1879 History of Ischua

Chapter: Town of ISCHUA

pages 500-502

Transcribed by Joanne Beebe Fisher Donk August 2004

Note: This chapter has no portraits.

The town lies upon the east border of the county, south of the centre, and embraces township 3, in the fourth range, except two tiers of lots on the south side, and township3, in the third range except 16 lots in the south and south east corners. It is bounded on the north by Franklinville and Lyndon, east by Allegany County, south by Hinsdale, and west by the town of Humphrey. It is drained principally by the Ischua Creek, which flows through the centre of the town.
The head-waters of the Five-Mile Run are in the centre of the west part. The surface is undulating and hilly, the highest land rising about 600 feet above the valleys. It contains an area of 18, 678 acres of which 11, 450 are improved, and has a population of 908 according to the census of 1875.


The territory that comprises this town was originally in the town of Olean until the erection of Hinsdale, and although the first settler located in 1808, it was not until after 1830 that many settled within its borders. In 1820 the assessment-roll of the Hinsdale now comprising the town of Ischua contained the names of 16 property-owners, as given below, and in 1830 even this number decreased to 14. The following is the roll of 1820:

Acres Value  

Acres Value
Seymore Bouton 982 $2804
William Kimball 125 $650
Sands Bouton .40 160
Israel Millard 100 200
Nathaniel Cowden 100 240
Silas B. Neff 217 474
David Camp 66 132
Amos Pitcher .200 700
Ephraim Camp 100 200
William S. Pitcher 38 326
David Dodge 160 380
Sam'l Putnam 180 240
Jonathan Davis 224 546
Jarvis Wood 120 240
Abraham M. Farwell .505 1660
Zephaniah Welton 100 200

For many interesting facts pertaining to the early Legislature of the territory now in the town, reference is made to the history of the town of Hinsdale, of which this was a part.

The earliest settler was Seymore Bouton, who was a native of Westchester County, and settled where is now the village of Ischua in 1808, and became an extensive land-owner, and a prominent man not only in the town of Olean, but in the management of the affairs of the county; at one time supervisor of Olean.  In 1820 he was the possessor of nearly 1000 acres of land.  Mrs. Seymore Bouton is still living, and resides in the town of Allegany.  Sands Bouton, his son, was also a resident and a land-owner.  Upon the organization in 1817, he was elected the first county clerk.  Abram S. Farwell emigrated with his family from Massachusetts in 1812, and settled on lot 45, north of the village, where he afterwards owned about 500 acres.  In 1814 he erected a saw-mill on Ischua Creek.  Father Spencer, the Congregational missionary, in his wanderings through that section, in the year 1815, stopped at Mr. Farwell's.  Notices were sent out, far and near, to the people, and those that were inclined gathered at his house, and religious services were held.  His descendants still live in the town.  Henry C. Farwell, his son, filled honorable positions in the town.  Amos Pitcher located in the village of Ischua in 1815; in after years kept a store and tavern; was the first to carry mails, and was appointed postmaster in 1820.  Samuel Putnam came about 1815.  His daughter Caroline was the first to teach school in the town.  C.G. Chamberlain came to the town about 1830, and now lives in the village of Ischua.  He owns a farm on Ischua Creek about one mile from the village, on which is a prehistoric mound.  He represented the town as supervisor in 1856.  Isaac, David and Frederick Carpenter, three brothers, came to this section early in its history; Isaac settling in Franklinville in 1818.  His daughter Eunice taught school that year in Ellicottville.  David settled in Farmersville, where he still resides.  Frederick located in this town, was its first supervisor, and has held the office fifteen terms.  He has also held other important offices. 


The present town of Ischua was erected by act of Legislature, Feb. 7, 1846, as "Rice," and it was provided "that Frederick Carpenter, and such other persons whom the legal voters of the meeting shall select, may preside at such meeting, and for that purpose shall have power to appoint a clerk, preserve order, and exercise all the powers of presiding officers in the same manner as if they were justices of the peace."  It was also provided "that the first town meeting shall be held at the residence of E. Densmore, Feb, 24, 1864."  The town meeting was held at the place appointed, and the town was organized by the election of the following-named officers:
Supervisor, Frederick Carpenter; Town Clerk, Isaac N. Fuller; Superintendent of Common Schools, Philo Burlingame; Assessors, William S. Pitcher, Simon C. Mallory, and A. L. Barnard;  Justices of the Peace, Morgan I. Titus, Frederick Carpenter, C.C. Hatch, and Hiram L. Seavey. 
    March 27 1855, the name of the town was changed by special enactment from Rice to "Ischua."
    Following is a list of succeeding supervisors, town clerks, and justice of the peace to the present time:

1847-48. Frederick Carpenter.
1856. C.G. Chamberlain.
1849. Jonathan Davis.
1857. Frederick Carpenter.
1850. Frederick Carpenter.
1858. Philo Burlingame.
1851. Hazen Chamberlain.
1859. Benjamin C. Townsend.
1852-55. Frederick Carpenter.
1860. Frederick Carpenter
1861-62. Henry Chamberlain
1872 James A. Haynes.
1863. William Smith.
1873. Henry C. Farwell.
1864. Henry Chamberlain.
1874. Hazen Chamberlain.
1865. F. Carpenter.
1875. H.C. Farwell.
1866. George Utter.
1876. Hazen Chamberlain.
1867. Frederick Carpenter.
1877. S.R. Sherlock.
1868. Philo Burlingame.
1878. Ransome Terry.
1869-71. Frederick Carpenter.

1847. S. Botts.
1861-62. Anson Densmore.
1848. Neri Taylor.
1863. William Densmore
1849-50. Abner Smith.
1864-65. A.R. Thornton.
1851. William S. Pitcher.
1866. Benjamin Bacon.
1852. Samuel Conrad.
1867-68 James Pettingill.
1853. N. Taylor
1869-70. D.C. Corthill.
1854. H. Chamberlain.
1871-72. B.C.Townsend.
1855. Alonzo Guild.
1873. Wesley Lewis.
1856-57. Alonzo F Smith.
1874. Wallace Sibley.
1858. William Smith.
1875-76 A.R. Thornton.
1859. Lyman Slocum.
1877-78. A. Densmore.
1860. William H. Smith.

Justices of the Peace.
1848. Philo Burlingame.
1862. Sylvester R. Sherlock.
1849. Samuel Searle.
1863. Philo Burlingame
1850. Frederick Carpenter.
1864. Amos S. Bristol
Charles C. Hatch.
1865. B.C. Townsend.
1851. Frederick Carpenter.
1866. Daniel B. Haynes.
1852. Philo Burlingame.
1867. Sylvester R. Sherlock.
1853. N. Taylor.
1868. Amos Bristol.
J. Sheldon.
1869. B.C. Townsend.
1854. Gardner Sheldon.
1870. N. Pierce.
B.C. Townsend.
1871. S.R. Sherlock.
1855. Frederick Carpenter.
1872. William P. Guild.
1856. Stephen Morris.
1873. B.C. Townsend.
1857. Benjamin C. Townsend.
1874. E. Chamberlain.
Henry Chamberlain.
1875. S.R. Sherlock.
1858. Gardner Sheldon.
1876. F. Carpenter
1859. Frederick Carpenter.
1877. J.L. Adams
1860. Charles C. Hatch.
1878. H.C. Farwell.
1861. B.C. Townsend.

The town of Ischua was bonded for $10,000, to aid in the construction of the Buffalo and Washington Railroad, the bonds to become valid when the road was completed through the town; which was accomplished July 3, 1872. 
The bonds are all paid, and the town is free from any public debt.


It is situated in the valley of Ischua Creek, in the north part of the town, near the centre.  Hills rise on either side to heights varying from 400-600 feet. It contains a church (Methodist Episcopal), two hotels, school-house, post-office, two dry-good stores, two groceries, tin-shop, two blacksmith-shops, grist- and carding-mill, wagon shop, two milliner-shops, and two physicians.  It is a station on the Buffalo, New York and Philadelphia Railroad. 
Seymour Bouton was the fist settler that located where the village now is and built a log house on the flats, near where the water-tank of the railroad stands.  He afterwards erected a house where the residence of John Adams is located.  The first school in the village was taught in his barn, in the summer of 1816, by Caroline Putnam.  The same year he erected a tavern and kept the first in the town.  He also kept the first store in his house.  Amos Pitcher came in a little later, and settled near the grocery of Mr. Le Fever.  He was a hatter by trade, and in after years followed his trade to the benefit of the community.  He was appoi9nted postmaster about 1820, and held the position for many years. He also kept a store and tavern.  In 1826, Amos Pitcher, Joseph Cole and Justin Cook built the first grist-mill in the town, where the present grist-mill stands.  In 1830, one Stoddard built a foundry in the village but after three or four years it was discontinued.  Edmund McKee built a tannery and shoe-shop in 1833.  Father Spencer preached at the house of Samuel Putnam, about a mile south of the village, in 1817. About 1820 a log school house was built, a little south of the present one.  TH3 Rev. Samuel Searle preached in the village early, and in 1827 the Methodist Church was organized.


Amos Pitcher carried the first mail from Olean to Yorkshire, about 1820.  He was the first postmaster, and the office was kept in his house.  He occupied the position many years, and was succeeded by his son, William Pitcher.  The postmasters since that day are Eleazer Densmore, Henry Chamberlain, B.C. Townsend, ---who filled the position about twenty years, ----Wallace Sibley, and Anson Densmore, who is present incumbent.


Was organized in this town as Ischua Lodge, no. 179, Oct. 21,1878, with four members: Ransom Terry, as Past Master Workman;  B.B. Hinman, as Master Workman; J.W. Haight, as Recorder; F. Searl, as Receiver; C.C. Baxter as Financier.


The first school taught in the town was by Miss Caroline Putnam, in the summer of 1816, and was held in the barn of Seymour Bouton.  The first school-house was built of logs, in 1820, and was a little south of the present school-house.
    The number of school districts in the town at present is 8, with 8 school buildings, values with their sites at $2140, and having 50 volumes in library, valued at  $5; 8 teachers are employed; amount of money paid for teachers' wages is $1195.66; number of weeks taught was 226; number of children of school age is 283; average daily attendance, 124 265/1000;  amount of public money received from State,  1000 
$773.80; amount received from tax, $316.72.


The present church was organized in June 1878, with 21 members; admitted to the Cattaraugus Association, Sept. 3, 1`878. Services were held in the Methodist Episcopal church.  The Rev. R. Cherryman is pastor, having this church in connection with the church on Haskell Creek, in Hinsdale. 
    A Baptist Church had been in existence when this territory was in Hinsdale, and the history of that church will be found in the history of that town.  Rev. Eliab Going was the pastor. 
    No house of worship was erected. 


This church was organized Dec. 28, 1827, and was the first in the town. The first trustees were William S. Pitcher, Abner Smith, and Daniel A. Ferris. The first church edifice was erected in 1861, at a cost of $1300.  The pastors who labored with the church since 1865 are A. W. Wilson, __________ Guernsey, J.K. Torrey, J.C. Whiteside, Thomas C. Clayton, T.D. Goodrich, A.W. Mervale, who is the present pastor, and who has in connection the charge of an organization at Abbott's Corners, in the town of Lyndon. 


This church is situated on what was formally known as "Dutch Hill," in the southwest part of the town, and was organized with 4 members, by the Reverend O.O. Bacon, in 1867.  A church edifice was erected in 1869, at a cost of about $800.
In 1875 the church had a membership of 32, and the pastor was the Rev. Mr. Robinson.


The first burial was made on the farm of Aaron Pitcher.  Local cemeteries are in many parts of the town, the most prominent of which are, one in the Hibner neighborhood, containing about half an acre; one in the west part of the town, about three miles from the village, and containing about three-fourths of an acre.  Another about half a mile northeast of the village.  The Ischua Cemetery, located near the village was laid out about 1868, contains about three-fourths of an acre. The land was presented by B.C. Townsend for that purpose.  The present  trustees are Benj. H. Osgood, Sidney J. Smith and Salmon Canfield.


This town, like the others in the northern and middle parts of the county, is best adapted to grazing and dairying. The main attention of the people is given to the manufacture of cheese.  This interest is represented by three factories; one about two and half miles north from the village, owned by J.K. Button, of Franklinville, has in connection with it about 450 cows. 
The Cuba Cheese-manufacturing Company, located half a mile south of the village, uses the mile of 300 cows.
The Sheldon Factory, formerly known as the Abbott Factory, is situated in the northeast corner of the town. 
These factories manufacture about 4500,000 pounds of cheese annually.
The Agricultural statistics from the years 1855 and 1875 are taken from the census returns of these years, and are given below for comparison:

Number of acres improved 7, 394
"         "
unimproved 12,566
"         " meadowland 2, 124
"         " tons of hay cut 1,903
"         " acres of oats sowed 1,460
"         " bushels oats harvested 33,749
"         " acres of corn planted 230
"         " bushels corn harvested 6,552
"         " acres of potatoes planted 99
"         " bushels of potatoes gathered 8,078
"         " bushels apples 5,548
"         " pounds of maple sugar manufactured 19, 188
"         " pounds honey collected 3,606
"         " cows 542
"         " pounds of butter manufactured 44,640
"         " pounds of cheese manufactured 5,870
"         " sheep 2,603
"         " pounds of wool clipped 5,960

Number of acres improved 11,450
"         " unimproved 7,228
"         " meadowland 3,486
"         " tons of hay cut 3,786
Numbers of acres of corn planted 225
"         " bushels corn harvested 8,020
"         " acres of oats sowed 1,205
"         " bushels of oats harvested 31,780
"         " acres of potatoes planted 128
"         " bushels of potatoes harvested 17, 004
"         " apple-trees 10, 795
"         " bushels of apples harvested 14, 670
"         " pounds of maple-sugar manufactured 19,188
"         " pounds of honey collected 375
"         " cows 1,370
"         " cows whose milk was sent to factory 1,130
"         " pounds of butter made in families 57,800
"         " pounds of cheese made in families 9,100
"         " sheep shorn 833
"         " pounds of wool clipped 3,419
"         " pounds of pork raised 65,058