Towns and Hamlets of Connewango - 1823
the village of East Randolph, which lies partly in the town of Connewango, is fully noted in the history of the town of Randolph. A small portion of Old's Corners, now Connewango Station, on the Buffalo and Southwester Railroad, is also in this town, but as all its business places are in Chautauqua County, further mention of it is here omitted. The hamlet of Clear Creek, farther south, on the County line, has a few houses in the town of Connewango.
Elm Creek is a settlement on the east line of the town, having a cheese factory, Good Templar's hall, several shops and dwellings.
Axeville is a small hamlet near the northeast corner of the town. Its name was derived from one of the early settlers there, Edwin Leffingwell, a noted axemaker. He made large numbers of these tools, and the early settlers took as much satisfaction in owning one as do the farmers now in owning a fine reaper or mower.
In 1840, Samuel Cowley kept a post office here. The place at present contains a schoolhouse, a creamery, and a half a dozen houses.
Rutledge is a very pleasant village of 150 inhabitants, in the southwestern part of the town. The opening of the Chautauqua road induced quite a settlement in this locality, from which the village originated. Charles McGlashen built the first frame house. The place now contains several very fine residences, churches, stores, shops, and a hotel.
The first store opened in the place was kept by Camp & Holbrook. They were succeeded by Lewis Holbrook, Angus Cory, Harlow Beach and in 1829 by Chamberlain & Dow. In 1831 the McGlashen Brothers built a store and engaged in trade on a large scale. This has since been occupied by Beach Brothers, G.A.S. Crooker, Paul Dean, and Cyrus Thatcher, who has been engaged in trade here twenty-three years, but has resided in town since 1827. Besides Thatcher, S.B. Ellsworth and S. D. Crooker are at present in trade.
The first tavern was opened in 1827 by James Blanchard and was afterwards kept by B. C. Willoughby and William Day. In 1831, J. & C. McGlashen built a hotel, which had among its subsequent keepers Harris Aldrich. It is at present kept by E. Robinson.
Samuel Bradner had the first blacksmith shop, which was also the first in town, and Henry Watherhouse the first wagon shop.
The post office bears the name of the town, Connewango, and was established in 1825, with George A. S. Crooker postmaster. His successors have been James mcGlashen, Thomas J. Wheeler, Charles McGlashen, Clark McCollister, and, for the past sixteen years, Cyrus Thatcher.
Sampson Crooker and Robert Guy had the first contract to carry the mails, the route being from Ellicottville to Mayville in Chautauqua County. At first Mr. Crooker carried the mail on his back, but in a year or so it was carried on horseback, once a week. The office now has two mails per day, via railroad to Old's Corners, Dr. Sands N. Crumb was the first physician at Rutledge, coming in 1820. He removed in a few years to Lodi, and Dr. Cheney came to Rutledge. In 1826 Dr. Thomas J. Wheeler came to the village and engaged in the practice of medicine, becoming one of the most skillful physicians in the country. He died here in 1876. The present physicians are L. S. Morgan and Frederick C. Beals.
It may said here, to the credit of the early settlers of Rutledge, that they manifested unusual interest in mental culture, and in 1824 established a library, containing many standard works on history, theology, and physics, which was well sustained for many years. This disposition for culture and improvement also extended to the people of the town.
Schools were formed in various localities, as soon as the settlements were strong enough, which were encouraged and supported in the extent of the ability of those composing them.
As early as 1820 a log schoolhouse was built on lands now owned by A. Barton, where Eliza Bradner, Ann Wise, and Olive Cheney taught schools in the order named. Soon after a house was built farther west, in which Olive Cheney and Eliza Cheney first taught schools. Other districts were formed, and the town now has eleven school buildings, most of them neat and comfortable. The one at Rutledge is a new house, of attractive proportions and handsome appearance. At East Randolph is a fine house, in which town schools are taught, attended by 125 pupils; and other districts also have well attended schools.