The early history of the town of Ellicott, Chautauqua County, N.Y.
What is the ratio justified of this book? Simply this. Our friends desired us to write it, and we wrote it; the Journal Printing Company printed it, and Merz put on the covers. It is a home made book for home use; and the critics, if any, we expect to be to the manor born.
Our friends will justify themselves by saying, "we desired to rescue the memory of our grandfathers and our grandmothers, and our parents, from the deep pall of oblivion which was fast settling down upon them, and the history of their homes in the wilderness, in which they labored so hard to secure blessings which we alone have lived to reap and to enjoy. The hardy, generous, and in many instances gifted men and women, who lived and labored in what are now our busy streets, have left enduring monuments of their united labor, but the records of their individual selves, have been meagre and unsatisfactory. The records imprinted on the memories of a few yet living whose boyhood days were spent in Jamestown, before it had become an incorporated village, have been found, of all remaining sources of information, the most reliable and satisfactory. There are still living here a number of persons who became citizens from 1825 to 1835, whose memory of events has yielded material assistance by sustaining and strengthening the memory of the writer, by what they themselves knew of, and had frequently heard related, of the early settlers. As the years roll on, their deeds would soon have been forgotten, if the extended sketches we have caused to be made by one who was an on- looker, had not been written and given to the world." This is the answer you elicit from our friends.
It has been our attempt to record the names and the deeds of the fathers, surrounded by all that constituted their homes as we once saw them, and as, to-day, they are vividly depicted in our memory. We have labored to place before you, their children and successors pictures of their persons, their homes, and their surroundings in the long ago when Jamestown was a hamlet in the wilderness when the Pearl City was the Rapids when instead of the busy hum of a hundred factories and a thousand industries, and a city of comfortable homes and palace residences there were a few lowly dwellings, and the hum was of the saw mill and the busy boatman by day, and the howl of the wolf or the scream of the wild cat in the Big Fly, by. night. The homes, the industries, the scenes here depicted, were to our noble but humble-minded fathers the all of human life they bounded the horizon of their being they were the environments of their existence. Memory had embalmed them in the hearts of their children, now few remaining, old and fast passing away. What is known of these Pioneers among the children's children, the present generation, is weak and shadowy, and is yearly becoming more and more dim, and at the end of another decade even within that short period folk lore would have claimed the little remaining of the memory of the early settlers. We interpose this feeble book to prevent such a disaster. We present it as a rough monument to their memories their homes their deeds their lives.
Although conscious that we have used every effort, which could be reasonably expected, to accurately describe the scenes and events herein depicted, yet the invariable experience of others should teach us not to claim entire exemption from those errors and imperfections always found in works of biography and history. History has been defined " An approximation towards truth." We cannot believe that this definition even approximates to a true one, nevertheless it may embody a shadow of a truth, for every thing human is marked by imperfections.
Table of Contents
THE PRENDERGAST FAMILY... 1
ORGANIZATION OP THE COUNTY, ETC... 19
EARLY MEANS OF TRAVELING... 47
SOME EARLY INDUSTRIES... 79
EARLY INDUSTRIES... 109
EARLY INDUSTRIES CONTINUED... 133
NATHAN BROWN'S CONTRIBUTION... 185
HOTELS AND DISTILLERIES... 206
THE EARLY NEWSPAPERS... 235
Boyhood Memories Dr. Laban Hazeltine His Visit in 1814. Comes with His Family in 1815. Incidents of the Journey. Indigenous Medicines. His Family. Anecdotes. Other Early Physicians. Early Pharmacies. First Drug Stores... 350
Allegory of Human Life. Inns of Court. Volunteers in 1861 Early Patriots. Early Lawyers. S.A. Brown, Abner Hazeltine, Joseph Waite, Franklin H. Waite, Geo. W. Tew, Richard P. Marvin, Abner Lewis, E. F. Warren, Lorenzo Morris. Madison Burnell, Orsell Cook... 279
Organization of the Early Churches. Church Quarrels and Divisions. Mormonism in Jamestown. Abolitionism... 311
The Bad School Districts. Log School Houses. First Schools in Jamestown Thomas Walkup and the Bird Nest Robbers. The Pine Street School House. Early Teachers. Juty Smith. Old Put Takes a Ride. The Academy. Its Teachers and its Pupils The Jamestown Academy The Quaker School... 350
Early Merchants J. & M. Prendergast, Richard Hiller, Silas Tiffany, Jehial Tiffany, Samuel Barrett, J.E. Budlong, Henry Baker, Alvin Plumb. Elisha Hall. William H. Tew... 370
William Forbes. Gen. Horace Allen. Jesse Smith. Phineas Palmiter, Sen. Cyrus Fish Milton Sherwin. Abram Winsor. S.B. Winsor. Augustus Moon. Amos Ferguson. The Strunks. Simmons. Judson Southland. Uriah Bentley. Woodward. Halliday. Aaron Forbes. Russel D. and Warner D. Shaw Oliver Shearman. Joseph and Eliakim Garfield. Elisha Aden. A.F. Allen. Dascum Allen. Solomon Jones, Jr. English Families. Swedes. Carroll. Geo. W. Fenton. John Frew. Myers. John Russell. John Owen. Kiantone. Joseph Akin Benj. Jones. Ebenezer Cheney. Nelson E. Cheney. James Hall. Wm. Sears. Ebenezer Davis. Samuel Hall. Chapin Hall. Jasper Marsh. Ezbai Kidder. Poland. Dr. Kennedy. - Erastus Marvin. Robert Falconer. Nathaniel Fenton. - Elias Tracy... 395
Chautauqua Bank. Arad Joy. A.D. and T.W. Patchin. Robert Newlaud. The Museum Society. Fourth of July, 1860. Wm. Broadhead. Early Burials. Cemeteries... 453
Semi Centennial of the Chautauqua Co. Agricultural Society. Origin of Marvin Park. Dedication of the Log House to the Early Settlers. Chautauqua Undivided Now and Forever. Addresses of Dr. G.W. Ilazeltine and of Judge R.P. Marvin. Centennial in 1936... 476
Gov. Reuben Eaton Fenton... 498
John Adams Hall... 508
Gen. Thomas W. Harvey... 516
Alexander T. Prendergast... 525
Hon. James Prendergast... 536
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It has been frequently stated that one of the most difficult and thankless of tasks is to write a local his- tory, and that the difficulty and thanklessness are in "inverse ratio," to the size of the locality, and the number of inhabitants. This statement must be correct. In giving the history of a large extent of country, or of a nation,or of great events, the people in masses are spoken of; but in a small town or village, each individual rises into importance, and those for whom the work was produced arc extremely liable to be dissatisfied and condemn the whole, because especial Mends are not given a more prominent place.
These pages are largely the author's own recollections strengthened by the recollections of others whom he has consulted, and by the statements contained in pages of manuscript written by, and historic records made by his father, the late Dr. Laban Bazeltine.
The task was undertaken at the urgent solicitation of many, who desired the facts herein contained to be preserved. The papers from which this volume is partly compiled were first given to the public through the columns of the Jamestown. Journal, and by the yet more urgent solicitation of those for whom they were prepared are now gathered into this volume.
It is not expected that the facts herein contained will be of equal interest to all who are now the residents of the locations mentioned. They were gathered for the descendants of those w r ho subdued the wilder- ness that once covered these fair fields; who endured the trials and privations of pioneer life, and who founded the surrounding villages, and reared the first rude structures of our beautiful city, in which so many within a few short years have made their homes. To the descendants of these hardy pioneers I his volume will prove a choice legacy; they will read the most trivial anecdote, or the most unimportant circumstance, with an interest that the new comer can not be expected to entertain, for on every page, in all of its words, it speaks of grand-fathers and grand-mothers whom they venerate. And yet to those who have lately taken up their residence in this active little city or have become owners of farms reclaimed from a primeval forest by those of whom we herein speak, should feel a slight interest in knowing who first claimed as home the places they now occupy.