History of Chautauqua County, New York


In presenting this "History of Chautauqua County, New York, and Its People," the publishers desire to express their grateful appreciation of the labor and other assistance of a large and highly capable corps of editors and advisors. It is primarily founded upon the life work of the late lamented Obed Edson, without a peer as a local historian, and who gave to it his hearty encouragement and assistance, and whose very last contribution to the annals of the region he loved so well is contained in the Political Chapter.


Table of Contents

Chapter I Geography, Topography, Geology, Climatology 1
Chapter II The Mound Builders; Ancient Remains 8
Chapter III Origin of the Name Chautauqua 10
Chapter IV The Destruction of the Eries 12
Chapter V Brodhead's Expedition 16
Chanter VI Later Indian Wars, Occupation and Treaties 23
Chapter VII The Frontier Period, 1802-1805; Early Settlers; Foundation of Towns 26
Chapter VIII The Pioneer Period; War with Great Britain; Customs of the People 34
Chapter IX The Early Farming Period, 1825-1835; Development of the County; Industries; Amusements 42
Chapter X The Early Farming Period, 1835-1851; the Holland Company; Under the New Constitution; Progress of Education 50
Chapter XI The Agricultural Period, 1851-1861; Early Railroads; Spiritualism and Mormonism; Discovery of Oil 56
Chapter XII The Agricultural Period, 1861-1875; Development of Grape Culture 65
Chapter XIII Close of Century, 1875-1902; First Use of Natural Gas; Jamestown Incorporated as a City; Electricity introduced as a motive power; the Prendergast Library; New County Buildings; Lakeside Assembly; Improvement of Dunkirk Harbor; Soldiers of the Revolution; Burning of Ferdonia Normal School; Origin and Character of the People 70
Chapter XIV Opening of the Twentieth Century; the County Redistricted; New Court House; Military Reunions 91
Chapter XV Opening of the Twentieth Century; continued; the County redistricted; Death of Obed Edson 105
Chapter XVI Towns: Arkwright, Busti, Carroll, Charlotte, Chautauqua, Cherry Creek, Clymer 115
Chapter XVII The City of Dunkirk 143
Chapter XVIII Towns: Ellery, Ellicott 154
Chapter XIX The City of Jamestown 162
Chapter XX Towns; Ellington, French Creek Gerry, Hanover, Harmony 170
Chapter XXI Towns: Kiantone, Mina, Poland, Pomfret, Portland 201
Chapter XXII Towns: Ripley, Sheridan, Sherman, Stockton, Villenova, Westfield 225
Chapter XXIII Chautauqua County To-day; Statistics 247


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Besides its honorable history, Chautauqua I has much in other respects to endear it to its people. Its physical characteristics, the beauty of its scenery, its size and its situation are such as to justify the pride of its citizens.