Chapter: Town of Hinsdale

pages 422-233

Transcribedby: Terry Schliewe

The town of Hinsdale lies upon the east border of the county, south of the centre.  Its surface is a broken and hilly upland.  Irregular ranges of high hills, with abrupt declivities, and deep, narrow valleys, alternate.  The summits of these hills are from 500 to 600 feet above the railway at Hinsdale village.

The principal water-courses are the Ischua Creek, entering the town near the centre, on the north border, and flowing south, and Oil Creek, entering it in the northeast corner and flowing southwest, which unite near the village of Hinsdale and form Olean Creek, which continues in a southerly direction through the centre of the town.  These streams afford, excellent water-power privileges.  Haskell Creek is a small stream, which rises in the eastern part and flows through it in a southerly direction.

The soil upon the up lands is chiefly of a clay loam and in the valleys a gravelly loam.  It is productive, well adapted to grazing, dairying, and the cultivation of fruits and the cereals.  The agricultural classes, which comprise the major portion of the inhabitants, are chiefly interested in the propagation and care of livestock and in the monthly dividends of cheese-factories.

            Petroleum has been sought, and many evidences exist that it is here, but attempts to find it in paying quantities have thus far proved futile.

            The town contains a total area of 24,786 acres, of which 12,500 acres are improved.  Its population in 1875 was 1566, of whom 128 were foreign born and 10 colored.


            Its proximity to the settlement already established at Hamilton, now Olean, by Major Adam Hoops; the beautiful scenery presented, as approached from the south, the Olean, Ischua, and Oil Creek Valleys lay outspread to view in all the pristine glory and loveliness; the fertility of the soil, and the easy terms offered to actual settlers by the agents of the Holland Land Company, induced a few families, during the first decade of the present century, to make their home in that part of the county of Genesee now know as the town of Hinsdale.

            According to tradition and facts already gathered and published,  --for none of their representatives are here at the present day, __the brothers, Zachariah, Horace, and Seymour Noble, Charles Foot, and Thomas Lusk, natives of the State of Massachusetts, came from Ontario Co., N. Y., in 1806, and settled on section 3, township 2, range 4.

            Their contracts for land were made with Major Hoops, who had previously become proprietor of sections 3 and 4 in the township just named.  It is related that two years of quiet rural life passed without much to elate or startle the pioneers, save the frequent visits of wild beasts; when it was whispered from house to house that Horace Noble was a father, and they called her "Clarissa."  She was born in the fall of 1808, and was the first white child born in the town.  Of these people already named, Zachariah Noble seems to have been the only one who remained here for any length of time, and became fully identified with the history and interests of the town.  He was a plain, unassuming man, but a good, worthy citizen.  He was located upon Lot 7, section 3, township 2, range 4.  In 1807, in conjunction with his brother-in-law, Foote, he made the first cheese ever made in Cattaraugus County.

            Lusk settled upon lot 1, section 4 of the fourth range.

            Jedidiah Strong came from Vermont in 1807, and the same year, with Bibbin Follett and Dr. Bradley, rafted the first lumber down the Allegany River.  Follett died in 1809.  His death is supposed to have been the first in the town.  Mr. Strong married the widow of Wm. Shepard about 1811, and settled upon section 3.  In 1820 he owned lots 1, 2, 3, and 4 of section 3, township 2, range 4.  He was a leading citizen, and up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1828, was prominently identified and active in all matters pertaining to the interests of Hinsdale.  He was one of the first assessors, and the second supervisor of the town.

            Simeon Hicks came from the vicinity of Schenectady, N. Y., in 1807, and the same year entered into a contract with the agents of the Holland Land Company* for land in the northeast part of lot 4, third township, third range, or what is now the northeast corner lot of the town.  He first worked for Major Hoops in his saw-mill.  In 1812 he married Loranda, the daughter of Capt. Elihu Murray (the marriage ceremony was preformed by John Brooks, Esq., of Olean), and soon after he settled upon the Burt farm, now owned by William Towsley.  The next year Mr. Hicks opened a tavern.  In 1817 the highway called the State road was opened from Olean Point to Angelica.  This improvement changed the carriage-way from the west side to the east side of Oil Creek, and Hicks' tavern was left on the opposite side of the stream, and a long distance from the new avenue of travel.   He then built a hotel at the corners, which became widely known as "Hicks' Tavern," or Hicksville.  As emigrants bound for the "far west," streamed through this valley on their way to Olean Point, his business increased to such an extent that his accommodations were inadequate.  In 1832 he erected a new hotel at a cost of $3000, and continued in the hotel business until 1850, when the hotel took fire and was burned.  The old tavern was torn down at the same time to save the dwelling-house, now occupied by his widow, Mrs. Loranda Hicks.


  *The books of the Holland Land Company showed the following men as being the first contractors for lands in the territory now included within the towns of Hinsdale, Ischua, and Portville.

  Township 2, range 4, Asabel Beach in 1806.  Township 3, range3, 1807, Jotham Blakesley, Barnabas Strong, John Brooks, Samuel Kimball, Asa Folsom, Simeon Hicks.  Township 2, range 3, 1813, James Haskins, Israel Curtis, Joel Wakefield, Rodolphus Scott, Joseph Smith, Alfred Dodge.  Township 3, range 4, 1813, Lewis Wood, Seymour Bouton, Julius Underwood, and Emery Yates.  As Major Hoops had already obtained control of the greater portion of township 2, range 4, it is found that the first settlers in the town of Hinsdale, as now constituted, settled upon Hoops' Tract.  Of the names given as above, we find that Simeon Hicks, Israel Curtis, Lewis Wood, and Emery Yates became actual settlers of Hinsdale, and Seymour Bouton of that part of Hinsdale now known as Ischua.


            About 1808, Joseph Burt, from Connecticut, settled upon the Towsley farm, and was the first settler in township 3, range 3.  He remained until 1812, when he sold out his improvements to Simeon Hicks, and went farther west.  Mrs. Hicks relates that Burt had built two large log houses (the logs of which were hewn smooth inside), with good puncheon floors of basswood, and that he had some 15 acres under cultivation.

            Seth Humphrey and his brother, Elisha were from Connecticut, and previous to 1809 were settled upon the farm now owned by the widow Scott.  Seth removed from the town at an early day, --prior to 1820.  Elisha afterwards settled upon lot 6, section 4, township 2, range 4.

            Capt. Elihu Murray, a native of Deerfield, Mass., who had served with distinction in the Continental Army during the war for American Independence, settled in Oxford, Chenango Co., N. Y., in 1790.  He remained at Oxford until the spring of 1809, when, accompanied by his sons, Elihu, Jr., and Dauphin, and Loranda, his daughter, he started out with his own conveyance, drawn by a span of good horses, for the wilds of Cattaraugus.

            They traveled by the way of the "Lake Country."  At Gorham, Ontario Co., N. Y., Miss Murray, who was then eighteen years of age, was induced to remain a year and teach school.  Her younger brother Dauphin, remained with her.  Capt. Murray and his son, Elihu, Jr., finally reached Cattaraugus County, and bought out the improvements of Thomas Lusk, which consisted of a log house, log barn, and a few acres of cleared land.  The next year (1810), Elihu Murray, Jr., opened the first tavern in the town.  This tavern-stand was afterwards occupied by Israel Curtis and others, and was situated about one mile below the village of Hinsdale.

            Capt. Murray did not entertain a very exalted opinion of Cattaraugus, and about the beginning of the war of 1812-14, with his horses and wagon, set out on his return to Chenango County.  At bath, Steuben Co., he met Gen. McClure, was then organizing a force to march to the Canadian frontier.  Capt. Murray was induced by the general to join the expedition, and, as a wagon-master of baggage-master, proceeded with the American forces, and with them crossed to Canada.  After a few months' service of this nature, he continued on his way to Chenango Co., N. Y., and there passed the remainder of his life.


            As before mentioned, Mrs. Hicks';then Miss Murray';remained in Ontario County until 1810, when she rejoined her family in the valley of Olean Creek.  Her recollections of the people already settled in the valley in 1810, their peculiarities, etc., are vivid, interesting, and worth of mention here.  She relates that when she arrived, Seth Humphrey was living upon the widow Scott place.  Clafford, an old man who had a blind wife, was upon the Webster farm, and John Foot was upon the James Lockwood place.

Willis Thrall lived on the Barrows place, and the widow of William Shepard was living near Thrall.  Shepard and Thrall were brothers-in-law, and she thinks that the mill built by them on Olean Creek in 1807 was the first saw-mill erected in Cattaraugus County.

            The summer of 1810, Miss Murray taught school in a log house, which stood near the present residence of Horace W. Smith.  Among her pupils were Olean and Bird Shepard, and Seth Humphrey's children.  She taught the Shepard children their A B C's, and mentions that one of the Humphrey's boys was a remarkable child.  He was about seven or eight years of age.  When he commenced he did not know his letters, and in six months' time he could read a book.

            Below Thrall's and the widow Shepard's lived John Brooks, and next below him James Brooks.  Still farther south was Benjamin Seeley, who owned a saw-mill.  A few years later Seeley's wife became insane.  He took Mary Ann Riggs and her mother, left his family, and went west.

            At Olean Point there were but three families living, viz., Adam Hoops and his father, who lived in a hewn-log house, which stood on the right side of the road going south to Portville, a little east of the Olean Creek.  The other families were those of Sylvanus Russell and Jake Putnam, who lived near each other, down by the Allegany River.

            Before the marriage of Mrs. Hicks she accepted an invitation to a party at Major Hoops.  Wealthy Thrall';who afterwards married John Cruger';kept house for him.  They had for supper venison steak, good potatoes, cranberry-sauce, wheat bread, and coffee.  The men were treated to some kind of liquor.

            Willis Thrall and wife, Mrs. Shepard, and Jedediah Strong were present at this party.

            She describes Major Adam Hoops as of medium height, rather stoutly built, and also of dark complexion.  He was a bachelor, and by the women was considered rough and disagreeable in his dress and manners.  He was known by them as the "woman-hater."  In his travels on horseback he always carried in his portmanteau two blankets; these were invariably spread upon his bed, and between them would he sleep.  The women asserted that hi did this because he would not sleep in sheets where, perhaps, a woman had slept.

            When she first commenced housekeeping on the Burt place, in 1812, their nearest neighbor on the north, or Rushford road, was Col. Samuel Morgan, who was four miles distant.  On the west, or down the valley, it was seven miles to Seth Humphrey's, and eight miles to Elisha Strong's, their nearest neighbor on the east side.  The site of Cuba village was a wild, almost impassable, swamp.  Many times had her husband gone with his teams to help emigrants through that swamp.

            Dansville was their nearest point from which flour and other necessaries could be obtained; occasionally she would buy flour from emigrants at one shilling per pound.  At that time not a bridge was to be seen between Angelica and Olean.  The wolves and bears were very annoying, and many times came around the house, seeking the sheep and pigs.  They would frighten them away with firebrands.  The Indians were friendly.  At one time she purchased eight saddles of venison from as many Indians for a few flints, some lead, and a little whiskey.

            About a year after they were married, Mr. Hicks started out on horseback and journeyed to the Genesee River, near where Judge Church lived, and bought two bags of corn of the Indians.  It was ground by them in a little hand-mill.  On his return, and when within about a mile of his house, he was surrounded by a pack of wolves that had been gathering and hanging on his track for some distance.  Darkness was upon him, and his heavily-burdened horse had come to a stand-still after getting among some brush and logs, from which is seemed he was unable to extricate himself.  Becoming satisfied that the wolves meant business and were after him, Mr. Hicks leaped from his saddle, abandoned his horse and grist, and started at his best pace for home.  He reached it in safety, but lost his shoes.  These were recovered in the morning, as well as his horse and grist.

            At the remarkable age of eight-seven years, Mrs. Hicks still resides in the town which has been her uninterrupted place of residence for a period of sixty-eight years.  Her general health is good; her powers of mind are scarcely impaired; and she seems gratified by the proud distinction of being one of the oldest living residents of Cattaraugus County, the daughter of a Continental captain, and of being connected by blood and by marriage with some of the proudest and most distinguished families of our State.

            Peter Putnam, who claimed to have been a lineal descendant of Gen. Putnam, of Revolutionary fame, came from the Delaware River country, and settled in Almond, Allegany Co., N. Y., in 1802.  His marriage was the first in that township.  In 1810 he sold out his improvements, invested his money in a raft, and, leaving his wife at Olean, proceeded down the Allegany and Ohio Rivers to Cincinnati.  Having sold his lumber, he bought a wagon and span of horses in Cincinnati, and drive back to Olean.  January 1, 1811, he arrived on lot 42, township 3, range 3, --the farm now owned by Hollis Scott';and immediately began cutting logs for a house.  When he had the requisite number prepared, the Indians, who were encamped in considerable numbers near by, assisted him to build it.  He built the first framed barn in town in 1816.  His sons, John Putnam, who was born Aug. 10, 1811, and is believed to have been the first male child born in Hinsdale, still resides here.

            In 1812, Israel Curtis and his son-in-law, Harvey Parker, came in from Cayuga Co., N. Y., and settled upon lot 3, section 4, township 2, range 4.  A few years later, Mr. Curtis purchased other lots, situated in the central part of the town, and in 1820 was the owner of about 1000 acres.  He was the first justice of the peace within the present limits of Hinsdale, the first supervisor, and, in 1817, was appointed the first sheriff of Cattaraugus County; he was also an early innkeeper at the stand first opened by Elihu Murray, Jr.  He is described as having been a gentleman of large proportions, commanding presence, educated, and the possessor of abilities of a high order.  He removed to the far West in 1826.

            Joshua Weeks, from Oxford, Chenango Co., N. Y., also settled here in 1812.  He located upon lot 3, section 3, township 2, range 4.

            Among the arrivals in 1813 was Ezra Thornton, form Cayuga Co., N. Y., who settled upon Section 3, lot 1, township 2, range 4; and Lewis Wood and Emory Yates, brothers-in-law, who came from Gainesville, N. Y.  Wood settled upon lot 41 and Yates upon lot 33, both in township 3, range 3.  They erected the first saw-mill in 1814.  This mill was situated upon Oil Creek, lot 11, township 3, range 3; and in this mill';yet unfinished';Emory Yates Jr., was born in November, 1814.  Yates, Sr., was a native of Vermont, and served in the army at Black Rock during the year 1812.  Wheelock Wood, a brother of Lewis, came in soon after, and settled upon the same lot upon which Yates was located.

            Capt. Thornton Wasson, a soldier of 1812, accompanied by his sons, Thomas T., Elihu M., and Thornton, Jr. came from Guilford, Chenango Co., N. Y., in 1819, and remained one year in Bath, Steuben Co.  In 1820 he came on to Olean; thence he proceeded up the Olean and Oil Creek Valleys to lot 11, third township, third range, where he settled.  From that time to the present the name of Wasson has become a familiar one in Hinsdale, and numerous representatives of his family have been intimately associated in all enterprises of a social, political, or business nature which had for an object the advancement and general good of their townsmen.

            The year 1820 also found Alexander Campbell upon lot 17, and Jacob Chamberlin upon lot 18, both in the third township, and third range.  Lambert Fay, on section 3 of the fourth range.  Aaron Houghton, from New Hampshire, on the same section as Fay.  William Hungerford, from Bainbridge, Chenango Co., N. Y., on lot 18, third township, third range, and Robert Hinds, from Bloomfield, Ontario Co., N. Y., on lot 1, section 4, township 2, range 4.  Mr. Hinds was an early innkeeper, and the first town clerk.  The town records prove conclusively that no subsequent clerk has ever been his equal in neatness, accuracy, and beauty of penmanship.

            Henry Conrad came from Easton, Ps., and in 1805 contracted for land in Franklinville.  He became a resident soon after, and in 188 erected the first saw-mill, and the following year the first grist-mill in Franklinville.  These mills were situated at Cadiz, on the Ischua Creek.  In 1821 he became a resident of Hinsdale, and settled upon lot 48, second township, third range, --the site of Hinsdale village.  He also owned the greater portion of lot 41, township 3, range 3, and of lot 9, section 4, township 2, in the fourth range.  He built the first house on the village site, and opened a tavern soon after.  About 1824 he built a saw-mill on Ischua Creek, and in 1830 a grist-mill.  These mills were located near the present grist-mill.  Mr. Conrad was of German parentage, and may be considered as having been the patron of Hinsdale, or, more particularly, of those settlers who came in from New Jersey and Pennsylvania, from 1823 to 1830, and settle upon Dutch Hill and its vicinity.  He was generous to a fault, and poor families who were destitute of flour and meal, and had no means to buy, were never refused when they applied for credit at Conrad's mill.

            Other settlers at about this period were Tunis D. Bush on lot 12, Moses W. Butterfield on lot 10, Samuel S. Grimes on lot 25, David D. Howe on lot 18,--all in the third township, third range,--while William Smith was on lot 8, section 4, and Emery Wood on the village-site, both being in township 2, range 4.  Howe is remembered as the man who built the State road from Hinsdale to Angelica in 1817, and is described by Mrs. Hicks as having been a tall, handsome, dark-complexioned man, with ruddy cheeks, and eyes as black as night.  He had borrowed some money of one Church of Allegany County, to assist him in some of his enterprises.  In some manner he became embarrassed, and when payment was demanded by his "Shylock," Howe was unable to meet the demand.  Church then began selling off Howe's stock, crops, etc., --even the vegetables growing in his garden.  This exasperated Howe to such a degree that he seized his rifle, mounted his horse, and rode off towards Allegany County, singing "Poor old Job went up through persecution," etc.  Church was shot that night.  Howe was convicted, and hung at Angelica in 1824.

            Emery Wood (Col. Wood became a resident in 1817) was the brother of Lewis, Wheelock, and Manning Wood.  Before this settlement in Hinsdale he had taken an active part in the war of 1812-14.  At the age of fifteen years he had enlisted as a fifer, and in September, 1812, marched from Gainesville, N. Y., to Lewiston.  At the expiration of his term (three months) he returned home.  In the summer of 1813 he again took the field (as a substitute), and in July of that year was taken prisoner at Black Rock; from thence he was sent to Halifax, and detained there as a prisoner of war until June, 1814, when he was released.  Returning to his home in Gainesville, he again, in September, 1814, joined the New York volunteers, --that were then organizing on the Holland Purchase for the relief of Fort Erie, --marched with them to the front, and while engaged in the battle of Sept. 17, 1814, was captured by the "re-coats" the second time, and held a prisoner until the close of the war.  Col. Wood was a prominent man during the early days in Hinsdale.  The fact of his being the first merchant and first postmaster in 1825, and at about the same time holding the offices of supervisor, town clerk, justice of the peace, and the coloneley of the 226th Regiment of Infantry, gave a prominence and celebrity to his name that was wide-spread.

            In 1823 we find Levi Beebe on lot 6, township 2, range 4; James and William Bennett on lot 4, township 3, range 3; Peter Frantz, another soldier of 1812, and a constable for many years, was on lot 25, Dutch Hill; John R. Grimes on lot 10, township 3, range 3; Nicholas Haselton, lot 18, township 3, range 3, Sherman Johnson, lot 10, township 2, range 4; Bela and William May, on lot 16, township 3, range 4; Reuben Scott, on section 3, township 2, range 4; Elisha Terry, on lot 15, township 3, range 4; and Hiram Thrall, on section 4, township 2, range 4.  Among the settlers of 1825 were Jonathan E. Allen and Enoch B. Andrews, on lot 16, township 3, range 4; Elisha Foot, Moses Fay, a Revolutionary hero, Moses Fay, Jr., in township 2, range 4; William Hawley, from Cortland Co., N. Y., on lot 15, township 3, range 4; Ebenezer Hyde, lot 18, Oil Creek; Henry and John Moyer, lot 24, township 3, range 4; and Cyrus Pierce, section 4, township 2, range 4.

            The settlers of 1825 were Daniel Chandler, Jabez A. Beebe, Eliasaph Bouton, Chauncey A. Jones, Levi Kent, Daniel K. Lewis, Peter Miller, Eli Martin, Lewis P. Metcalf, Jacob Melegar, Ebenezer Preston, David Parker, John S. Peterson, Jacob Pipher, Peter Ramsey, Charles Stewart, Abram Shafer, Samuel Wardel, Heber Weatherby, Christopher Whiting, and Lyman Whiting.  Horace W. Smith, a brother of Capt. William Smith, came in form Vermont in 1826.

            Previous to 1830 the following named settlers were residents here; Lewis Conklin, Archibald Case, Joel Carpenter, Samuel Conrad, William H. Bouton, Jacob Boree, Lewis Bouton, Charles Barnum, Gardner Bullard, Elias Bugby, Jacob Bowers, John A. Bennett, John and William Deal, Nelson Falkner, Isaac Goodrich, Daniel Grimes, Horace Guild, Isaac Graham (Henry Gross was here in 1820, but owned no land until 1818), Orrin Hull, Alpha Hull, Joshua Hungerford, Elijah Huestis, William Halley, Christopher Keller, Joseph Keller, Peter Kamery, Thomas Lockwood, Jacob Linderman, Stephen Losie, Jacob Luderwick, Denton Mott, Jacob and Isaac Massicker, Simeon McLafferty, George McKulty, Aaron Osmond, John Osterstuck, Thomas Parker, Samuel Pipher, Ford Parish, William Queer, Peter Swarts, John Snyder, Elijah Sweeton, Enoch Sargent, Eber Shores, John Swarts, Samuel Shaver, Joseph Smith, Luther Scott, Stephen Sherlock, Henry Sherlock, Elam Seward, Sheldon Stoddard, Aaron Wheeler, William Vinton, William Wesler, Seymour Wilcox, Timothy Webb, Josiah Washburn, and Josiah Young.

            Hollis Scott came from Westmoreland, Cheshire Co., N. H., and in 1820 settled in Friendship, Allegany Co., N. Y.  He removed to Cuba in 1829, and to Hinsdale in 1830.  Buying out Emery Wood, he became the second merchant in the town, and continued in the mercantile business at Hinsdale and Scott's Corners for a period of twenty-five years.  Mr. Scott represented Cattaraugus County in the State Legislature in 1839.

            William Vinton was from Massachusetts, and an early tavern-keeper in the village of Hinsdale.

            Alexander Storrs, from Worchester, Otsego Co., N. Y., became a resident in 1831.  Prior to this time, he had resided four years in Franklinville.  Mr. Storrs has served as justice of the peace for thirty years, and in 1855 represented Cattaraugus County in the State Legislature.  His eldest son, Emery A. Storrs, who was educated in Hinsdale, and now resides in Chicago, Ill., is one of the leading lawyers in the Northwest.

            Among others who have become residents in later years, yet have been prominently identified with the public interests of their county and State, there should be mentioned Hon. Alonzo Hawley, who represented the county in the State Legislature during the sessions of 1841 and 1843, was a member of the State Constitutional convention of 1816, and is the present (1878) county treasurer of Cattaraugus County.

            Also Hon. Nelson I. Norton, who represented his county in the Legislature during the session of 1861, and was a member of the United States House of Representatives in 1875.  Mr. Norton's father was one of the first settlers in Franklinville, also of Great Valley.

            Lewis Wood built the first frame house, where Jason Lewis now resides, in 1816.  Peter Pottman built the first framed barn, at, about the same time.  Gardner Bullard built the wood-carding, Fulling, and cloth-dressing works in 1829.  His factory was situated near the present grist-mill.  The first framed school house was built at Scott's Corners, about 1818.  Miss Loranda Murray taught the first school, in 1810, of which we have any knowledge.  The first physician to attend the pioneers was Dr. Hyde, from Friendship in Allegany Co.  Dr. James Trowbridge is believed to have been the first resident physician.  Emery Wood was the first merchant and first postmaster, about 1825.  Seymour Bouton, a young boy, carried the first mail from Olean to Angelica; Hugh Magee and brothers were the contractors.  Mail was received semi-weekly.  The rates of postage were as follows; under 80 miles, 10 cents; over 80 miles, 18 cents; over 400 miles, 25 cents.  Moses Van Campen and Jedediah Strong surveyed the road from Olean to Angelica, in 1815.  The marriage of Jedediah Strong to the widow of William Shepard, about 1811, was the first of which there is any record.  The mill-irons used by Lewis Wood and Emery Yates in the construction of the first saw-mill, in 1814, were brought by them on their backs from Bellefonte, Pa.


            By an act of the Legislature of the State of New York, passed April 14, 1820, Hinsdale was formed from Olean.  In that act it was provided that "all that part of the town of Olean lying north of an east and west line through the centre of the second townships, in the third and fourth ranges of townships, shall be known and distinguished as a separate town, by the name of Hinsdale; and the first town-meeting shall be held on the first Tuesday of March next, at such place as the justices of the peace of the present town of Olean shall designate by a written notice, to be put up at four of the most public places in said town, at least ten days previous to the said first Tuesday of March."

            The name of Hinsdale was given to it by the Hon. Elial T. Foot, of Jamestown, Chautauqua Co., who was then in the Assembly, and a member of the standing committee on the erection of towns and counties.  Being called on to provide a name without delay, he gave this, --from Hinsdale, N. H., his mother's birthplace.  At its formation it contained a population of 347 inhabitants.  The present town Ischua, as Rice, was taken off Feb. 7, 1846.

            "At the first town meeting in and for the town of Hinsdale, Cattaraugus Co., N. Y., held on the first Tuesday of March A. D. 1821, at the house of Noyes Miner, the following officers were elected, to wit:"

            Supervisor, Israel Curtis; Town Clerk, Robert Hinds; Assessors, Thornton Wasson, Sands Bouton, Jedediah Strong, Collector, Henry Gross; Overseers of the Poor, Jedediah Strong, Lewis Wood; Commissioners of Highways, Charles Price, Harvey Parker, Emery Yates; Constables, Henry Gross, Lambert Fay, Simeon Hicks, Commissioners of Common Schools, Lewis Wood, Alexander Campbell, Israel Curtis; Inspectors of Common Schools, Sands Bouton, Robert Hinds; Poundmaster, Lewis Wood; Overseers of Highways and Fence-Viewers, Robert Hinds, William Hungerford, Simeon Hicks, Peter Pottman, Israel Curtis, Jonathan Davis, Henry Gross.

            It was further voted, "that the supervisor be authorized to raise money to build a pound in Hinsdale.  That the place designated for said pound is on the northwest bank of Oil Creek, near the Oil Creek Bridge, where now stands a log shingle shanty.  That the supervisor, assessors, and poundmaster be a committee to devise a plan for building a pound, and superintend the construction of the same at public vendue to the lowest bidder, public notice thereof being given for six days previous to said vendue by posting notices in the public places.

            "That the town pay a bounty on wolf-scalps of $5, and that the same bounty be paid for panther-scalps, to inhabitants of the town only."

            The following is a list of the supervisors, town clerks, and justices of the peace from 1821 to 1878, inclusive.

Supervisors Town Clerks

1821 Israel Curtis Robert Hinds
1822 " "
1823 " "
1824 Jedediah Strong Thornton Wasson
1825 " " Emery Wood
1826 " "
1827 Thomas Morris Abner Smith
1828 " " Emery Wood
1829 Emery Wood Christopher Whitney
1830 " "
1831 " " Albert Lawrence
1832 " "
1833 Hollis Scott James Trowbridge
1834 " "
1835 " "
1836 " "
1837 Elihu M. Wasson William Vinton
1838 " "
1839 " "
1840 Seth Lockwood Thomas T. Wasson
1841 " "
1842 Frederick Carpenter Jarvis Blatchley
1843 " "
1844 " "
1845 " "
1846 Jarvis Blatchley John M. Palmer
1847 " " James B. Norton
1848 Edmund McKee Jarvis Blatchley
1849 " "
1850 Bela Norton " "
1851 " "
1852 " " Thomas T. Wasson
1853 " " William O. Leland
1854 Frederick Wood " "
1855 " "
1856 John Willover Jarvis Blatchley
1857 " " Alexander Storrs
1858 William O. Leland " "
1859 Thos. A.E. Lyman Timothy A. Allen
1860 Nelson T. Norton " "
1861 Thos. A.E. Lyman Henry K. White
1862 Elihu M. Wasson Jarvis Blatchey
1863 Charles D. Murray Daniel F. Chapin
1864 Lewis Bouton " "
1865 Nelson I. Norton Henry K. White
1866 " "
1867 " " Daniel K. White
1868 Staley N. Wood George H. Bandfield
1869 " "
1870 Christopher Willover " "
1871 Albertus Norton " "
1872 Christopher Willover " "
1873 George H. Bandfield Jarvis Blatchley
1874 " "
1875 Albertus Norton " "
1876 Alonzo Hawley Calvin R. Bouker
1877 Staley N. Wood Seth Larabee
1878 " " Isaac S. Larabee

1821 Thornton Wasson 1851 Alexander Storrs

Samuel Putnam
William G. Todd

Israel Curtis 1852 Jarvis Blatchley
1822 Emery Wood 1853 Elihu M. Wasson
1823 Daniel Chandler 1854 Martin L. Stevenson
1824 John Conrad
Amos L. Heading
1825 Samuel Putnam 1855 Alexander Storrs
1826 Charles E. Hatch
William G. Todd
1827 Daniel Chandler 1856 Elihu M. Wasson
1828 Emery Wood
Christopher Willover
1829 John Conrad 1857 Martin L. Stevenson
1830 William Hawley
Seth Lockwood
1831 Jonathan Robinson 1858 Augustus H. Phelps
1832 Daniel Chandler 1859 Alexander Storrs

Luther Scott 1860 Seth Lockwood
1833 Charles C. Hatch 1861 Charles D. Murray

Joshua U. Hungerford 1862 Phalismus Snyder
1834 Ira Weaver 1863 Albertus Norton
1835 William Smith 1864 Seth Lockwood

Frederick Carpenter 1865 Almon B. Bullard

Elihu M. Wasson
Austin May
1836 Luther Scott
Augustus H. Phelps

Alexander Storrs 1866 John A. Ostrander
1837 George D. Bandfield
Alexander Storrs
1838 Frederick Carpenter 1867 James T. Terry
1839 Thomas T. Wasson 1868 Elihu M. Wasson
1840 Alexander Storrs 1869 Augustus H. Phelps

Seth Lockwood
John L. Adams
1841 Zalmon P. Wasson 1870 Henry K. White
1842 Edmund McKee
Augustus H. Phelps
1843 Elihu M. Wasson 1871 John L. Adams
1844 Philo Burlingame 1872 Nelson I. Norton
1845 Seth Lockwood 1873 Augustus H. Phelps

Alexander Storr 1874 William E. Gould
1846 Edmund McKee
John L. Adams

Dauphin Murray 1875 Carlton E. Yates
1847 Cyrus Phelps
George H. Bandfield

Alexander Storrs 1876 Edward A. Gould
1848 Cyrus Phelps
Cyrus E. Phelps

Thomas T. Wasson 1877 Thornton B. Wasson
1849 Seth Lockwood
Nelson I. Norton
1850 Dauphin Murray 1878 William E. Gould

The following is an alphabetical list of the resident landowners in the town of Hinsdale in 1820; showing also the number of acres owned by each, and the assessed valuation:

Acres Value   

Acres Value
Bouton, Seymour 982 $2804
Millard, Israel 100 $200
Bouton, Sands 40 160
Neff, Silas B. 217 474
Cowdin, Nat 100 240
Noble, Zachariah 150 500
Camp, David 66 132
Pitcher, Amos 200 700
Camp, Ephraim 100 200
Pitcher, William S. 38 326
Campbell, Alexander 50 100
Putnam, Samuel 180 246
Curtis, Israel 602 1646
Pottman, Peter 223 1245
Chamberlin, Jacob 185 410
Parker, Harvey 195 1115
Dodge, David 160 380
Strong, Jedediah 374 1622
Davis, Jonathan 234 546
Thornton, Ezru 96 492
Foot, John 98 376
Weeks, Joshua 122 494
Fay, Lambert 110 260
Wood, Lewis *885 2870
Farewell, Abram M. 505 1660
Wood, Jarvis 120 240
Houghton, Aaron 100 500
Wood, Wheelock 120 890
Hungerford, William 313 1031
Welton, Zaphuiah 100 200
Hicks, Simeon 210 1220
Wasson, Thornton 365 990
Hinds, Robert 143 1236
Yates, Emery 120 240
Kimball, William 125 650
*& half saw-mill

Those named in the following list were non-resident landowners:

Acres Value  

Acres Value
Samuel Barrows 112 $300
Joseph Masson 75 $150
Salmon Abbott 100 300
Frederick Norton 98 196
Henry Conrad 241 1000
Willis Thrall 217 991
Colt & Bailey 482 864
Adam Hoops 54 108

The remainder of the township was owned by, and assessed to the Holland Land Company.
Aggregate valuation of the town $100,882.
Amount of tax collected $1412.37.
Thornton Wasson and Jedediah Strong were the assessors.

We,the subscribers, having had divers quarrels and controversies, and several suits having been commenced thereon, now, we, the said subscribers, do hereby release to each other all demands of what kind or nature soever, and all actions or causes of actions or causes of actions, either civil or criminal; and, further, we bind ourselves in the penal sum of one hundred dollars, each to the other, that we will keep the peace, each towards the other, for and during our, and each of our, natural lives. In witness whereof we have interchangeably set our hands and seals.
Aarpm Osgood, Thaddeus J. Farewell. Dated at Hinsdale, N. Y., Dec. 20, 1828, in presence of D. Swain, John Conrad, Emory Wood.

District No. 1.  Beginning at the town line, between the towns of Hinsdale and Olean; thence northwardly on the Allegany Road to the range line, between the third and fourth ranges, near Henry Conrad's inn.

No. 2. Beginning at the line between the third and fourth ranges, near Henry Conrad's inn; thence on the Allegany Road to the eat line of No. 48, in the second town, third range. Also from the south end of the bridge across Oil Creek, near the said Conrad's inn, on the Ischua Creek, to the old Bullard house. No. 3. Beginning at the old Bullard house, on the Ischua Creek Road, thence on the said road to the bridge across the Gulf, north of William Kimball's. No. 4. Beginning at the bridge across the Gulf, north of William Kimball's, thence on the Ischua Road to the line between Ischua and Hinsdale. No. 5.  Beginning on the Ischua Road, north of Peter Pottman's; thence running to Israel Willard's house, on lot No. 43, third township, third range. No. 6. Beginning on the Allegany Road, at the east line of lot No. 48, in the second town and third range; thence on the said road to the west line of lot No. 10, in the third town and third range. Also from the school house near Lewis Wood's, on the road leading thence east to the said Allegany Road. No. 7. Beginning on the Allegany Road, at the west line of lot No. 10, in the third town and third range; thence on said road to the county line. Also from Simeon Hicks' (on the State road leading from Moscow to Olean Point) to the town line. No. 8. Beginning on the State road between Israel Curtis' and Ezra Thornton's; thence west as far as it is laid out by the commissioners. Also on the west side of Olean Creek, beginning at a butternut tree, on the road above mentioned, and running south as far as is laid out by the commissioners.
(Signed) Charles Price, 
              Harvey Parker,   
               Emery Yates, 
               Commissioners of Highways
            At an election held the last Tuesday of April, 1821, and on the two succeeding days, inclusive, in the town of Hinsdale and county of Cattaraugus, for the purpose of electing one member of Congress to represent the Twenty-second District of the State of New York in the United States House of Representatives, two Senators for the Western District of the State of New York, and two members of Assembly to represent the counties of Niagara, Chautauqua, and Cattaraugus in the New York State Legislature, Benjamin Ellicott, for member of Congress, received 36 votes; Henry Seymour, for State Senator, received 14 votes; James McCall, for State Senator, received 14 votes; David Cason, for member of Assembly, received 33 votes; Calvin Filmore, for member of Assembly, received 32 votes. At the gubernatorial election held Nov. 1, 1824, DeWitt Clinton received, for Governor, 32 votes; Samuel Young, for Governor, 23 votes.

An account of money expended for the benefit of the poor in 1824.
Aug. 14, paid Judge Warner for 1 lb. ten $1.00
   "        "         "             " 1 gal. whiskey .62
"        "         "             " 40 lbs. flour @ 3.50 per 100 1.40
"        "         "             " 39 lbs. flour @ 3.50 per 100 1.36
Aug. 16, paid Thornton Wasson for 80 lbs. flour 2.80
    "            "   Judge Warner for lb. tea .50
Aug. 23           "       "              " bottle and brandy .53
Aug. 28           "        "              " 1 qt. brandy .50
Aug. 28            "        "              " lb. tea .50
Sep. 9              "        "              " 1 qt. brandy .50
Sep. 22            "        "              " lb. tea .50
       "                 "        "              " 5 lbs. sugar .62
       "                 "        "              "
1 qt. brandy (lacking a gill) .44__

"The above articles were furnished by us for, and delivered to, M. F., Jr., and the Widow A., whose families were sick and in want."                                  
(Signed)    Emory Wood,  Thornton Wasson,
                 Overseers of the Poor. 
        The following is a list of jurors in the town of Hinsdale, 1827: Enoch B. Andrews, Moses W. Butterfield, Peter Bush, Joseph Bristol, Jabez A. Beebe, James Bennett, William Bennett, Eliasaph Bouton, Tunis D. Bush, Daniel Chandler, Henry Conrad, John Conrad, Daniel Conrad, Anthony Caswell, Jonathan Davis, Thomas Densmore, Lewis Fay, Lambert Fay, Jarvis Fay, Reynolds Ferris, Daniel A. Ferris, Elisha Foot, Peter Frantz, Horace Guild, Joel Godfrey, Chas. C. Hatch, David Hidmer, Aaron Houghton, William Hawley, Sherman Johnson, Allen Jones, Levi Kent, Christopher Keller, Wm. Kinner, John Lockwood, Jacob Linderman, Geo. Learn, Jacob Learn, Dan'l K. Lewis,George Miner, Bela May, Eli Martin, William May, Zachariah Noble, David Parker, Harry H. Pitcher, Peter Pottman, William Raub, David Raub, Jedediah Strong, Henry Steffy, Abner Smith, Michael Vincent, John Waggoner, Emery Yates.
"At a meeting of the commissioners of the Board of Excise of the town of Hinsdale, held at the house of William Vinton, this 11th day of July, 1829, for the purpose of granting licenses, etc.   It is resolved, that we have satisfactory evidence that William Vinton, Reuben Scott, Harry H. Pitcher, Eleazer Densmore, and Jabez A. Beebe, who apply to us for licenses, severally, to keep an Inn or Tavern in said town, are respectively of good moral character, and of sufficient abilities to keep an Inn or Tavern, and have, respectively, accommodations to entertain travelers, and that Inns or taverns are absolutely necessary at the places where said persons propose to keep taverns for the actual accommodation of Travelers." (Signed)   "Emery Wood, Supervisor , Daniel Chandler, J.P., John Conrad, J. P.

The following is an alphabetical list of resident landowners in the town of Hinsdale in 1830, showing the number of acres owned and improved by each.

Owned Imp.
Owned Imp.
Andrews, Enoch B. 98 17 Johnson, Sherman 161 12
Bouton, Elisaph 125 24 Jones, Allen 100 12
Barnum, Charles 60 15 Keller, Christopher 125 20
Bouton, Lewis 127 26 Kent, Levi 100 7
Boyer, John 100 0 Kunklan, Lewis 150 12
Buzzard, Joseph 180 0 Kester, John 100 0
Beebe, Caleb 100 12 Kapp, Geo. Jr. 127 0
Bennett, John A. 99 0 Lockwood, Thomas 189 9
Bush, Peter 250 46 Lewis, Dan. K. 100 5
Brown, Zebina 129 4 Larn, Jacob 165 13
Beebe, Levi 128 0 Linderman, Jacob 100 8
Butterfield, Moses W. 100 9 Larn, George 165 15
Broad, Samuel 120 9 Lockwood, John 100 15
Bouton, Wm. H. 36 14 Lockwood, Joseph 100 0
Bullard, Gardner 2 1 Lockwood, Horace 290 0
Boyce, Jacob 50 4 Losie, Stephen 100 0
Bristol, Joseph 70 0 Melegar, Jacob 158 0
Bristol, Joseph B. 40 2 Moyer, Henry 173 18
Beebe, Jabez 172 30 Moyer, John 100 13
Bennett, William 150 12 Martin, Eli 90 4
Bugby, Elias 100 2 Melegar, John 100 0
Bowers, Jacob 120 0 May, Bela 151 0
Bowens, Andrew 120 0 Miller, Peter 100 14
Barrows, Samuel 109 12 Morris, Neeley 150 25
Burt, Aaron 50 3 May, William 235 25
Burt, Daniel 50 0 Millard, Israel 120 15
Caswell, Anthony 100 20 Miner, George 88 15
Conrad, Nicholas 50 10 Miner, Denison 85 15
Case, Archibald 160 0 Metcalf, Samuel, Jr. 75 0
Conrad, Joseph 129 3 Metcalf, Lewis P. 175 0
Campbell, Alva 99 0 Noble, Zachariah 150 10
Cooper, Andrew 263 66 Osmond, Aaron 100 0
Conrad, Daniel 97 11 Osterstuck, John 50 5
Cothral, William 99 6 Preston, Ebenezer 162 15
Carpenter, Lowell 71 0 Parker, Thomas 105 2
Cole, Joshua 1 Parker, David 108 5
Chandler, Daniel 58 12 Pierce, Cyrus 216 6
Colwell, William 230 15 Purington, David 50 0
Carmer, Peter 150 5 Pipher, Samuel 349 12
Chamberlin, Ira 147 11 Pottman, Peter 100 35
Chamberlin, Corn 200 12 Pitcher, William S. 32 0
Conrad, Henry 446 56 Pitcher, E. M. 100 10
Conrad, Samuel 51 0 Queer, William 100 0
Davis, Jonathan 353 55 Raub, David 125 23
Densmore, Eleazer 126 50 Raub, John 270 22
Densmore, Thomas 147 12 Raub, Joseph 90 6
Deal, John 199 0 Raub, Andrew 100 8
Everhart, Jacob 150 0 Raub, David 176 0
Farewell, Abram M. 137 18 Robinson, Jonathan 452 23
Foot, Elisha 48 16 Sweeton, Elijah 48 36
Fay, Lambert 173 24 Strong, Elizabeth 213 30
Fay Clement 103 2 Seward, Alpha 100 0
Farewell, John H. 117 8 Shaver, Samuel 100 0
Farewell, Thaddeus Jr. 100 7 Swarts, Peter 243 40
Frost, Gideon 34 2 Snyder, John 123 18
Fay, Jarvis 53 5 Stevenson, James 200 0
Fay, Moses Jr. 118 3 Searl, Samuel 32 0
Fay, Lewis M. 58 8 Smith, William 116 24
Ferris, Reynolds 100 8 Scott, Reuben 190 15
Ferris, Daniel A. 100 6 Sherlock, Thomas 120 5
Franz, Peter 215 32 Sergent, Enoch 150 5
Goodrich, Isaac 50 0 Stewart, Charles 150 8
Gross, Henry 220 0 Shark, Myron 64 3
Gould, Jesse 100 8 Steffy, Henry 200 15
Grimes, Daniel 50 0 Tyler & Cook 73 25
Guild, Alpha 50 0 Townsend, Chester 100 7
Guild, Horace 100 18 Thrall, Hiram 103 25
Guild, George 109 10 Taylor, Zera 50 0
Granger, Leicester 50 0 Vincent, Michael 100 30
Hanks, Simeon 77 12 Vinton, William 11
Hull, Orrin 80 6 Wasson, Thomas T. 504 25
Hungerford, William 75 5 Wheeler, Aaron 112 0
Houghton, William 75 0 Wagner, John 150 6
Houghton, Aaron 50 0 Whitney, Lyman 106 5
Hawley, William 114 16 Wetherby, Heber 100 3
Howe, Jonathan 150 2 Whitlock, Morris 100 0
Howe, Titus 100 18 Wesler, William 100 0
Hawley, Benjamin 0 Wood, Emery 134 30
Howe, Jacob 100 11 Warren, Thomas 99 15
Hatch, John S. 71 0 Wood, Emery 134 30
Hungerford, Joshua 70 0 Warren, Thomas 99 15
Hibner, David 249 25 Wood, Wheelock 121 15
Hatch, Charles C. 127 6 York, Jacob 103 15

This list includes all then living in the present town of Ischua, which was then known as Hinsdale.
A revised list of the jurors of the town of Hinsdale, made the first Monday of July, 1830, according to instructions of the revised statutes, is as follows;

            Eliasaph Bouton, farmer; Jabez A. Beebe, innkeeper; Peter Bush, Joseph Buzzard, Andrew Cooper, Anthony Caswell, Jonathan Davis, farmers; Eleazer Densmore, innkeeper; Elisha Foot, Capt. John H. Farewell, Lewis M. Fay, Zachariah Noble, Aaron Osborn, Peter Pottman, Jonathan Robinson, John Snyder, Capt. William Smith, farmers; Emery Wood, Esq., merchant; Capt. Thomas T. Wasson, Sniffin Wilson, Capt. Wheelock Wood, farmers.




            The first highway in the town was the road from Angelica, Allegany Co., to Olean.  The old road entered the town near the house first occupied by Simeon Hicks, and followed down the west bank of Oil Creek to near the site of Hinsdale village, then crossed to the east side, and continued on in a southerly direction on the route now traversed, with some slight variations, from Hinsdale to Olean.  The present highway, the State road, was opened and completed by the contractor, David D. Howe, in 1817.

            The Genesee Valley Canal enters the town in the northeast corner, and extends through it along the east bank of Oil and Olean Creeks.  A feeder from Ischua Creek crosses lots 42 and 33, of township 3, range 3, and taken across Oil Creek by an aqueduct some 25 feet in height and about 300 feet in length, empties its waters into the canal about one mile northeast of Hinsdale village.  This canal was authorized by an act of the Legislature passed May 6l. 1836.  Work was commenced the same year, and in 1856 it was completed through the town of Hinsdale.  It extends from Rochester to Olean.  The summit level is 978 feet above Rochester and 86 feet above the Allegany River at Olean, and from it 97 locks descend towards the north and 9 towards the south.  It has from its incipiency been a non-paying investment, and with the close of the season of 1878 it was abandoned.  W.O. Leland, of Hinsdale, in 1863 made the first and only shipment of grain from Cattaraugus County by canal, when he shipped two boat-loads of oats from Hinsdale to Albany.

            The Erie Railway enters the town near the northeast corner, and passes through on the line of and south of the Genesee Valley Canal.  It was completed in 1851.  The citizens, at a cost of $500, gave the company the land now occupied by the depot and side-tracks at Hinsdale.

            The Buffalo, New York and Philadelphia Railroad enters the town near the centre, on the north border, and follows down the valleys of the Ischua and Olean Creeks, keeping on the west bank of those streams.  It was completed in 1872.  Hinsdale village is a station.
            Here, as elsewhere in the southern portion of Cattaraugus County, the pioneers and their immediate descendants were at an early day largely engaged in lumbering and rafting.  The business, in its results, paid in a twofold proportion.  Their land became cleared of the heavy forests which encumbered it, and by means of the Olean Creek and Allegany River the markets of Pittsburgh and Cincinnati were accessible, and a little money was obtained by the sale of their timber.  Yet, after viewing some portions of the territory thus stripped of the virgin forest, one cannot but think that if the fathers had left the trees standing on many acres which now lie uncultivated, exposing to view a cold, rough, barren, surface, the timber would be worth much more than the present value of the land.


            Of late years the people have turned their attention more particularly to agricultural pursuits.  Good farm lands exist in all portions of the town, and in the production of fruits, potatoes, hay, and the cereals, it is second to none in the county, according to the acreage in cultivation.  Dairying is also successfully conducted.  The cheese factories of Messrs. A.L. Walker, Peter Petrit, Charles Houser, and Dr. Ira J. Brownson, using the milk of about 1500 cows, will produce 550,000 pounds of annually.

            A comparative statement of the value of lands, number of acres improved, value and amount of productions, livestock, manufactories, etc., 1835 and 1875:
Number of acres of improved land 5,637
Assessed valuation of real estate $69,129
Assessed valuation of personal estate $1,160
Number of cattle 1,571
Number of horses 323
Number of sheep 1,902
Number of swine 1,242
Number of yards of fulled woolens produced 1,465
Number of yards of unfulled woolens produced 2,642
Number of yards of linens and cottons produced 3,142
Amount of county tax $641.73
Amount of town tax $961.49
Number of grist mills 2
Number of saw mills 10
Fulling mill 1
Carding machine 1
Distillery 1
Tannery 1

Cash value of farms, farm buildings, live-stock, $895,290
Tools and equipment
Total area of improved lands 12,288
Tons of hay produced 4,470
Bushels of buckwheat 2,408
Bushels of Indian corn 13,029
Bushels of oats 33,412
Bushels of spring wheat 1,073
Bushels of winter wheat 1,262
Bushels of potatoes 22,286
Bushels of apples 16,688
Barrels of cider 395
Pounds of maple-sugar 23,800
Gallons of maple syrup 366
Number of horses 379
Number of cattle 1,464
Number of milch cows 1,416
Number of cows whose milk was sent to factories 1,028
Pounds of butter made in families 56,525
Pounds of wool clipped 5,700
Pounds of port made on farms 80,379



The village of Hinsdale, situated at the junction of Oil and Ischua Creeks, is a station on the line of the Genesee Valley Canal, the Erie Railway, and the Buffalo, New York and Philadelphia Railroad. It contains one church Methodist Episcopal, --two hotels, five stores of general merchandise, two grocery stores, meat market, post office, district school house, a cheese factory, several small mechanic shops, and about 350 inhabitants. The original owner of its site was Henry Conrad. He built the first house in 1821, and soon after opened it to the public as an inn or place of entertainment. Emery Wood was the next to locate in 1822. He was the first merchant and postmaster in 1825. Wm. Vinton was also an early tavern keeper. John Crabtree erected a small tannery in 1833. Wheelock Wood built a more extensive one in 1837. According to the census report of 1835, the village then contained three stores, two taverns, one grist-mill, three saw-mills, on tannery, wool-carding and cloth-dressing works, and twenty-five dwelling houses. Dr. James Trowbridge was the first resident physician. Dr. Paul Clark was also an early physician. Drs. Hinman, Palmer, Goodyear, and Brownson have practiced here in more recent years. Dr. Ira J. Brownson settled Jan. 16, 1853, and has been in continuous practice to the present time. It argues well for the healthfulness of the village and the surrounding country when physicians complain of a lack of professional business.
About forty years ago Samuel P. Lyman and others sought to build up a city here. Several hundred acres lying within a radius that incloses Hinsdale and Scott's Corners were bought up.The land was surveyed, mapped, and regularly laid out into streets, walks, squares, parks, and presented a magnificent appearance';upon paper. But the draughtsman's pencil, combined with the imaginative brain of Lyman and his confreres, could not give existence to a city where nature had decreed otherwise. 


           situated upon Ischua Creek, near the line of the Buffalo, New York and Philadelphia Railroad, and about three-fourths of a mile north of Hinsdale village, derives its name from Hollis Scott, who opened a store there about 1835, and contains a church (Baptist), grist-mill, saw-mill, one or two small mechanic shops, and about fifteen dwelling houses, Lewis Wood was the original owner of the site.


              a post-office station, is situated on Haskell Creek near the southeast corner of town. It contains an extensive cheese-factory and a few dwelling houses.


           As mentioned in other pages, we find that Miss Loranda Murray taught the first school in 1810. In 1818 the first framed school-house was erected at Scott's Corners,From that time until 1835, school-houses and scholars increased rapidly. The census of the latter year reported as follows Number of school districts, 16; number of scholars of school age, 663; amount of public money expended, $169.  The town, which then included the present town of Ischua, contained a population of 1543 inhabitants. In 1843, one Elder W.M. Fay made his appearance in Hinsdale, ostensibly as the pastor of the Baptist Church. He soon became imbued with the idea of founding a gigantic educational institution, and with labor as an adjunct it was at once to be placed upon a self-sustaining basis. A newspaper called The Freeman and Messenger, published in the interests of the "Manual Labor Institute, was established at Scott's Corners, while the elder traversed the country begging for aid and selling scholarships for $25 each. The citizens of Hinsdale also subscribed quite liberally to the building fund, and the construction of the auxiliary edifice was commenced in Hinsdale village. The main structure was to be erected at Scott's Corners, the two to be connected by a covered walk. Meantime the elder became involved in some matter of scandal, which destroyed his usefulness as an educator or teacher of morality and religion, and he hied himself to distant parts. Citizens who were interested, pecuniarily and otherwise, went forward and completed the edifice as it stands today, and it was soon after opened and denominated the "Hinsdale Academy. A prospectus issued at about this time gives the following information: The Hinsdale Academy will be opened Oct. 30, 1843; Prof. O.W. Gibbs, Principal; Miss Adeline Walker, Preceptress. Thirty young ladies can be taken; board, $1.25 per week. Also, arrangements have been made so that forty mechanics can be boarded and attend school, by working four hours per day. The institution flourished for some two or three years; and we are assured that as an institution of learning it was a success, but a failure financially.  The property was finally purchased by the authorities of the school district in which it is situated, and is now used as a district school house and town hall. From the report of the county school commissioners, for the year ending Sept. 30, 1878, the following statistics are taken:

Number of school districts in town 8
Number of school buildings in town 8
Value of school buildings with sites $4,080.00
Volumes in library 80
Number of teachers employed 8
Amount of money paid teachers $1699,41
Number of children of school age 513
Average daily attendance 209
Number of weeks taught 513
Amount of public money received from State $1,077.53
Amount of money received from tax $735.88


            The Hinsdale Democrat, a weekly paper, published in the interests of Democracy and edited by Joseph T. Lyman, was established in the spring of 1837.  Its publication was established in the spring of 1837.  Its publication was continued for a period of two years, and is said to have been ably conducted.

            The People's Gazette was established in 1840.  It was edited by George Smith, was Democratic in principles, and had an existence for about two years.

            The Freeman and Messenger, published in the interests of the "Manual Labor Institute," was edited by Edwin Fuller.  It was established in 1843, and its publication continued for about two years.

            The office and material connected with the last named paper finally came into the full possession of Allen C. Fuller, who in 1845, issued  The Expositor.  This was intended as an expose' of the rascalities of Elder Fay and the first managers of the "Manual Labor Institute.   Its publication was discontinued after about six months.

            These papers were all weeklies.  The Democrat and Gazette were published in Hinsdale.  The Freeman and Messenger and Expositor at Scott's Corners.


            During the years from 1806 to 1827 preachers of various denominations visited the town, and meetings were held in barns, dwelling houses, and school houses.  It is stated that the people first met for religious worship in the log barn of Zachariah Noble in June 1807.   That Rev. Reuben Aylesworth was the first regular minister located here.  That he came in 1820, and in 1821 organized the first religious association in town.  It is an undisputed fact that Rev. Reuben Aylesworth, a Methodist, and Rev. John Spencer, a Congregationalist minister, did preach here at irregular intervals at about 1820; but no written records are preserved to show that any regularly organized religious society existed in the town of Hinsdale prior to the formation and incorporation of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Hinsdale (now in the town of Ischua), Dec. 31, 1827, and the organization of the First Baptist Church of Hinsdale, the same year.

            The Baptist Church of Hinsdale, at Scott's Corners, was organized in A.M> Farwell's barn, in the year 1827, by Rev. Eliah Going, a missionary sent out by the New York State Convention.  He was afterwards pastor of this church, remaining there for many years.  The original members were eight in number, as follows: Peter Putnam, Charles C. Hatch, Mrs. Mary Putnam, Mrs. Anna K. Hatch, Mrs. Lydia Farwell, Mrs. Elizabeth Farwell, Mrs. Sarah Davis, Mrs. Lucetta Miner.

            Meetings were held once in four weeks in the school houses at Farwell's, Putnam's, Scott's Corners, and the village.

            In 1834 the society was reorganized and incorporated February 8 of the same year.  Elisha Foot, Hollis Scott, Peter Bush, Gardner Bullard, and Charles C. Hatch composed the first board of trustees.

            The members at this time were about 55 in number, as follows.  Elisha Foot, Hollis Scott, Peter Bush, Gardner Bullard, Charles C. Hatch, Elijah Sill, Heber Weatherby, Nelson Chapin, Fidelia Chapin, Diana Bullard, Nancy Weatherby, Nelson Nourse, Nancy Nourse, John H. Farwell, Elizabeth Farwell, W.H. Wing, Rosetta Smith, Mrs. Foot, Benjamin Conrad, Nehemiah Wilson, Ruth M. Wilson, John A. Ostrander, Mary J. Ostrander, Luther Scott, Eliza Scott, John Lucas, Polly A. Lucas, Fannie Conrad, Peter Conrad, Lyman Whitney, Mrs. L. Whitney, Valentine Krutts, Myron Cooper, Polly Cooper, Antionette Howe, Sarah Corthill, Susan Chamberlin, Sarah Davis, Freelove Knapp, Ruth M. Graves, Catherine Conrad, Justus B. Knapp, Seth Warren, Andrew Mead, S.D. Morris, John Ellis, William Ellis, Peggy Sill, Jonas Brown, and Mrs. Bronson.

            In 1844 a church edifice was erected at Scott's Corners, at a cost of $2000.  It has settings for about 300 persons.

            The pastors of the church, named in the order of their succession, showing also the year of commencing their pastoral duties, are as follows:  Reverends Eliab Going, 1827; W.M. Fay, 1843, E.B. Sparks, 1844; S.H. Card, 1846; D.D. Atwater, 1854; L.F. Ames, 1856; P.P. Sanderson, 1860; R. Cherryman, 1862; C.H. Mitchelmore, present pastor, June 16, 1878.

            There are about 80 members at the present time, and the Sabbath-school, of which W.S. Kent is superintendent, numbers about 70 pupils.

            In the words of the pastor, "the Baptist Church of Hinsdale" has been, in every sense of the word, "a mother church".  The churches of Olean, Haskell, and Ischua have gone out from her, while 11 members went from her fellowship to organize a church in Minneapolis, Ottawa Co., Kansas.

          The first society of the Methodist Episcopal Church and congregation in Hinsdale was incorporated Jan. 1, 1849, and John C. White, Wells Lyman, Seymour J. Noble, Lorenzo Yates, and William S. Morris composed the first board of trustees.  The church edifice was erected in Hinsdale village in 1850.  It cost $2500, and will sear 350 persons.  This society lost their organization in 1852, by a failure to elect trustees, and December 13 of the same year were re-incorporated as "The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Hinsdale", of which Seymour J. Noble, Wells Lyman, and Paul Clark were elected trustees.  From the time of its organization until 1860, this society was connected with the Olean and Cuba charge.  The latter year, the Hinsdale charge, comprised of Hinsdale and Haskell Flats, was formed and placed under the pastoral care of Rev. A. McIntyre.  A parsonage was erected in 1865, at a cost of $1000.  The church property is valued at $5500.  Present membership, 80, number of pupils in Sunday-school, 120; volumes in Sunday-school library 40.  Rev. A.J. Johnson, Pastor; H.K. White, Superintendent of Sabbath-schools.
            St. Peter's Protestant Episcopal Church of Hinsdale was organized at the school-house in the village of Hinsdale, Jan. 3, 1871, and incorporated January 12 of the same year.  Thomas Bell presided at the first meeting.  Elihu M. Wasson and Albertus Norton were elected church wardens, and Emery Wood, Alonzo Emerson, O. Salisbury, and P.B. Smith vestrymen.  The society has a membership of about 30.  No pastor.
            The Ischua Valley Agricultural Society, which included the towns of Hinsdale, Ischua, and Franklinville, and whose grounds were situated about one-half mile north of Hinsdale village, was incorporated July 7, 1857.

            Messrs. Hollis Scott, Elihu M. Wasson, Nelson Nourse, Hiram Webster, and William O. Leland, of Hinsdale, Andrew J. Davis, of Ischua, and Samuel Searl, of Franklinville, composed the first board of directors.

            The petition for incorporation, which was signed by Staley N. Wood, J.A. Brown, T.A. Allen, Thomas T. Wasson, F.M. Wood, E.M. Wasson, Wm. O. Leland,

Hollis Scott, Hiram Webster, Thomas A.E. Lyman, and John Willover, recited, "That the objects of said society are the improvement of the condition of agriculture, horticulture, household and mechanic arts, by means of essays, addresses, annual fairs, and prizes for meritorious productions in each department."

            The society was continued very successfully for a period of some ten years, when the grounds came into the possession of a party with whom no satisfactory arrangements could be made as to leasing, and the fairs were discontinued.

Hinsdale Lodge, No. 175 A.O.U.W., was instituted Sept. 23, 1878, by District Deputy Woodruff, and organized by electing the following officers: P.F.W. Sydenham, M.W.; L.Y. Miller, Foreman; G. W. Capron, O.; L.C. Scott, Recorder; A.L. Walker, Financier; R.B. Smith, Receiver; H. Sherlock, Guide; M.P. Derby, J.W.; A.C. Terry, W.W.; M.H. Marsh, P.M.W.

            The lodge meets weekly at their lodge-room in Hinsdale village.
            In May, 1828, John H. Farewell was appointed lieutenant in the 226th Regiment of Infantry of the State of New York.  He afterwards became captain.  Thaddeus J. Farewell and Chauncey A. Jones were ensigns in the same regiment, and Emery Wood was colonel.

            Moses Fay, Sr., Enos Ludden, and Jonathan Gowing, residents of the town in 1840, were pensioners for Revolutionary and other military services.

            Emery Wood, Thornton Wasson, John Osterstuck, Peter Frantz, Emery Yates, and Wheelock Wood were soldiers of the war of 1812.

            During the war of the Rebellion there was paid to the soldiers in bounties as follows:  by a citizens' subscription fund, $3310;by town bonds, interest, etc., about $7000; by the county $3300; relief to soldiers families, $400; making a total of  $14,010.

            Hinsdale put into the field about 160 men, and received credit for about 125.  Their names and the remarks opposite each, as taken from the town records, are given at the close of the general history of the county.



Among the prominent and respected business men of Hinsdale, few, if any, have been continuously interested in mercantile life longer or with greater general success that the subject of this sketch.  A native of the county and the son of respected pioneers of the town of East Otto, he has been intimately identified with its interests, and points with deserved pride to a highly honorable and extended business career.

            Wm. O. Leland was born at East Otto, Cattaraugus Co., N.Y., May 5, 1827.  He received his rudimentary education at the public schools of his native town, and completed his studies at the Hinsdale Academy.  He entered the mercantile business in 1846, at Hinsdale, and for thirty-three years has been steadily engaged in trade, either alone or as a member of various firms.  In addition to his business interests at Hinsdale, since 1867 he has been the senior member of the banking-house of Leland & Co., at Springville, Erie Co., N. Y.  He has also been largely engaged in a general produce business.

            On the 24th of December, 1846, he was united in marriage with Amanda A. Vinton, of Hinsdale, by whom he has had four sons and one daughter.  Of his sons, three are in the bank at Springville (two H.G. and E.O., as partners, and F.W. as an assistant).  F.D. is with him in the store at Hinsdale.  All are young men of good business ability and fair prospects.

            In 1855, Mr. Leland was elected supervisor of his town, and for two years subsequently; has been chairman of the County Republican Committee since the organization of its principles ever since.  In 1861 he was appointed by the martyr President, Abraham Lincoln, postmaster at Hinsdale, which position he has retained to the present time.  His business and official life has been characterized by personal integrity, ability, and success.
William Leland


         was born at Hinsdale, Cattaraugus Co., N.Y., May 22, 1832.  He was the son of Emery and Permelia (Marsh) Wood, old and respected pioneers, who settled in Hinsdale prior to the year 1820.  He attended the public schools and the Hinsdale Academy, at the latter of which he completed his education.

            He embarked in the mercantile business at his native village, in the fall of 1851.  In 1857 he went to New York and engaged as a salesman in the wholesale boot and shoe house of A. &  F. Reed, afterwards F. & L. B. Reed, and subsequently F. & L. B. Reed & Co., he being admitted into the firm in 1872.  This co-partnership continued until Jan. 1, 1879, when Mr. Wood retired.

            Mr. Wood has figured quite prominently in local politics.  He is a Democrat, and his party has several times honored him with nominations for county offices, and twice for member of Assembly.  In the fall of 1831 he was the candidate for that office, and was only defeated by four hundred seventeen votes in a district where the usual Republican majority was nearly fifteen hundred.  In 1875 he reduced the prevailing majority of upwards of five hundred to ninety-seven, which speaks well for his general popularity.

            He has been four times elected a supervisor, and in that responsible and arduous position gave very general satisfaction.  He always evinced a desire to honestly represent his constituents, and to economically manage the interests of his town.

            On the 2nd of June, 1853, he married Laura A. Foot, step-daughter of Bela Norton, formerly of Herkimer County, but for many years a prominent citizen of Hinsdale.  They have had eight children, -four sons and four daughters, -of whom six (two sons and four daughters) survive.
Staley Wood
STALEY WOOD of Hinsdale