Chapter: Town of COLD SPRING

pages 417-421

Transcribed by Cindi Clark


    Cold Spring is situated in the southwestern part of the county, in the second township of the eighth range of the Holland Company’s survey.  It was erected from Napoli, March 20, 1837, to embrace the two lower townships of that range, but in 1847 town 1 was taken off, to form South Valley; and in 1848 a part of township 2 was annexed to the same town, leaving Cold Spring with an area of 17, 787 acres.  The surface is elevated and broken into summits and intervales, some of the former being 500 feet above the general level of the valleys.  It was originally covered with a fine grown of timber, some of the pines having been more than 200 feet in length.  For many years lumbering formed the chief interest of the people, but since the town has been denuded of its forests agriculture is receiving considerable attention, chiefly in dairying.  The soil of the uplands is principally a slaty loam, but in the valleys is a fertile, gravelly loam, yielding abundantly hay, grain, and potatoes.

    The Allegany River is the largest stream of the town, flowing through the southeast corner a distance of nearly three miles.   Its principal affluent in town is Cold Spring Creek, which rises in the northern part of Napoli, and flowing south through Cold Spring, empties into the Allegany, in the southern part of that town.  It is a fine stream of pure cold water, which suggested its name, afterwards applied to the town.  Along the Allegany and three miles up this creek extends the Reservation of the Seneca Indians, embracing a large portion of the choicest lands.  A branch of the Connewango rises in the southwestern part of the town, and flowing northward, passes into Randolph, near the northwest corner of Cold Spring.  Here is also a bill brook of large size, flowing southwest.  All of the creeks afford water-powers, which have been well improved, and contribute largely to the prosperity of the town.

    From the books of the Holland Land Company, it appears that in 1819, land was owned in town by Artemas Houghton, Philip Tome, Jesse Hotchkiss, Isaac Down, and Milton Holmes.  Some of these became actual settlers. 


And brief notices of others who endured the hardships incident to the lives of early settlers, are here given.

     Philip Tome came from Susquehanna, Pa., as early as 1818, and, no doubt, was the first white settler in town.  He paid much attention to hunting and trapping.  He caught large numbers of elk, which were plenty at that time, especially in the south side of the Allegany. He engaged extensively in lumbering, as he was in the midst of an unbroken pine forest.  He claims to have run the first raft of lumber upon the Allegany Rivers.  At that time 60,000 feet made a full raft.  Mr. Tome had several sons, some of whom now reside at Willow Creek, in South Valley, where the father died some years since.

    A Mr. Coon, and James and Robert Pease, settled in the town soon after Tomes, but soon removed.

    Jesse Hotchkiss came about 1819.

    Isaac Merrill came from Oneida County, in 1822, locating on lot 54.  He was born in Connecticut, April 1779, and died in Randolph, Oct. 17, 1858.  He wife, Rebecca Benedict, was born in Connecticut, March 1781, and died in Cold Spring, September, 1864.  A son, Isaac N., is living on lot 50, in the town of Napoli.  A. C. Merrill resides in East Randolph.

    Charles Crook, a native of Connecticut, came to Cold Spring from the town of Holland, Erie Co., March, 1822.  He was born in 1751, and therefore twenty-five years of age at the time of the Declaration of Independence.  He was for several years a soldier in the American army under Washington.  He located on lot 32, and built a shanty, the roof and floor of which were bark.  He built a saw-mill on Cold Spring Creek the same season (1822), having brought in a millwright with him.  Polly Chandler, his wife, was born in 1759, and was a native of New England.  She died in Cold Spring in 1833.  The two oldest sons, Stephen and Asa, died in Illinois.  The third son, Elijah, living in Indiana, and running a boat on the Mississippi, left his home for a trip, and was never again heard of by his family.  Nathan Crook, another son, is living on lot 16, and is the oldest living settler in Cold Spring.

    Frink and Erastus Crook, brothers, from Massachusetts, located on lot 31 in 1822.  Erastus died in Pennsylvania in 1877, and Frink died in Erie Co., N.Y.

Joshua Barnes, from Erie County, settled on lot 32 in 1822.  Alvah Rogers came in from the same county in 1822, and some years later returned to his former home.

    Horace Wait, from Washington Co., N. Y., located on lot 30 in 1822.  He rolled up the body of a log house, then went back to his old home, expecting to return in a few weeks, but sickened and died there.

    Joel Hall, from Ontario County, located on lot 54 in 1823.  He died at East Randolph in 1875.  His wife, Lydia, died at East Randolph in 1876.  They left two sons, one living in Randolph and one in Cold Spring.  Capt. Amos Hall, from Ontario County, located on lot 54 in 1825.  He was an ambitious, energetic man, and probably did more to build up the town of Cold Spring than any other person who has ever done business in that town.  He died in Kansas, in March, 1878.  Emily, his wife, died in Randolph in 1861.

    Erastus Hall came to Napoli in 1820, and in 1825 to Cold Spring.  He is now doing business in that town, in the village of East Randolph.  Four sons reside in the same place.

    Parley Marsh, from Windham Co., Vt., where he was born in 1796, came to this town in 1826, and located on lot 53.  He died a St. Paul, Minn., in April, 1869.  His wife, Sally Eames, was born in Vermont in 1803, and died December, 1852.  The same year, and from the same place, came Arba Marsh, born in 1800, who settled on lot 53.  He died in Cold Spring, January, 1839.  His wife, Artemesia Jones, was born, in Vermont, December, 1805, and is now living in the State of Ohio.  Marshall Marsh was born in 1802.  He died in the town of Randolph, N.Y., October, 1857.  His wife, Sally L. Morton, was born June, 1805, and yet resides in Randolph.  Newton Marsh was born in 1810.  He came to this town in 1826, and died here January, 1835.

    Blakely Ingalls, from Washington County, settled in town about 1825, where he died about 1838.
Sylvester May settled in town in 1828, and is now living at Steamburg.

    William Earle, from Genesee County, located on lot 17 in 1832.  His father having been killed by the fall of a tree, his widowed mother came with him to this town.  He is now living in town, on lot 37.  Mrs. Earle died in 1869.

    Jonas Hubbard located on lot 29 in 1830, coming from Genesee County.   He died in Pennsylvania.  His wife, Polly Mann, died in Michigan in 1861.  His son, Manley, lives in the town of Dayton, and a daughter, Permelia, resides in Cold Spring.

    Samuel Price was born in 1790, and came from Oswego Co., N. Y., in 1833, and located on lot 50.  He died on the same lot in 1862.  His wife, Elizabeth Cheney, was born in 1794, and died in the town of Randolph in 1876.  The oldest son, Ebenezer C. Price, died in town, June, 1875, James W. in 1872, and Jonathan in 1852.  Other children of this family – Joseph, Martin, Dorr, and Matilda—yet live in Cold Spring, and Angeline in Randolph.


    The first orchard was planted on lot 32 by Charles Crook, in 1823.  He also built the first frame barn in 1825, and shares with the Hall family the honor of building the first saw-mills, both having been erected on Spring Brook in 1822.

     Charles Crook married Sally Ballard, of Erie County, in 1822, and the following year had born a daughter, Martha, which was the first white child born in town.  She is now living, a widow, in Salamanca.

    The father of Eastman Prescott was the first adult to die in town, -- year not positively known.

    Early schools were taught by a Miss Noble and Miss E. Sanford in 1831 and 1832, and the first frame school-house was built in 1835, on a lot of ground given for this purpose by Nathan Crook.

    Philemus Hall is credited with having kept the first inn and store, in 1822


     Of the town begins with a record of the first annual meeting, held at the house of Eastman Prescott, March 6, 1838.  The officers at the time chosen were:  Supervisor, Stephen Aldrich; Town Clerk, James Pease; Justices, James Pease, Stephen Aldrich, Samuel Price; Assessors, Samuel Price, Samuel York, Harper Bovee; Collector, Ebenezer C. Price; Commissioners of Highways, John H. Godfrey, John Cook, David Pease; Overseers of the Poor, Samuel J. York, John Timmerman, Jr., John H. Godfrey; School Inspectors, Joseph Beatty, Harper Bovee; Constables, George W. Lewis, Hial Tanner, David Pease, Ebenezer C. Price.

    The proceedings were attested by Eastman Prescott, a justice holding over from Napoli.  The next meeting was held at the house of John G. Bruce.  The principal officers then elected, and at subsequent periods, were as follows:

Supervisors. Town Clerks.
1839 Horace D. Swan. Eastman Prescott.
1840         “      “ James Pease.
1841         “      “         “      “
1842         “      “ Robert Creighton.
1843 Alson Leavenworth. A. M. Casler.
1844         “      “ Frederick Aldrich.
1845         “      “         “      “
1846         “      “ Howard Fuller.
1847 John Crooks.* Frederick Aldrich.
1848 Howard Fuller.         “      “
1849         “      “ Thomas Higgins.
1850 Thomas Higgins. William Wyman.
1851 John D. Wheat.         “      “
1852 Howard Fuller. James A. Swan.
1853 Thomas Higgins         “      “
1854         “      “ Samuel H. Barrett.
1855         “      “ Daniel Swan.
1856 Freedom Jeffords. James H. Swan.
1857         “      “ Daniel S. Swan.
1858 Isaiah W. Darling.         “      “
1859         “      “ Augustus Payne.
1860 Freedom Jeffords.         “      “
1861 E. C. Price.         “      “
1862 Howard Fuller. Orson B. Coe.
1863 Freedom Jeffords.         “      “
1864 William M. Brown. A. Fuller.
1865         “      “ A. V. Fuller.
1866         “      “         “      “
1867 Henry C. Fuller. Austin B. Wells.
1868 Samuel H. Barrett. Wm. G. Ingraham.
1869 Robt. M. Patterson. B. G. Casler.
1870 G. A Williams. † C. B. Sturdevant.
1871 Daniel F. Reeves. M. W. Gibbs.
1872         “      “ C. S. Lyon.
1873 Clark McCollister. John W. Paisley.
1874         “      “ Frank E. Wells.
1875 William M. Brown.         “      “
1876          “      “         “      “
1877          “      “          “      “
1878 H. A. Ostrander. W. A. Jaquay.

1839. Abner P. Jones 1844. Erastus Hall
1840. Abraham M. Casler
Ariel Wellman.

Samuel J. York. 1845. Thomas Higgins.
1841. Eastman Prescott
George Marsh.
1842. Abraham M. Casler 1846. Thomas Higgins.
1843. Samuel Price
Enoch Holdridge.

Allen Campbell, Jr.
1847. Isaiah W. Darling. 1862. Allen Campbell.

Thomas Higgins.
Orson B. Coe.

A. M. Casler. 1863. Isaiah W. Darling.
1848. Horace D. Swan. 1864. Franklin C. Hovey.
1849. Noah Culver
James M. Woodworth.
1850. Henry Whitmore 1865. O. B. Coe.
1851 Isaiah W. Darling. 1866. Stephen Cooper.

E. C. Price.
Samuel H. Barrett.
1852. Madison Woodworth 1867. Isaiah W. Darling.
1853. Howard Fuller. 1868. Hezekiah Owen.
1854. Anthony Covert.
E. C. Price

Alfred Fuller. 1869. Anson D. Burlingame.
1855. Allen Campbell. 1870. Samuel H. Barrett.

E. C. Price. 1871. Isaiah W. Darling.

Thomas Higgins.
E. C. Price.
1856. Anthony Covert. 1872. H. W. Burdick.

Jonathan Crook. 1873. Alpha Flagg.
1857. Isaiah W. Darling. . John W. Paisley

Howard Fuller. 1874. John W. Paisley.
1858. Allen Campbell. 1875. Frank E. Wells.

Freedom Jeffords. 1876. Frank E. Wells.
1859. Isaiah W. Darling.
Hiram L. Sanders.
1860. E. C. Price. 1877. Hezekiah Owen.
1861. Hezekiah Owen. 1878. John Hackett.

L. Nutting.

    At the first town-meeting, March 6, 1838, a resolution was passed to raise twice the amount of school money furnished by the State, and also to raise $250 to improve highways.  At the same meeting it was resolved that substantial fences should be build 4 ½ feet high, and that fence-viewers should receive $1 per day for services.  At the second meeting $250 road money was voted, and also that cattle, horses, and sheep be free commoners.  In 1840, hogs were added to the list of commoners.

    In 1855 the town subscribed for 140 shares of $50 each of the capital stock of the Erie and New York City Railroad.  In September, 1862, the town, at a special meeting, voted to raise by tax 12 per cent. Of the subscribed stock and pay the same to the company, returning the stock and receiving the bonds in return, which were canceled.

* Parley Marsh elected to fill the vacancy caused by Crooks’ residence in South Valley, formed this year.
† Appointed; there being no election.


    The first highways were opened about 1821.  But previous to that time some roads had been underbrushed to get through with ox-teams and sleds, as some of the settlers in towns farther north had to reach the Quaker Mill on the south side of the Allegany.  At the organization of the town, in 1838, there were twelve road-districts.  In 1840 three more were formed.  In 1842 there were eighteen districts, and at present there are twenty-seven.

    The “Old Indian Trail,” in this town, left the Allegany River at the mouth of Cold Spring Creek, then following that stream, passed into the town of Napoli, on lot No. 41.  Previous to the settlement of the town it was merely a foot-path.  The Atlantic and Great Western Railroad passes through this town nearly east and west, a distance of seven miles, and has a station at Steamburg.


    The Halls built a saw-mill on Spring Brook in 1822, which was probably the first in town; although Nathan Crook claims his father, Charles Crook, built one on Cold Spring Creek as early as 1822, which was run about twenty-five years.  The Halls built a second mill on the Little Connewango in 1836, and another in 1839.  In 1842 they built a mill on Spring Brook, and in 1844 the one now owned by J. F. Stewart.  They erected a small grist-mill, with one run of stone, on Spring Brook in 1824, and a much larger one, with three run of stone, in 1833, which is now owned by Holdridge & Davenport, and is the upper mill at East Randolph.

    Price & Culver erected a saw-mill on the Little Connewango in 1840, which was rebuilt by Reuben Niles in 1870, and is yet in operation.
    James Orton and Thomas Harvey erected a saw-mill on Cold Spring Creek about 1835; and Thomas Harvey and son erected one on the same stream in 1838; and Eben Sibley and Marvin Fearry another in 1840.

    Parley Marsh put up a saw-mill on what is now called Trout Grove Brook in 1827.  It has since been rebuilt, but is not in operation at present.  Amos Hall erected a saw-mill on Spring Brook in 1858, which is now owned and run by Geo. W. Watkins.  It will cut 300,000 feet of lumber per annum.  In 1842, Amos Hall put up a shingle-mill on Spring Brook, which is now owned by Lewis Morton, and has been enlarged to comprise a grist-mill and a cooperage.

    A wool-carding and cloth-dressing mill, on Spring Brook, at East Randolph, was erected by Enoch Holdridge in 1858.  It is now owned by Frederick Butcher & Son, and is quite extensively used for manufacturing yarns and flannels.

    The first steam-mill in Cattaraugus County was built by Nye & White for Holt & Jeffords in 1846, at Cold Spring.  It was purchased by E. L. Lyon in 1848, and was burned down in 1854.  It cut 1,250,000 feet of lumber per year.

    Lyon & Vale erected a steam saw-mill on Robinson Run in 1847.  It was burned in 1849, and rebuilt in 1850 by Alonzo Woodford.  In 1858 it was moved to the mouth of Robinson Run; then to lot 30 in 1862; and in 1868 again moved to the Larkins tract.

    A steam saw-mill was erected on lot 8 by Curtis Harding in 1848.  It was run about six years, cutting about 1,500,000 feet annually.

    The Jeffords steam saw-mill was built at Steamburg, in 1858, by William M. Brown; was moved to Meeting-House Run in 1861, and to Robinson Run in 1864.  It was then purchased by Silas Harkness, and moved to the village of Cold Spring.  It cut from 2,000,000 to 3,000,000 feet per year.

    Curtis Harding built a steam saw-mill on lot 8 about 1860, which cut about 3,000,000 feet of lumber per year.

    A steam saw-mill,, 28 by 42 feet, was erected at Steamburg, in 1851, by E. L. Lyon.  It was burned in 1853, and rebuilt the same year.  It was again destroyed by fire in 1854, and rebuilt the same season.  It was afterwards enlarged, and now cuts 1,500,000 feet of lumber and 2,000,000 of shingles per annum.  It is also used for cutting staves and as a planing-mill.  The engine is a 35 horse-power.

    A saw-mill was erected on the Little Connewango, in 1845, by Samuel Price.  It was 25 by 50 feet.  It has since been rebuilt by Joseph Price, and is now owned by him.  It is in good running condition.

    In 1872, Gideon March erected a grist-mill, with one run of stone, on the Little Connewango. The upright is 30 by 36 feet, two stories high, with a wing 24 by 26 feet.  It is now owned by Mr. Marsh.  He also operates a turning-lathe, slitting-saws, scroll-saws, etc.

    A spoke- and hub-factory was built at Steamburg a few years ago by H. L. Sanders, who is operating it at present.

    A spoke- and hub-factory was erected on Trout Grove Brook, in 1870, by A. & S. T. Stedman, who still own and run it, doing about $3000 of business per year.


    The Price & Williams Creamery was built in 1874, at a cost of $4400.  The size is 36 by 56 feet, and three stories high.  It is run by a 8 horse-power engine.  It receives the milk of 270 cows, making 10 cheeses and 250 pounds of butter daily.  It is now owned by Mrs. E. C. Price and Emma Price.

    The Rich Creamery, situated a short distance southeast of East Randolph, was built by Edwin Stone in 1874, at a cost of $5180.  It is now owned and operated by Joshua Rich. It manufactures the milk of 425 cows, making 16 cheeses and 300 pounds of butter daily. It is 40 by 60 feet, and three stories high, having an engine of 8 horse-power.


    Among the industries of this town, on lot 53 is one of great novelty and much interest.  On less than ten acres of land nearly 150 springs gush from the earth, and almost entirely by natural channels concentrate their waters in a pond of three-fourths of an acre.  This pond was constructed over fifty years ago, by Parley Marsh, to run a saw-mill which he erected in 1827 a few rods below the pond.  He obtained a fall of 30 feet in a distance of 150 feet, making about a 25 horse-power.  In the centre of the pond is a natural island of much beauty, 75 feet in diameter; and on the east shore are capes and bays, perfectly natural.  East of the pond and bordering directly upon its shore is a fine grove of second-growth hard-wood, interspersed with evergreen timber.  The volume of water from the springs never varies, heavy floods or severe droughts never seeming to affect their fountain source.  The water is transparent, pure, soft, and very cold.  It falls from the main pond in a sheet 8 feet in width, being about 220 cubic inches.  In 1868, John B. Eddy, a native of Middlefield, Otsego Co., N.Y., purchased these grounds and commenced improving them, until at present there are sixteen ponds.  In 1873 he commenced breeding trout to supply his ponds, and is now propagating them for the ponds of other parties, and also for the market.  Mr. Eddy thinks with proper improvements he could turn off from $15,000-$20,000 worth of fish per annum.  In fact, there would scarcely be any limit to the business.  At present he has about 60,000 fish, ranging from one to five years of age.  No ice ever forms on these ponds, and experiments have shown that these springs are from 15 to 20 feet below the surface; and their equal can hardly be found in this country.


    A part of East Randolph is situated in this town, but as that place will be fully noticed in the history of the town of Randolph, further mention of it is here omitted.


A station on the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad, in the southwestern part of the town, is a thriving village, having several hundred inhabitants.  It derived its name from the number of steam works and mills at one time located here.  The site was originally settled by Eastman Prescott, in a rather early day, but no effort was made to found a village until after the completion of the railroad, in 1860, when the principal interests of the old village of Cold Spring were diverted to this point.

    The first store was erected by Freedom Jeffords, in 1856.  It was kept by Howard Fuller and B. G. Casler.  The second was built by E. L. Lyon, in 1871, and occupied by Robert Carson.  The third was built in 1873, by Franklin Jackson, and occupied by Nutting Brothers.  There are also several grocery-stores, by M. A. Jaquay and H. K. Whelpley.

    The first hotel was built by Moses B. Wells, and now is owned by Alpha Flagg; it was built in 1863.  B. Kent erected the second, in 1865, and it was kept by him until 1878, and since by Horace Frederick.

    The Steamburg post-office is the only one in town.  It was established October, 1861, with E. L. Lyon as post-master, a position which he held seven or eight years.  Other appointees have been B. G. Casler, Maurice Gibbs, Robert Carson, F. L. Beyers, M. A. Jaquay, and since August, 1876, H. D. Nutting.  The place has daily mails from the East and West, and tri-weekly mail to points South by stage.

    Dr. Alson Leavenworth located in Cold Springs as a practicing physician about 1836.  Since then Doctors Tompkins, Crandall, and Butterworth have been in practice.  The present physician is W. W. Daniels.

    A fine school building, 30 by 50 feet, costing $2000, is a credit to the inhabitants of Steamburg.  A good school, having an attendance of 65 pupils, is maintained.  The children of school age in the district number 112.
    In the village are also half a dozen mechanic shops and several large steam lumber-mills and factories.


Was formerly a hamlet of considerable importance, having been the centre of a great lumber trade.  In 1839 the place had three taverns, conducted by Howard Fuller, Alonzo Woodford, and Abram Casler.  The former continued about twenty years, and for much of the time kept a store.  Others in the trade at this point were Benjamin Giles, DeWitt Wheat, Foster Barlow, Wm. Brown, Daniel Swan, Howard Fuller, Jr., Alfred Fuller, G. Casler, Stephen Aldrich, etc.  Jesse Champlin was the last innkeeper at this place, and one of the best-remembered postmasters was Jonathan Cricks.

    After the lumber business declined and the railroad was built through Steamburg, the whites living in the hamlet removed, leaving it tenanted by the Indians, and there is nothing now to remind the passer-by of the former activity and importance of the old village of Cold Spring.


    As far as known, those who died first in town were interred in the woods on lot 29, a few rods from the depot at Steamburg.  Their remains have never been removed.  Another burial-plat, much used by the early settlers, was given for this purpose on lot 32, by Nathan Crook.  At least forty persons were here interred when its use was abandoned, and it is now a cultivated field.


On lot 38, near the village of Steamburg, was opened by an association formed in 1863.  The first officers were Ebenezer C. Price, President; Freedom Jeffords, Secretary; G. A. Williams, Treasurer; Sylvester A. May, William Earle, and E. L. Lyon, Trustees.  The cemetery contains an acre of ground, having good natural drainage, and is neatly inclosed.  The managing board of trustees at present is composed of John Hotchkiss, George W. Van Sickle, Thomas Turner, H. L. Sander, and Sylvester A. May.


    It is said that Rev. Wm. J. Wilcox, a Congregational minister, held the first religious meeting in town, in 1823.  It does not appear that any church organization was then effected, or in subsequent years until 1851, when


Was formed at what is now Steamburg. The minister in charge was the Rev. Mr. Chesbrough, and the members where composed of the Woodworth families, Alvah Williams and wife, W. D. Arrance and wife, and Mr. Jonathan Whipple.  James M. Woodworth was elected class-leader.  The Revs. Blynn, Day, Moore, Barnhard, and Meade were among the earlier preachers, and the meetings were held in the school-house.  The class at present numbers thirty-two, and is under the leadership of Clark Myers.


Formally organized a class at Steamburg in 1872, the members being Austin Davis and wife, Hiram Briest and wife, Mrs. Whipple, and Mrs. Turk.  A Rev. Mr. Reeves was the first pastor, and a Rev. Mr. Robinson the present.


Have also lately established meetings in town, with encouraging prospects of organizing a church.  The Rev. J. McGeary preaches at Steamburg at regular intervals.


    The town gave a willing and active response to the calls for troops to suppress the rebellion, and resolutions were passed to raise money for volunteers from Cold Spring, and to provide means for the support of their families.  The action of the town, authorizing bounties of from $150 to $600 per man, was supplemented by many generous private subscriptions; and all united in a determined effort to sustain the Government and vindicate the supremacy of the national authority.