Avoca - Part of the Steuben Co., NY GenWeb page - Judy Cwiklinski - coordinator

Part of the Steuben Co., NY GenWeb - Judy Allen Cwiklinski coordinator


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Steuben County, New York


Compiled by: Millard F. Roberts

John Single Paper Company, Ltd., Syracuse, N.Y., 1891

This was typed and contributed by Gloria Banks Kirkwood

AVOCA page 111

" Is situated northwest of the center of the county, and lies in the rich valley of the Conhocton river and upon the adjoining uplands. The valley is about a mile in width, and of rich alluvial deposit. The course of the Conhocton through the town is from northwest to southeast. Ten-mile and Twelve-mile creeks enter it as tributaries from the north and Neils creek from the west. The hills rise in some places abruptly, but generally by a gradual ascent to a height of four hundred feet above the river. The soil upon the hills is chiefly gravel and clay, with a mixture of loam, making good, productive farming land, which is largely cleared and in a good state of cultivation. For its size it is one of the most productive and flourishing towns in the county.

The township was formed from the towns of Bath, Cohocton, Howard and Wheeler, April 12, 1843. Up to that time the village of Avoca, according to the census of 1890, was 2,241.

AVOCA - First Settlement: pages 109 - 113. (added 5/31/1999)

" Was made by WILLIAM BUCHANAN and his son, Michael, on the LEVI KYSOR farm about 1794. Mr. BUCHANAN having been sent there by Colonel WILLIAMSON to keep a house of entertainment in the interest of the settlement of that section. Soon after his arrival he erected a log house where he entertained the traveler and those seeking a home in the new country. There were no inns or taverns in all this section, and the only highway was the WILLIAMSON road through the Conhocton valley to the Genesee river. He was sent here as the agent of the land-office, and his large-hearted hospitality was proverbial among the early settlers.

The year following his arrival he planted an orchard, a portion of which remains. This place was known at that time as BUCHANAN'S or the Eight-Mile Tree. The Eight Mile Tree (so marked by the Phelps and Gorham surveyors) stood a little north of the LEVI KYSOR house, about a quarter of a mile south of the village of Avoca. When the little hamlet began to assume shape as a village, it received a new name which the inhabitants take pride in handing down to posterity. The name of "Avoca" was given by a young lady while on her death bed. Having heard that the little village was about to receive a new name, she sent a written request to the people to allow her to name the then pleasant forest village.

Soon after the arrival of GERSHOM TOWNER, he erected on the HASKIN farm a hotel or inn. He was noted for his hospitality. Although his hostelry was only a double log house, he supplied liberally the necessaries of life, and no traveler was turned away hungry. Another hotel was erected by JOEL COLLIER in 1808, at or near Wallace. It was primitive in its construction being built of logs, the only timber then manufactured in the town.

Between 1801 and 1815 quite a number of families and young men settled here, and the following are the names of those settlers as far as can be ascertained: ASA PHILLIPS, ABRAM TOWNER, JAMES BABCOCK, RICHARD VAN BUSKIRK, HENRY SMITH, JAMES DAVIS, JOHN VAN BUSKIRK, WILLIAM MOODY, DANIEL McKENZIE, JONATHAN TILTON, JOHN DONAHE, ELEAZER TUCKER, ALLEN SMITH, SAMUEL BURNHAM AND OLIVER RICE. Most of them were formerly settlers of Bath. Among those settlers taken from Howard were ISAAC BALDWIN, WILLIAM ALLEN, CHARLES ROBORDS, TIMOTHY PARKHILL, WILLIAM GOFF AND HENRY KENNEDY.

There were others who might be called early settlers who came between 1816 and 1824: JOHN B.CALKINS, GERSHOM SALMON, JOSEPH MATTHEWSON, JAMES SILSBEE, JOHN PUTNAM, HUGH BRIGGS, VAN HOUSEN HOPKINS and a number of others unknown to the writer.

ABRAM TOWNER settled on a farm near the new mill in 1808, and spent the remainder of his life there. JOHN DONAHE settled on the creek leading to Howard, on what is known as the DONAHE farm. RICHARD AND JOHN VAN BUSKIRK settled on what is known as the SAM HASKIN and ALLEN farm. ELEAZER TUCKER settled on what is known as the TUCKER farm about a mile above Wallace. HENRY SMITH, father of OSCAR S. SMITH, settled in this town in 1814, on a farm one mile south of Avoca village. WILLIAM MOODY took up and settled on lands now occupied by the village.

... the uplands were receiving sterling inhabitants. In January 1811, ISRAEL BALDWIN settled on a farm south of and which bordered on the beautiful inland lake, known as SMITH'S pond, which takes its name from a noble SCOTT who settled on the north side of it in 1810. Mr. BALDWIN was the first to cut his way from the creek road leading to Howard to his possession. In March 1810, WILLIAM ALLEN, settled on the farm owned by JOHN, LYMAN AND ALEXANDER SHULTS. CHARLES ROBORDS settled on what is known as ROBORD'S Hill in 1814. He had a family of fourteen children, and the eldest was not old enough to be of much assistance to his father, when the family located here. After their arrival, the principal food of the family consisted of bear and deer meat with a small allowance of corn. Their clothing was of the pelts of the bear and deer, tanned by the Indian method, generally with the hair on."

  1. Wallace Cemetery - (av1) (1/06/02)

  2. Vale of Rest Cemetery - (av2)

  3. Old Cemetery - (av3) (9/23/00)

  4. Highland Cemetery - (av4)

  5. Valley View Cemetery - (av5) (6/9)

  6. Old Cemetery - (av6)

  7. Town Line Cemetery - (av8)

  8. Kingkade Cemetery - (av9)

  9. Redmond Gully Rd. Cemetery - (av10)

  10. Unknown Burials - Hubbard Stanton Farm? (av12) (9/23/00)

  11. Antler Inter. - (avx1)

  12. Carlson Farm Cemetery - (avx2)

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Last modified Sunday, 06-Jan-2002 16:17:31 MST

Judy Allen Cwiklinski Steuben Co., NY GenWeb coordinator 1999-2002 ©
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