[Source: Gazetteer and Business Directory of Allegany County, N. Y. for 1875. compiled and published by Hamilton Child; Syracuse: 1875, pp 53-56.]
[p. 53] Andover was formed from Independence, Jan. 28, 1824. A part was re-annexed to Independence the same year, and a part of Wellsville was taken off Nov. 22, 1855. The first town meeting was held at the house of Luther Strong, March 2, 1824, and the following named officers were elected:--
The town lies upon the east boarder of the county, south of the center, and contains 23,756 acres. The surface is very hilly and still retains some of the original pine forests. Dykes Creek flows west through the central part, receiving several small tributaries, the principal of which is Elm Creek. The soil is chiefly a heavy loam, resting on hard pan, and is best adapted to grazing. The manufacture of pine lumber was for many years the leading pursuit, but that has vastly diminished. Dairying is the chief branch of agriculture.
The Erie R. R. enters the town near the center of the north line, and runs south to Andover village, where it deflects to the west, and leaves it near the center of the west line.
The population of the town in 1870 was 1873, all of whom were white, 1618, native and 255, foreign.
Andover (p. v.) is centrally located, on Dykes Creek and on the Erie R. R., and is nicely laid out, the streets crossing each other at right angles. It contains five churches, a graded school, which employs four teachers and has about 200 scholars in attendance, twenty stores of various kinds, three hotels, a printing office (the Andover Advertiser, a Republican journal, established in 1868, and published weekly by E. S. Barnard,) a grist mill, tannery, cabinet shop, planing and turning mill, three wagon shops, one foundry, five blacksmith shops, a livery stable, cheese factory, woolen mill and about 850 inhabitants.
[p. 54]Wm. Richardson & Co's tannery, located in Andover village, gives employment to about eighteen persons and tans about 500 pieces per week.
Elm Valley formerly known as Shoemakers Corners is a hamlet situated on Dykes Creek and the Erie R. R., near the west line of the town, and contains a wagon shop, paint shop, blacksmith shop and some six houses.
Settlement was commenced in 1796 by Stephen Cole, who came from Tioga Co., Pa., and located at Elm Valley. He took up a farm and lived on it the rest of his life. Daniel Cole, his son, who was born Feb. 18, 1797, was the first white child born in the town and the first white male child born in the county. He remained upon the farm on which he was born till his death at the age of a little over seventy-three years. James Dyke, from Tioga Point, Pa., settled in the same locality and about the same time that Cole did, indeed their settlement was so nearly contemporaneous, that doubts are expressed as to which came first. Benjamin Brookings and John T. Hyde, from Vermont, settled near the same place soon after. Families by the name of Holliday, Henderson and Converse were also early settlers. Alpheus Baker came with his family from Granville, Washington Co., in July, 1807, and stopped temporarily two miles west of Andover village. He built a log house on the site of Andover village, which was the first erected there, and the following March he moved into it. He was the first settler in that village. Thaddeus Baker, form the town of Poultney, Vt., came to the site of Andover village June 20, 1807, having previously been employed by the Poultney estate to survey the towns of Almond and Andover. While surveying Andover he took up 400 acres of land on the site of the village. Having finished the survey he returned to Vermont, sold out, and moved here, coming the entire distance with an ox team and lumber wagon. He first moved into a log house about two miles west of the village, and in the summer of 1808 he removed to a new log house he had built on his lands in the village. He lived upon this farm the rest of his life. He was the first justice of the peace and the first postmaster in the town. Seth Baker, his brother, came with him from Vermont and settled two miles west of the village. Joseph Baker and his wife and seven children settled in the town Oct. 15, 1810; and Reuben Castle and wife, in 1812. Robert Boyd moved in from Canandaigua in 1819, and settled in the western part, on lot 40. When he came in the nearest store was at Hornellsville, and there was only one there. Hazard P. Clark came from Brookfield, Madison Co., in 1820, and took up [p. 55] farm in the south part, where he remained till his death. John S. Baker moved in from Genoa, Cayuga Co., in 1823, and took up a farm in the north-east part, where he still lives. John Swink, from Northumberland Co., Pa., settled in the eastern part in February of the same year. James Adams settled in the northern part, July 11, 1824. He came form Rutland Co., Vt., with an ox team and lumber wagon, bring with him his wife and two small children, the journey occupying twenty four days. He took up a farm of 123 acres, on which he is still living at the advanced age of 85 years. He still retains much of his physical vigor. Though the date of his settlement is comparatively recent the country at that time was quite new, but few improvements having been made. Andover village, he says, then contained but one frame and three log houses. One authority says that Nathaniel Dyke built the first farmed house and barn in the town of Elm Valley; and another that the former was built by Stephen Cole about 1817 or 18, and the latter by Willard Adams, in 1818, both at Elm Valley. Asa S. Allen built the first framed house in the village. The first school was taught by Lois Strong, in her father's house, about 1819. The first school house--a log structure--was erected at the village about 1822 or 3. Luther Strong built the first saw and grist mill about three-fourths of a mile east of the village, in 1819; and kept the first hotel in 1820. The first store was kept at the village by Asa S. Allen, in 1823. Isaac Dyke and Pamelia Gilson contracted the first marriage in 1802. The oldest burying ground in the town is at Elm Valley. The first white person who died in the town is buried there. The oldest graves are those of Zeriah Dyke, who died Jan. 21, 1798, aged 10 months and 5 days; Lydia Dyke, who died Aug. 2, 1801, aged 2 years, 5 months and 2 days; and Lecttey or Leottey, Dyke, who died March 6, 1803, aged 6 months and 6 days. They are all daughters of James and Phebe Dyke. The tombstones, which are common flat stones and were probably obtained in the immediate vicinity, are still standing, and the inscriptions, though dim, are still legible. The latter are distinct, but probably were not executed by hand skilled in the art. The remains of Daniel Cole, the fist white child born in the town, are interred there.
The first religious services were held at the house of Mr. Dyke, by Rev. Silas Hubbard, in 1808; and the first Church (Congregational) was formed by Rev. Robert Hubbard, July 14th, 1824.
The First Baptist Church of Andover was organized with twelve members, Dec. 31, 1829, by Phil. Wardner, Samuel Rush, Ambrose Coates, and others. the church edifice, which will seat 200 persons, was erected in 1853, at a cost of $3,000, the present value of Church property. [p. 56] The first pastor was Elder V. Bemus; the present one is Rev. F. F. Shearer. The number of members is about ninety-eight. [Information furnished by Mr. Daniel S. Bradley.
The First M. E. Church of Andover was organized with eleven members, by Rev. Samuel Nichols, the first pastor, in 1840, in which year their first house of worship was erected. The Society has built two houses and have sold both of them. They are now building a new one, which is designed to seat 700 persons and cost $10,000. The present pastor is Rev. --- Cook. [Information furnished by Mr. Jason Hunt.
St. John's Catholic Church, at Andover, was organized with about 300 members, by Rev. John Tohey, the first pastor, in 1856, in which year their church edifice, which will seat about 350 persons, was erected, at a cost of about $800. The present number of members is 600, and the present pastor is Rev. Phillip Kensella. The Church property is valued at $2,000. [Information furnished by Mr. James O'Leary.
The First Seventh Day Baptist Church of Andover was organized with 43 members, by Rev. A. H. Lewis, the first pastor, in 1870. Their house of worship will seat 300 persons. It was bought of the Methodists in 1871, for $3,000, the present value of Church property. The pastor is Rev. T. W. Williams. The number of members is the same as at its organization. [Information furnished by Mr. Wm. B. Clark
Created on ... August 17, 2003