Salamanca, including the present town of Red House, was formed from Little Valley on the 19th of November, 1854, with the name of Bucktooth, and embraced all of townships 1 and 2 and about one-fourth of township 3 in the seventh range of the Holland Land Company’s survey. The name changed in 1862 to Salamanca in honor of Senor Salamanca, a Spanish banker and a large owner of stock in the Atlantic & Great Western railroad, who had visited the town, a short time before. The territory remained with its boundaries unchanged until the town of Red House was taken off in 1868, from the southern part, which reduced the area of Salamanca to 11,827 acres, leaving it the smallest town in the county.
It is an interior township situated south of the center of the county, and is bounded on the north by Little Valley, on the east by Great Valley, on the south by Red House, and on the west by Cold Spring and Napoli. The surface is very hilly except the valley of the Allegheny river and the valleys of its tributaries. The principal stream is the Allegheny, which enters the town about midway on the east line and flows nearly west about four miles, when it turns south and flows into Red House. Its principal affluents in this town are Newton run, Little Valley creek, and Bucktooth and Saw-Mill runs. When lumbering was a leading business these streams afforded good water-power. Since the timber has been exhausted their mill-sites have been abandoned. The soil in the valleys is very fertile, while the hills, where not too rough for cultivation, produce-paying crops of grass, oats, potatoes, and apples.
Owing to the fact that most of the land in town fit for profitable tillage is embraced in the Indian reservation Salamanca was not early settled by white men. A few pioneers located on Little Valley creek. John Parr came about 1830. John Boutell was one of the earliest; and Leicester J. Worth came in 1834. James Rosenberry is credited as the first settler and is said to have come in 1815 and located on lot 9, where he made slight improvements and moved farther up the valley. In 1837 he settled in Red House, the second settler in that town, where he cleared a farm, and where he died. He was born in Butler county, Pa., November 21, 1797. James Green was an early settler, but did not remain long in the town. John L. Boardman came in 1836 and settled on the reservation where the village of West Salamanca has since been built. He was one of the party who navigated the Allegheny river from Pittsburg to Olean Point in a flat-bottom stern-wheel steamer. Mr. Boardman resided here until 1870, when he removed to Randolph, where he died in 1874. He was the supervisor of LittleValley in 1844, 1845, and 1849 and of Salamanca (then Bucktooth) from 1855 to 1858 inclusive. Other early settlers were William P. Crawford, Adam Johnson, R. C. Brainard, Absalom Smith; Thomas L. Newton, who settled on Newton run; the Wright families who located in the northern part of the town; George Hill, who settled on Saw-Mill run; and George W. Drake, who located on Bucktooth run.
The magnificent pine forest on the reservation was an irresistible attraction to white men. Many of the "squatter" order, encouraged by the Indians, who had an insatiable appetite for whiskey, in direct violation of the law settled temporarily among them, exchanged "fire-water" and some provisions for their towering pines, and cut and floated them to saw-mills down the river. Jesse T. Fosdick states that an annual farce was enacted by the sheriff by removing all white people from the reservation. This the sheriff accomplished by taking a family at a load, by the shortest route, to the line of the reservation, repeating his journey until he had treated all the squatters to a ride. This usually kept them off the reservation a half-hour! For several years this was continued, and thus the supremacy of the law was maintained!
The first town meeting was held by authority of an act of the Board of Supervisors of Cattaraugus county erecting the town of Bucktooth, passed November 19, 1854, and convened at the house of John Boardman, February 27, 1855, the following officers being elected: John Boardman, supervisor; G. W. Drake, town clerk; Russel Granger, Willard E. Fellows, Marcus Frisbie, Warren Wright, justices of the peace; William P. Crawford, Lysander Whaley, Richard Jaquish, assessors; Peter S. Monfort, collector; John Parr, town sealer; Christopher Cross, James Rosenberry, Thomas L. Newton, commissioners of highways; Charles W. McMillan, Peter S. Monfort, George Cross, Abner Thomas, constables; John C. Cross, Leicester J. Worth, overseers of the poor; H. V. McKay, superintendent of common schools; William P. Crawford, poundmaster. The principal town officers have been as follows:
Supervisors.- John Boardman, 1856-58; E. P. Parks, 1859-60; David Harrower, 1861, 1863; Warren Wright, 1862; E. C. Topliff, 1864-65; Hudson Ausley, 1866, 1868-70,1880-81, 1891; Jesse T. Fosdick, 1867; John Hill, 1871-72; H. O. Wait, 1873-75; S. H. Brainard, 1876-77; J. J. O’Donnell, 1878-79; O. S. Vreeland, 1882-86; Fred Stillman, 1887-88; Carey D. Davie, 1889-90; James S. Whipple, 1892-93.
Town Clerks.- G. W. Drake, 1856-58. 1861; A. V. Tuller. 1859-60; John Nelson, 1862-65; Hiram L. Thompson, 1866-67; Timothy O’Brien, 1868-72; S. H. Brainard, 1873; James H. Pahner, 1874; R. Hevenor, 1875; Charles Jenks, 1876; Jacob Butterfus, 1877-81; Park Stevens, 1882-83; George McClary, 1884; J. W. Mulcay, 1885, 1888-89; Fred Stillman, 1886-87; Samuel McMullin, 1890-1893.
Justices of the Peace.- Josiah P. Wright, Richard Wright, 1856; James Rosenberry, Alphonso Ames, 1857; W. H. Payne, G. W. Drake, 1858; George E. Noble, 1859; H. H. Currier, Luther Cram, Clark Wheeler, Abner Miller, 1860; H. E. Fellows, William Franklin, Samuel Boyer, Luther Cram, 1861; S. Boyer, R. C. Brainard, Nelson Frink, 1862; W. H. Payne, A. A. Pixley, A. B. Rice, 1863; Patrick Shafer, 1864; Willard E. Fellows, David W. Kelley, 1865; John P. Lines, Willaim T. Clark, 1866; S. D. Woodford, Peter Frank , 1867; A. A. Pixley, 1868; H. M. Seymour, Samuel Dunham, 1869; Albert Hosley, 1870; Charles Gallagher, W. H. Evans, Patrick Shafer, 1871; Charles E. Gallagher, 1872; H, M, Seymour, 1873; John J. O’Donnell, 1874; W. R. Evans, 1875; Charles E. Gallagher, 1876; A. Hosley, 1877; A. A. Pixley, A. L. Brainard, 1878; A. A. Pixley, 1879; Samuel Taylor, 1880; James S. Whipple, E. S. Griswold, 1881; A. A. Pixley, 1882; Willaim H. Crandall, 1883; Samuel Taylor, 1884; James O. Spencer, 1885; T. H. Doad, 1886; William H. Crandall, 1887; Silas H. Seymour, 1888; James O. Spencer, 1889; Thomas L. Doad, 1890; William H. Crandall, 1891; Silas H. Seymour, 1892; James O. Spencer, 1893.
Source: Historical Gazetteer and Biographical Memorial of Cattaraugus County New York, Published October 1893
Thank you to: Daniel J. Drake for providing this information.
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