Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of its Prominent Men and Pioneers
Philadelphia: L. H. Everts, 1879



This town (Randolph) lies on the western border of the county, and is the second town from the south. When erected from Connewango, Feb. 1, 1826, it embraced all the territory south to the Pennsylvania line, but by the formation of South Valley, April 2, 1847, the town was reduced to its present limits, which are described by the Holland Survey as township 2, in the ninth range, containing 23,040 acres. The name of the town was bestowed by some of the early settlers in honor of their native place, Randolph, VT. The southern three-fourths of the town have a hilly and undulating surface, with some uplands several hundred feet above the valleys. The northern part is more level, and partakes of the characteristics of the Connewango flats. Here were evidences of prehistoric occupation in the shape of the usual fortifications and mounds, which have been more fully mentioned in the general history of the county.

The principal stream of the town is the Little Connewango Creek, which flows through the northeastern part of the town. The chief affluents are Mill Creek, Dry and Rodgers’ Brooks. Considering their limited volume, these streams afford good power. Nearly all of them are subject to the influence of freshets, which sometimes causes great damage. The one in 1865 was especially disastrous in its effects, destroying much property, and causing the loss of several lives. The brooks in the southern part of the town drain into South Valley. The soil is variable, and is of a clayey nature, or a gravelly loam, with a limited quantity of sandy loam. It is usually fertile, and especially adapted for grass.


The books of the Holland Company furnish a list of landowners in 1821, containing the names of Howard Fuller, Edmund Fuller, James Powell, Samuel J. York, William Eames, Howard Chapman, and Thomas Harvey.

Edmund Fuller made the first settlement in 1820, on lot 31, building a log house, which stood near where the cemetery now is. He came from Oneida County, and was accompanied by Howard Fuller. The had “booked” to them all the land along that road west to the Chautauqua line. Both removed soon after, Edmund Fuller selling his interests in 1822 to Thomas Harvey, who also came from Oneida. Fuller moved to the West, but returned to Little Valley in the course of a dozen years.

The year after Fuller’s settlement came Samuel J. York, and located on lot 55; and his brother Jeremiah came in 1823, settling in the same locality. Both moved to the West.

Jacob Vandamaker came in 1821, and settled near Fuller’s. The following year his son, John J., was born, and this was probably the first birth in town. The latter remained a citizen of Randolph many years.

In 1822, H.S. Latham, from Long Island, located on lot 31, where he purchased five acres for the purpose of establishing a tannery. He built the first frame house in town, and commenced work on his tannery, but sold out to Thomas Harvey before he got it fully in operation. C.H. Latham, a brother, made a visit to the town in the same year, but did not settle there, but since 1840 has been a permanent resident of the town.

In April 1822, Thomas Harvey located on the Fuller property. He had a family of six daughters and several sons. The former came with their husbands, named James Orton and William Miner, but all removed to the West. Harvey was an enterprising man, and did much to encourage the settlement of the town. Two of his daughters married David Salisbury and Clement Russell, also early settlers, in 1824, and these were the first marriages in town.

In 1823, Benjamin Clark settled on lot 23, where he soon after built the second frame house in town, in which he opened a tavern and a store. In 1830, he sold to Joel Scudder, and removed to Pennsylvania. A daughter married Jonathan Hodge, an early settler on lot 15.

The same year, Otis Hitchcock and a family of ten children settled on lot 46. The oldest son, George, was killed by being thrown from a horse. Truman Hitchcock, another son, lives on the old Clark place. Mr. Hitchcock died in June 1873, and the homestead is now occupied by another son, Milo.

Solomon Nichols came from Monroe County in 1823, in the month of January. In 1822 he had visited the town and articled 120 acres on lot 48, which he paid twelve years later. An adjoining tract of land, taken by David Hodge, who came with Nichols, was the first paid up in town. Hodge returned to Monroe in four or five years, and after 1830, Solomon Nichols also moved back for six years. In his absence, Abram Kierstead lived on his farm, and kept a public house, which was continued by Nichols after his return, and was kept until the railroad was built. In the days of militia training, Mr. Nichols rose from the command of a company to the rank of colonel, by which title he is still addressed. Although eighty-two years old, he presents a hale appearance and preserves his military bearing. He is one of the oldest residents of the town.

Elisha R. and Josiah Cook came in March 1823, from Monroe County, and settled on lot 62, where the former still resides. The latter removed in 1817. Both served in the war of 1812. In this locality lived as early settlers the Arnolds, Smiths, and Alex. McNull.

James Powell settled on lot 32 in 1823, and there built a house, which is still standing. A brother, Dennis, lived on lot 40. Both moved to Pennsylvania. In this locality settled the McCapes family about the same time. Silas moved to the West, James died in town, and Alfred and Major still reside in Randolph.

In 1823, Timothy Torrance, from Monroe County, settled on lot 64, where he lived until his death in 1871. The homestead is now occupied by a son, G.M. Torrance. Another son removed to Michigan.

The Sample family, composed of Frederick, John, Samuel, Jackson, and Jacob C., came from Monroe in 1823, and settled on lots 61, 62, and 63, owning large tracts of land, from which circumstance the locality has been called “Sample Hill.” In a few years, Frederick sold his land to Harry Marsh, and moved south of the present Academy lot, where he opened a pioneer tavern.

Uriah D. Wood lived on lot 60 as early as 1824, and about the same time the Gillette family settled on “Sample Hill.” Zebedee Woodworth located in the same locality about the same time; and a few years later his brother, Benjamin, settled on lot 52.

In 1825, Sylvester Caswell and Darius Bowen came from Monroe County. The former settled on the east side of lot 54; the latter on lot 44. He died here a few years ago, and the homestead is now occupied by his sons, William and Orrin.

Esau Case settled early on “Sample Hill,” and afterwards bought out David Hodge, on lot 48; from here he moved to Ohio. On this lot also lived David and Benson Archer, about 1827.

In 1825, Abraham G. Bush, from Ontario County, settled in town, and made improvements on lots 23 and 24. Here in inaugurated and successfully carried on several important businesses, and was, in his time, the most prominent man in town, and always interested himself in its welfare. He died in 1863.

The Helmes family settled at East Randolph, and were the pioneers in that locality. In March, 1825, Chauncy C. Helmes came from Monroe County, and began the improvement of his land, on lot 8. He was a very active business man, and lived at East Randolph until his death, in November, 1866. Members of his family still reside in town. His brother, Albert, came in January 1826, and settled on the northeast part of lot 16, where he yet resides, at an advanced age, one of the few early settlers left in town.

On lot 15, Josiah Ames was an early settler; and on lot 7, near by, Jerial Smith. William Thatcher lived on the same lot. Jonathan Wood lived on lot 8, coming from Monroe County in 1826, and then put up a fulling-mill soon after. He died near Pittsburgh, in 1832, while engaged in rafting lumber down the Allegany. A year later came Daniel Dixon, from Genesee County, with a small stock of goods, which he sold out in Helmes’ store. He is still a resident of East Randolph. To this point also came, about 1827, Elnathan Lewis and Dr. Benjamin Blodgett.

On lot 5 settled John N. Angle, about 1830, and is still living there with his son Nicholas. He is a native of Ontario County. Samuel Ewing came from the same county in 1831, and took up his residence at Randolph village. He now resides with Mr. Angle, on lot 5. His sons, Samuel and Robert F., are well-known citizens and surveyors.

Ezekiel Scudder, a Revolutionary soldier, came from Victor, Ontario Co., in 1827, and located on lot 14. He died in town. Joel Scudder, a son of the above, bought out the Ben Clark place in 1830. One of his sons, Samuel, is now a resident of lot 32. Marvin Scudder came in 1828, and settled in that part of the village now occupied by the business houses. He moved to Illinois. To the same State moved Freeman Scudder, who came, a single man with his father, in 1827, and afterwards married a Miss Sample. Another of Ezekiel’s sons, Enos, settled in Cold Spring at an early day, and moved from there to Kentucky. The family is one of the oldest and best known in town.

The Draper family came before 1830, and Gilbert Gorsline about the same period. In 1829, Daniel Thurston came from Oneida County, and located on lot 46, where he is still a resident. His brother, Marcus, was also an early settler.

Sanford Holbrook, from Chemung County, came in 1829, and settled on lot 64, which had been taken up first by Samuel Foote. He had two sons, Sanford F., now residing in the West, and Freeman, living on lot 55. Mr. Holbrook is now a resident of Randolph village. Here also reside Asahel and Addison Crowley, natives of Rutland Co., VT; the former coming in 1831, the latter in 1835. They engaged in merchandising and in the lumber business, doing much to promote the welfare of Randolph. Since 1843, Marcus H. Johnson has been a resident of the village. He was born at Olean, Oct 21, 1809, and is probably the second native of the county. Here, also, died Dec. 30, 1876, one of the oldest persons in the county, Nancy G. Van Rensselaer, who was born Oct. 21, 775. She was the mother Dr. D.S. Van Rensselaer, and the widow of Gen. Henry K. Van Rensselaer, of Revolutionary renown. She was married in 1793, and has her husband died in 1816, she lived a widowed life more than sixty years. She was remarkably vigorous for her age, and did not appear to bear the weight of more than seventy-five years. On her one-hundredth birthday five generations honored her by their presence. She is interred in the Randolph Cemetery.

The population increased rapidly after 1827. In 1832 the condition of the settlements and improvements was shown by the following list:

No. of Acres Value of Lot Improved Buildings
Arnold,Gilbert 54 4 ***
Arnold,William 63 4
Archer,David 56 10 ***
Archer,Benson 48 16 ***
Abbey,Frederick 21 2 ***
Abbey,Orange 21 1 ***
Ames,Isaiah 15 10 $30
Angle,John N 5 10 30
Bennett,Erastus 45 1 ***
Bowen,Darius 44 11 ***
Bliss,Zenos 58 3 ***
Barbour,Hiram 59 1 ***
Bruce,Charles 40 5 ***
Barmore,Adney 40 7 ***
Buckland,Warren 47 12 ***
Barnes,Russell 22 20 30
Barnes,Lewis R 30 10 ***
Blackman,Robert R 23 2 ***
Bush,Abram G 23 2 25
"           "        "
24 8 95
Blodget,Benjamin 8 1/3 65
Case,Esau 40 7 30
Caswell,William 39 18 30
Cook,Elisha R 62 30 ***
Cook,Josiah 62 5 ***
Cook,John,Jr 31 7 10
Chase,James 44 5 30
Caswell,Joseph 62 5 20
Caswell,Sylvester 54 18 ***
Caswell,Philip 38 18 ***
Crandle,Horace P 23 2 ***
Cross,Abigail 7 2 ***
Davis,Sears & Co 59 12 150
Daniels,James 61 9 ***
Davis,William 40 12 ***
Darling,Richard 39 24 65
Draper,Oliver 39 26 10
Draper,Elmer 23 2 ***
Dudley,Gilbert 24 4 100
Ewer,Elijah 62 20 47
Field,Albert 51 4 ***
Foot,Samuel 64 5 ***
Follett,Jonathan 29 3 ***
Gallop,Chester 47 16 30
Gorsline,Gilbert 23 3 80
Gillette,Joseph 60 14 30
Gillette,Comfort 53 31 60
Gillette,Joseph,Jr 59 1 ***
Guernsey,Oliver 31 4 15
Holbrook,Sanford 64 1 30
Hitchcock,Bathel 47 12 ***
Hitchcock,Otis 46 26 30
Hamilton,Joseph A 36 4 40
Hall,Samuel l52 6 ***
Horton,Gervis 25 3 ***
Hodges,David 13 3 ***
Harvey,John W 31 4 74
Harvey, Thomas  31 35 105
Hatfield, A  21 2 ***
Hodges, Jonathan F  15 8 10
Helmes, Chauncey C 8 35 550
"                "             "
16 1-1/2 300
Helmes, Albert .16 5-1/2 50
Kelley, Warren .60 2 ***
King, Gideon 55 24 ***
King, Gideon, Jr .55 8 ***
Kierstead, Cornelius .22 18 30
Kierstead, Abram 30
Lewis, Elnathan . 8 1 12
Marsh, Harry .53
McCapes, James W .39 20 30
McNull, Alexander .40 14 30
McCapes, Silas A .32 10 ***
McCapes, Major . 32 10
McCapes, Alfred . 23 1 ***
Mack, Orlando 45 9 ***
Miner, William 31 5 80
Miller, Walter 24 2 ***
Nichols, Solomon 48 40 100
Nichols, Rufus .30 8 ***
Niles, Jehial .14 5 ***
Norton, Abram 15 1 ***
Olmstead, Moses .58 8 30
Peters, Stephen 54 40 ***
Powell, Dennis 40 6 ***
Phelps, Samuel 62 6 ***
Pier, Jacob 22 14 ***
Powell, James .32 35 155
Rawson, William 63 8 ***
Reed, Alvin . 21 2
Sample, Jacob C. 62 8 ***
Sample, Samuel . 61 52 120
Sample, Jackson .61 9 ***
Sample, John 63 16 ***
Seekins, Ebenezer 58 2 30
Slocum, Amos 63 16 ***
Stanley, Joseph 55 34 80
Scudder, Joel 23 12 145
Scudder, Enos 16 13 70
Stephenson Supply .31 10 ***
Salisbury, Michael 24 3 10
Smith, Jerial 7 4 ***
Sample, Frederick .16 23 100
Scudder, Ezekiel .14 23 75
Scudder, Freeman .14 9 ***
Thurston, Marcus 39 8 ***
Torrance, Seymour 41 4 ***
Torrance, Timothy 46 60 70
Torrance, Samuel .44 6 ***
Thatcher, William 7 1 10
Troop, William .14 5 ***
Tousley, Lucian 24 2 40
Timmerman, John 16 8 ***
Willard, Walker 60 3 ***
Woodworth, Benjamin 52 5 25
Woodworth, Zebedee 52 35 50
Wood, Uriah D. .60 4 120
Wood, Jonathan 8 4 91
Williams, Elisha 56 3 ***
Williams, Hiram 56 1 ***
Wright, Lyman 45 5 ***
York, Samuel J 23 3 ***

The average under cultivation and the valuation of the fifty odd buildings must be considered in a comparative sense only.  The real value may have been greater, yet the list shows, nevertheless, how meagre were the improvements and how small the population compared with the present.  In 1860 there were in town 1954 inhabitants, and in 1875, 2433.


In conformity with the provisions of the act of the Legislature of Feb. 1, 1826, the voters assembled on the 7th of March, of that year, to hold their first annual meeting.  Thomas Harvey was chosen Moderator, and the following officers were elected:  Supervisor, Jeremiah York, Town Clerk, Andrew D. Smith; Assessors, Zebedee Woodworth, Benjamin Clark, Solomon Nichols; Collector, A.G. Bush; Constable, Comfort Gillette; Commissioners of Highways, Frederick Sample, Abraham Kierstead, Alfred Smith; Poormasters, James Powell, Timothy Torrance; Commissioners of Common Schools, Jerial Smith, H.S. Latham, Otis Hitchcock; Inspectors of Common Schools, Andrew D. Smith, Henry Booth, Albert Helms.

Since 1826, the principal officers have been -

Supervisors Town Clerks
1827 Thomas Harvey Andrew D. Smith
1828 " "
1829 Zebedee Woodworth Abraham G. Bush
1830 " Benjamin Clark
1831 " Chauncy C. Helmes
1832 " Jerial Smith
1833 Samuel Ewing Joel Scudder
1834 Chauncy C. Helmes Abraham G. Bush
1835 " Samuel Ewing
1836 Abraham G. Bush H.D. Swan
1837 Zebedee Woodworth "
1838 Samuel Ewing Horace H. Holt
1839 John Sample "
1840 Samuel Ewing T.S. Sheldon
1841 Horace H. Holt Dwight Durkee
1842 " T.S. Sheldon
1843 Zebedee Woodworth Robert Owen, Jr.
1844 Horace H. Holt Simeon Fisher
1845 Addison Crowley "
1846 " "
1847 Marcus H. Johnson "
1848 Enfield Leach "
1849 " "
1850 A.G. Dow "
1851 " "
1852 Spencer Scudder "
1853 A.G. Dow W. Boardman
1854 Addison Crowley Porter Sheldon
1855 Wm. K. Miller H.K. Van Rensselaer
1856 A.G. Dow John C. Pierce
1857 " "
1858 " B.F. Morris
1859 " Austin Woodruff
1860 Benj. McClean Daniel W. Guernsey
1861 " H.K. Van Rensselaer
1862 A.G. Dow John E. Rogers
1863 Amos Dow H.K. Van Rensselaer
1864 Samuel Scudder C.M. Chase
1865 " L.H. Carter
1866 " Chrles P. Ingersoll
1867 A.G. Dow "
1868 Rodney R. Crowley John White
1869 " W.L. Carter

Supervisors Town Clerks
1870 James G. Johnson James C. Knapp
1871 Samuel Scudder A.P. Knapp
1872 " Edgar O. Wright
1873 " John E. Leach
1874 " "
1875 David T. Smith "
1876 E.S. Ingersoll E.J. Boyle
1877 " C.W. Morgan
1878 " "

Justices of the Peace
1827 Benj. Woodworth 1836 Benj. Woodworth

Thomas Harvey
Hillis Marsh

Chauncy C. Helmes 1837 Resolved Sears

John Sample 1838
John Sample
1830 Jerial Smith 1839
Horace D. Swan
1831 John Sample
Abraham G. Bush
1832 Benj. Woodworth
Cornelius N. Ballou
1833 Abraham G. Bush 1840 Benj. Woodworth
1834 Horace D. Swan 1841 Simeon Fisher
1835 Horace King
John Sample
1842 Spencer Scudder 1862 Joseph E. Weeden
1843 Marinus Van Vlack 1863 James C. Knapp
1844 Abraham G. Bush 1864 Edwin McManus
1845 Henry L. Berry 1865 H.K. Van Rensselaer
1846 Spencer Scudder 1866 Rodney R. Crowley
1847 Marinus Van Vlack
Charles R. Dean
1848 Albert G. Dow 1867
Erastus S. Ingersoll
1849 Wm. K. Miller 1868
Edwin McManus
1850 Spencer Scudder
Elias L. Matteson
1851 Alvin Lyman 1869 Enos L. Southwick
1852 A.G. Dow
Q.L. Guernsey
1853 Wm. K. Miller 1870 John Archer
1854 Spencer Scudder 1871 E.L. Matteson
1855 Norman Brown
J.V. Goodwill
1856 Rufus Crowley 1872 Rodney R. Crowley

Amos Dow
Wm. K. Miller
1857 Wm. K. Miller 1873 Benj. F. Congdon

J.C. Knapp 1874 C.W. Terry
1858 Spencer Scudder 1875 J.C. Knapp
1859 James C. Knapp 1876 E.L. Matteson
1860 Edwin McManus 1877 Wm. Armstrong
1861 Rodney R. Crowley 1878 W.K. Miller


The records relating to the early roads are obscure.  Then, as now, the principal highways were in the northern part of the town, leading to Jamestown and western points.  Considerable labor was required to keep them in repair, and much money has been expended to bring them to their present condition.

In 1826 the town was districted and provided with overseers, as follows:  No. 1, Jeremiah Bundy; No. 2, Major Mapes; No. 3, Lyman Hitchcock; No. 4, Benson Archer; No. 5, Zebedee Woodworth; No. 6, John Cook; No. 7, Zephemiah Yates; No. 8, Jerial Smith.  These pathmasters were also appointed fence-viewers.

The appropriations in 1828 for the improvement of the roads amounted to $250.

In 1878, $700 were voted for highway purposes, and the number of districts was reported as 42.

The Atlantic and Great Western Railroad enters the town a little south of the centre of the eastern line, and passes into the town of Connewango on the north, east of the centre of that line; and, following the Connewango, again enters Randolph at the northwestern corner.  It has a station at the village of Randolph, and formerly maintained a small repair-shop at that point.  The road has been a great benefit to the town, affording good shipping facilities to the principal cities of the South and the East.

The failure of the New York City and Erie Railroad to build its road through the town, as had been proposed, was the cause of much vexation, and occasioned a bit of legislation which may be mentioned in this connection.  The people of Randolph instructed the representative of the Western District to use every means that would hasten the completion of the road.  At that time, Chester Howe was in the Assembly; and there actually secured the passage of a bill compelling the company to build its railway through the town.  The news of this event reached the village of Randolph, and caused many demonstrations of joy.  Unfortunately for this state of feeling, the bill was defeated in the Senate, and the company concluded not to build the road through Randolph.  There was much delay, too, and inability on the part of contractors to pay the mean that had been engaged in the construction of the present road, causing, in consequence, want and actual distress in some of the families in town.


Aside from the places of burial used by the early settlers in different parts of the town, with no purpose of having them remains permanent cemeteries,


is one of the oldest in the town.  It was established by an association that was organized Feb. 15, 1853, and which had as corporators Samuel Barrows, Benjamin Chamberlain, A.G. Otis, H. Helmes, C.C. Helmes, A. Helmes, Zibee Hovey, A.J. Hovey, A. Lyman, A.C. Merrill, H. Hall, C. Davenport, E. Holdridge, S.G. Frisbie, Wm. Lockwood, J.L. Ostrum, A.S. Payne, Wm. Foy, S. Deland, W.K. Miller.

These chose as the first board of trustees Benjamin Chamberlain, A.C. Merrill, Samuel Barrows, Enoch Holdridge, Chauncy C. Helmes, and Enoch Jenkins.

Two acres of ground in the western part of the village of East Randolph were secured as a place for interment, and substantially improved the same year, 1853; and an addition of 1-3/4 acres was made in 1865.  The whole has been neatly inclosed with a picket-fence, supported by stone posts.  To this place many of the remains in the old burying-ground near by were transferred; and here are also the graves of Judge Benjamin Chamberlain and other pioneers, some of them marked by very fine monuments.

The present trustees of the association are John H. Graves, J.C. Hurd, A.D. Holt, M.V. Benson, Amos Dow, and C. McAllister.

The presidents have been Samuel Barrows, Wm. K. Miller, Merrick Nutting, MV. Benson, and Amos Dow.  The vice-presidents: A.D. Burlingame, C.C. Helmes, E. Holdridge, M.V. Benson, and A.W. Gray.  The secretaries: A.C. Merrill, Horace H. Holt, E.M. Nutting, Amos Down, M.V. Benson, and C. McAllister.  And the treasurers: E. Holdridge, Calvin Davenport, W.H. Miller, H.H. Holt, and A.D. Holt.


is controlled by an association formed under the Rural Cemetery laws of the State, October 13, 1874.

The associating members were Addison Crowley, Enfield Leach, Porter Sheldon, James C. Knapp, Melzor R. Pingrey, Sylvester C. May, Alexander Sheldon, A.G. Dow, Spencer Scudder, Alexander Wentworth, Rufus Crowley, Marvin Bennett, William P. Loomer, John L. Douglas; and the first board of trustees was composed of Spencer C. Scudder, Joseph E. Weeden, Abrama V. Doxtater, Benson Archer, Alexander Wentworth, Fred. Larkin, Albert G. Dow, Addison Crowley, and Enfield Leach.

The old cemetery west of Dry Brook was enlarged by the association to embrace several acres, and has been attractively improved.  The organization of the association has not been strictly kept up.  Its affairs are at present managed by an executive committee, composed of Alexander Wentworth, President; Austin Woodruff, Secretary; and Josiah Wiggins, Treasurer.


The first manufacturing enterprise of any nature in the present town of Randolph was a saw-mill, put up by Thomas Harvey in 1823.  It stood on Dry Brook, in the western part of the village, and was operated about a dozen years; then abandoned, as the stream was too feeble at this point to be profitably employed.  After 1830, Cornelius Kierstead had a saw-mill on the Perry lot, getting his power from Rodgers’ brook.  This site, too, has long since been abandoned.  Uriah D. Wood had another pioneer mill on lot 60, which was driven by a flutter-wheel, but did a good deal of work in its time.

About twenty-five years ago, Walter Crowley put up a saw-mill on lot 30, to cut the pine growing in that locality.  The dam was carried away by a freshet September 17, 1865, and for the next four years the site was unoccupied.  Then J.V. Harvey improved the water-power and had it operate a mill until 1870, when David T. Smith was associated with him to manufacture lumber on a larger scale.  Steam-power was substituted, and the cutting capacity increased to about 1,000,000 feet of lumber per year.  At present it is operated on the hard woods and hemlock.  Ten men are employed.

The Mighells Mills, erected near the head-waters of Dry Brook, and operated by that stream, has been worked by F.F. Mighells and David Abbey; capacity 1500 feet per day.

At the village of Randolph, Abram G. Bush put up a saw-mill soon after 1830, which was largely operated by him and Zebedee Woodworth about thirty years.  The lumber was floated down the tail-race to the Connewango, where it was formed into rafts for lower points.  At that time the flats were covered with a splendid growth of timer, some of the pines measuring 225 feet.  In 1866, Ozro Thomas put up a new mill on this site, and three years later formed a partnership with J.W. Billings to enlarge the business.  In 1870, Enfield Leach became an interested party, and the mill was still further enlarged, scroll-saws and a planer being added.  Other machinery was supplied, and the establishment became known as the “Red Lion Mills.”  In 1872 the manufacture of handles was begun and carried on here in a pretty extensive manner; and other work was done requiring the employment of steam in addition to the water-power.  The building, at this time, was more than a hundred feet long and two stories high.  In 1874 it was destroyed by fire, and the power has since been unemployed.

The present steam saw-mill, in the northern part of the village, was built about 1856, by four mutes from the State Asylum, and was operated by them several years; and, subsequently, by A&A Crowley, B. Helmes, and others.  It is capacitated to cut 4000 feet per day.

Gibbs’ handle-factory, on the corner of Washington and Jamestown Streets, was established in 1874, and was capacitated to make a car-load of fork, hoe, and shovel handles per day, which were shipped to European marts.  It has a 35 horse-power engine, and the factory, when in operation, employs ten men.  At present it is idle.

W.A. Eddy’s planing-mill and job-work shop is in the western part of the village, and is operated by steam-power, giving employment to several men.  It was established in this neighborhood in 1870, and at the present location in 1874.

In early times, Thomas Harvey had a small tannery near Truman Hitchcock’s; and after it was discontinued Miner & Latham here carried on a tannery of greater capacity a number of years.  In the village of Randolph are, also, several large mechanic shops and a number of smaller industries; and at the depot a hay-press is operated extensively, the power being furnished by a good engine.

At East Randolph, Chauncy C. Helmes got in operation the first machinery.  Near the present grist-mill he put up a saw-mill in 1825.  The following season he commenced building a grist-mill near by, but did not get it running until the fall of 1826.  At first it had but one run of stones, but another run was soon after added, the material having been procured at Ellicottville, where the rock was quarried.  It is said that it was capable of doing excellent work.  This power is now employed to operate the “Randolph Grist-Mill,” which was erected about 1853, by Benjamin Chamberlain.  It is a three-story frame, and is supplied with 3 run of stones, giving it a grinding capacity of 20 bushels per hour on custom and merchant work.  The stream has a fall of 18 feet, driving a large undershot wheel.  The present proprietors are J.L. Sowl & Co.  Other owners have been Norman G. Otis and Brown & Southwick.

About 1832, Chauncy C. Helmes built another dam farther down the stream, and put up a double saw-mill, which was burned down in 1841.  Two years later a single saw-mill was built on the site, and operated until the timber supply was exhausted, when it was allowed to go down, the ruins still remaining.

Near this mill the Helmes brothers built a pot and pearl ashery, before 1830, which was afterwards operated by A. Helmes.  Before 1842 it was burned, and a second ashery put up by A. Helmes.  This also was burned in 1850, and five or six years thereafter the present ashery was erected by Helmes.  It was supplied with 4 kettles for making pot-ash only, and has not been operated since 1869.

In 1828, Pease & Swan got in operation a small pocket furnace, in the village of East Randolph, nearly opposite the hotel.  It was operated by water-power from Elm Creek, the tail-race running right through the lot on which the hotel now stands.  In 1830 the firm became Dixon, Pease & Swan, and a general foundry business was carried on, making plows, mill castings, and Dutch ovens.  About 1835 it was discontinued.

In 1827, Jonathan Wood put up a small building on the site of Hall’s machine-shop, in which he fulled cloths.  After Wood’s death, about 1832, Amos Hall carried on the business with increased facilities, carding and cloth-making machines having been added, and which were operated under the direction of Archibald Merrill.

When the woolen-factory was discontinued,


were here established by Amos Hall, and conducted by him until 1862, when Erastus Hall became the proprietor, and has since continued the business.  Power is furnished by a 12-foot fall on Mill Creek, which operates a planing-mill, match, sash, and door machinery, and other devices for doing all kinds of wood work.  The shop is 34 by 66 feet, 3 stories high, with an addition 24 by 56 feet.  In 1853, Erastus Hall patented a machine for manufacturing shingles, which attained a good reputation, and by the use of which 1000 shingles an hour might be cut.  For a number of years this machine was largely manufactured at this shop, and formed an important business.  Six men are here employed.


On the site of this shop a foundry was carried on about 1848 by Nutting & McCollister, which became the property, in 1855, of Samuel Allen.  In August, 1857, the “Randolph Steam-Engine Company,” composed of four persons, was formed, to manufacture stationary engines and mill machinery at this foundry.  Sept. 17, 1863, the works were burned down, involving a total loss.  They were immediately rebuilt by Benedict & Lake, and operated by them until 1873.  A part of this time they were engaged in manufacturing the Eagle Mower, making in all 125, which were sold to the surrounding farmers.  Since December, 1873, the industry here has been carried on by S.J. Benedict, chiefly in the manufacture of engines for oil boring, although much general work is done.  The works embrace a main building, 30 by 85 feet, and several large wings.  Steam is the motive-power, and 15 men are employed.


occupies the site of a tannery which was erected after 1850 by Calvin Rumsey, and which was destroyed by fire.  About 1865 another tannery was here operated by Dean & Son, and subsequently by Brown & Nutting.  In January 1872, E.F. Smith became the proprietor, and much enlarged and improved this tannery.  It now embraces a main building, 60 by 110 feet, 3 stories high, and a two-story wing, 30 by 66 feet, containing 100 liquor vats.  Steam and water-power is employed.  About 70,000 calf-skins and 7000 sides are tanned annually, consuming 2200 cords of hemlock bark, and giving employment to 25 men.


occupies a large building on the south side of Main Street, in Randolph village.  It was established in 1873, to manufacture “Willard & Sawtell’s Champion Milk Vats,” which were patented March 20, 1872, by O.H. Willard and H.H. Sawtell.  The principle consists of 4 pans arranged in the form of a square and resting in a wooden vat, into which water is introduced at the point of the meeting of the pans, so as to have their bottoms and sides exposed to the cooling body.  The pans are from 6 to 8 inches deep, and hold from 18 to 65 gallons each.  Their use increases the production of butter, and lessens the labor of handling the milk.  In 1875 these pans received the first premium at the New York State Fair, for superiority as milk coolers.  From 200 to 300 sets are manufactured yearly and shipped to all parts of the Union.


is on the Jamestown road, one and a half miles west of the village.  It was built in 1874 by R.R. & M.A. Crowley, and was operated by them a year.  Since 1875, O.C. Wood has been the proprietor.  The building is 36 by 75 feet, 2 stories high, and is supplied with 3 vats and a church, holding 200 gallons, which is worked by steam-power.  Sixty patrons furnish 16,000 pounds of milk daily, which is manufactured into cheese and butter, at the rate of 8 pounds of the former to 3 pounds of the latter for every hundred-weight of milk used.


was built in the spring of 1878, by O.C. Wood, as a branch of the above.  It is on “Sample Hill,” in a building 30 by 60 feet, and is supplied with 2 vats and a 200-gallon churn.  The factor enjoys the patronage of 40 farmers, who supply 9000 pounds of milk daily.  In the fall of 1878 this property was sold to G.R. Woodmanzy.


was formed, Aug. 14, 1872, with a capital stock of $4000, in 80 equal shares.  This amount was subscribed by 33 persons, who set forth in their articles of association, “that the object of the company is to train horses and to improve their speed.”  A board of directors was chosen composed of Melvin A. Crowley, George W. Watkins, H.J. Woodford, E.C. Topliff, Lyman R. Barnes, and Marcus J. Benson.

Melvin A. Crowley was elected President; Milo R. Hall, Vice President; W.S. Benzona, Secretary; and Rodney R. Crowley, Treasurer.

A fine tract of land containing 25 acres, located between the villages of Randolph and East Randolph, was inclosed with a high fence, an amphitheatre erected, and a half-mile course constructed for the use of the company.  Several meetings were held, but in 1874 the company disorganized, and the grounds, with some further improvements, have since been used for the fairs of the Cattaraugus County Agricultural Society.


is in the northeastern corner of the town,  and partly in the towns of Connewango, Napoli, and Cold Spring, which here have a common corner.  The village is on lands which were taken up by the Helmes and Amos Hall, and owes its existence chiefly to the excellent water-power here abounding.  Its early improvements for milling also directed attention to the place as a trading point, and the village has had a steady and healthy growth ever since.  It has an orderly and inviting appearance, and contains many fine residences, 2 churches, a good school-house, a hotel, about 20 business places, and other interests elsewhere detailed.  The population is about 800.

Albert Helmes claims to have sold the first goods in the place, in 1826, in a small building near the ashery.  The following year Henry Saxton opened a better stock of goods, also on the west side of Elm Creek, on the road towards Randolph.  Probably the next store was kept by Benjamin Blodget on the east side of the creek, at the old tavern stand.  After 1830, Chauncy C. Helmes opened a store, with a general assortment of goods, in a building which stood on the lot now occupied by Amos Dow’s residence. In 1835, H.H. Holt became a partner of Helmes, and maintained that relation until 1840, when Helmes retired from trade, selling his interest to Freedom Jeffords.  In 1848, Jeffords retired from the firm, selling to Merrick Nutting.  Holt has continued in trade since 1835, and since 1860 has occupied his present stand.  He claims to be the oldest merchant in the county.

Merrick Nutting was in trade until 1863, then sold his interests to Edwin M. Nutting, who traded four or five years.  He had the stand now occupied by Ostrum & Searle, dry-goods merchants.  S.D. & James Nutting were in trade about 1850, at the stand now occupied by A.C. Merrill’s furniture-store; and about 1855, Dow & Wilder engaged in merchandizing.  Amos Dow continued until 1876, when he sold to his son, Rollin, who is at present in trade, occupying a part of the Holt & Dow block.  J.C. Hurd has for many years been in trade, and is one of the most active business men in southwestern Cattaraugus.

In addition to those already mentioned as being in trade, the village has at present the following business firms; Johnson & Rich, Brennigstool, Jeffords, Homer Dixon, Leonard Hall, A.B. Wells, B. Hughs, A.A. Hall, Beardsley Bros., and Welch & McAllister.

In the old Blodgett building Abram Cassler opened the first public-house, about 1835.  At this place Zibee Hovey, John Converse, and Samuel Barrows were early landlords; the latter keeping one of the best known houses in the western part of the county.  Among the successive keepers were French, Rogers, Shean, Wilcox, Wood, Crawford, and Lyman Barnes, the latter discontinuing the hotel in 1877.

The second hotel was originally erected for store by Abram Cassler, and was changed for its present purpose by H.H. Wheeler, in about 1850.  After his retirement the landlords were A.B. Parsons, Zalmon Smith, and others.  H.J. Woodford, the present proprietor, enlarged the house in 1875, and has since presided as landlord.

In 1870, T.J. Chamberlain erected the first brick block in the place (a two-story building), in which he opened a private bank, which was continued by him until 1873, when Amos Dow & Son succeeded him as bankers; and since 1876 the firm has been Dow & Thompson.

The East Randolph post-office was established in 1850, and had as the first postmaster Merrick Nutting.  In 1852, A.C. Merrill succeeded, holding the office until 1853, when he was followed by H.H. Holt, who held the office eight years.  In 1861, Enoch Holdridge was appointed, serving until April, 1864, when A.A. Hall became postmaster, who made way, the following year, for Horace Hall; but surrendered the office in 1871 to his predecessor, A.A. Hall, who is the present incumbent.  The mail supply is from Randolph village—distant one and a half miles—several times daily, and daily from Little Valley; stage lines running to both points.

The first physician to locate at East Randolph was Dr. Benjamin Blodgett, who came in 1829 and practiced until his death, a few years later.  Dr. Nelson Sanders followed his profession eight years in the east village, then removed to Randolph, where he still continues.  Dr. Alson Leavenworth was here a number of years prior to 1850, and in 1851 Dr. A.B. Parsons became a practitioner at this point, obtaining a wide reputation for his skill.  In 1875 he removed to Jamestown.  The present physicians are Drs. O.A. Tompkins, since 1872; E.M. Cheney, since 1874; J. McLoughlin, since 1876; and John Sackrider, since 1877.

Among the attorneys at East Randolph, M.T. Jenkins was one of the first.  He came in 1854 and remained until 1873.  B.F. and Joseph Congdon followed next, the latter removing to Fredonia in 1871, and the former to Randolph, where he yet follows his profession  The law has at present the following representatives: J.V. Goodwill, admitted in 1862; Frank W. Stevens, admitted in 1871; is at present district attorney for Cattaraugus County; and M. Van Benson, admitted in 1869.

In September, 1873, O.M. Jeffords and A.H. Holt began the publication of an amateur paper, --The Boys’ Argus, --containing 4 pages of 4 columns each, devoted to literature and amateur news.  In March, 1874, the paper was enlarged to 8 pages, and the name changed to Empire Herald.  In September, 1875, Holt sold his interest to Jeffords, who afterwards discontinued the paper, and has since devoted himself to job work, having at East Randolph one of the most complete offices in the county.


This beautiful and flourishing village is situated mainly on the west bank of Little Connewango Creek, east of the centre of the town, and near the Connewango line, on land which was originally owned by Edmund Fuller, Jacob Vandawaker, Thomas Harvey, and Abraham G. Bush.  Along Dry Brook, in what is now the extreme western part of the village, the place had its beginning.  The site was too low, and poorly adapted to afford security against the freshets which sometimes swell the brook to enormous proportions, causing great damage to property.  The business centre was, therefore, changed to its present place about 1835.  Soon after a scheme was formed to found a city on the ground which is now occupied by the village.  Staley N. Clark, the Wheelers, and others entered into a compact the general terms of which were of such a nature that no persons composing the company could dispose of his interests without the consent of all concerned; and, as the railroad was not built through the place when projected, there was such a depreciation of real estate that matters were at a stand-still until about 1849, when the county court decreed a partition of the property, which was sold in small parcels to such as wished to improve the land.  The opening of Randolph Academy and the completion of the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad, which has a station at the village, assured the future of Randolph to such an extent that it has had a substantial growth ever since.  It contains Roman Catholic, Baptist, Congregational, and Methodist Churches; a fine public hall, a commodious school building, several very handsome business blocks and residences, banks, stores, and other interests, fully noted in the following pages.  The attractive village forms a picture of striking contrast with the forest surroundings fifty years ago.  Some of the old citizens remember the time when the village site was covered with pines and hemlock of gigantic proportions, the height of some being 300 feet, among which herds of deer roamed.  The first buildings were log houses of small dimensions.  Dr. Oliver Guernsey put up the first frame house, where the principal part of the village now is, chopping down trees to keep them from crushing his building.  This building stood east of Elder Cowles’ residence, and has been demolished.  The population of the village is about 1500.


Randolph was incorporated by a special act of the Legislature, May 21, 1867, with limits embracing all that part of the town of Randolph situate as follows: “ Beginning at the northeast corner of the lands of the Chamberlain Institute, to the centre of the highway leading from West to East Randolph; thence east to the east bounds of the lands of the institute; thence south 12 chains to the southeast corner of said incorporation; thence southwest 54 chains, south 11 chains, north 77 chains; and so on, with somewhat irregular bounds, to the place of beginning at the lands of the institute.”

The charter provided the time for the election of officers, which should consist of a president, five trustees, three assessors, a collector, a treasurer, a clerk, and a fire-warden.  The justices of the peace of the town of Randolph residing in the village were to be the justices of the village.

The trustees were to render gratuitous service, and were empowered to enact ordinances for the government of the village; to form fire companies, and be a board of health.  Nor more than $1000 was to be raised the first year, nor more than $800 in subsequent years, to defray the expenses of the corporation.

On the 7th of April, 1868, the electors of the village, to the number of 92, assembled at “Camp’s Hotel,” to hold their annual meeting.  Warren Dow and James C. Knapp, trustees of the old board, presided, and S.O. Lockwood was appointed clerk of the meeting.

The officers elected were: President, Warren Dow; Trustees, Charles P. Adams, James C. Knapp, Charles F. Hedman, Matthew R. Cheney, David S. Swan; Assessors, Charles P. Ingersoll, Addison Crowley, Ladwick H. Carter; Clerk, Alexander Wentworth; Collector, Albert Marsh; Treasurer, Erastus S. Ingersoll; Fire-Warden, Lafayette Carter.

John Carroll was appointed poundmaster of the village; and Harvey S. Jones police constable, to hold his office during the pleasure of the board.

Since this period, 1868, the principal officers of the village have been as follows:

1869—President, Wm. H. Henderson; Trustees, Erastus Ingersoll, John Trowbridge, Wm. A Shewman, Ezekiel J. Scudder, Thaddeus C. Cornell; Clerk, Edgar O. Knight.
1870—President, Addison Crowley; Trustees, Albert G. Dow, M.C. Caskey, Jesse T. Fosdick, Christopher C. Helmes, Timothy A.C. Everett; Clerk, Charles C. Sheldon.

1871—President, M.A. Crowley; Trustees, Nelson Saunders, James White, Jesse T. Fosdick, Theodore E. Adams, Christopher C. Helmes; Clerk, Charles C. Sheldon.

1872—President, E.S. Ingersoll; Trustees, C.P. Adams, S.W. Thompson, W.S. Bezona, B.G. Casler, John Carroll; Clerk, A.P. Knapp.

1873—President, Alexander Wentworth; Trustees, Austin Woodruff, M.H. Johnson, M.R. Pingrey, M.A. Crowley, W.S. Bezona; Clerk, A.P. Knapp.

1874—President, W.H. Henderson; Trustees, Samuel Scudder, Charles P. Adams, R.R> Crowley, C.C. Helmes, E.R. Babbitt; Clerk, John E. Leach.

At the annual meeting held this year the voters, by a majority of 51, decided to avail themselves of the provisions of the general act of the Legislature of 1870, relative to incorporated villages, and on the 4th of May, 1874, a new board of officers was elected under that act, as follows:

President, W.H. Henderson; Trustees, Nelson Saunders, R.R. Crowley, Samuel Scudder; Clerk, John E. Leach.

1875—President, H.C. Rich; Trustees, Asahel Crowley, H.H. Sawtell, John Carroll; Clerk, John E. Leach.

1876—President, J.C. Knapp; Trustees, Charles Sheldon, L.H. Carter, Asahel Crowley; Clerk, Eugene J. Boyle.

1877—President, Charles Merrill; Trustees, C.C. Sheldon, L.H. Carter, William S. Bezona; Clerk, E.J. Boyle.

1878—President, Charles Merrill; Trustees, William S. Bezona, John Hammond, John D. Pierce; Clerk, D.A. Sackrider; Treasurer, Hiram Fosdick; Collector, Harvey D. Litchfield; Street Commissioner, L.H. Carter.


of the village demand particular attention.  About 1830 the first goods in the place were sold in the Clark building, near Dry Brook, a tavern being kept in the other part of the house.  A man by the name of Spaulding served as clerk for the proprietors of the tavern, who also kept the goods.  In the summer of 1831, A.G. Bush put up the first regular store on the south side of Main Street, and sold goods there about three or four years.  The building still remains, and is known as the “Shean” store.  The second store was put up in 1833, by Arnold & Tousley, of Springville, and occupied by them about a year.  It was the small building near Dow’s Bank.  The same year Asahel Crowley commenced selling goods in a dwelling-house in the upper part of the village.

In the fall of 1835, A.G. Bush opened a store in a new house expressly built for this purpose, on the Ruttledge road.  He continued in trade about three years, carrying a good stock of goods.  The building was afterwards removed to the west side of the creek, where it is at present used as a dwelling.  In the Shean building, Wheeler & Van Rensselaer began trade in 1835, remained several years, and were succeeded by Swan & Scudder.

In 1836, T.S. Sheldon engaged in merchandising in a small building which stood on the site of the present “Buzzell House,” a part of the building being incorporated in the present structure.  After some changes, Sheldon erected a fine business block on the lot now occupied by the “Randolph House,” where he was for many years a leading merchant, and one of the most enterprising men of the county.

In 1836, Addison and Asahel Crowley erected a business house, 24 by 50 feet, on the site of Asahel Crowley’s present residence, in which they were actively engaged in trade until the store was burned in 1846.  In 1839 this firm established a branch store which became known as the “Exchange,” and after their old store was destroyed the Messrs. Crowley here made their headquarters for a very extensive business, which was continued in one form or other until 1868.  Both of these gentlemen now reside in the village as retired merchants.

In 1839, Bush, Woodworth & Co., began a business which was shortly after continued by Chamberlain & Johnson, and in 1843 by Johnson & Leach; after 1846, Johnson, Leach & Boardman.  Since 1860, Enfield Leach has carried on this business, occupying at present a very large building which was erected in 1849 by George Van Campen, who was a merchant here before this period.  In 1848, Johnson & Leach transacted a business aggregating nearly $200,000.

About 1840, D.S. Van Rensselaer became a merchant in his own name, and a few years thereafter associated with him Marvin Scudder; and about the same time L&B Giles opened a store in a building near Dry Brook, intending to make that locality the centre of trade, but without success.  Another brother, William Giles, opened a drug-store in the village at an early day, which is now continued by L. Rundell.

In 1843, A.G. Dow and James Nutting engaged in trade in the Weeden block, and in 1847, A.G. Dow opened the first hardware store in the village, on Jamestown Street.  He remained in trade until 1863, when his son, Warren, succeeded him.  In 1867 the store was destroyed by fire.  This branch of trade is now carried on by H.C. Rich, established in 1872, and C.H. Cottrael, established in 1876.  The former also carries on a furniture trade, established in 1871 by C.C. Sheldon.  C.H. Latham was in the cabinet and furniture business from 1846 to 1873.

In 1846, F.F. Mighells opened a general stock of merchandise in the Griggs’ building, continuing in trade a number of years; and about 1850, Wm. H. Camp established a business, to which Charles P. Adams succeeded in 1858.  In a few years T.E. Adams became a partner, and afterwards the firm became Adams & Hapgood.  T.E. Adams is yet in trade.

In 1865, E.S. & C.P. Ingersoll began a successful trade in dry-goods, which, since 1868, has been continued by the former.  In 1870 he united with J.H. Chaffee, N. Christie, and S.W. Thompson in erecting the Park block, a very fine three-story structure, the lower story of which contains Ingersoll’s and Cottrael’s stores.

Harvey’s Hall was erected in 1872 by A.B. Harvey.  It is a brick block 32 by 100 feet, and is well heated and ventilated.  It will seat 650 persons.

In 1850, Austin Woodruff began a grocery trade, which he continued about ten years; and about the same time Knapp & Carter engaged in the same trade, being succeeded by J.C. Knapp & Son, and afterwards by Knapp, Cook & Knapp.  John Shean & Co., J.M. Smith & Co., and J. Rathbone are the present grocers.  In addition to the foregoing firms at present engaged in trade, are C.C. Van Deusen, C. Latham, O. Taylor, George N. Shedd, S. Cudney, E. McManus, and George W. Fenton.

Benjamin Clark opened the first public-house near Dry Brook about 1825.  In the fall of 1830, Joel Scudder moved in and kept the house until about 1838.  It was soon afterwards abandoned as a tavern, but the building still stands, and is the second oldest frame in the town.

A part of the present “Buzzell House” originally stood on the site of the Park block, and about 1832 Marvin Scudder lived in it as a tavern-keeper.  A few years later it was moved to its present location, and better adapted for tavern purposes by Hartwell Bent, an early keeper.  It has since been enlarged, and has been kept by Aaron Pingrey, M.R. Pingrey, H. Tyrell, Horace Fox, William H. Camp, and since 1872 by L. Buzzell.

On the west side of the square Marvin Scudder opened a public-house about 1835, in a building which is now used for shops and other purposes.  The landlords, besides the foregoing, were Horace King, Charles D. Foote, George Sheldon, and others.  In 1840, it was called the “National Hotel,” and in 1846 the “Union House.”

On the east side of the creek A.G. Bush erected a large building for hotel purposes about 1840, and was the keeper of it several years.  Other landlords have been William K. Miller and Byron Helmes.  It is now called the “Brooklyn House,” and is kept by C. Helmes.

The present “Randolph House” was built by Alonzo A. Miller, and has been conducted by him, Edward Babbitt, John Shean, and at present by Byron Helmes.

Near the “Chamberlain Institute,” Fred. Sample had a tavern after 1831, which was a favorite place for travelers passing on this highway, and was always filled to the extent of its capacity.

The Randolph post-office was established abut 1830, and had Abraham G. Bush as the first postmaster.  In 1844, Charles D. Foote was appointed.  The subsequent appointees have been in the order named: M.H. Johnson, T.S. Sheldon, Enfield Leach, Addison Crowley, H.K. Van Rensselaer, William Giles, Frank C. Jones, E.O. Knight, Albert Marsh, and Mrs. J.C. Owens.

The office was designated a postal money-order office, Oct. 1, 1867.  It has three mails per day by railroad, one from Little Valley by stage, and three mails per week from Leon and Connewango.

A.G. Dow & Son’s banking office was established in February 1860, by A.G. Dow, and has been in charge of  the present firm since 1875.  A regular banking business is transacted in a one story brick building, erected for this purpose in 1866. Charles M. Dow is the junior partner.


was organized under the general banking laws of 1838, and the amendatory acts thereof, to commence business July 1, 1874, and to continue one hundred years.  The stockholders were Charles P. Adams, Nelson Saunders, R.R. Crowley, Alexander Wentworthy, Thomas J. Wheeler, Addison Crowley, Melvin A. Crowley, J.C. Hurd,  Anna E. Lee, Robert Carson, William H. Henderson, Asahel Crowley, Emma F. Crowley, and A.S. Kellogg.  The capital stock was fixed at $65,000, in 650 shares at $100 each, with privilege to increase the stock to $100,000.  On the 1st of January, 1877, the capital stock was increased to this amount, and has since been maintained at $100,000.

The first officers were Thomas J. Wheeler, President; Addison Crowley, Vice-President; and Charles P. Adams, Cashier.  With the exception of the president, these are the present officers.  The president is William H. Henderson.

The bank building was erected in the summer of 1874 by the association, expressly for the use of the bank, and was occupied in November of that year.  It is a two-story brick block, 23 by 60 feet, containing fire-proof vaults and safes, and cost, to build and furnish, about $10,000.  The bank is in a prosperous condition, and proves a great convenience to the people of western Cattaraugus County.

The first physician located at Randolph was Dr. Oliver Guernsey, from Vermont, who came in 1831, and remained in practice several years.  Dr. K.V.R. Lansingh came, in 1834, from Albany, and practiced until 1845, when he returned to his old home.  In 1835, Dr. Luther P. Cowles settled here, followed his profession a few years, and then removed to Ripley.  From 1841, for many years following, Dr. William Giles was in the place as a physician, though not always in active practice.  In 1845, Dr. A.H. Davis, an eclectic, came to Randolph, and remained about three years.  Dr. Isaac Hill came about the same period, and remained until he death, about 1860.  About 1850, Dr. A.P. Jones located in the village, and is still a practitioner.  A year or so before, Dr. E.G. Cook, a homeopathist, located for a two years’ practice in the place; and after he had left, Dr. D.S. Van Rensselaer commenced the practice of medicine according to the homeopathic school, and continued until he was enfeebled by age.  He is yet a resident of the village, at the age of eighty-one years.  In 1872, Dr. Henry Neville and his wife commenced a homeopathic practice, which after a few years has been continued by Drs. O.S. Martin and A.A. Whipple.  In the regular school, Dr. Nelson Saunders has for many years been a prominent physician, having come to this place from East Randolph.

In 1843 Dr. F. Larkin engaged in the practice of dentistry; in 1853, T.A.C. Everett; and in 1855, H. Morgan.  From 1871 to 1877, J. Danforth, from Jamestown, followed this profession at Randolph.

The pioneer attorney of the village is Joseph E. Weeden, who was admitted to practice in New York City in 1836, and located here the same year.  With the exception of one term’s service in the Legislature, in 1847, he has been in practice ever since.  Other members of the legal profession now residing in the village are: Wm. H. Henderson; Alexander Wentworth, since 1859; James G. Johnson, since 1860; Rodney R. Crowley, since 1861; Elias L. Matteson, since 1867; Benjamin F. Congdon, since 1872; William Armstrong, since 1877; and Daniel A. Sackrider, since 1878.  The following were in practice, and attained an eminent position in the profession: Robert Owen, who died in the village; Alexander Sheldon and Porter Sheldon, who removed to Jamestown; Alson E. Leavenworth, who removed to Chicago in 1867; and Chester Howe, deceased.

The Randolph Register, a lively local paper, is issued weekly at Randolph.  A full history of the press appears elsewhere.  The churches and societies are also noted under appropriate headings in the following pages.


It was said that the first school in town was taught by Sally Morton, in 1822, near the present village of Randolph.  Other schools were taught soon after in the western part of the town.  At the first town-meeting, in 1826, double the amount of money received from the State was voted for the support of schools.  In 1827 two districts were formed, No. 1 in the east part of the town, and extending west to a line drawn nearly through the middle of the lots from 33 to 40.  District No. 2 took in nearly the remainder of the town, some of the lots along the west line belonging to districts in Chautauqua County.  In 1829, District No. 4 was formed to embrace all of Township No. 1,--the west half of the present town of South Valley.

Randolph has at present 9 districts and as many school buildings, valued at $13,795.  Twelve schools were taught a total of 261 weeks in 1878, at a cost of $2598.56 for teachers’ wages; the sundry expenses were about $600 more.  The total enrollment of children of school age was 658, and the average attendance was 295.  

At the village of Randolph was, in early times, a school-house painted red, where Asahel and Addison Crowley each taught schools.  The present school building was erected in 1869.  It is a substantial structure of brick, 2 stories high, containing 4 rooms, and a well-proportioned tower and vestibule.  Four teachers are employed in teaching the 273 pupils attending daily.  The expenses of this district are about $1700 per year.

In 1837 a select school was taught at Randolph, in the old Methodist meeting-house, by Damon Coates, which bore an excellent reputation in the village and surrounding towns, and was well patronized.  Calvin Kingsley, afterwards a bishop in the Methodist Church, continued the school after Mr. Coates had left.  In 1841, John Fosdick was the teacher, and was assisted by Samuel Ewing, Jr., at present a citizen of the village.  Other principals followed for short periods, among the number being Margaret Van Rensselaer and Mary Broadhead; but a short time before the Randolph Academy was established the school was discontinued.


In the summer of 1848 the project of establishing a medical school at Randolph was so strongly urged by Drs. A.H. Davis, B.S. Heath, and F. Larkin, that the citizens gave it favorable consideration, and promised material encouragement if the attempt were made.  Accordingly, in the fall of that year, the above institution was opened in the Sheldon block, with a regularly organized board of trustees and a full faculty of instructors.  T.S. Sheldon was the president of the former; and other members were J.E. Weeden, F. Larkin, and Samuel Ewing; addition members lived abroad.

The faculty was composed of J.R. Bush, M.D., Professor of Anatomy; C.J. Kenworthy, M.D., Professor of the Principles and Practice of Surgery; S.H. Potter, M.D., Professor of Theory and Practice of Medicine and Pathology; B.S. Heath, M.D., Professor of Obstetrics and Diseases of Women and Children; F. Larkin, M.D., Professor of Physiology; A.H. Davis, M.D., Professor of Materia Medica and Pharmacy; J.E. Weeden, Professor of Medical Jurisprudence.

The first term was attended by about 40 students, and the college was very prosperous, when a local feeling, arising from a misconception of the purposes of the school, cause it to be removed to Syracuse, where it was successfully continued for several years.  It was afterwards moved to New York City, and merged with the Eclectic College there.


Could the history of the academies in this State be truly written it would form a very valuable record.  How far they have shaped public opinion, elevated personal character, and advanced all the best interests of the commonwealth is little understood by the casual observer, and cannot be fully realized until we carefully consider the work in which they have been engaged.  They sprang from the necessities of an intelligent, liberty-loving people, who had themselves early felt the value and shared in the benefits of higher learning, and who desired to extend the same blessings to others.  “Educate” has been the motto of most eminent rulers.  Educate, said Pericles, the Prince of Athenian statesmen; educate, said Justinian, the law-giver of Rome; educate, said Charlemagne, the founder of the Western Empire; educate, said Alfred of England, as he established his university; and educate all, said the Republican rulers, who came here to create a State possessing all the virtues of those in the Old World, and, if possible, free from their vices.  In a few years, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, and other colleges, quietly but effectively, like the forces of animate nature, were scattering the germ truths which, anon, should yield a bountiful harvest.

It is undoubtedly true that many of the most earnest friends of learning have been those who greatly felt the need of it themselves; yet, it is also true that our schools have usually sprung up under the fostering care of a few minds that have tasted the sweets of knowledge; and frequently, perhaps, one guiding, liberally-educated man has given direction and inspiration to the whole enterprise.  Many of our academies from the first enjoyed the advantage of having principals possessed of a collegiate training.  Thus the academy borrowed strength from the college, just as afterwards the common schools, by receiving teachers from them, were nourished by the academies.  The higher schools have been the fountains whence have flowed down the streams which fertilized the valleys and filled the lakes below; while they, in turn, have sent back their showers to make the supply perpetual.  Education more frequently works downward than upward: from the college to the common school, rather than from the latter to the former.

The southwest corner of this State was settled somewhat late.  The settlers were largely from the centre of this State, and from the States of New England.  Vermont, especially, was well represented, the town being named after a place in that State.  Here, between two villages, while the country was yet covered with a magnificent growth of timber, on the breast of a beautiful hill, on which, however, the large black stumps were still conspicuously standing, the intelligent and enterprising farmers and villagers erected a large building and started a school of high grade, to the end, as they declared in their first catalogue, that it might “render untold benefits to the youth of our land.”  The building was 44 by 80 feet, three stories high, and cost $5000.

The architect and builder was Mr. Joseph Ditto, who was a Christian gentleman, and executed his task so well that the old inhabitants have never ceased to speak well of him.  The efficient secretary of the trustees, Thaddeus Sheldon, and the treasurer, Addison Crowley, together with Asahel Crowley, his brother and business partner, were indefatigable in their efforts to complete the work.

The enterprise was inaugurated on the 4th of July, 1849, by calling together, on Academy Hill, the people of all the neighboring country.  A most enthusiastic response was given to the call.  Large numbers were present; speeches were made; an ample repast was spread for all in the grove; plans were discussed, money was subscribed, and the best of feeling prevailed.  This was a Fourth of July celebration that did more by far than fill the air with idle boastings.  It adopted the sure way to perpetuate what their fathers by their valor had won.

Randolph Academy and Female Seminary, which is the name upon the early catalogues, opened in August, 1850, but was not chartered until the January following.  The trustees under the act of incorporation were Hon. Benjamin Chamberlain, President; T.S. Sheldon, Secretary; Addison Crowley, Treasurer; and Rufus Crowley, J.E. Weeden, A.G. Dow, Samuel Ewing, David Benson, Wm. K. Miller, Spencer Scudder, Samuel Barrows, and Merrick Nutting.  Eight of this number have died, and four remain to note the admirable results which still flow from the enterprise which they then inaugurated.  Prof. Samuel G. Love was the first principal, and he at once opened with a flourishing school, showing how great a necessity for it already existed.  The fall term numbered 184 students.  There was not at this time, nor for several years, any other chartered seminary in the county.  A glance at the first catalogue gives us a fair idea of what the institution has been doing ever since that time.  I count the names of 6 lawyers, as many ministers, 3 doctors, several teachers, 2 prominent civil engineers, bankers, merchants, and those of useful men and women in many other walks in life. At this time the land of the academy (about 7 acres), building, apparatus, library, and other appliances were owned by an association, the members of which had purchased the “shares,” which were $25 each.  The records do not show that any dividends were ever declared, yet we venture to say that few investments ever made a community better returns.  Money was scarce here then, but the people could not afford to let their children grow up in ignorance.  The following is a list of the original stockholders of the Randolph Academy, with the number of shares owned by each:
Altenbergh, E. 1
Harvey, S. 2
Allen, Samuel 2
Johnson, M.H. 4
Aldrich, F. 1
Jeffords, F. 2
Barrows, S. 2
Jenkins, E. 1
Bush, A.G. 2
Jones, M.W. 1
Bush, Geo. A. 2
Knight, D. 1
Benson, David 2
King, H. 1
Boom, Wm. 1
Larkin, F. 1
Boardman, N.F. 1
Leach, Enfield 1
Butler, Hiram 1
Litchfield, O. 1
Brown, Norman 1
Latham, O.H. 1
Barton, Leonard 1
Lyman, A. 1
Benoit, X. 1
McNiel, E. 2
Booth, Alden 1
McAllister & Nutting 1
Cox, George 1
Marsh, M. 2
Chaplain, Wm. M 1
Marsh, P. 1
Crowley, A. 8
Marsh, H. 1
Congdon, B. 1
Mighells, F.F. 2
Champlain, Jesse 1
Myers, G. 1
Camp, Wm. H. 1
Machrus, S.A. 1
Chamberlain, Benj. 14
Morrill, M. 1
Culver, Lyman 1
Merrill, J.N. 1
Cottrael, N. 1
Merchant, A. 1
Caswell, S. 1
Nutting, M. 3
Cook, E.R. 1
Nutting, V.R. 1
Chesbrough, J. 5
Nutting, James 2
Dow, Isaac 5
Nutting, E.M. 1
Dow, A.G. 5
Northrop, J.B. 1
Draper, E. 1
Nichols, D. 1
Doolittle & Leach 1
Nichols, Solomon 1
Doolittle, Joseph 2
Prescott, E. 1
Devereaux, N. 1
Price, E.C. 1
Davis, A.H. 1
Price, Samuel 1
Darling, J.W. 1
Ried, B.F. 1
Ewing, Samuel 1
Ried, William 1
Ewing, R.F. & S 1
Ralston, John 1
Fosdick, J.T. 1
Sheldon, T.S. 10
Fisher, Simeon 1
Sears, R. 4
Flagg, Elzi 2
Scudder, F. 1
Fitch, C.L. 1
Scudder, B. 1
Frary, John, Jr. 1
Scudder, S. 2
Fuller, H. 1
Spaulding, R. 1
Fenton, G.W., Jr. 1
Sawtell, H.H. 1
Fox, Franklin 1
Sample, S. 2
Gillson, G.C. 1
Sample, John 2
Guernsey, Oliver 2
Stewart, J. 1
Glover, H.W. 1
Sadler, S. 1
Green, S.C. 1
Sheldon, G.A. 1
Green, S.A. 1
Thorp, L.P. 2
Giles, Lyman 1
Treat, F. 1
Hitchcock, O. 1
Torrance, F. 1
Hill, J.W. 1
Van Vlack, M. 2
Huntington, D. 1
Van Campden, G. & B. 2
Hall, Amos 1
Woodford, N.S. 1
Hall, Erastus 1
Woodford, A. 2
Hall, Horace 2
Wentworth, A. 1
Holdridge, E. 1
Woodworth 4
Hovey, Z.M. 1
Wheeler, H.N. 1
Hovey, A.J. 1
Wheeler, R.B. 1
Helmes, B. 2
Worden, M.L. 2
Helmes, M. 1
Wilcox, S.S. 1
Helmes, Albert 1
Wilcox, L.B. 1
Hawley, A. 2
Washburne, H. 1
Hawley, J.D. 2
Wheat, J.D. 1
Harmon, E. 2
Weeden, J.E. 4
Holt, H.H. 2
Young, Horace C. 1

The Regents of the University immediately (1851) appointed the academy one of the institutions to give instruction to teachers’ classes, and it has since continued to do so.  During that period of twenty-eight years, there have gone from the school, annually, an average number of 25 teachers for the common schools.  This would make an aggregate of 700.  The whole aggregate attendance of students has been, yearly, about 450, which would give a total aggregate of 12,600.  Of course this would not be the number of different persons present, as some of them attended more than year.  A distinguished lecturer once remarked in our hearing that he was always sure of an intelligent audience in the neighborhood of an academy.  Certainly, no one could visit this community without discovering a refinement and cultivation which have been fostered this school.  There is scarcely a family that has not cherished traditions of incidents which occurred when some if its members were connected with the “old academy.”

In 1863, an L was erected, 40 by 66 feet, and two stories high.  The lower part was divided into students’ rooms for self-boarding, and the upper portion was fitted for a chapel.  It is delightful to hear the students of that day describe the satisfaction which they felt in the completion of this building.  The cost was $2000.  The Association paid the bills, but the scholars “raised” all the timber, after which the lady students prepared for them a supper in their best style.  And now an aged trustee who had been from the first connected with the academy, and had marked its usefulness, began to devise liberal things in its behalf.  Benjamin Chamberlain, who had, in the toilsome business of a lumberman and lumber merchant, accumulated a large fortune, resolved to enlarge its capabilities and secure, beyond peradventure, by a large endowment, the perpetuity of the institution.  This remarkable man was born in Mt. Vernon, Me., July 31, 1791, and died in Ellicottville, Feb. 10 1868.  He was possessed of a tall, commanding form, rugged common sense, ready wit, and indomitable energy.  Many are the anecdotes told of him, which illustrate his fertility of resource, abounding humor, and vigorous understanding.

Like most marked men of strong wills, he was not without grave faults of character; but his constant efforts in behalf of education, and his generous provision to secure its benefits to the youth of our land, his love for the church of his choice, and frequent gifts to religious and benevolent enterprises show him to have been a man of broad views and profound sympathies.  Having, during his life, given nearly $100,000 to this institution and Allegany College, he bequeathed to them by will $400,000 more; thus purposing to give to education almost $500,000; and by such liberality has placed his name with those of Peabody, Rich, Vassar, Hopkins, Cornell, and the noble few who, by kindred munificence, have endeavored to pay their share of “the debt which the present owes to the future generations.”  Two statutes which are still in force in this State, and one of which, at least, is most absurd and injurious in its results, prevented the full enforcement of the will.  The first is, in brief, that no man can bequeath more than one-half of his property to any benevolent object, and the second, that no academy can hold property the net annual income of which shall exceed $4000.  The latter of these provisions is certainly preposterous, and should be repealed.  In 1869 the trustees of the institute procured an amendment of charter which permits them to hold property the annual income of which may be $10,000.  The citizens of the place having added 30 acres to the grounds of the academy, at a cost of $6000, Judge Chamberlain erected thereon a beautiful boarding-hall, at a cost of $50,000.  Of the endowment $45,000 were finally secured by this school.  The association and people, in grateful recognition of Judge Chamberlain’s beneficence, petitioned the Legislature that the name of Randolph Academy, though now endeared to them by many pleasant memories, might be altered to Chamberlain Institute, and such change was at that time made.  The same act gave the Erie Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church power to appoint the board of trustees.

Just here the truth of history demands that honorable mention should be made of Rev. A.S. Dobbs, D.D., who was providentially stationed at Randolph about this time.  He is was who brought the most direct and powerful influence to bear upon the mind of Mr. Chamberlain, conversed with him of plans, stimulated the spirit of benevolence, and gave directions to his purposes.

Nor would this sketch be complete if it failed to record the rare magnanimity and unselfishness which characterized the conduct of Mrs. Benjamin Chamberlain, who freely consented to her husband’s liberal schemes, gladly surrendering her own claim upon his property, that nothing might interfere with his noble designs.  It has been denied to her to hear the voices of her own children making glad music and breathing sweet sympathy in her declining years.  May she feel that the children of other mothers will gratefully remember the educational advantages they enjoy, and rise up to call her blessed!

Five years passed away.  The school had adjusted itself to the new situation.  Its patronage had widened so that now ten or a dozen States were represented in its catalogue, the grounds were somewhat beautified, the courses of study systematized, and the scholarship improved, when suddenly a dreadful calamity befell the institution.  The boarding-hall was burned.  With it was consumed much valuable material, furniture, the institute library, cabinet, and a large and excellent library belonging to the principal.  The building destroyed was 40 x 140 feet, three and four stories high, with an L 40 x 140 feet, three stories high,--a noble edifice but with serious and irremediable defects of architecture, and without which it never would have been burned.

In less than twelve months the building, through the unprecedented liberality of the people, was replaced with one far superior to the old in all that constitutes a convenient, comfortable, and admirably-arranged structure.  The Christmas festivities were not once suspended, and, best of all, the building has been paid for without using any of the funds of the academy.  We append the various subscriptions to this object.  It is an honorable record, especially when we remember that there are no rich men in the list.  If any one thinks that our academies have “survived their usefulness” and are no longer an educational necessity, what say you to this expression from a community well supplied with common and grammar schools, but who felt that they could not for a moment dispense with the services of their time-honored seminary?  The building committee were Messrs. E.S. Ingersoll, Wm. M. Brown, Stephen Burlingame, Frank Hovey, and J.H. Chaffee.  The architect and builder was Mr. P.B. Canfield.  Stephen Burlingame, on account of his long experience in connection with schools and careful supervision of the building, greatly added to its elegance and convenience.  Wm. M. Brown was elected chairman of the committee, and E.S. Ingersoll secretary and treasurer.  The principal was greatly aided in obtaining the subscriptions by Hon. Wm. H. Henderson. 

The following is the list of subscriptions: J.T. Edwards, $2030; R.E. Fenton, $750; A.G. Dow and Wm. H. Henderson, each $600; Wm. M. Brown, T.J. Chamberlain, C.P. Adams, MA. Crowley, Amasa Sprague, A. F. Kent, Chaffe, Thompson & Co., Benedict & Lake, each $500; E.S. Ingersoll and Enfield Leach, each, $400; Amos Dow, $242.50; L.H. Carter, $350; A.B. Parsons, John Kennicott, B.G. Casler, and A.B. Harvey, each, $250; N. Saunders, $230; F.C. Hovey, $217.50; J.V. Goodwill, $180; J.G. Johnson and Merrick Nutting, each $150; Nutting & Metcalf, $106.30; Alex. Wentworth, H.C. & C.C. Rich, and Stephen Burlingame, each $130; D.S. & H.K. Van Rensselaer, Mrs. A.E. Lee, Mrs. M. and Miss C. Pierce, W.S. Sessions, S.U. Main, and E. McManus, E. Holdridge, Wm. Shean & Co., G.E. Seager, Ivison , Blakeman & Taylor & Co., Frank Jones, A.L. Barnes & Co., D. Appleton & Co., N. Christie, Samuel Scudder, A.J. Vandergrift, J.S. McCalmot, P.H. Jones, A.G. Rice, John McClintock, A.F. Allen, E.W. Lee, Addison Crowley, Saml. Ewing, Jr., Amos P. Jones, A.L. Scudder, Julius Hill, J.B. Torrance, Sardius Stewart, Knapp, Cook & Knapp, C.F. Harding, W.S. Bezona, C.F. Hedman, T.A.C. Everett, John Archer, Byron Helmes, Geo. McCapes, W.W. Welch, Silas Harkness, John Manly, and Robert Carson, each $100; P.B. Canfield, $125; G.W. Maltby, $80; M.R. Pingrey, G.W. Chesbro; $65; J.B. & W.W. Cornell, $56; N. Norton, $55; James Connelly, O.H. Willard, G.A. Forman, H.H. Sawtell, Robert Newland, T.C. Cornell, D.L. Colburn, C.T. Merchant, Mrs. L.D. Jefferds, J. Danforth, Buel Scudder, Henry Dye, Samuel Allen, W.W. Ramsey, each $50; F.A. Fitch, $43; Harvey & Smith, C.M. Faulkner, each $40; A.C. Merrill, $42.50; W.N. Reno, $35; B. Excell and wife, $39.15; R.R. Crowley, L. Merrick, and S.L. Thatcher, each $30; John Pierce, Frank Smith, W.A. Eddy, J.W. Billings, D. Prosser, Mrs. A. Eaton, Chas. Colburn, Henry Buck, Osmer Nevins, James Moore, Hollis Marsh, D.W. Guernsey, and Mr. and Mrs. H.O. Burt, each $25; A. Wheeler, W.F. Day, E.J.L. Baker and wife, J.D. Norton, and Andrew Reynolds, each $20; S.C. Wigner, $19; John Peate, $17.75; A.H. Dorner, $17.25; M.V. Stone, $16; Cottrael & Knapp, $16; R.G. King and Silar Miller, $15; O.G. McIntire, $14.50; Wm. Rice, P.W. Scofield, each $10.75; E.F. Smith, $13; A.L. Kellogg, J.E. Chapin, R.N. Stubbs, R.M. Warren, D. Latshaw, J. Akres, J.S. Yeomans, F.M. Beck, J.C. Sullivan, H.H. Moore, G.W. Clark, Mr. Martsell, C. Prindle, M. Sackett, H. Henderson, B.F. Delo, J.H. Stoney, G.W. Blaisdell, R. Smith, F.A. Archibald, William Hunter, J. Eckels, Mrs. Mendenhall, B. Heard, Mrs. Sampson, M. Mills, J. Beetham, John Perry, P.W. Sherwood, Asahel Crowley, Lorin Boardman, A.T. Palmer, S.C. Pierce, Chas. Merrill, Louis Miller, A. Reeves, G.W. Staples, J.H. Snowden, R.F. Randolph, Wm. Martin, A.R. Rich, W.M. Taylor, E.A. Squier, J.S. Card, J. Shields, O. Babcock, L.F. Merritt, J.H. Vance, Frank Brown, C.W. Foulke, W.W. Wythe, J.M. Foster, A.J. Merchant, T.P. Warner, R.W. Scott, F. Thair, J. Flower, D.W. Scofield, M. Sims, S. Graham, T.D. Blinn, J.H. Dewitt, W. Branfield, Andrew Armstrong, J.C. Scofield, W.F. Wilson, A.H. Bowers, A.H. Starrett, S. Fuller, A. Bashline, W.A. Clark, A. Falkner, R.B. Boyd, D. Wisner, Chas. Folk, S.M. Clark, Xavier Benoit, A.D. Morton, B.F. Congdon, B.K. Johnson, A.A. Hall, A.T. Copeland, J.W. Stoney, J.H. Snyder, Sundry Subscriptions, Wm. M. Bear, J.K. Shaffer, D. Prosser, J.S. Lytle, Gilbert O. Haven, W.B. Bignall, W.H. Wilson, Salamanca S.S., E.D. McGrearry, J. Beatham, O.L. Mead, J. Graham, G.W. Snyder, M. McGrary, John Benson, H.H. Holt, A.D. Holt, J.H. Groves, J.D. Gage, A. Bashline, each $10 or under; Robert Revels, M.W. Shean, Thomas Smith, W.C. Clark, J.H. Smith, A.E. Cook, J.F. Gastmann, S.S. Fish, James Casten, G.E. Thorp, David Hopkins, A.E. Safford, Erie Hall, Erastus Hall, J.W. Sharp, C. Spangler, Wm. Hall, C. Jeffords, Porter Sheldon, O. Hammond, John A. Carroll, Mrs. B. Davis, Joseph Crosby, Miss E. Smith, M.C. Jay, H.C. Saxton, each $25; M.K. Willer, $30; Adams & Hapgood, Mrs. M. Nutting, Hiram Fosdick, each $20.

It crowns a lovely hill which overlooks a landscape of unusual beauty.  Around it stretch 35 acres of fertile fields belonging to the institute.  The academy building and chapel have already been described.  The new brick boarding-hall is a model of taste and convenience.  It is 140 fee long and 4 and 5 stories high, with an L 40 x 60 feet, and 4 stories high.

It is valued at $50,000, and contains apartments for teachers and students, dining-hall, kitchen, store-rooms, cellars, laundry, fire-proof furnace-room, office, parlor, library, cabinet, music- and society-rooms, drying-room, and bathroom.

The building is hard-finished throughout, with an average height of wall, in rooms, 10-1/2 feet.

The whole is heated with Gold’s patent low-pressure steam apparatus, connected with direct radiators in each room.  This apparatus has been put up with great care, at a cost of $6000.

Each room is supplied with a fixed metallic safety-lamp and lamp-shade.

The building is abundantly supplied with pure spring water.

The principal, his family, and other teachers reside in this building, board at the same table, and are constantly associated with the students.  This part of their training is not less important than the instruction which scholars derive from their books.  It admirably prepares them to perform their duties in society.  Experience has sufficiently demonstrated the wisdom of educating both sexes in the same institution.  The daily association of young ladies and gentlemen at table, at recitation, and other public exercises, in presence of their teachers, has a salutary influence upon the scholarship, manners, and morals of both.  In an institution like this, in which ladies and gentlemen occupy departments entirely separate, and meet only by permission, it is believed the greatest advantages of associated education are secured.

About $1000 have recently been expended in the purchase of apparatus, and in fitting up and furnishing the laboratory.  These additions, with the extensive apparatus previously possessed, afford excellent facilities for illustrating the natural sciences.

The institute has also a complete supply of globes, maps, and charts for illustrating astronomy, mathematics, physical geography, physiology and botany; also a valuable cabinet of minerals.  Henslow’s Botanical Charts are also used.  The library contains 1500 volumes.  There are connected with the institute 8 pianos and 2 organs.

The commercial department is fitted with all the appliances of the best modern business colleges.  Three rooms are occupied.  These are prepared with stores, telegraph-offices, shipping-office, and a bank.  Bank bills are used in the actual business department, and printed forms of drafts, bills, orders, etc., are supplied.

In addition to the common English branches which are distributed among the different members of the faculty, there are the following regular courses of study, and each graduate of either department receives a diploma upon graduation: 1, the literary and scientific course; 2, the classical course; 3, the college preparatory course; 4, the teacher’s normal course; 5, the musical course; 6, the commercial course.

The trustees (1878) are as follows: Hon. Wm. H. Henderson, President; Hon. A.G. Dow, Treasurer; Mr. H.K. Van Rensselaer, Secretary; Hon. E. Holdridge, Vice-President; Messrs. Seth W. Thompson, A.C. Merrill, E.S. Ingersoll, B.R. Johnson, Hon. R.E. Fenton, Rev. A.S. Dobbs, A.M., D.D., Rev. W.F. Day, D.D., Rev. J. Leslie, Rev. H.H. Moore.

The faculty consists of Rev. J.T. Edwards, A.M., D.D., Principal, Moral Science, Natural Science, and Normal Department; Emma A. Edwards, Preceptress, French, Painting, Drawing, and Wax-work; Frank S. Thorpe, A.M., Latin, Greek, and German; Clark J. Brown, Bookkeeping, Penmanship and Commercial Law; John H. Burrows, Mathematics; Joel J. Crandall, Latin and Higher English; Adelaide B. Thorpe, Directress of Music, Piano, Organ, and Voice Culture; Millie Burgess, Piano; Dora A. Brown, English Branches; Luella E. Hadley, English Branches; C.J. Brown, Librarian; Martin Parsons, Steward; Lena Parsons, Stewardess.

The following is a list of the principals and the years of their connection with the institution:

1850-53, Prof. Samuel G. Love, A.M.; 1853-54, Rev. T. Durland, A.M.; 1854-55, Prof. Henry S. Welton, A.M.; 1855-57, Rev. J.W.B. Clark, A.M.; 1857-58, Rev. William H. Marsh, A.M.; 1858-59, Rev. O.L. Gibson, A.M.; 1859-64, Prof. Samuel G. Love, A.M.; 1964-65, Rev. Charles H. Holloway, A.M.; 1865-67, Prof. Erastus Crosby, A.M.; 1867-68, Rev. A.S. Dobbs, A.M., D.D.; 1868-70, Prof. Ruggles E. Post, A.M.; 1870, Rev. James T. Edwards, A.M., D.D.

We believe that all of these gentlemen are living, and most of them are still engaged in the work of education.  Prof. Samuel G. Love, the first principal, is a graduate of Hamilton College, and is now the very efficient and popular superintendent of schools in Jamestown, N.Y.  C.H. Holloway graduated from Amherst College, Massachusetts, and was a Congregational minister.  Prof. Crosby is a graduate of Tufts College, Massachusetts, and afterwards studied law.  Rev. A.S. Dobbs graduated from Concord Biblical Institute, now consolidated with Boston University, and J.T. Edwards is a graduate of Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn.  Rev. T. Durland became an able clergyman of the Episcopal Church.  Revs. Welton and Marsh were Baptists, and O.L. Gibson an eloquent preacher of the Methodist Church.  Prof. Post has been for many years a successful conductor of teachers’ institutes in various parts of the State.

We have thus very imperfectly traced the history of one of the “middle schools” in our system of instruction.  Let us hope that not one of the links in that chain—the common school, academy, college, and university—may ever be lost.

Of the trustees, who twenty-eight years ago received their charter, one only is still in the board,--Hon. A.G. Dow, for many years the faithful treasurer of the institution.  Three others are still living,--Mr. Addison Crowley, the first treasurer, J.E. Weeden, Esq., and the venerable Samuel Ewing.

In the construction of the board of trustees, or the faculty, or in the admission of students, no sectarian or denominational tests have ever been applied or thought of.  Among them will be found all classes of faith and religious practice; yet it is fair to say that the school has remembered how high is the privilege “ to read in nature,” as Kepler said, “the thoughts of God;” to see His power, wisdom and benevolence in all His works; nor has it forgotten Him, the Great Teacher, the entering in of whose word—whether into the heart of man or the life of a nation—“giveth light.”

We close this brief chronicle by expressing the hope that its next historian may find the Institute still faithfully disseminating sound learning and pure morals; that a multitude of noble men and women may then delight to call her alma mater, and she, looking upon them, be able to exclaim, with all the pride of a Cornelia, “These are my jewels!”


This institution is located in the town of Randolph, on the highway, about half-way between the villages of Randolph and East Randolph, and was founded mainly through the efforts of the Rev. Charles Strong, the present superintendent.  This gentleman was the chaplain of the Sing Sing Prison in 1876, and while serving in that capacity, laboring to reform vicious men and women, he was led to see that it was easier to prevent crime than to cure it; that the true field of reform was to educate the child to shun the ways of vice.  He began to turn his attention towards the neglected and vagrant children of the criminal classes, who by being neglected, are growing up in destitution and crime, keeping our almshouses and prisons constantly filled.  Encouraged by prominent philanthropists, he resolved to establish at some point in the country, away from the demoralizing influence of cities, a home for vagrant, neglected, and orphan children.  With this purpose, he came home to Randolph and laid his plans before the citizens of that place and vicinity, and urged the importance of establishing such a home in their midst at once.  The project met with a hearty approval, and the influence and cooperation of prominent citizens was promised in case such a work was undertaken.  Accordingly, in the month of September, 1877, he determined to give the plan a practical demonstration by opening his own home to receive these neglected waifs, and on the 29th of that month two little boys were placed in his charge as the keeper of a home for dependent children.  These were the first inmates of the present Western New York Home, which soon began to attract the attention of those in sympathy with the movement, so that an effort was made to establish the institution on a permanent basis.  The attempt was not in vain.  A society was speedily formed, embracing among its members Wm. H. Henderson, Asahel Crowley, C.P. Adams, R.R. Crowley, T.E. Adams, Nelson Saunders, Addison Crowley, L.H. Carter, Norman M. Allen, and 40 other prominent citizens of Cattaraugus County.  Its object and incorporation are comprehensively set forth in the following articles of association, which were duly signed, on the 1st of January, 1878, by the 50 members composing the society:

To all whom these presents shall come, greeting:
We whose hands and seals are hereunto subscribed and set, being of full age and citizens of the United States, and citizens and residents within the State of New York, having associated ourselves together for benevolent purposes and objects which are hereinafter stated, under and pursuant to the Act of Legislature of the State of New York, passed April 12, 1848, entitled “An Act for the incorporation of benevolent, charitable, scientific, and missionary societies,” and the several acts additional to and amendatory thereof, do hereby certify: 
I.    The name or title assumed, and by which this society or association shall be known in law and to be used in its dealings, is “The Western New York Society for the Protection of Homeless and Dependent Children.”
II.    The particular business and objects of this society or association are to establish and maintain at Randolph, in the county of Cattaraugus, and State of New York, a home for friendless and destitute or unprotected children, and to receive and take charge of such children, under the age of sixteen years, as may be voluntarily intrusted to them by their parents or guardians, or committed to their charge by competent authority, and to provide for their support, and to afford them the means of a moral, intellectual, and industrial education.
III.    The number of trustees to manage the affairs and business of this society shall be thirteen.
IV.    The names of the trustees of this society for the first year of its existence are Wm. H. Henderson, Rodney, R. Crowley, Nelson Saunders, Asahel Crowley, L.H. Carter, Reuben E. Fenton, Benjamin F. Congdon, Loren B. Sessions, J.V. Goodwill, Wm. W. Hammond, M.V. Benson, J.C. Knapp, and A.S. Lamper.

The organization of the society was fully completed shortly afterwards, and as soon as the certificate was received from the secretary of the State, it entered upon its work as set forth in that document.  Funds began to flow in from many sources, so that by the first of May, 1878, the board of trustees felt justified in purchasing the Strong property for the use of the Home.  It embraces 8 acres of land, on which stand a spacious house and well-appointed out-buildings, and is well adapted for a reformatory.

The permanence of the Home assured, many dependent little ones were sent here, and during the past year about 40 for a longer or a shorter time enjoyed its friendly shelter and protection; and many have been placed in good homes in Cattaraugus and the adjoining counties.  The purpose of the Home is not to make the children dependent by providing for them, but to gather them in and aid them to lead industrious lives, and thus become self-supporting members of society.
Although the enterprise is of recent origin, it has enlisted the support and sympathy of hundreds of people, who are watching its development and progress with interested concern.  Many have become members and participate in its affairs under the by-laws and conditions following:

The members of the society shall consist
1st.  Of  the corporate members.
2d.  Of the members of the Western New York Ladies’ Society for the Protection of Homeless and Dependent Children.
3d.  Of such persons as approve its object and contribute annually to its funds.
A contribution of fifteen dollars, or more, shall constitute the donor a life-member of the society.
A contribution of fifty dollars, or more, shall constitute the donor a life-director of the society.
The general affairs of the society shall be under the management of a board of directors, which board shall be composed, 1st, of the members of the board of trustees; 2d, of such life-directors, and of such members of the board of manager of the Western New York Ladies’ Society for the Protection of Homeless and Dependent Children, as may be present at any meeting.

The board of trustees shall appoint a superintendent of the Home and Reformatory, who shall have the immediate charge and oversight of all its inmates and all the property, real and personal, belonging to the society, who shall employ such assistants for the conduct of the Home and Reformatory as he may deem necessary, subject to the approval of the board of trustees.

The superintendent is authorized to present the claims of the society to the public, etc., solicit and receive contributions and donations for its maintenance and use, and for any special fund established by the board.  It shall be the duty of the superintendent to keep a book in which shall be registered the name of each child admitted to the Home, the time of admittance, place of birth, residence, name and age, and birthplace of parents or guardians, as far as can be ascertained.  And in case of children committed by public authority, then all the facts showing by what authority such commitment is made, and the terms of such commitment, the names and residence of families into which any inmate of the Home may be adopted or placed; and he shall also keep records of such facts as are required by law to be kept.

Said superintendent shall also keep, in a book provided for that purpose, a strict and detailed account of all moneys and property received by him for the use of the society, in which shall be entered the name of the donor and amount received from each contribution, the date when received; and in case any contributor to the funds of the society shall request that his or her contribution shall be applied to any specific purpose or use, a full record of such request shall be kept.

The superintendent shall keep a detailed account of all moneys expended in defraying the current expenses of the Home and its management, and shall present a full report to the board of trustees at each quarterly meeting of the board, showing in detail all receipts and expenditures and the state and condition of the financial affairs and property of the society; and he shall also make such report when and as often as required by the board.

It shall be the duty of the superintendent to pay over to the treasurer of the society all moneys received by him from time to time, except such as shall be needed for ordinary current expenses.

The superintendent may be removed at any time by a vote of a majority of the trustees.

The Rev. C. Strong was appointed superintendent of the Home and Reformatory, and has discharged the duties of that position with signal success.

The present organization of the Western New York Society for the Protection of Homeless and Dependent Children is as follows: President, W.H. Henderson; Vice-President, R.E. Fenton; Secretary, B.F. Congdon; Treasurer,  Asabel Crowley: ; Executive Committee, J. V. Goodwill, R. R. Crowley, and W. H. Henderson.


The officers of the Western New York Ladies’ Society are Mrs. Wm. H. Henderson, President; Mrs. Julia M. Chase, Cor. Secretary;  Miss Mary Cowles, Rec. Secretary; Mrs. L. H. Carter, Treasurer; Mrs. C. Strong, Matron. Board of Managers, Mrs. J. T. Edwards, Mrs. Wm. Brown, Mrs. R. Carson, Mrs. A Wentworth, Mrs. O. S. Martin, Mrs. H. O. Burt, Mrs. S. W. Thompson, Mrs. L. Jeffords, and Miss Emma Thompson.

The True Friend is an able monthly periodical, published in the interest of the Home. The first issue bore date January, 1878. The editors are the Rev. C. Strong and Miss Della Strong.


From the data at hand, we conclude that the first society in town was organized by the Baptists. A preliminary meeting for this purpose was held in June, 1825, at the house of Otis Hitchcock, over which Darius Bowen presided. On the 15th of July, 1825,

was formally constituted at the house of Solomon Nichols. The members entering into covenant were as follows: Timothy Torrance, Ralph Williams, Darius Bowen, Otis Hitchcock, Solomon Nichols, J. Brenninsthol, Stephen J. Davis, Josiah Nichols, Josiah Gilbert, Nancy McCapes, Lucy Ann Nichols, Zurina Torrance, Almira Bowen, Hannah Cook, Sally Williams, Matilda Hartman, Arevilla Russell, Amelia Nichols, Almira McNull, Katy Bush, Phebe Davis, Anna Davis, and Eliza Booth.

To this number were added other members at an early day, among them being Elmore G. Terry, John Shango, Calvin, Oliver, and Elmore Draper, Ira Case, Joseph A. Hamilton, Isaac Gifford, Joel Doolittle, Seymour Torrance, John Cook, Jonathan Follett, Alanson Marcy, Esek S. Gorsline, and Levi Howard.

The ministers present when the church was formed were Revs. E. Viney and Jonathan Blake, the latter becoming the first pastor of the church. Joseph Brenninsthol was appointed the first deacon and clerk. The office of deacon has also been filled by Darius Bowen, H. H. Hull, and George McCapes.

May 9, 1834, a meeting was held at the house of Elmore Draper to form a society to attend to the temporal affairs of the church. Trustees were chosen as follows: Ralph Williams, Samuel Price, Marvin Soudder, Oliver Draper, and Solomon Nichols. The propriety of building a meetinghouse was now strongly urged but no decisive action was taken until ten years later. In 1845 the present house of worship was erected, and consecrated in the fall of that year by the Revs. B. C. Willoughby, W. R. Brooks, and Frederick Glenville. It is a frame, 36 by 54 feet, and cost about $2000. It was remodeled and beautified in 1874, and is now estimated worth $3000. The controlling board of trustees is composed of Franklin Nichols, J. L. Sowle, Geo. McCapes, George Rogers, and H. H. Hull.

The church was very flourishing soon after its organization, but also had seasons of declining interest, resulting mainly from the many changes to the pastoral office. The clergy have been the Revs. Allen Smith, Levi Howard, Alonzo Frink, Benjamin Oviatt, B. C. Willoughby, J. Howard, B. Brahman, A. Handy, D. F. Lockwood, J. Trowbridge, H. A. Conrad, G. W. Devoll, and C. H. Woods. In early times, E. Terry and Solomon Nichols sometimes filled the pulpit. There are at present 104 members. A flourishing Sabbath-school, organized after 1840, is maintained. It has nearly 100 members.

THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF RANDOLPH was organized Jan. 7, 1836, by the Rev Sylvester Cowles, at the house of Dr. Luther P. Cowles. The members were the fifteen following:

Abel C. Ward, Justin C. Marsh, Levi Steel, Harry Marsh, Luis A. Marsh, William Ramson, Joseph Hamilton, Sanford Holbrook, Luther P. Cowles, Sarah W. Draper, Zebediah Pierce, Martha Pierce, Samuel Wadsworth, and Louis A. Hatfield. Three years later the names of Demarius Sheldon, Minerva Holbrook, Minerva Wadsworth, Louis  A. Taylor, Mrs. Isaiah Cross, Ester Cook, Corintha Wadsworth, and Mary Jane Wilcox were added to the list of members.

The church has had an aggregate membership of 250, and at present has 46 male and 60 female members, 35 of whom are non-residents. The families connected with the church number 56, and are under the ministerial direction of the Rev. Charles W. Pitcher, ordained Jan 26, 1876. Others who were pastors of the church, from the time it was formed till the above period, were as follows:

The Revs. Justin Marsh, Zachariah Eddy, E. Taylor, Sylvester Cowles, O. D. Hibbard, E. P. Clisbie, and Charles Strong.

In 1840 the church became connected with the Association of Western New York, and yet remains a member of that body. In June, 1848, Harry Marsh and James Calhoun were ordained to the office of deacon, and in June, 1867, A. G. Dow and T. A. C. Everett. The first clerk of the church was L. P. Cowles; the present is L. C. Rundell.

“The First Congregational Society of the town of Randolph” was formed “at the school-house on the flats,” Jan. 23, 1836, and had as its first trustees Abram Kierstead, Sanford Holbrook, and David Benson; the present trustees are L. C. Rundell, Joel B. Torrance, and Edwin Jaynes.

The first house of worship, which is the present church edifice in the village of Randolph, was begun in 1847, but was not completed until 1849. In 1867, it was thoroughly repaired, and renovated in 1877. It is now an attractive church, and will comfortably seat 300 persons.


Methodist meetings were held in the town as early as 1823, at the houses of Thomas Harvey and others in that locality; but the names of the members composing the class cannot be learned. The work flourished, and promised so well for the future that a legal society was formed, Dec. 16, 1830, for the purpose of building a church. Cornelius Kierstead, Squire Powell, and Richard Salisbury were chosen trustees. A few years later a plain frame meeting-house, 30 by 40 feet, was put up on what is now know as the Fifth Avenue, but was not immediately finished.

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