Origins of Ashford
The town of Ashford was formed from Ellicottville on February 16, 1824. It is centrally located in the north half of the county. The surface is hilly, the ridges generally extending in a north and south direction, with its highest points being 300 feet above the valleys. Cattaraugus Creek, on its northern border and Buttermilk Creek, are its principle streams. Maple sugar manufacturing was an important industry.
Ashford, (p.v.) is in the southwest part of the town, and in 1862 contained a grist mill and a sawmill. It had 2 churches and 36 houses. East Ashford is a p.o. that was first settled by Henry Frank, and his two sons, Andrew and Jacob; from Herkimer County, who located on Lot 56, in 1816. Other early settlers include: John Goodemote; Samuel Flagg; Griffin and David Wyley; Amos, David, Thomas, and Maley Sampson; David Oyer, Augustus Van Slyke, Calvin Woodruff, Marcena Brooks, Jacob and Michael Houghstader, John Quakenbush and his son, Peter. All of these settlers were from Herkimer/Montgomery counties and relocated to this area in 1818.
The first child born was Elizabeth Frank (daughter of Jacob Frank) in the fall of 1817. The first death was to a child of Andrew Frank, named Phoebe, on Aug 30, 1818. Daniel Thomas and Norman Carter taught the first schools, in 1822-1823. The first church organized was F.W. Baptist , by Elder Richard MCary in 1821.