The Town of Coldspring, formed from Napoli on
March 20, 1837. Parts of South Valley were taken
off in 1847 and 1848. It takes its name from the creek of the same name
which flows through the town. It is an interior town, lying in the
southwest corner of Cattaraugus County. It is the second township of the
eighth range of the Holland Land Company's survey. It covers an area of
17,787 acres. It is bounded on the south by Elko
on the west by Randolph, on the north by Napoli and the east by
Salamanca and Red House. Its surface is hilly and broken upland. The
highest summits being 400-500 feet above the valley. The Allegany River
flows southwest through the northeast corner, receiving the Cold Spring
Creek as tributary. A sulphur spring is found in the N.E. part. The main
industry was lumbering in the 1800s, but as the lands become
deforested, agriculture took on more importance, especially the dairy
industry. Important crops were hay, grain and potatoes.
Ed. Note: 1 The town of Elko was absorbed into Coldspring in 1965 when the Kinzua Dam was
built on the Allegheny River.
Pioneers of Cattaraugus County
Early pioneer landowners, taken from the 1819 Holland Land Company
Records were Artemas Houghton, Philip Tome, Jesse Hotchkiss, Isaac Dow
and Milton Holmes.
Philip Tome came from Susquehanna, Pennsylvania as early as 1818
and is believed to be the first white settler in town. He was a hunter
and trapper, taking large numbers of elks, which were plentiful at that
time. He was also a great lumberman, claiming to have run the first raft
(60,000 feet) of lumber down the Allegany River. Several of his sons
still lived in Willow Creek in 1878, and it was there that Philip Tome
Shortly after Mr. Tome, came three other pioneers, Mr. Conn, and
James and Robert Pease, who only stayed a short while before moving on.
Jesse Hotchkiss came in 1819.
Isaac Merrill came from Oneida County in 1822, locating on lot 54
in the northwest corner of town. He was born in Connecticut ,April, 1779
and died in Randolph, Oct. 17, 1858. His wife, Rebecca Benedict was
born in Connecticut , March 1781, and died in Coldspring, Sept 1864. A
son, Isaac N, lived on Lot 50 in Napoli in 1878.
Early settlers included: Charles Crook came from Holland, in Erie
County , in March 1822. He was born in 1751, and had fought in the army
under Washington for several years. He located on Lot 32, in lower
Hardscrabble, and built a shanty, a saw mill on Cold Spring Creek with
Joshua Basson in 1822. His wife, Polly Chandler, was born in 1759 in New
England, and died in Coldspring in 1833. Two of his sons, Stephen and
Asa, died in Illinois . A third son, Elijah, was living in Indiana and
running a boat on the Mississippi, when he left his home for a trip and
was never heard from by his family again. Nathan, another son, was
living on Lot 16, in the Bunker Hill Section, in 1878, and at that time
was the oldest living settler in Coldspring. The Crooks were responsible
for the first orchard, in 1823; the first frame barn in 1825; and the
first sawmill. Joshua Basson, who came from Massachusetts in 1820.
Other early settlers included: Eastman Prescott and his father, in the
south part, and Isaac Merrill, in the north part in 1821.
The first child born was Martha, to Charles Crook, Jr and his wife,
Sally Ballard in 1824; the first death was Miss Jones in fall of 1821.
The first school was taught by Miss E. Sanford, in 1831 . Philenus Hall kept the first inn and the first store, in 1822 .
Kathleen Fitzgerald Foster
PO Box 199,
Steamburg NY 14783 716-354-4135 (Cell)