the following result:  Joseph McClure, Master;  Thomas Morris, S.W.;  Levi Peet, J.W.;  Elam Seward, Treas.;  Samuel Putnam, Sec.;  Ezekiel Flanders, J.D.;  Edward Sales, Tyler.”
    Its meetings were held in the lodge-room, in the McClure tavern, and the lodge increased in numbers, and continued to flourish until about 1831, when it ceased work, owing to the great tidal wave of anti-Masonry which swept over the country at that time.  David McClure was Master at that time, and refused to surrender the charter.
    The festival of St. John the Baptist was held here from June 24, 1825, publicly.  Rev. Elias Going was Orator;  Augustin F. Hayden, Marshal of the day.
    The Past Masters of the Cattaraugus Lodge were Joseph McClure, Thomas Morris, James L. Bishop, Pardon T. Jewell, Isaac Searl, and David McClure, who was its last Worthy Master.
    A charter for the Royal Arch Chapter was petitioned for and granted Dec. 30, 1825.  Augustin F. Hayden was the first High-Priest.   
    In 1827, the first death occurred in the ranks of the Masonic fraternity, and all that was mortal of Edward Swales was borne to the tomb with Masonic honors.  He was buried on a knoll that is now on the highway to Farmerville Centre, between the residence of William B. McGeorge and Evarts Russell.
    On the 22d day of June, 1867, a charter was granted by the Grand Lodge, constituting Franklinville Lodge, No. 626, in the village of Franklinville, naming David Phetteplace, Master; John Burlingame, S.W.;  William A. Day, J.W.  Its charter members were D.M. Phettiplace, J. Burlingame, H.A. Harvey, P.T. Jewell, W.A. Day, H. Stillwell, H. Van Aernam, Allen Briggs, J.R. Salisbury, J.D. Napier, Joseph Deibler, H.E. Green, Wm. Napier, Perry Willard, S.B. Robbins, L.E. Stillwell.
    The Past Masters of Lodge No. 262 have been D.M. Phetteplace, P.T. Jewell, J. Burlingame, W.S. Hovey, and William M. Benson.
    The officers of 1878 are N.F. Weed, W. Master;  John Burlingame, Senior Warden;  H. Stillwell, Junior Warden;  D.J. Graves, Treasurer;  J.R. Salisbury, Secretary;  W.M. Benson, Chaplain;  Edgar Cudeling, S.D.;  Cyrus Case, J.D.;  O.N. Latham, Tyler;  O.A. Spoor, S. Master of Ceremonies;  S.B. Robbins, J. Master of Ceremonies. 
    They have at present 70 members.  Their meetings are held in the Masonic Hall, on West Street.


    The lodge of the Ancient Order of United Workmen was instituted on March 3, 1877, and organized by the election of W.S. Hovey Past Master Workman; James D. McVey, Master Workman;  George C. Clark, Recorder;  Dr. F. Findley, Receiver.
    They number at present 34 members, and hold their meetings over Huych’s furniture-store, on West Street.

ISCHUA LODGE, NO. 409, I.O. of O.F.,

was organized April 3, 1849, with Silas Adams, Noble Grand;  Jasper Andrews, Vice-Grand.  It flourished a few years;  dissensions crept in, and its charter was surrendered the latter part of 1854.


    The first attempt to “teach the young idea how to shoot” was in 1808 or ‘9, and was by Dr. John McClure, in the house of one Hotchkiss, who had moved away, and was on the west side of Ischua Creek, near the old burial-place. 
    In 1813 a frame school-house, 16 by 60, the first in the town, was built on land now owned by --- Grierson, two miles below the village, on the Henry Conrad farm.  Henry L. Kingsley was the first teacher.
    In 1820, William Older, William Stillwell, and Solomon Curtiss were appointed school trustees.  A log school-house was built about half a mile north of the village.  In 1820-21, Louie Moore taught them;  in the winter of 1821-22, Benjamin McClure; and in 1824-25, Pardon T. Jewell.
    In 1828 the first school-house in the village of Franklinville was built on the road leading to Farmersville.  The statistics of schools for this town in the year 1878 show the town to contain 12 school districts, with twelve school

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buildings, valued, with their sites, at $4775, and to have in connection 458 volumes in library, valued at $250.  There were twelve teachers employed, who received as wages $2027.14.  The number of weeks taught was 343 4/5 ;  the number of children of school age was 579; average daily attendance, 227;  amount of public money received from the State, $1364.55; amount raised by tax, $611.09.


    The first burials were on lot 7, township 4, range 5, the land owned by Charles W. Phillips.  Dr. John McClure was the first in the town to “pass to the other side.”  His death occurred in 1811, and he was buried on the north side of the road leading from Franklinville to Ellicottville.  Mrs. Charles McLouth was also buried here, in 1824.  A family burial-place was used by the McClures on the farm.
    The first burial-place set apart by the inhabitants as such consisted of one acre, and was bought for $100 of Manley McClure and Philo Bradley, and was located on the east side of the Buffalo State Road, on lot 39, township 4, and 4th range.  Twenty-one of the citizens of the place united, and chose as trustees James Fay, Jesse Smith, and Cyrus Briggs.  This was in 1838.  It was laid out into lots, and the lots were sold.  In May, 1839, William Kissock was buried in the grounds, being the first laid away in this “Silent City.”
    A burial-place containing about one acre was laid out on the west side of the creek, at Cadiz, in 1837.  Solomon Curtiss and his wife were among the first buried there.
    In these burial-places the “forefathers of the hamlet sleep.”


    The cemetery is located on the slope of the east hill, overlooking the village of Franklinville and the valley beyond.  Here in solemn silence childhood, youth, manhood, and old age, buoyant hopes, brilliant prospects, high and noble aims, and the burdens of weary life are all buried.
    For several years the question of a new cemetery had been agitated.  Meetings were held, committees appointed, reports made, but nothing had been accomplished.  In July, 1877, a few citizens, determined upon securing the object that had so frequently failed, obtained the signatures of about fifty of the citizens, whereby they agreed to form an association under the laws of the State, purchase ground, and lay out a cemetery.  On the 28th day of July, 1877, a meeting was held in the Baptist church, and a corporation was organized under the name of  “The Franklinville Cemetery” (now known as “Mount Prospect Cemetery”).  Trustees were elected as follows:  William F. Weed, James H. Ferris, O.A. Holmes, S. Cummings, Warren Carpenter, J.H. Waring, H. Van Aernam , J.E. Robeson, J.D. Case.  From these an organization of the board was effected by electing as follows: for President, H. Van Aernam;  Vice-President, William F. Weed;  Treasurer, J.D. Case;  Secretary,  J.H. Waring;  Executive Committee, William F. Weed, Warren Carpenter, J.F. Robeson.
    On the 30th day of July, 1877, the certificate of incorporation was recorded in the county clerk’s office.
    Sept. 5, 1877, the trustees purchased 12 12/100 acres of Tryphenia and Luman Howard; later, a strip of land along the western side.  The grounds now contain 13 12/100 acres, the first cost of which was $2350.  They were given into the charge of Mr. H.B. Allen, by whom they were laid out into plats, subdivided into lots, intersected with avenues;  near the centre of the grounds a mound about 50 feet in diameter was erected, called “The Soldiers’ Rest,” and dedicated to those who gave their lives in the defense of their country.
    The grounds were dedicated with appropriate ceremonies June 6, 1878.  Introductory remarks by the Rev. R.G. Campbell, of the United Presbyterian Church of Lyndon.  History of the Association by J.H. Waring, secretary of the association.  Dedicatory written for the occasion by Marvin Older.  Address by the Rev. F.W. Fisher, of the First Presbyterian Church of Franklinville.  Hymn composed by Rev. Geo. W. Varnum.  Closing remarks by the Rev. A.H. Bennett, of the Free Methodist Church of Franklinville and followed by a prayer by the Rev. Geo. W. Varnum, of the Baptist Church of Franklinville.


    The first mail-route through to Franklinville was opened from Centreville in 1816, and in the following year was continued to Ellicottville.  The mail messenger was --- Moore, who carried the mail on horseback in saddle-bags, and in 1819 or 1820 was continued to Lodi.  Wm. M. and Marven Older carried the mail two years from Perry, Wyoming Co., to Gowanda, through this place and Ellicottville.
    Thomas B. Walker and his brother succeeded them, and for the first time in the country the mail was carried by stage;  they continued twelve or fourteen years.  The first postmaster was Joseph McClure, who was appointed upon the establishment of the office in 1816, and filled the position till 1833.  The receipts of the office for postage for the year ending March 31, 1832, were $89.36.
    A post-office had been established some years before 1832, called canning, and located on the hill between Franklinville and Ellicottville.  The net amount for postage accruing for the year ending March 31, 1832, was $3.59.  Jas. L. Bishop, postmaster.
    David McClure succeeded his father in the office of postmaster in Franklinville, June 30, 1833, and filled the position till 1841, and was followed by Maj. Flavel Partridge.  Upon his retirement, about 1844, David McClure was reappointed, and held the office until 1849, when Silas Adams, Gigeon Searl, and J.R. Salisbury occupied the position till 1856, when David McClure was again reappointed, June 30, 1856, filled the position till June 30, 1861, and was succeeded by John Little, the present incumbent, who has occupied the position continuously for seventeen years, and is still an acceptable officer in the department.
    About the time the Erie Railroad was opened through this part of the county, a post-office was established at Cadiz.  Merlin Mead was appointed postmaster.  He was succeeded by Leroy Burlingame, who still holds the position.


    The Buffalo and Washington Railway was constructed through this section of country in 1872.  The first train

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entered the village of Franklinville the 10th day of June, 1872.    Bonds of the town of Franklinville in aid of the construction of the road, to the amount of $30,000, were issued Sept. 5, 1868.  These bonds were inoperative until such time that the road was constructed through the town.  Samuel S. Spring, Horatio Stillwell, and Wm. F. Weed were appointed commissioners.  At a meeting of the commissioners, Oct. 6, 1868, a power of attorney was granted to Jonas K. Button to subscribe for 300 shares of stock at $100 per share, in the city of Buffalo, which was accomplished Oct. 7, 1868.
    Feb. 1 and 17 the stock was sold, and bonds Nos. 10 to 30 inclusive were taken up at 70 per cent.; and in 1874 the town commenced paying $2000 per year, with accrued interest.  Feb. 1, 1878, $1070 was paid, being balance of principal and interest of the bonded indebtedness of the town.
    The Rochester State Line Railroad runs through lots 63, 55, 56, and 48, in the northwest corner of the town.


    A level tract of land along the Ischua Creek, in the northeast part of the town, forms the site of the village.
    Settlement was commenced here in March, 1806, by Joseph McClure, whose pioneer entry into the town has been already mentioned.  He built a small log house a little west of the north and south road, where he lived until about 1816, when he built a frame house for a tavern, and at this time he was appointed postmaster.  Thomas Morris sold the first goods here, in 1808.  In 1816, Isaac Carpenter sold goods here also.  Jonathan Lyon, in 1819, built a log tannery on the spot where Jonas K. Button’s residence now stands, and in 1820 it was destroyed by fire, this being the first fire that occurred in the village.  Flavel Partridge, in 1821, built the first store on the southeast corner of the “Square.”  In 1824, Jasper M. Bosworth came to the village and built a blacksmith-shop north on the Buffalo Road, and there followed his trade, much to the advantage of the community.
    Pardon T. Jewell, in 1825, rented the McClure tavern, and kept it until 1828.
    Israel Day started a deer-skin tannery a little south of the village, and manufactured gloves and mittens quite extensively, furnishing employment for the women of the neighborhood.
    Cook & Day had a store on the northwest corner of the “Square,” which was destroyed by fire in January, 1825-26.
    About 1828 a tavern was built between the Farmersville and Buffalo roads where the Globe Hotel now stands.
    About 1830 a tavern was also built on the northwest corner of the “Square,” and was kept by Mead & Ely, afterwards by Matthew McGeorge, and was burned about 1850. 
    The first school was taught in the village by Isaac Carpenter in his own house, prior to 1825; and the first school-house was erected in 1828, on the road leading to Farmersville, on land now owned by Reuben Button.
    Dr. James Trowbridge, in the spring of 1817-1818, came into the town from Ellicottville and practiced his profession here, being the first physician in the town.  He remained about three years, and removed to Hinsdale.  Dr. Charles McLouth succeeded him, and the remainder of his life was passed here in the practice of his profession.  Dr. Augustus Hayden, in 1824-25, came in the village, lived, practiced until his death, which occurred about 1835.
    Lorentus Salisbury, about 1825, came to the village, and entered the service of Maj. Flavel Partridge, as clerk in the store.  He soon started a business with Jonathan Lyon, afterward with Jabez Morgan, and in 1835 commenced alone.  In 1837 his brother, J.K. Salisbury, came to town and was clerk for his brother a year, then entered partnership, and the mercantile business has been represented by them in the village from 1825 till 1878.  In 1855 the village had a population of 370 inhabitants.
    In pursuance of the statute governing preliminary proceedings in reference to the incorporation of villages, noticed were issued, signed by many of the citizens, and on the 19th day of May, 1874, a meeting was held in response to the notice in Woodworth’s Hall at Franklinville, to determine whether the territory described below should be incorporated as a village to be known as Franklinville.  Beginning at the southeast corner of lot 39, township 4, and 4th range of the Holland Land Company’s Survey ; thence west along the south bounds of said lot 39, 74 chains and 50 links to the southwest of lot 39 ; thence north along the township line, between the 4th and 5th ranges of township of said survey, 94 chains to a point 34 chains north of the southwest corner of lot 40, township 4, and 4th range ; thence east through the Riggs farm to the west bounds of the Buffalo road ; thence northerly along the west bounds of said road to a point opposite to the northwest corner of land now owned by N.F. Weed & Co. on said lot 40 ; thence southeasterly across said road and along said Weed’s line to the east bounds of the Rushford or Farmersville road at the bridge across the Saunders Creek ; thence southerly along the east bounds of said road to the north line of B. Howard’s land on said lot 40 ; thence easterly on said Howard’s north line to the east bounds of said lot 40 ; thence south on the east line of said lot 40, 17 chains to the south corner thereof ; thence south on the east line of lot 39, 59 chains and 10 links to the southeast corner thereof, being the place of beginning, containing 647 acres of land.
    After due consideration the vote was called, and 89 votes were cast, of which 63 were “for the corporation,” and 24 were “against the corporation.”  A call was issued for an election of officers for the corporation June 17, 1874, and held with the following results : Samuel S. Spring, President; Jonas K. Button, Andrew C. Adams, Henry Van Aernam, Trustees;  A.B. Chandler, Collector;  Solomon Cummings, Treasurer;  Alfred spring was appointed Clerk.
    The presidents have been as follows : In 1875 Samuel S. Spring was re-elected ; in 1876, N.F. Weed was elected;  in 1877, N.F. Weed was re-elected;  in 1878, Andrew C. Adams was elected.
    The present Board of Trustees are Jonas K. Button, A.H. Towne, and R.F. Woodworth.
    A. Clark Adams is the Corporation Clerk.
    June 15, 1876, Eagle Fire Company, No. 1, was organized with 20 members.  J.E. Robeson, Foreman;

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S.B. Robbins, Assistant Foreman;  Geo. H. Chandler, President;  A.L. Mixer, Vice-President;  Ira T. Gleason, Secretary;  C. Whitney, Treasurer.
    A Babcock fire-engine having a capacity of 100 gallons was purchased by the corporation, at an expense of $1000, and placed in charge of the company.
    The village contains 6 churches (Presbyterian, United Presbyterian, Baptist, Free Methodist, Catholic, and Methodist), hotel, bank, academy, school-house, post-office, 4 lawyers, 4 physicians, 1 dentist, 2 dry-goods stores, 3 groceries, 2 hardware-stores, 2 drug-stores, 2 furniture-stores, 1 printing-office, and 1 job-office, jewelry-store, 2 insurance-offices, 3 tailor-shops, 4 millinery-stores, 4 carriage-shops, 4 blacksmith-shops, marble-shop, photograph-gallery, 2 markets, harness-shop, tin-shop, 2 shoe-shops, flour and feed store, steam saw- and grist-mill, barber-shop, and livery stable, and depot of the Buffalo, New York and Philadelphia Railroad, and contains a population of 610 inhabitants.


    The first exchange-office in town was commenced by N. F. Weed & Co., Jan. 1, 1867, for the better accommodation of the business of the village and town.  Account was opened with Fiske & Hatch, and in Dec. 27, 1867, was changed to the Bank of North America, and April 6, 1869, to the National Trust Company, Broadway, New York.  A demand for greater banking facilities, as well as the increase in business, caused the formation of the Bank of Franklinville, which was organized Dec. 26, 1872, with a capital of $26,ooo, and having as stockholders or copartners A.W. Miner, Friendship ; A.A. Morgan, Cuba ; Samuel Morgan, Cuba ; J.D. Case ; S.R. Williams, Franklinville ; N.F. Weed, Franklinville.  Wm. F. Weed, President ; J.D. Case, Cashier.
    The exchange-office of N.F. Weed & Co. was merged into the Bank of Franklinville, which commenced business Feb. 3, 1873, in the second story of the Warren block, and continued there until their new banking-house was finished in January, 1876, on the corner once occupied by D. Claflin as a residence, later as the Railroad Hotel, which was destroyed by fire in 1874 or 1875.  The copartners continued in the private banking business until Jan. 1, 1877, when they changed to the First National Bank of Franklinville, with a capital of $55,000, receiving a charter dated Jan. 15, 1877, and elected as officers and directors Wm. F. Weed, President ; H. Stillwell, Vice-President ; Jason D. Case, Cashier ; Directors, Wm. F. Weed, A.W. Miner, H. Stillwell, T. Case, H.E. Green, N.F. Weed, and J.D. Case.  The bank building is built of brick, two stories high and well finished throughout, the upper rooms being used for offices.
    Their business has steadily increased from the commencement until now they do most of the business of the towns of Machias, Yorkshire, Freedom, Farmersville, Lyndon, Ischua, and Humphrey.  Since the organization, they have never had a loss to charge up.  The business has had close attention, and an effort made to aid all laudable enterprises.
    The cashier is a native of Lyndon, and for three years previous to the organization of the bank had the charge of a large oil company’s interest in Pennsylvania.


    Nov. 1, 1865, the first number of The Weekly Pioneer was issued by H.A. Williams and A.M. Curtiss, and continued under that name until the second year of its existence, when it was changed to the Franklinville Pioneer, and continued to be known by that title until its discontinuance, in the winter of 1866-1867.
    The Weekly Argus.--- The first number of this paper was issued September 14, 1875.  Francis M. Perley, who was formerly the publisher of the Ohio State Journal, is the editor and proprietor.  It is independent in politics.


    The village is located on the west side of Ischua Creek, one mile and a half south from Franklinville.  The first settler at the corners was John Warner, in about 1808 or 1809.  John McNall and Howland Washburn, about 1816, a little south on the road leading to the grist-mill.  McNall built a saw-mill on the creek in 1818.  Tilly Gilbert came into the settlement in 1825, built the first store, and erected a carding-machine.  In 1826, John McNall built a tavern, and Elijah Hyde moved to this place and established a store in 1830.  The village contains a post-office, a church (Methodist), store, grocery, school-house, saw- and planning-mill, cheese-box factory, cooper-shop, clothes-pin factory, blacksmith-shop, and about one hundred inhabitants.


    The soil in the town is gravely loam with admixture of clay, and is remarkably well adapted to dairying, and the attention of the farming community is mainly directed to the manufacture of butter and cheese.  There was manufactured in families during the past year about 65,175 pounds of butter.  There are in the town four cheese-factories (three of which are owned by Jonas K. Button), that manufacture annually about 800,000 pounds, and are located as follows:
    The Franklinville factory, one mile south of the village, uses the milk of about 800 cows.
    South Franklinville factory has in connection with it about 550 cows.
    West Franklinville factory has about 500 cows.
    The Cadiz Union, one mile west of Cadiz, is owned by Jonas K. Button, R.C. Button, and Henry Morgan, and has connected with it 300 cows.
    The tables given below are carefully compiled from reports of those years, and show the rise and progress of the town.
    The agricultural statistics of 1835, with the manufactures, school districts, wages, public moneys, were as follows:

Acres 32,672
Acres improved 4,148
Assessed value of real estate $65,344
Assessed value of personal estate $750
Cattle 1455
Horses 277
Sheep 1,838

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Swine 969
Fulled cloth, yards 1,632
Woolen cloth, unfulled, yards 1,896
Cottons, linens, etc., yards 2,409
County tax $489.12
Town tax $641.36
Saw-mills 3
Fulling-mill 1
Carding machine 1
Asheries 3
Tanneries 2
Number of school districts 8
Public money expended $135
Teachers’ wages and public money $205
Number of scholars 444

    The agricultural statistics of 1855 and 1875 are given below for comparison, and are taken from the census of those years.
Acres, improved  13,972
Acres, unimproved
Meadow, acres
Hay, tons
Oats, acres sowed
Oats, bushels reaped
Corn planted, acres
Corn harvested, bushels
Potatoes planted, acres
Potatoes gathered, bushels
Apples gathered, bushels
Maple-sugar manufactured, barrels
Honey collected, pounds
Butter manufactured, pounds
Cheese manufactured, pounds
Wool clipped, pounds

Acres, improved 20,198
Acres, unimproved 10,810
Meadow 6,563
Hay, tons cut 7,898
Corn, acres sowed 211
Corn, bushels harvested 7,720
Oats, acres sowed 1,464
Oats, bushels harvested 36,131
Potatoes, acres planted 224
Potatoes, bushels harvested 28,624
Apple-trees 11,647
Apples, bushels harvested 11,645
Maple-sugar, pounds manufactured 26,681
Cows 2,219
Cows whose milk was sent to factory 1,646
Butter, pounds made in families 111,174
Sheep shorn 1,283
Wool, pounds clipped 5,364
Pork, pounds raised 92,741


    The Ten Broeck Free Academy, occupying a spacious inclosure in the northern part of the village of Franklinville, owes its existence to the munificent liberality of the late Hon. Peter Ten Broeck. 
    It was incorporated by an act of Legislature, April 19, 1862.
    The end in view in causing to be erected a suitable building and endowing the institution, as expressed in the last will and testament of Mr. Ten Broeck, was to give to the youth in the tree towns, Franklinville, Farmersville, and Machias, the privilege of securing an education free of expense for instruction.  A small tuition fee has, however, been required up to this time.
    Under the direction of Mr. Ten Broeck the following gentlemen were appointed trustees:  Jonas K. Button for the town of Franklinville; Heman G. Button for Machias; John T. Cummings for the town of Farmersville.  Each trustee is required to give bonds to double the amount of the funds bequeathed to the institution.  The last-named gentleman did not qualify.  Andrew C. Adams was duly appointed in his stead.  Mr. Adams, removing from the town of Farmersville in 1873, left, thereby, the trusteeship of that town vacant.  James H. Day was appointed the following year.  These are the only changes that have occurred in the board since its organization.
    Early in 1867 the trustees erected an edifice according to the specifications in Mr. Ten Broeck’s will.
    The building is 64 feet long by 44 feet wide.  The recitation-rooms, hall, library, and apparatus-room, and cloak-room, on the first floor, and the recitation-room, hall, art, and music-room, on the second floor, are 14 feet high.  The chapel on the second floor is 18 feet high. 
    It is a fine structure of cut tone, built at a cost of $21,000, and supplied with the modern improvements in school furniture.  The grounds are filled with shrubbery, and the building and its surroundings are kept in excellent condition.
    There is connected with the institution a carefully-selected library of 500 volumes of standard and miscellaneous works, to which all students have access, at stated times, free of expense.  The apparatus is new and extensive; the sciences, mathematics, astronomy, philosophy, chemistry, and physiology being amply represented.  The library and apparatus were procured at an expense of about $2000.
    By an act of the Legislature, in 1868, the academy was placed under the visitation of the Regents of the University of the State of New York, and made to share in the distribution of the Literature Fund.
    On Dec. 17, 1867, the school was opened for the reception of students, the trustees having previously elected to the responsible position of principal William B. Benson, A.M., assisted by an excellent corps of teachers.  He has uninterruptedly filled the position for the past twelve years with marked ability, and given the institution a wide reputation for excellent discipline, thorough training, and a healthful intellectual and moral atmosphere.
    At the date of the incorporation of the academy, the sources from which the Endowment Fund was to be derived consisted principally of landed property lying in the tree towns mentioned.  The executor of the estate has by degrees disposed of these lands and placed the proceeds in the hands of the trustees.  In the last annual report of the trustees to the Regents of the University, Sept. 1, 1878, the following exhibit of the financial condition of the academy was given:

Academy building-grounds, library and apparatus, and school furniture   $24,820.15
Bonds and mortgages                                  46,674.58
Cash in treasurer’s hands                                                 3,660.64
Total                            $75,155.37

    The academy has no liabilities.
    The Regents of the University designated this as one of

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the academies of the State to instruct a teachers’ class during the fall term of 1868.  From that date for ten consecutive years the academy has received the honor of this appointment.  The instruction in the Theory and Practice of Teaching and in School Economy has been vigorous and thorough.  The class has always been large, and its members during this time have carried the influence of the academy into nearly every school district in the county.
    Besides the advantages of thorough instruction in Music and in Art, there are three courses of study in the Literary Department.  The Classical Course and the College Preparatory Course have been represented each year.  The names of the first graduating class, June, 1870, are the following:  Joel H. Greene, Alfred Spring, James H. Waring, Emily M. Adams, Ida M. Adams, Mary T.B. Button, Ida A. Giles, - all in the Classical Course.  Since that time a large number of young men and women have completed the prescribed course of study, and with the honors and benefits of the school have gone forth into the world to fill responsible and useful situations.  Some of them are numbered among the alumni of our best colleges, and some of them are now pursuing a college course.  The corps of teachers for the academic year 1878-79 is as follows:  W.M. Benson, A.M., Principal, Languages and Sciences; Miss. Cornelia Willsie, Preceptress, Higher English Branches;  Mrs. Franc L. Bonnell, Assistant Preceptress, Mathematics and Higher English;  Miss. R.M. Mead, Rhetoric and German;  Miss Louise Cummings, Music Department; Mrs. F.W. Fisher, Art Department.
    Since the opening of the institution the patronage has been gradually extended.  There are in attendance at this date 250 students, about equally divided as to sex; 200 of them being eighteen years of age and upwards, and representing thirty-five towns in this State and Pennsylvania.
    The school has uniformly been a great success, and a mighty power in training a multitude of young men and women to successfully engage in the duties of life, and has in this way, in a large measure, reflected the wisdom and noble policy of its founder.

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was the eldest of five sons and the second of a family of ten children, and was born in Somerset Co., N.J., on the 1st of May, 1793.  In 1797 his father, Reoloff Ten Broeck, together with his family, removed to Otsego Co., N.Y., where young Peter underwent all the unimportant vicissitudes of ordinary childhood, save the fact that up to the age of thirteen years he had never seen the inside of a school-house, and the little education he then possessed was obtained around the domestic fireside through the agency of his mother.  In the winter of 1806 he attended a common school for three months, and again, after attaining his majority, he entered an academy at Sangerfield, Oneida Co., where he remained until the close of the term, which was just six weeks, and this (to quote his own phraseology) “completed my education.”  In the spring of 1816, at the age of twenty-three, Mr. Ten Broeck left the paternal residence to woo fortune and to act his part upon the theatre of coming events.  He traveled on foot westward as far as Erie, Pa., where he arrived in the latter part of May; from thence, returning homeward, he crossed the counties of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus, in the latter of which he found a small settlement on the Ischua Creek, now known as the village of Franklinville, into which he first set his foot on the 6th day of June, 1816, where he remained a few days, and finally reached his father’s home in the early part of July, where he spent the balance of the summer.  In October of the same year he, in company with his younger brother, Cornelius, and Richard Tozer, again started on a voyage of discovery, and, being somewhat favorably impressed with the general appearance of the eastern part of Cattaraugus, hither he directed his footsteps; and, after due investigation, the trio decided to locate at or near what is now Farmersville Centre, and in accordance with this decision they contracted with the agent of the Holland Land Company for two hundred acres each, and immediately proceeded to define boundaries by marked trees and driven stakes.  By the united energy of the three stalwart pioneers the body of a rude log house was erected, but winter coming on, and being illy prepared to buffet its rigors, the three fled for refuge to their old Otsego home.  In February, 1817, the same party, increased to five by the enlistment of two raw recruits, Peleg Robbins and Levi Peet, all started for the primitive hamlet in the wilds of the West.  In the spring of 1817, Peter Ten Broeck sold his land-claim to Levi Peet, and in company with Peleg Robbins, again entered upon a path of investigation.  He traveled on foot west and south, through the States of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Virginia, experiencing many wild adventures too numerous to detail in this sketch.  They returned by a circuitous route, and arrived at the village of Franklinville in the latter part of August, 1817.  After resting a few days he resumed his journey, and arrived at his father’s house in the fall, where he remained until February, 1818, when he rejoined his companions in their primitive settlement, commenced two years before, and spent the summer at their rustic home.
    In the autumn of 1818 he located upon the south one hundred acres of lot 36, township 5, range 4, and erected his log house, in which he kept “bachelor’s hall” until the time of his marriage.  In the summer of 1819 he married Mary, daughter of Hon. Ashbel Freeman, then one of the judges of the old Court of Common Pleas.  To trace the history of Judge Ten Broeck in detail through his eventful life would exceed the limits of this brief sketch; we must therefore confine ourselves to a few prominent events and leading characteristics of his life and experience.  Possessing great physical and mental energy, unabated industry and perseverance, these added to a good constitution and terculcan frame, rendered him capable of enduring much fatigue and accomplishing much labor.  Prosperity followed as the result of his industry, prudence, and economy, until

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the small beginning of one hundred acres had expanded by a species of financial accretion and attained the huge proportions of eight thousand acres, all lying within the towns of Farmersville, Franklinville, and Machias.  This vast estate was all managed as one farm under his own personal supervision, he directing every movement in its most minute details.
    Judge Ten Broeck early gave his attention to the purchase and raising of cattle, and eventually became the most extensive grazier in Western New York, generally keeping from six to twelve hundred head of cattle; these were sent yearly to the Eastern market, and the avails invested in additional stock or in improvements upon his farm.  In acquiring his large estate, Judge Ten Broeck never invested one dime in any precarious speculation by which fortunes are so often made or lost, but every farthing was the result of legitimate profit and honest labor.
    By reason of his sterling qualities of head and heart, he possessed the entire confidence of the community in which he resided, and was frequently selected as their representative on the board of supervisors.
    For a number of years he was the accredited collection agent of the Holland Land Company, taking cattle as payment on land contracts, resulting in mutual benefits to the land company and the settlers; and so extensive did this traffic become that Peter Ten Broeck became well and favourably known in the principal cattle markets in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
    From 1822 to 1827 he held the position of associate judge of Cattaraugus County, and again from 1837 to 1847, in all a term of fifteen years, the duties of which he discharged with entire satisfaction.
    Mr. Ten Broeck having passed the meridian of life, and being without issue to heir his fortune, had long contemplated, and finally matured a plan to bestow his wealth so that it might secure the greatest good to the greatest number, and reflect imperishable honor upon his name.
    In his last will and testament, after providing for the payment of certain legacies to relatives and friends, amounting in all to the sum of sixty thousand dollars, he decreed that the balance of his estate, as fast as it could be prudently turned into ready means, should be expended in the construction and endowment of a literary institution to be known as the “Ten Broeck Free Academy.”  The building was commenced in 1866, and was completed the following year at a cost of twenty-one thousand five hundred dollars, and went into successful operation in the month of December, 1867.  (A brief synopsis of the history of the Ten Broeck Free Academy may be found in another part of this work.)  Judge Ten Broeck also provided in his will that the privileges of the institution should be free to all resident students within the three towns of Farmersville, Franklinville, and Machias, so far as available funds would permit.  There is already permanently invested as an endowment fund the sum of forty-six thousand five hundred dollars, yielding an annual revenue of something over thirty-three hundred dollars.
    Judge Ten Broeck, in accordance with a preconceived plan, by this generous and humane act became a benefactor to mankind and enrolled himself among those
    “Whose works shall ne’er crumble.
     Till monuments tumble
     And nature shall pause

    In his social intercourse with men, Judge Ten Broeck was somewhat abrupt, pointed, and energetic, seeking no honeyed words or high-toned rhetorical phrases to convey an ambiguous meaning; yet behind those brusque utterances and unpolished demeanor he carried as kind and sympathetic a heart as ever beat in the human bosom.  Pride in dress, in equipage, and external adornments he ever regarded as beneath the dignity of manhood.  If he ever exhibited any pride it was manifested in the extreme paucity of a plebeian outfit.  In many of his notions the judge was extremely antiquated, regarding many improvements as innovations upon the long-established usages of his ancestors. 
    As a neighbor, he was quiet, kind, and obliging; as a citizen, he was public-spirited, ever forward in promoting the general weal.
    As a man, he was the soul of honor and integrity, regarding his word as sacred, allowing no contingency of circumstances or probabilities of profit or loss to interfere with its positive and prompt fulfillment.  Judge Ten Broeck was human, and he had his frailties; he was mortal, and he died.  On the 5th day of August, 1863, he was gathered to his fathers, and inhumed in a family cemetery purchased by himself, where a fitting memento is raised to mark his final resting-place.  His frailties, if he had any, are merged in the oblivion of forgetfulness; but he lives by his virtues, lives in the memory of a grateful people.  The influences of his benevolence and philanthropy are yet to be engraven upon the hearts of generations unborn.
    When the speaking marble that now tells the traveler who rests beneath its base, and the proud structure that now bears his name shall be drifting dust o’er barren wastes, could he look forth from his spiritual resting-place upon the last embryo of future years when it shall have grown old with time, he would behold engraven upon the coffin-lid of the last dead year the inscription, “I am only remembered by what I have done.”



was born May 3, 1821, at Machias, Cattaraugus Co., N.Y., of porr, yet honest and respectable parents, and was the youngest except one of a family of nine children, three of whom are yet living.  His parents, Charles Button and Naomi (Kingsley) Button, have long since cancelled nature’s last demand, and sleep well with the generations bone before, his father having died in 1832, leaving the subject of this sketch, then a lad of eleven years, together with a family of other children, to the care of his widowed mother, to struggle as best they might with the adverse circumstances that usually surround those in humble life, in a country comparatively new, the most of which was yet unredeemed form the dominion of primeval wildness.  He continued to reside with his mother until expediency demanded the dissolution of the family, and at the age of
*By Marvin Older

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Sixteen he became an inmate of the family of his eldest brother, Lyman, where he remained for two years.
    On the 3d day of May, 1839, it being the eighteenth anniversary of his nativity, he left his brother’s house and moved out, unaided and alone, upon the broad arena of life, to carve, as best he could, his future destiny upon the shifting scenes of coming events.  The same day, he hired out to his elder brother, Heman G. Button, for a term of six months, and for the fulfillment of this contract he was to received the sum of seventy dollars, - an agreement which was punctually performed by both parties.
    Thus was earned and stored away for future use the first few dollars upon which young Button could lay his hand and say, “By my labor have I gotten this,” thus forming a nucleus around which other dollars clustered in due time.
    After the close of this engagement, during the winter of 1839-40, he attended a district school in his native town for the term of three months, which completed his education, except what advancement he made in his studies during the evenings and other leisure hours not absolutely devoted to daily toil.  During the succeeding five years, he continued to work through the spring, summer, and autumn, for the neighboring farmers and taught school in the winters, and by industry, frugality, and economy, had saved the handsome sum of one thousand dollars.
    On the 30th day of September, 1845, he married Jane M., daughter of James Duncan, of Franklinville, N.Y.  The newly-wedded pair, united in heart, hand, and fortune, instead of spending their “honeymoon” and hard earnings at some fashionable watering-place, unitedly continued in the employ of the Hon. Peter Ten Broeck for nearly two years.
    In the spring of 1847, Mr. Button, with is family, removed to the town of Franklinville, settling down upon lot 36, the place now known as the “Old home farm,” containing two hundred and fifty acres, Judge Ten Broeck taking them with all their household goods in his lumber-wagon, and still in that twelve-foot box there was room to rent for both freight and passengers.
    From these small beginnings, by dint of an unconquerable energy, he soon became the most thorough, systematic, and extensive agriculturalist in the town, always superintending his work in person and leading off in the exciting labors of the day, never asking another to perform what he was unwilling to undertake himself.  By the exercise of sound judgment, matured by a fruitful experience, prosperity crowned his efforts with success, and he was soon enabled to purchase what is known as the “East Hill property,” a valuable farm of four hundred and twenty-six acres.  Then followed in quick succession, the West Hill farm of four hundred and ninety-eight acres, and the “Cline farm” of three hundred and seventy-eight acres, - lands within, and adjacent to, the village of Franklinville, one hundred and eighty acres, besides a farm of two hundred and sixty-one acres in the town of Machias, making an aggregate of something over two thousand one hundred acres of farming land, all of which is heavily stocked, mostly with dairy cows.  In the spring of 1864, these farms were put under rent, and Mr. Button, with his family, removed to the village of Franklinville and commenced preparations for erecting a splendid residence, which was completed in the following year.  This residence, together with its valuable contents, was burned in April, 1875.
    Immediately on attaining his majority, Mr. Button was elected to the office of inspector of common schools in his native town, and from time to time has filled different offices of trust and responsibility, having represented the town of Franklinville on the board of supervisors, in the years 1853, 1854-57, and 1860;  and was elected to the Assembly in November, 1867, and faithfully represented the First Assembly District of Cattaraugus County during the legislative session of 1868.
    In politics, Mr. Button was always a Democrat of the straightest sect, thoroughly imbued with the political principles enunciated by Jackson, and carried out in detail in the State of New York by her ablest statesmen, - Wm. L. Marey and Silas Wright.  During the war of the Rebellion, no man within the limits of our acquaintance thrust his hand deeper into his pocket, or drew it forth more richly laden with contributions to the soldiers’ fund, than did Jonas K. Button.
    His connection with the “Ten Broeck Free Academy,” first as sole executor of the will of the late Peter Ten Broeck, and secondly, as chairman of the board of trustees of that institution, marks an important epoch in his eventful life.
    His executive and administrative ability is best sustained by the large amounts instrusted to him for adjustment and disbursement, and the fidelity with which he discharged these delicate and important trusts is fully established by the records of the Surrogate’s court, and the labored and concise reports of the board of trustees of which he is an honorable member; and the best evidence of his adaptability to discharge these high trusts is the confidence reposed in him by those, who, during their natural lives, had acquired the fortunes thus committed to his charge.  In refutation of the scandalous assertion that owing to his political proclivities, he was in sympathy with the Rebellion, let facts be submitted to an impartial public.  He was among the most zealous and ardent to encourage enlistments, contributing liberally of his own private funds, and at one time laid down $100 to be equally divided as a free gift to the next four who should volunteer, - a promise which he faithfully kept; and at another time advanced $3000 of his own private funds, and trusted to future legislation for reimbursement, in order to fill the quota of the town of his adoption, and thus save it from the disgrace of resorting to conscription or a forced levy of troops.
    Mr. Button is quite demonstrative in his intercourse with individuals and with society at large.  He weighs carefully every enterprise or proposition, and as his judgment dictates, gives it his cordial support or unqualified opposition.
    His frugality is free from parsimony, his benevolence from ostentation, his kindness from sycophancy, and his judgment from bias.  His friendships are warm and ardent, and his dislikes are manifested by the weight of his opposition.  By diligence and economy, by a close application to business, Mr. Button, scarcely past the meridian of life, has acquired a fortune, and long may he live to enjoy it, and the crisping frost of many autumns wither the flowers of as many springs, ere one shall blossom above his grave.



    The task of the biographer is one of extreme delicacy, standing, as he generally does, between the living and the dead, although the power of criticism on the one side is effectually hushed in the silence of the grave, yet the diversified standpoints from which different individuals take cognizance of the same character render the task of pleasing all hopeless, indeed; but when to all these is added the fact that the subject himself is to stand face to face with the records and see his own social, moral, and intellectual lineaments reflected from the mirror of history, the matter becomes one of intense delicacy, from which we would gladly recoil were we not shielded beneath the banner of immutable truth, and adopting, as we do, for our motto, in our dealings with individuals as well as the public, “Equal and impartial justice to all.”
    William Marcy Benson, the subject of the following brief sketch, was born in the town of Mount Morris, Livingston Co., N.Y., April 20, 1839.
    During the period of childhood and youth he resided with his parents at Nunda, N.Y., where nothing of an extraordinary nature transpired save his intellectual development, promoted by a love of study, diligent application, and a thorough investigation of the relation between cause and effect.  These, brought into due subjection by a rigid system of self-discipline and self-control, fostered the germs of intellectual, social, and moral goodness in the child which have become so strongly developed in the man.
    He received a preparatory collegiate education at the Nunda Literary Institute, and in August, 1858, at the age of nineteen, entered Genesee College (now Syracuse University), where he graduated with full honors in June, 1862.
    To trace him in his social, moral, literary, and scientific development throughout his collegiate career would be a work of supererogation; suffice it to say that he was a good student, stood high in his class and in the estimation of the faculty, and was never guilty of an act derogatory to the character of a gentleman and a Christian.
    Unaided by the advantages often given through the prestige of influential friends, he bore off the first honors in the Sophomore Elocutionary Prize Contest in 1860.
    In the autumn of the same year he engaged as principal of the union school at Castile, N.Y., where he remained one year, and the succeeding year as principal of the Mount Morris Academy and High School.
    The last year of the war was spent in government employ in the quartermaster-general’s department at Washington, where his urbanity as a gentleman, his skill as a clerk, and his accuracy as an accountant, won for him the commendations of all with whom he became acquainted.  At the close of the war Mr. Benson resumed the business of teaching as principal of the academy at Arcade, Wyoming Col., N.Y., where he remained three years, and the recorded success of that institution, during its palmist days, forms a bright chapter in the history of him whose talent and genius made it one of the best literary institutions in Western New York.  In July, 1867, he married Genevieve E., daughter of Grove B. Graves, Esq., of Farmersville, N.Y., and the same summer was elected to the principal-ship of the Ten Broeck Free Academy, and entered upon the duties of that position in the following December, and the past twelve years of his live are merged into the history of that institution.  Its success as a means of education, next to the munificence of its founder, is his triumph as a teacher, and its wide-spreading and deserved popularity is an incarnated advertisement of his sterling qualities and moral worth.
    Of his life, though brief in years, yet long when measured by its multiplied duties and the amount of labor performed, volumes might be written, and still the subject be prolific of interest; yet we must content ourselves with a mere synopsis and leave the imagination to fill up the picture.
    As an independent worker, he ignores many antiquated notions as mere verbiage, supplying their place by original methods adapted to the intellectual needs and capacities of students. Acting upon his own judgment, rendered acute by a lively perception, and strengthened by a fruitful experience, he acts promptly, and adapts himself to the exigencies of the case as circumstances demand.  His executive ability may be summed up in one brief sentence, with him “to will is to do.”  He gives no purpose a divided effort, or looks for possible contingencies that may thwart his purposes.  As a disciplinarian, he is equalled by few, and surpassed by none.  Possessing an unlimited sway over himself, his power over others is magical, - almost supreme.  Quiet and undemonstrative, he governs by the magnetic influence of an unyielding will; and no regal sceptre possesses more potent influence that the stub of a pencil held between the index finger and the thumb of Prof. Benson’s dexter hand.  As a teacher, he possesses an energy that is contagious, and electrifies by its diffusive nature all that comes within its influence.  Thorough and searching in his criticisms, he labors zealously to improve the mind and morals, and to strengthen the judgment of his pupils, rather than burden the memory with tedious, and to them unmeaning, recitations.  By wise precepts and examples worthy of imitation, he inspires his pupils to constant duties they owe to God, to themselves, and to humanity, and hundreds of young men and young women have treasured them up as their best life-lessons.  The influence of these teachings is felt in the domestic household and in the fields of toil; in the workshop and at the counter; in the learned professions and among those who minister in holy things; it permeates the cabins of the pioneer that dot the prairies of the far West, and has over-stepped the mountain barriers whose snow-capped summits are kissed by the last rays of the setting sun. It is as if God’s healing angel had dipped his wing in the stagnant pool of Time, and its influence had diverged in successive rings from the point of agitation until its rippling music was heard in sweet cadences as they playfully kissed the shores of Eternity.
    As a man, he is a model of propriety.  Dignified, without being haughty; reserved, without being diffident; brief, pointed, logical, and explicit in his communications in matters of business and in his profession as a teacher.  An attentive listener to those who have anything of importance

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to communicate, but to the venders of idle gossip he is cold and repulsive.  Sympathetic in his nature, he pities distress, and, through his benevolence, relieves it.  He is a liberal supporter of all worthy enterprises, and patriotism and love of country is with him a passion.
    Happy in his social and domestic relations, happy in the confidence and respect of the entire community, happy in constant communion with himself and his God, long may he live a blessing to the community, a benefaction to mankind; and when, through the fullness of years, Providence shall have accomplished its designs through him, may he rest from his labors in the kingdom of God.



was born in the town of Marcellus, Onondaga Co., N. Y., March 11, 1819.  He was the sixth child and fifth son of Jacob B. and Hannah (Wallace) Van Aernam.  His paternal ancestors emigrated from Holland to the American colonies, and settled near Albany prior to the Revolution, his grandfather taking an active part in the struggle for independence, and his son, Jacob B., imitating the worthy example of his patriotic sire, actively participated in the war of 1812.  His maternal ancestors brought with them from amid the Highlands of Scotland that indefeasible inheritance, a love of liberty, stronger than the love of life.  Jacob B. Van Aernam, the father of Henry, removed with his family from Marcellus to Little Valley (now Mansfield), in the spring of 1822, when the subject of this sketch was three years of age.  Surrounded by an unbroken wilderness, hampered by poverty and the pressing necessities of a large family of dependent children, the parents of young Henry could furnish but limited facilities for an education; nothing, in fine, save the great volume of nature thrown broad open by the Creator’s hand.  Thus he struggled on, with “here a line and there a precept,” until he was ten years of age, before he ever entered even the most primitive of common schools.  But nature had planted within him the germs of more than ordinary intellectual powers, and these would vegetate and grow despite the hindrances of cold neglect, and the multitude of adverse circumstances by which he was surrounded.
    In the fall of 1829 and the winter of 1830 he attended a common district school for the first time, and continued to attend during the summer and winter terms until the autumn of 1831.  Possessed of more than ordinary powers of analytical reasoning, readily deducing results from legitimate causes, and, withal, possessed of a laudable ambition to excel in intellectual attainments, his progress was rapid and his natural and acquired abilities extraordinary for one of his years and limited opportunities.  In the winter of 1834, at the age of sixteen years, we find him at what is not West Salamanca, measuring, with dignified strides, the length and breadth of the rough plank floor of a dingy edifice, twirling between his finger and thumb, as a token of authority, the ubiquitous ferule, and rejoicing in the distinctive title of the “schoolmister.”
    Stimulated to extra exertions by the promise of a stinted compensation and “board around” among the families of the primitive lumberman of that period, the school was a decided success; and he looks back with glowing pride upon the order and decorum, the progress and proficiency, of the two dozen shock-headed pupils in that school upon the confines of the Allegany Reservation.  In the spring of 1834 he entered the store of William F. Elliott, in the capacity of clerk, where he remained until August, 1835, and then went to Virginia, in the employ of William L. Perce & Co., contractors upon the James River and Kanawho Canal, where he remained for two years.  Securing, by his integrity and correct deportment, the entire confidence of the company, he was soon made their confidential clerk and paymaster, -- a position he held and honorably filled until the termination of his engagement.  He came home in the fall of 1837, and entered as a student of the Springville Academy, where he remained until 1841, meanwhile teaching school in the winter seasons in order to eke out his means for necessary expenses.  While a student his gentlemanly deportment gave him high rank in social circles, his scholarship placed him among the first in his class, and his determination to overcome the impediments by which he was surrounded challenged the admiration of all.
    At the close of his academic studies in 1841, he entered, as a medical student, the office of Levi Goldsborough, in the village of Waverly, N. Y.  One of the prevailing characteristics of young Van Aernam was that of positiveness, never assuming hypothetical or ambiguous conclusions, discarding as dangerous every theory not fully established by a thorough and searching investigation.  As a medical student he was diligent, energetic, and practical.  Select almost to exclusiveness in his associations, with a constitution unimpaired by indulgence, with a mind naturally strong, improved by study and strengthened by application, and with moral principles fortified by an intuitive respect for the laws of God and man, he passed through the slippery paths of youth to dawning of manhood without one blot to tarnish his reputation or his name.  He attended medical lectures at Geneva College during the session of 1842-43, and soon after entered Willoughby College, Ohio, from which institution he graduated in 1845.
    In the summer of 1845 he located at Burton (now Allegany), and commenced the practice of medicine; and on the 30th day of November, 1845, he married Miss Amy M. Etheridge, a lady in every particular worthy to share the honors and good fortune which have subsequently fallen to their lot.  He continued in the practice of his profession at the latter place until March, 1848 when he removed to Franklinville, where he still resides.  During a period of nine years, until the autumn of 1857, he devoted his time and talent to the practice of his profession, and by his fidelity and practical skill he secured an extensive patronage and the unbounded confidence and esteem of all who came within the circle of his acquaintance.  At the general election in the fall of 1857, he was elected to represent the First Assembly District of Cattaraugus County in the State Legislature, and the fidelity with which he guarded the rights and interests of his constituents has become a matter of history, and needs no repetition in this connection. At

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the close of the Legislative session in the spring of 1858, he returned to his home and again resumed the practice of his profession, with a growing popularity and a more extended field of usefulness.  During his whole professional career, Dr. Van Aernam has never known any distinction between the rich and the poor, the high and the low, but wherever disease or physical suffering found a lodgement he cheerfully adopted that as his field of labor, without one thought of personal consequences to himself.
    As the crisis approached which was to test with such giant force the strength of American institutions, Dr. Van Aernam threw the whole energies of his mind and might for the Union intact, popular freedom, and popular rights.  He labored zealously to encourage enlistments, and contributed liberally to alleviate the necessities of those who had been deprived of their natural supporters by the exigencies of the war.  Under the call for troops in the summer of 1862, he was recommended to the Governor as a suitable person for the important position of regimental surgeon, and in August he was ordered to report at Jamestown, where he was examined, approved, commissioned with the rank of major, and assigned to the 154th Regiment of Infantry.  On arriving at the front, in the fall, he was soon made surgeon of brigade.  In the fall of 1863 he was made medical director of the 2d division, 11th Army Corps.  In March, 1864, by a consolidation of the 11th and 12th Army Corps with a large detachment of Rousseau’s Kentucky troops, the 20th Army Corps was formed, and placed under the command of Gen. Hooker; this meat “business,” and Van Aernam went with the Army Corps.  These important trusts were no sinecures, where carpet professionals perform chivalrous deeds on paper, but stern realities in camp and field, amid the din of battle and the clash of resounding arms.  As an evidence of his high standing in the army, and his cool deliberation under circumstances of severe trial, he was under constant detail upon the operating staff; and there is no possible form of mutilation which the human system is capable of undergoing, that has not fallen under the personal observation of Henry Van Aernam.
    He not only followed the fortunes of the army throught its various marches and campaigns, but served upon the operating staff during the battles of Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wauhatchie, Chattanooga, Ringgold, Rocky-Faced Ridge, Resaca, Dallas, New Hope Church, Kenesaw Mountain, Peach-Tree Creek, and Atlanta.  Here, entiredly worn out with fatigue, and unable longer to sustain the constant draught upon his physical constitution, he resigned his commission, on surgeon’s certificate of disability, after an active service of more than two years, and left Atlanta, GA., on the last hospital train, Nov. 8, 1864.  Late in the fall he reached home, feeble in health, to find himself member-elect to the Thirty-ninth Congress from the Thirty-third District of New York.  He was re-elected in 1866, and his official record as the people’s representative has already passed into history, and the approbation of an intelligent and appreciative constituency of his Congressional career has recently been so significantly recorded that all errors and mistakes are unnecessary.
    Soon after the inauguration of President Grant, in 1869, Dr. Van Aernam was nominated and confirmed as Commissioner of Pensions. His keen perceptions, his intuitive knowledge of human nature, his experience in Congress and in the army, his business capacity, and his conceded professional skill, amply qualified him for the faithful and efficient discharge of the delicate and responsible duties of that position.  By his suggestion many important reforms were inaugurated, and among them was the passage of an act making pensions payable quarterly instead of semi-annually, and an order guarding pensioners against numerous frauds perpetrated against  them by unprincipled claim-agents.
    Again he returned to the home of his adoption, and again he entered upon the practice of his profession, which continues to the present time.
    At the recent election, in the fall of 1878, he was again elected to the office of representative in our National Congress.  The dazzling glow of most men is enhanced by the altitude they attain, through official station, above the plane of ordinary life.  Not so with Henry Van Aernam.  Eminent as he has been in his legislative, administrative military, and professional careers, his sterling qualities appear to best advantage in the social and domestic circles, and in his daily intercourse with his fellow-men.  Every foremost in all enterprises for public good, his is liberal almost to profusion.  Cool and collected, he allows no circumstance to take him by surprise.  Circumspect in all his deportment, his worthy example exerts a salutary influence upon all by whom he is surrounded.  In the incorporation of the village, as well as in the organisation and successful progress of the Cemetery Association, his far-reaching perceptions, and the force of his mental energy, have been fully tested and successfully applied.  To portray all the sterling qualities of his versatile mind would require volumes; suffice it to say that he is constitutionally a happy man, and by a species of diffusive contagion imports the disease to all around him. Dr. Van Aernam and his amiable lade are happy in their domestic relations, in their associations, in their surroundings; in the companionship of their two children, the eldest, a daughter, the wife of the Hon. James D. McVey, the younger, a son, Charles D. Van Aernam, a young lawyer of sterling worth and fair practice in his native village, all inmates under the same roof; and above all, happy in the full confidence of the mercy of God and the fullness of the atonement wrought by a crucified Redeemer, they patiently wait the summons that shall bid them depart in peace.



was born in Darien, Conn., June 3, 1811.  He was the tenth child, the fifth and youngest son of Nathan and Mary Weed, the former of whom was born Sept. 28, 1760, and the latter, Oct. 28, 1764, both of Stamford (now Darien), in the State of Connecticut.  He remained at home with his parents until his fifteenth year, enjoying such advantages for an education as were afforded by the common schools of the day, but by application to study and an aptitude to acquire knowledge, he became quite proficient for one of his

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Years and limited opportunities.  At the age of fifteen, he went to the city of New York, and engaged in the capacity of a clerk.  Here he acquired the first principles of finance and trade and adopted those habits of exactitude which have been proverbial with him through a long, varied, and successful career.  He remained in the city four years, and at the age of nineteen, returned to his native town and adopted the avocation of a farmer, which he followed for two years.  In the autumn succeeding the anniversary of his twentieth birthday, he married Sarah W. Chandler, on the 14th day of November, 1831.
    By this marriage he had three children, -- Dexter C. Weed, born in Darien, Conn., Oct. 6, 1832, who is now an extensive farmer in the town of Franklinville, N. Y.; Nathan F. Weed, of the mercantile firm of N. F. Weed & Co., born in Franklinville, N. Y., Feb. 1, 1835; M. Adelie Weed, now the wife of M. Johnson Crowley, of Randolph, N. Y., born in Franklinville, N. Y., May 26, 1841.  He remained at the old homestead in Darien until the spring of 1834, when he, with his family, removed to Franklinville, Cattaraugus Co., N. Y., where he arrived about the 10th of May.  In July of the same year, he purchased the Conrad Mill property, which was sadly dilapidated and out of repair, involving the necessity of heavy expenditures before it could be made self-supporting, much more a profitable investment.  He accordingly commenced the construction of an entire new mill upon the same dam, and a few rods distant from the old one, which was fully completed in 1835.  The erection and completion of the new mill demanded heavy outlays for one in his situation, and drew very largely upon his credit; this circumstance, connected with the financial crisis which soon followed, environed him difficulties before which a less resolute man would have yielded in utter despair.  Not so with him.  He carried in his moral nature the very key to success, -- a singleness of purpose and a resolute determination to accomplish the object upon which his mind was set.
    He was successful; he passed the trying ordeal unharmed, where so many faltered and fell; he at length found himself in fair sailing, in pleasant weather, gently gliding before a gale of merited prosperity.
    He promptly met every payment and scrupulously redeemed every obligation, and to achieve this one fixed purpose of his heart, he toiled night and day in his mill, much of the time unaided and alone, performing the labors of two ordinary men; thus he continued, the manager and proprietor of the mill and farm attached until the 1st of April, 1858, when he sold his property and removed to the village of Franklinville.
    Here, in the spring of 1858, he entered into partnership with his son, Nathan F., in the business of dry-goods and general merchandise, under the firm-name N. F. Weed & Co.  In August, 1861, the store building with several others was entirely consumed by fire, but with his characteristic energy, another building was provided and active business resumed with scarcely a single day’s suspension of the active operations, and the same firm continues a large, safe, and reliable business to the present day.
    On the 1st of January, 1867, the firm established and opened a general exchange office, which he successfully managed for a term of six years, and until the organization of the First National Bank of Franklinville, in February, 1873.  On the opening of this bank, he entered it as its president, --which honorable position he occupies at the present time.
    In the organization of the Franklinville Cemetery Association, Mr. Weed bore a prominent part, giving the measure his undivided support, and by the prestige of his name, carried the enterprise safely and successfully through the trying ordeal of incipient organization.  He has held numerous public offices of honor and trust, being an acting justice of peach sixteen years, and for four years represented the town on the board of supervisors.  On the 10th of September, 1876, he had the misfortune to lose his wife by death, --a bereavement which he sadly deplored and deeply lamented, --but being impelled by his domestic nature and an ardent love for the quiet and comfort of home life, on the 9th of October, 1877, he took Miss Ann E. Hogg, an estimable lady, to be a partaker of his joys and sorrows through the remainder of life’s journey.  Mr. Weed has one sister living, Mrs. Ann Richard, who resides at Norwalk, Conn., at the advanced age of eighty-seven years, and one brother, Mr. Joseph Weed, who resides in San Francisco, Cal., aged seventy-seven years.  As a man Mr. Weed possesses many strong qualities of a positive character.  He is thoroughly honest and scrupulously exact in his dealings with his fellow-men.  Endued with an invincible energy, he allows no contingency to thwart him in the accomplishment of his designs.  In his social relations, his friendships are strong and sincere.  Of strong, rather than acute perceptions, and judgement ripened and matured by a long and fruitful experience, he is often consulted on matters of public interest.  He views most propositions from the stand-point of “profit and loss,” and probes the subject with the insinuating query, “Will it pay?” and decides the matter as the question is affirmatively or negatively answered.  Sober, temperate, and exemplary in all his social and domestic habits, his amusements are few and simple, confined to an interchange of social gatherings with a selected few congenial friends.
    Mr. Weed, now at the fast ripening age of sixty-seven years, by a life of industry, prudence, and economy, has acquired a competence, and well may it serve to mitigate the asperities of life’s down grade, while the star of hope guides to a better land in the not distant hereafter. 



son of John G. and Sarah (Burroughs) Cummings, was born in the town of Warren, Worcester Co., Mass., Jan. 14, 1809.  He is the second in a family of four children, two of whom are now living, --himself and a sister, Mrs. Maria C. Gilbert, who resides in Warren, Mass.  He inherited from his parents a strong and vigorous constitution, and through the influences of wise precepts and good example, his principles became thoroughly fortified against the allurements of vices which so thickly bestrew the pathway of life with the

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Blighted wrecks of time, and the blasted hopes of a happy hereafter.
    Up to the age of seventeen years he lived with his parents in their staid old New England home, and received such an education as was customary among the sons of well-to-do farmers in his native State.  In the autumn of 1826 he attended the Monson Academy for half a term, and during the winter taught a district school in his native town.  In the spring of 1827 he started in pursuit of his destiny, and the first locality he investigated was the city of Boston.  Here he found Miss Fortune, in charge of the department allotted to aspiring young country gentlemen who sought for eminence and opulence in the fancied gayeties of city life.  From here he took his departure for the residence of his uncle, the Rev. Jacob Cummings, in Stratham, in New Hampshire, where he remained and attended the Hampton Academy during one term.  He then returned to Boston, where he found employment as a clerk in a store, and remained a few months; then returned to his native town.  In the spring of 1828, at the age of nineteen, he bade good-bye to friends and the place of his nativity, and soon found himself in the town of Farmersville, N. Y., and followed the business of teaching for three winters, --a business which resulted in honor to himself and a lasting benefit to his newly-found friends and acquaintances.
    On the 22d of August, 1832, he was married to Mariette, eldest daughter of Jonathan and Lucretia Graves, of Farmersville, N. Y.
    The family of Mr. And Mrs. Cummings consisted of four children,--Julia A. (died June 24, 1867), Silas W., Sarah Louisa, and Mary.  Those living all reside in the town of Franklinville.  Mr. Cummings continued to reside in Farmersville for a period of nearly twenty-three years, most of which time he was engaged in mercantile business with fair success, first with his father-in-law, and subsequently with his brother, I. T. Cummings (now deceased).  During his residence in Farmersville he was six times elected as supervisor; and at the session of the board in 1848 he was chosen as chairman, -- a delicate and responsible duty, which was ably and satisfactorily performed.  He also served as a justice of the peace for several terms in the town of Farmersville, besides discharging the duties incumbent upon various other town officers of a less pretentious character.   In the spring of 1853 he removed to the village of Franklinville, and formed a copartnership with Henry S. Woodruff, in the mercantile business, under the firm-name of Cummings & Woodruff, and, as senior partner, gave the business his undivided attention until the autumn of 1865, when the firm was dissolved by the death of the junior partner, Henry S. Woodruff.
    Mr. Cummings continued in the business for nearly two years, until 1867, when he sold the whole interest to D. I. Graves & Co., and retired from the turmoil and perplexities of mercantile life. As a business man, he is a decided success.  Prompt and exact in all his dealings with others, he reasonably expected the same from them.  Extremely wary and cautious in all his investments, he contented himself with moderate but sure gains, rather than indulge in uncertain speculations, where the chances of success were equally divided with those of entire failure.
    He ever kept his promises within hailing distance of a well-filled exchequer, and no man can say that he ever ate the bread of idleness or feasted upon the proceeds of extortion.  In 1861 he was elected to the office of justice of the peace for the town of Franklinville, a position which he has occupied without intermission until the present time, having acted in that capacity, in all, for a term of about thirty years.  In 1862 he was appointed by Gov. Seymour as one of the senatorial district committee, to assist in raising and organizing the 112th and 154th Regiments of New York State Volunteers,-- a duty which was promptly undertaken, energetically pursued, and successfully accomplished; thus thoroughly identifying himself with the popular cause of suppressing the Rebellion.
    In the autumn of 1862, the Board of Supervisors of the county, at their annual session, made choice of Mr. Cummings as their clerk,-- a position demanding a high order of talent as a business man, and approved skill as an accountant,-- a duty which he faithfully performed, with credit to himself and satisfaction to those by whom the trust was imposed.
    In 1875 he represented the town of Franklinville on the Board of Supervisors.
    His known capacity for business, and his thoroughly-established reputation for honesty, fidelity, and integrity, rendered him eminently qualified for the adjustment and final settlement of large estates, many of which have been confided to his care and administration.  Many estates have increased in his hands, and none have depreciated in value; and in this respect he may be regarded as the widow’s and the orphan’s friend.
    As an agent or attorney for procuring pensions, bounties, etc., from the general government, his services have been of great value to many of his fellow-citizens, and their business could not have been confided to more trustworthy hands.  As a scribe and general conveyancer, he has few equals and no superiors outside of the legal profession.
    As a citizen, Mr. Cummings is moral, exemplary, social, and refined, an ardent supporter of the system of popular education, and an earnest advocate of social, literary, and moral reforms.
    Ever a zealous advocate of the cause of temperance, he has lent the influence of his personal popularity to the promotion of the cause and the suppression of the traffic in alcoholic beverages in the village and throughout the town.
    In his benevolence, he is thoroughly guarded and extremely cautious.  Far from being parsimonious, he gives with a cautious hand; liberal in his donations to worthy enterprises, he looks upon those of doubtful or precarious utility with unqualified disfavor; and his keen perceptions and intuitive knowledge of human nature render him proof against frequent mistakes.
    His powers of imitation are good, personating individual characteristics with the skill of an adept.  Fond of rational fun, he relishes a good joke, and occasionally indulges in sallies of wit and lively repartee.  Severe in his criticisms, caustic in his sarcasm, he is nevertheless liberal and profuse in awarding the meed of praise to the worthy and deserving.  As a man, he is a gentleman, free from any and all of the contaminating influences that so frequently surround those in easy circumstances.

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    Mr. Cummings and his amiable wife, quietly sheltered beneath the ample roof of their spacious residence, look back upon the varied scenes of the busy past without remorse or regret, protected from want in the future by a modest competence, the result of a virtuous, busy, and well-spent life.  Happy in their domestic relations, happy in the affection of their children, happy in the confidence and esteem of their neighbors, and, above all, happy in a confiding trust in the mercies of God and the efficacy of the atonement through His Son, hand in hand they peacefully journey on down the slope of time towards the sunset of life; and when death shall sever the link hat binds matter to mind, and opens the gate between time and eternity, may they enter in to go no more out forever!


    I was born (so says the record) in the town of Middletown, in the county of Delaware, and State of New York, on the 22d day of August, 1810.  A few days subsequent to this event, which has even been of such vast importance to me, a gentleman from Delhi, one who has since been well known to the country, and especially in Western New York (the Hon. Dudley Marvin), called at the residence of my parents, and, taking in the situation at a glance, suggested that the frail embryo of humanity lying before him should be christened Marvin.  The suggestion was adopted by unanimous consent, and, ever since I became eligible to roll-call, I have answered to that inharmonious name, sometimes with pleasure, sometimes with sorrow, and sometimes with dread, as varying circumstances by which I was surrounded gave rise to these different emotions. Having “paddled my own canoe” thus far down life’s shifting current, I here cast aside all false delicacy and present myself before the indulgent reader in the capacity of a story-teller, craving your forbearance while I “blow my own bugle.”  I was the sixth son and the eighth entry in point of chronology in the long list which numbered sixteen, nine boys and seven girls, the offspring of William and Hannah Older, all of whom reached full maturity, and acted well their part on the theatre of passing events.  Of the nine boys, I alone remain to remember the many virtues of those gone before.  Of the girls, three survive, and are pleasantly situated in the far West.
    In 1815, when I was five years of age, my parents, with their family, removed to Onondago County, where they remained three years.  There nothing pertinent to this narrative transpired, save that I invariably stood at the head of my class in the district school, from the fact that there were but two in the class, and one of them, at least, was lamentable under-witted.  On the 16th day of July, 1818, at the age of eight years, I, with a number of other kindred household appendages, was unloaded from an emigrant wagon by the side of a welling spring, in the midst of an unbroken forest and growing herbage, on the northeast corner of lot 25, township 5, range 4, of the Holland Land Company’s Purchase.  This location was then in the original town of Ischua, which at that date comprised nearly the entire north half of the county Cattaraugus.  It is now within the limits of the town of Farmersville, one and a half miles northeast of the village of Franklinville, and is known by the ungeographical name of “Older Hill.”  Here, with one school-house in the whole county,--a library consisting of a Bible and psalm-book, Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, Young’s Night Thoughts, Hervey’s Meditations, and antiquated duodecimo dictionary (author unknown), its first few pages containing a condensed synopsis of English grammar in its most obscure and repulsive form, Dwight’s Geography, Dilworth’s and Daboll’s Arithmetics, the American Preceptor, Webster’s Spelling-book, and for romance and novelty, Aesop’s Fables, Robinson Crusoe, and Charlotte Temple, -- the struggle for intellectual manhood commenced.
    Deprived of the privilege of attending school, home study became a passion as well as a necessity, and many an obscure problem has yielded up its secrets to the mysterious tracery of a piece of chalk upon the head of a newly-finished potash barrel.
    My father was a cooper, and to the old shop, with its capacious fireplace and piles of illuminating fagots, I look back with pride as an “institution of learning,” where intellectual genius was developed that, feeble though they might be, are scarcely outreached by the boundaries of American civilization.  Though I did not “o’er books consume the midnight oil,” yet the glow from that old fireplace has illuminated many a page, the contents of which are ineffaceably engraven upon my memory.  By no means would I have the reader suppose that I was always a “nice boy,” but that where aretful mischief lay concealed I was generally near by, the whip and the ferule generally reaching another, when if blundering justice had not been blind she would have awarded the prize to me.  But, through my forbearance, I bore the loss without a murmur, and was never mean enough to taunt the recipient with receiving awards that properly belonged to me. 
    From the age of thirteen to fifteen years I attended the district school in the old log school-house, which stood a short distance north of the village of Franklinville, two

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months to Miss Louie Moore (since Mrs. Smith, of Hinsdale), and about the same length of time to Pardon T. Jewell, and subsequently eleven and a half days to Eleazar Perkins; and thus rounded off as an accomplished scholar of the period, I entered the list in the strife for eminence in the capacity of a country pedagogue.
    In the autumn of 1828, at the age of eighteen years, I entered upon the responsible duties of a teacher, and at intervals, both summer and winter, have followed the profession through a period of forty years, having taught in all what is equal to a period of fifteen years without recess or vacation, -- with what ability and success, the annals of time and eternity can best portray; and now, in my old age, I enjoy the gratifying consciousness that to every pupil placed under my charge, so far as they were capable of comprehension, I have ever imparted the best I had of knowledge and advice, and that through no precept of mine has any child ever gone astray.
    On the 17th day of July, 1836, I was married to Dianthia T. Reynolds, of East Bloomfield, Ontario Co., who was born in the town of Sullivan, Madison Co., Feb. 23, 1816.  By this marriage, to us have been born four sons and six daughters, the eldest of whom (a son) died in infancy.  Of the other sons, Robert E. and William M. served in the army during the war of the Rebellion; the former of whom was killed near Petersburg, Va., June 18, 1864, and the latter was wounded and captured in the valley of the Shenandoah, and died of starvation in the prison-pen in Andersonville, Ga., Aug. 22, 1864.  The remaining son, Wallis M., died at Franklinville, N. Y., Dec. 24, 1878.
    Of the six daughters, five are or have been teachers of good repute, and all are respectably married and comfortably situated in life.
    On the 24th day of October, 1861, I enlisted in the cavalry service of the country, and was assigned to Company I, of the 6th New York Volunteer Cavalry, and after a brief period of camp drill at Staten Island, N. Y., the regiment was sent to the front early in the summer of 1862, and successively followed the fortunes of Gens. Pleasonton, Stoneman, Averill, Custer, and Sheridan, and each individual was a personal actor in the great drama performed by the Army of the Potomac.
    Soon after the organization of the regiment I was detailed on extra duty as clerk in the quartermaster’s and commissary’s departments in the field; these, though they sometimes afforded additional comforts, also imposed additional duties.  Gen. Pope’s order to forage the country for subsistence furnished occasion for some ludicrous as well as hazardous adventures, of which I had my full share.  My detached position relieved me from the ordinary duties of the rank and file, yet I participated in the exciting scenes of South Mountain, Antietam, and Fredericksburg, and came out with a whole skin and unharmed.  On the night between the last day of April and the first day of May, 1863, and pending the inauguration of the battle of Chancellorsville, a squad of about seventy, under the command of Lieut.-Col. McVicker, being on a reconnaissance, suddenly found ourselves, in the blinding darkness of a foggy night, surrounded on all sides by the rebel hordes, en route for the historic heights of Chancellorsville.  To stay and fight was sheer madness, to tamely submit would be cowardice, and the only alternative was to hew a road with the sabre in a desperate charge.  The latter alternative was adopted; some succeeded and reached the main body, and some fell in the encounter.  I was among the latter, and when I had, after a severe effort, collected the scattered fragments of what little intellect I once possessed, I found myself half-buried in mud, with my head sadly battered by a sabre-stroke, and a dead horse across my legs.  I drew myself from beneath my dead horse, and crawled to a little mound beneath some dwarf pines, and communed with myself in sober, almost dead, earnest.  There was nothing to disturb or vary my gloomy forebodings except the groans of the wounded, the twinges of acute pain, the moaning of the chill night-wind, and the heavy rumble of artillery-trains on the distant pikes, en route for the bloody scenes of the coming morrow.  I had dragged from my saddle two blankets, an overcoat, and a haversack of provisions, but of these, soon as it was light, the vandal hounds that follow in the wake of an army relieved me.  We were then taken to some farm buildings hard by, and suffered to sun ourselves and nurse our wrath on the south side of an old out-house.
    Towards night we were taken to Spottsylvania Court-House and our wounds dressed, and the next day I with two others, who were unable to walk, were loaded into a dump-cart, drawn by a dilapidated mule, and started on our triumphal march to the city of Richmond.  After much fatigue, many delays, privations, and starvations we arrived at our destination, and were at once escorted to that historic watering-place, Belle Isle, and subsequently to that fashionable resort, “The Hotel de Libby,” where we were treated to rebel hospitality by way of the naked floor for a bed, the grimy old roof for a covering, gray-backs for recreation, mule soup for refreshment, and river water for a beverage.  But all things have an end, and so did my term of imprisonment.  I was returned on parole by way of Petersburg, City Point, James River, Fortress Monroe, and Annapolis to convalescent camp near the city of Washington, where we arrived in July, 1863.
    I must here relate one incident, and will say in digression that I am neither a skeptic nor an infidel.  I can bear adversity or grief with the stoicism of a doomed pagan, but incidents of an opposite nature totally subdue all real or assumed indifference, and render me as pliant and sensitive as a sickly child.  On my way from prison, as I approached City Point, I beheld the most beautiful sight upon which my eye ever rested, and its beauty was enhanced by the consciousness that it was mine.  It was a piece of white bunting the size of a school-girl’s apron, but, thank God! Emblazoned thereon was the Stripes and Stars, the emblem of my country, and for very joy, I confess, I wept like a child.  I am no idolator, but I plead guilty to one infraction of orthodox creed, for, from the bottom of my heart, I did worship that rag since it has been thrice sanctified by the best blood of our land.  On my arrival at camp, near Washington, I was immediately detailed as clerk in the ordnance department, and for merit was promoted to the first rank in the office, and the order of detail was made permanent by the indorsement of the Secretary of War, in which position I remained until the close of the term of my enlistment, when I returned to my family a poor, battered, time-worn veteran of the war.
    My life has been one of varied experiences.  I have held official positions, and carried the hod; I have been at the head of literary associations, and have delved in the sewer; I have sat in polite circles, and drank poor whisky in the lowest of grog-shops; I have written high-toned moral articles for the public press, and lampooned vice in ribald verse.  In fact, my life has been one of inconsistencies; intellectually, a fair success; pecuniarily, a total failure!  Whisky and tobacco have been my masters; but of late years I have chewed the latter, and eschewed the former.  I have written epitaphs for the dead, and biographies for the living, at the imminent risk of sacrificing my self-respect for veracity, or the respect of others as a popular author.  I have been a married man, and kept house for forty-two years, and have moved my family twenty-eight times, but never beyond the limits of the county.
    In view of my many inconsistencies, the public have been liberal in the bestowal of their confidence as a general rule, but exceptionally treating me to an insult more keen than the ingratitude of a thankless child.  I have been an inhabitant of the town for more than three fifths of a century.  I have seen the face of the country undergo material changes from a dense wilderness to cultivated fields and thriving villages; the hunter’s trail has given place to busy streets and commercial thoroughfares.  I have seen two generations of the human race rise, flourish, and pass away, yet time deals gently with me in the down-grade of life, and no enterprise of public utility has ever been inaugurated without receiving my hearty co-operation and support.  I have been the subject of scandal, vituperation, and falsehood; and here I place myself upon the record, and challenge the congregated world, with their myriad fingers of criticism, to point to a vicious word, thought, or deed of my life that was derogatory to the character of a husband or father.  I am like the rolling stone, I have gathered no moss.  Yet one tumble more and I have done, and that is, to tumble into the quiet grave; and when that time shall come, I shall “Go, not like the quarry-slave, at night scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed by an unfaltering trust, approach my grave like one that wraps the drapery of his couch about him and lies down to pleasant dreams.”
    Franklinville, N. Y., January, 1879.


the son of Gideon and Hannah Searl, was born in the town of Whitehall, Washington Co., N. Y., Oct. 23, 1789.  He was the second son of a family of fifteen children, of whom six brothers and five sisters have been honorable and exemplary citizens of Cattaraugus County.  His early education was limited to the ordinary common schools of that period, yet what he lacked in the polish and refinement of classical literature was amply supplied by an inbred love of truth, ever a faithful devotee at honor’s shrine in all the social, civil, financial, and political relations of life.
    In July, 1811, at the age of twenty-two, he married Martha Hotchkiss, of Washington County.  In 1816 he moved with his family to Warsaw, Wyoming Co., where he remained only one year; and in the autumn of 1817 he removed to Franklinville, occupying a small habitation on the ground now covered by the Globe Hotel.  Here he remained until the following summer, when he selected as his future home, the north part of lot 35, and the northwest corner of lot 27, township 4, range 4.  Here he erected his log cabin and moved his little family, and by the vigorous use of the axe, the handspike, and all-consuming fire, he waged a vigorous warfare with the denizens of the forest until he had cleared many broad acres, and bountiful harvest repaid him for his weary labors.  He was prudent and economical, yet for from being parsimonious; he was a charitable giver and a prompt paymaster; the needy never went empty-handed from his door, the latch-string of which was always out to the benighted wayfarer and the neighboring pioneer.  He had nine children, five of whom are still living, worthy representatives of a noble stock.  The surviving sons are Orange, Lyman, and Isaac, who, by following in the footsteps of their worthy predecessor, have not only kept the patrimonial estate intact, but have added largely thereto, and are ranked among the best farmers in the Ischua valley, as well as models in all the social amenities that characterize the gentleman and the Christian.  Of the daughters, Arvilla and Hannah survive, and are respectively the wives of John Burlingame and Marshall O. Bond, both of whom, in all their social and domestic relations, bear the impress of noble training and Christian example.
    During the winter of 1837 he made profession of religion, and through the remainder of his life honored that profession both by precept and example.  Conscience was the tribunal before which every act was tried, the Word of God was the law and evidence, and a resolute compliance with duty executed its decree.  In April, 1837, he united with the Baptist Church of Franklinville, and until the close of his life was an honorable, exemplary, and influential mem-

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ber of that organization.  He died April 11, 1860, aged seventy years, five months, and eighteen days, leaving to his heirs-at-law a goodly inheritance, and to the community at large a legacy richer by far, -- that of a blameless life and a spotless reputation; and the passer by may pause at his grave and truthfully say, “Here lies all that can die of the noblest work of God,--an honest man.”


brother of the Hon. Peter Ten Broeck, was born in Otsego Co., N. Y., March 11, 1797.  Being derived from a stock whose ideas of man’s earthly mission was that the aggregation of wealth was paramount to the cultivation of intellect or the embellishment of the mind, his opportunities for an education were very limited, and the mollifying amenities of polite literature entirely neglected.
    Thus he entered upon the theatre of manhood with a native intellect of more than ordinary capacity, but crude, angular, and unrefined, disdaining all the blandishments that serve to round off the rough corners that so frequently come in contact in the intercourse of social and domestic life.
    Soon after attaining his majority, he married Miss Polly Chapin and engaged in the employ of his father, in consideration of the price of fifty acres of wild land on the Holland Purchase.  The conditions were fulfilled, and the land selected on lot 37, township 5, range 4,--the locality now known as “Pigeon Hill,” in the town of Farmersville.

*By Marvin Older

Here, amidst a dense forest, he erected a diminutive log shanty, covering it with sections of hollow trees cleft in twain, placed alternately, with concave and convex surfaces to the zenith, with a slight inclination to the plane of the horizon.  Into this primitive habitation he entered, with his wife, in 1821 or ’22; and here an incident to illustrate the romance of pioneer life.  On the second morning after their arrival at their new abode John was aroused from his slumbers by the loud bleating of some animal, in seeming distress, but a few paces from his cabin-door.  He seized his rifle and sallied forth, and soon discovered two large gray wolves, with their bloody muzzles buried deep in the entrails of a fallen deer.  The obscurity of twilight obstructed a correct aim, but the report of the rifle frightened the midnight hunters from their prey, and John, taking advantage of their temporary absence, appropriated the hide and carcass as his legitimate booty; but the wolves soon returned with reinforcements, and celebrated both the triumph and defeat by frightful and ominous howlings which lasted until late in the day.
    But prosperity, true in her allegiance, soon followed a persistent course of industry, thrift, and economy, and the pair found themselves in possession of an easy competence; the fifty acres had multiplied to several hundreds, the log cabin had given place to a respectable farm-house, and barns and sheds dotted the outline of the picture, cultivated fields and blooming orchards occupied the place where swaying forests had interposed their shades but a few years before.
    At this period of his history, John Ten Broeck became fanatically inbued with a spirit of wild adventure, and

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Against the earnest remonstrances of his wife he resolved upon leaving her in charge of a large farm and the constantly multiplying duties incidental to growing prosperity.  As yet the marriage had been unblessed with issue, and they separated for the time, he with the intention of spending from one to three years on a fishing or whaling voyage, and she to remain at home and nurse her resentment at, what seemed to her, cold and criminal neglect; she resolutely and boldly inaugurated means, the result of which is disclosed by the sequel; and he, to take stern lessons in the school of experience, on the coasts of Labrador and the Banks of Newfoundland,--the only school in which a certain class of individuals ever receive salutary lessons.  He returned, if we mistake not, late in the fall, a much wiser, but neither a richer nor a happier man.
    The evidences of incontinence on the part of his wife were too palpable to admit of concealment, palliation, or denial, and the sequel was a decree of divorce issued by the Court of Chancery, dated Aug. 17, 1835.  Thus they separated again,--he to a desolate home, and she to the cold embrace of a heartless and uncharitable world.  Time passed on, and on the 17th of October, 1837, he married for his second wife Martha Sessions, and the pair continued to reside on the original farm for a term of ten years, when the growing infirmities of approaching old age admonished him of the necessity of a relaxation from the arduous duties of farm life.  He accordingly placed his farm under rent for a term of years, and purchased a small farm on the banks of the Ischua Creek, one and a half miles north from the village of Franklinville, to which he removed in December, 1847.  Here he erected a spacious residence, in which to spend the remainder of his days in comparative retirement.  But the habits of early life prevailed over the demands for repose, and he purchased from the estate of his brother Peter two hundred acres adjoining his own, thus increasing his home-farm to three hundred and ten acres, and again embarked in extended agricultural pursuits, which he followed until the time of his death.  He died at his residence Sept. 15, 1866, aged sixty-nine years, six months, and four days, and was buried in the “Ten Broeck Cemetery,” where a costly monument of Italian marble, prepared by his own direction, discloses to the passing travelers whose remains lie inhumed beneath its base.
    Over his infirmities, if he had any, we gladly drop the veil of charitable silence; his virtues belong to posterity, his frailties are in the hands of his God.
    As a man, his honor and integrity were beyond doubt or cavil; as a citizen, he was quiet and unobtrusive, seldom or never mingling in public affairs or extending his sphere of action beyond the limits of his own personal affairs.  He was a cautious giver, but absolute suffering never went unrelieved from his door.  Abrupt in his address, eccentric in his habits, harsh and caustic in retort, unpolished by any of the refinements of social etiquette, yet beneath all this rough exterior he carried a kind and benevolent heart.


eldest son of John and Mellison (Washburn) McNall, was born at Stafford Springs, Tolland Co., Conn., Feb. 23, 1806. 
    In 1816, when the subject of this sketch was ten years of age, his father, with his family, left Connecticut and settled at what is now the hamlet of Cadiz, in this town, the means of transportation for the family and their household effects being a cart drawn by a pair of oxen,--the journey occupying nearly thirty days, during the most of which time the young William traveled on foot, with goad in hand, by the side of the patient team.
    The fortunes of young McNall during his boyhood were not dissimilar to those of other early pioneers of restricted means, and the relentless necessity for constant labor sadly abridged the opportunities for acquiring an education, which, at best, were confined to common schools of an ordinary grade; but, by dint of perseverance, he acquired a fair standing among the youth of his time.  Being of industrious habits and mechanical tastes, he readily made himself familiar with the tools of different craftsmen, and became a farmer, carpenter, joiner, mason, wheelwright, millwright, or blacksmith, as the exigencies of the case demanded.
    On the 17th of December, 1829, he married Miss Sibyl Seaward, daughter of Stephen Seaward, Esq., of Franklinville.  The fruits of this marriage were five sons and four daughters.  Charles and William, Jr., both died in infancy. Nathan, the eldest son, died March 5, 1857; Thomas E. was killed at Morton’s Ford, Va., in 1864; and a braver, better, truer soldier never broke a hard-tack or drank from a canteen than was Thomas E. McNall.
    Stephen E., the only surviving son, has purchased the original homestead, and is a thrifty and enterprising farmer, enjoying an easy and well-earned competence and the confidence and esteem of all who know him.  The four daugh-

*By Marvin Older

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ters still survive, and, so far as we know, are comfortably seated on life’s ever-moving train.
    As a mechanic, Mr. McNall had acquired a fair reputation, and many substantial structures are now standing to attest his skill as an architect and bear evidences of him handiwork in their construction.  As a man, he was honest, upright, and truthful; genial and good-natured, he ever bore about him a halo of joyousness that reflected the sunshine of a happy disposition wherever he went.  As a neighbor, he was kind and obliging even to a fault, often sacrificing his own convenience for his neighbor’s profit; as a citizen, he was public-spirited, charitable, and benevolent; as a husband and father, he was faithful, constant, kind, and affectionate.  By industry and economy he had acquired a limited competence, and his surviving widow is left to cherish pleasant recollections of him many virtues, and the possession of the fruits of his labor and toil to pave with comforts the remaining pathway of life.
    On the 20th of December, 1870, after a brief illness, he quietly breathed his last and sank to rest.  During the autumn of 1878 his remains were transferred to Mount Prospect Cemetery, and William M. McNall has left, as an indefeasible inheritance, a memory grateful to surviving friends, salutary to succeeding generations.


    Robert, the father of Charles T. Lowden, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and on arriving at a suitable age was sent to Edinburgh to college, where he remained until fully qualified to enter upon the ministry, which was his intention.  His father, who was a sea-captain, having a family consisting of five sons and one daughter, thought it best for the interests of his children to find a home across the Atlantic, and subsequently located in Pictou, in the Province of Nova Scotia, where they afterwards became extensively engaged in mercantile business and also in ship-building.
    Robert, who was a twin-brother to Samuel, not finding a favorable opportunity to enter into the ministry, continued with his brothers in the mercantile and ship-building business for many years, during which time he married a widow,--Mrs. Wallace,--whose maiden name was Abigail Dickson.  They had eight children, six sons and two daughters,--of which Charles Thomas, the third, was born in Merigomish, Pictou Co., Nova Scotia, Aug. 22, 1815.  At a suitable age he was sent to a district school, which he attended more or less until he arrived at the age of fifteen years; then, leaving home, he went to live with a half-brother, Alexander Wallace, who instructed him in the art and science of blacksmithing, an occupation he afterwards followed many years.
    On arriving at the age of twenty-one years he bade farewell to friends and home, with the determination of locating somewhere in the United States.  After spending some time in the States of Maine and Massachusetts, without having very good success, he resolved to visit Western New York.  He arrived at Yorkshire Centre, Cattaraugus Co., N. Y., Oct. 22, 1837, at which place he at once established himself at blacksmithing, and there continued the business over thirty-five years.
    In the month of November, 1838, he was married to Miss Parney B. Woolley, and some time during that month they moved into his residence at Yorkshire Centre, N. Y., where they continued until her death, Nov. 4, 1877.  In the fall of 1878 he was again united in marriage to Martha J. Ten Broeck, relict of the late John Ten Broeck, of Franklinville, into which village he removed, bidding a farewell to his home at Yorkshire Centre.
    It was not until after Mr. Lowden had lived over seven years in the town of Yorkshire, that he became a citizen, after which he took some part in politics, and was chosen as one of three delegates to represent that town in a convention that was held at Ellicottville, Cattaraugus Co., for the purpose of organizing the Republican party in said county; and he has ever since been a staunch adherer to its principles, every ready and willing to make a consistent sacrifice for the promotion of the Republican cause, for which he has been measurably remunerated, both in elective and appointive offices in county and town.
    It was not long after Mr. Lowden became a citizen that the people of his town elected him to the office of town clerk, which he held consecutively for three terms.  He was subsequently elected to the office of justice of the peace, which he also held during three terms, and in one of these he was elected justice of sessions by the electors of his county.  He also represented the town of Yorkshire as supervisor.  He was appointed postmaster at Yorkshire Centre, which position he held for twelve years.  He was also appointed loan commissioner, which place he held five years.  In November, 1872, he was elected superintendent of the poor for the county of Cattaraugus, and again re-elected November, 1875, which term expired Dec. 31, 1878.  It can be truthfully said, that of all the positions that he has held there has not been an imputation against him in anywise.
    Mr. Lowden’s family consisted of six children, --two sons and four daughters.  Of the daughters, there is but one

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living; she being the wife of Daniel K. Bailey.  His sons—George W. and James E.—are by trade blacksmiths, having received instructions in that line from their father, and are now in business for themselves; George in the State of Illinois, and James at his father’s old shop, at Yorkshire Centre.
    In conclusion, it may be said of Mr. Lowden that he is an affable and thoroughly enterprising gentleman, a kind husband, and indulgent parent.  As a neighbor he is kind and accommodating, always willing to extend relief to the poor, and is ever found an advocate for down-trodden humanity.


son of Samuel and Eunice (Stowell) Spring, and the youngest of a family of fourteen children, was born at Grafton, Vt., Dec. 25, 1823.
    During his boyhood, to the age of fourteen years, he possessed the advantages of a common-school education, largely promoted by that intense energy and perseverance which was a prevailing characteristic through his whole life.  The father of young Samuel, besides being one of the principal business men in the county where he resided, was an energetic and practical farmer, located on the uplands bordering upon the slope of the Green Mountains, requiring all the powers of will, of persistence, and unfaltering industry to wring from the stubborn soil the required means of subsistence, much more an easy competence.  Thoroughly imbued with these habits by the exemplary teachings of his father, and fortified against that easy transition from virtue to vice by the wise counsels and pious precepts of his mother, at the age of fourteen he entered upon a higher grade of studies under the tuition of his brother Levi, who was a ripe scholar and a full graduate of Amherst College.  Here he remained a successful student until the fall of 1842, when he came to Arcade, Wyoming Co., N. Y., and attended the academy at that place for one year, and then entered the office of his brother, the Hon. Leverett Spring, as a student-at-law.
    He remained in the office of his brother until 1845, when he entered the law-office of Wells Brooks, at Springville, Erie Co., where he remained but a few months, and then returned to his brother’s in Arcade, where he prosecuted his legal studies for nearly two years.  In the spring of 1848 he entered as a student into the office of the Hon. Linus W. Thayer, of Warsaw, Wyoming Co., and remained there until the fall of the same year, when he was admitted to practice his profession in the courts of the State.
    In the autumn of 1848 he came to the village of Franklinville, and upon the side of a diminutive office he placed a very diminutive sign, with this inscription, “S. S. Spring, Attorney and Counselor-at-Law.”
    Poor, diffident, and retiring, with a manner both of address and deportment illy calculated to win the confidence and esteem of casual observers, he threw down the gauntlet and boldly challenged fate to a contest for the prize of eminence and distinction.   By his diligence, energy, and perseverance he furnished an exemplification of what may be accomplished through these agencies, by forcing complete success from beneath superincumbent difficulties that so often thwart the purposes of those endowed with less of the spirit of determination.  Ever clear and earnest in his convictions, he at once took a high rank in his profession, and was always distinguished for his complete mastery of his eases and thorough knowledge of legal principles.
    On the 9th day of May, 1850, he married Ellen, daughter of William Hogg, of Franklinville, she being the youngest of a family of twelve children.  Mr. Spring continued in the practice of his profession with complete success and a growing popularity, and in the fall of 1859 was elected to the office of districk attorney for the county of Cattaraugus, a position which he held for six consecutive years.  In 1870, with a unanimity scarcely paralleled in the history of political contests, he was chosen to the office of county judge, the duties of which he continued to discharge until the time of his death.  As a prosecuting attorney, without vindictiveness to the criminal, to the crime he was relentless as destiny, allowing no considerations to interfere with the majesty of law or to swerve him from his inflexible purpose of punishing the guilty, and no defective indictment ever tarnished his legal reputation.  As a judge he held the scale of justice with an even and steady hand, zealously guarding the rights of all and granting favors to none.  Judge Spring’s unbending integrity as a man, and his extensive and thorough knowledge of the principles of law, secured for him the entire confidence of every member of the legal profession who had business at the court over which he presided; and his decisions were regarded as a finality, and seldom or never carried to a higher tribunal for review, confirmation, or reversal.  In his exposition of the principles involved in statutory or common law, he was ever clear, logical, and explicit, adapting his language to the humblest capacities, and so effectually clearing the way to equitable conclusions that “a wayfaring man, though a fool, need not err therein.”  Not only had he secured the entire confidence of the legal profession, but by his honor as a man, his urbanity as a gentleman, and his conceded ability as a jurist, he had acquired a growing popularity that pointed unmistakably to his elevation to a seat upon the bench of the superior court of the State.
    In addition to his professional and official duties, Mr. Spring had purchased a farm of some two hundred acres adjoining the beautiful plat upon which his residence was situated, and erected suitable buildings for agricultural and dairy purposes.  He not only superintended the affairs of his farm, but during the busy seasons of the year gave them his undivided attention and the full energies of his mind and might; the plow, the hoe, the scythe, and the pitching-fork were as familiar to him as the tomes of his library; and he clung to the last row on the potato-field or the last wisp of hay in the meadow with the same relentless pertinacity that he would to a doubtful or knotty case at law.
    In the initial proceedings for the incorporation of the village of Franklinville, Judge Spring took an active and prominent part; his influence as a citizen, and his knowledge of law, either bore down or neutralized the powerful opposition arrayed against it, and carried the enterprise to a successful termination.  He was elected as its first president, and by

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his skill and astuteness in connection with his official compeers placed it as an incorporation in successful operation, the beneficial results of which are palpable to the most careless observer or indifferent spectator.  Subsequent to 1870 his health was in a state of slow but constant decline from a malady which pertinaciously defied all medical skill, and for five years suffered intense pain without a murmur or complaint, never relaxing his habitual industry or ignoring his official duties.  He either visited his office daily or counseled with his clients and transacted other business at his bedside.
    In the summer of 1875, by the advice of friends, he was induced to travel, in the delusive hope that the invigorating atmosphere of the lake-region of the Northern Minnesota might improve his health, or at least mitigate his sufferings.  He arrived at Duluth early in July, and after a few days was taken violently ill, and on the 18th day of July, 1875, he quietly breathed his last, a stranger in a strange land,--a perforating ulcer of the stomach having done its fatal work. His remains were brought home, and are now deposited in Mount Prospect Cemetery, on the confines of the village of Franklinville, in easy view of that quiet home he loved so dearly and from which he parted so reluctantly.
    Judge Spring left a wife and six children—four sons and two daughters—to mourn his loss and as inheritors of an easy competence, --the result of his industry and frugality; and what is richer still, the memory of wise precepts, good examples, and a useful, busy, and blameless life.