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Town of Great Valley



The Town of Great Valley, was formed from Olean on April 15, 1818. Burton, now Allegany was taken off in 1831, and Carrolton in 1842. Part of the Allegany Reservation was annexed in 1847. It is an interior town, lying just a little south of the center of Cattaraugus County. Its surface is mountainous and hilly upland. The highest summit, near the southwest corner, is 1300 feet above the river. The Allegany River flows through the southwest corner, receiving the Great Valley Creek as tributary. The main industry is lumbering, with 80% of the surface being covered with forests

Great Valley Station, Killbuck post office, is a hamlet , in the south, on the mouth of Great Valley Creek. Peth is another small named area.

Settlement was commenced at the mouth of Great Valley Creek, by Judge James Green, in 1812. Other early settlers included: Daniel McKay, Judge Benjamin Chamberlin, and --- Hibbard, who located in 1813. Lewis Worcester and Laurin Norton, came in 1814.

The first child born was Ira Green, in 1813; the first death was Mrs. Hibbard, in 1813.

The first school was taught by Joel Fairbanks, at the house of James Green in 1817-1818 . In 1813, the first inn was opened, by James Green, at the mouth of Great Valley Creek; and the first store by Lewis Worcester, in 1815 at Peth . A sawmill was built by James Green in 1812.


A Great Natural Barometer in the Town

of Great Valley

In the town of Great Valley in Cattaraugus county says the Jamestown Journal, there is an interesting curiosity, phenomenon, or freak of nature, known locally as "the whistling well," which is located on the farm of Col. Weston Flint.  About forty-five years ago the well was dug by the father of Colonel Flint to the depth of forty-five feet, but no water accumulated and the well proved a failure.  A strong current of air was discovered rushing into the well at times, and at other times rushing from it.

  A flat stone with a 1½ inch hole was fitted over the mouth of the well and a whistle fitted into it, which changed its tone as the air was drawn down or up.  This whistle proved a reliable barometer. In settled weather the whistle was silent. An approaching storm was heralded by the warning shriek of the whistle as the air rushed out of the well, but as clear weather approached, the current of air changed ant rushed into the well, and the faithful whistle changed and to the story by its changed tone.  The whistle as long been worn out, but the well still continues to advertise the weather.  In a heavy rain storm the out rushing wind forces the rain upward some feet in the form of a spray.

Transcribed from the OLEAN WEEKLY DEMOCRAT, March 1890

Town Officials
Town Historian Town Clerk
Marilyn Eddy Siperek
4598 Whalen Rd
PO Box 219, Great Valley, NY. 14741
716-945-3161 (H)
Toni Evans
Hours: Mon, Tue and Thu 8:30 AM to 1 PM
3900 Bear Hollow Rd.
Great Valley, NY 14741
716-945-4200 (B) 945-1280 (H)
From Cattaraugus County Directory, dated April 1, 2023

Surnames people are researching from this town

Maria Daugherty: Looking for the Hall family in 1880's

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A Picture of a Tombstone

Great Valley Cemeteries

Willoughby Cemetery

Cemetery Ellicott St KillBuck off Rte 17 Town of Great Valley
Chamberlain Cemetery 1/2 mile N of G.V. on Rte 219 Town of Great Valley
Green Cemetery 2 m. S of G. V. on Rte 219 Green Cemetery Association
Kill Buck Cemetery Rte 17 at Kill Buck Town of Great Valley
Old Cemetery Peth , near Norton Farm Town of Great Valley
Sugartown Cemetery 2 m. E of G.V. on Humphrey Rd Town of Great Valley