CARROLTON, named in honor of one of the
original proprietors of this part of the county, is one of the border
towns, erected from Great Valley, March 9, 1842, and embraces all of
township 1 and the lower half of township 2, in range G, of the Holland
Survey, the area being 26,872 acres. The Allegany Reservation extends
through the town, and was annexed to it for civil purposes in 1847. It
comprises here, as well as in the other towns along the river, the
finest lands for farming, and that which was most heavily timbered in
the primeval condition. With the exception of the Tuna Valley but
little of the land is well adapted for agricultural purposes, the
greater portion of the town being elevated and much broken by the spurs
and ridges of the Allegany range of mountains, which here extend into
New York. The most elevated portion is Ball Hill, in the southeastern
part of town, whose height above the valley is reported 800 feet; and
other elevations closely approximate this height. North of the Allegany
the surface is also much broken, and too elevated to be arable. Between
these breakers and along the streams of the town there were originally
heavy growths of timber, which rendered lumbering the most profitable
employment of the people; and since the forests have been cleared away,
the search for petroleum, which is found in paying quantities in town,
has become the chief industry. The soil varies from a clay and shallow
loam to a gravelly loam, the latter being the composition in the Tuna
Valley, which is very fertile. The Allegany River crosses the northern
part of the town and is the principal stream. Its principal tributaries
are on the south side, and are Chipmunk or Trout Creek and the
Tunegawant, or as it is now most generally called, the Tuna Creek. The
latter name is deemed the more appropriate, and will be hereafter
employed in this sketch of the town's history. The stream rises in
Pennsylvania, and flows in a "very tortuous manner, nearly through the
centre of the town, north to the Allegany. It has low banks and does
not afford good water-power, there being but one good mill-site on its
course in town. Along the Tuna the chief oil developments have taken
place, and its banks are no\v lined with derri9ks and machinery to
reach the hidden wealth. Nichols' Run is the chief affluent of Tuna
Creek from the east, and Limestone Creek from the west.
THE EARLY SETTLERS
of the town were led hither by the lumber interests, and came and went
as their business required. . They did not come to open farms or yet to
build mills, but simply to cut down the finest trees for saw-logs,
which were floated away to be manufactured. To this class belonged
Chas. Foster, Horace Howe, and Marcus Leonard; who came in 1814, and
lived temporarily on lots 28 and 29. Others in the
same business followed, but no account of them has been preserved
except their names, among them being John and William Moore, Elias
Stone, the Morrison's, and a few others.
Aaron Kellogg claims to have made the first
permanent settlement in the Tuna Valley. He came from Madison County,
N. Y., in 1822, to McKean County, Pa., and in 1828 moved down the
valley to his present place on lot 41,where he has resided ever since,
being now the oldest resident in town. Soon after, Jonathan Fuller made
a small improvement at the mouth of Limestone Creek, but did not remain
long here, moving farther up the creek to what afterwards became known
as the Moore lot.
In 1831, Samuel Webber, a native of Maine,
moved his family as far west as Angelica, in Allegany County, then came
to the Tuna Valley, buying land on lot 41, just north of Kellogg, and
then made the first substantial improvements in town his family coming
as soon as he had provided a home. This was first a rude shanty, but
the following year was replaced by the first frame house in town.
Webber removed in 1841, but a daughter married Aaron Kellogg, in 1831,
and in their family was born, in 1832, the first child in town, a son,
who was named Franklin Agustus. Mrs. Kellogg is now the oldest female
resident in Carrolton, having lived here more than forty-seven years.
Levi Leonard came about the same time as
Webber, and settled on the Reservation, below the mouth of Tuna Creek,
where he had a ferry across the Allegany about twenty years. He also
kept a public-house at that place, which was the first regular tavern
in town, although it is said Elias Stone had a place here as early as
1829, at which travelers were entertained. Leonard then moved to a farm
a mile below Limestone, where Edward Houck had previously settled, and
still lives there.
In February 1831, John O. Beardsley came, with
his family of a wife, four sons, and three daughters, from Chautauqua
County to lot 17, on the Pennsylvania line. The journey was very
difficult, and had to be made by sleds over rough paths, barely wide
enough to admit their passage. The names of the sons were James, John
0., Hiram, and William. Some of these became prominently identified
with the interests of the town, and are to day among its leading
Peter Zeliff made a settlement on the east
side of Tuna Creek, about the same period as the foregoing. The
original farm is now occupied by C. Willis, but a son, James Zeliff,
yet lives in the village of Limestone. In this neighborhood Seth Wixon
was an early settler, having a number of sons, among them being Barney,
William, Wilson, and. Reuben; and further south were Charles McCune and
his son, Wilson W., as pioneer settlers.
Calvin Leonard settled at an early day on lot
26, where two of his sons now reside. At a later period Ira Rice
settled the place occupied at present by Harper Andrews; he was an
innkeeper and a wan of some prominence in those days.
In 1844, Chase Fuller came from Erie County,
and bought the whole of lot 25, where the village of Limestone now is,
on which he resided until 1856, when he removed, but is at present
again a citizen of the town. He had sons, named Philetus M.
Lafayette T., and Manley C., none of whom remained in town.
A number of others had come to Carrolton as
permanent citizens before this period, but the paucity of the
settlements at that time and later years is shown from this list of
LAND-HOLDERS IN 1849,
most living on the lots described:
J. O. Beardsely
Manley C. Fuller
Lafayette T. Fuller
Philetus M. Fuller
Abner O. Hunt
Guy C. Irvine
John N. Wixon
William S. Wixon
In 1860 the entire population of the town was
only 779; in 1875 it was 1218; and it is now, 1878, more than 2000. In
1849, the valuation of the town was $35,041; in 1878, it was $613,072.
The first town-meeting was
held in May, 1842, when the officers elected were: Supervisor,
Ferdinand D. Perkins; Town Clerk, John Palmer; Justices, Ira Rice,
George W. Farr j Assessors, Aaron Kellogg, W m. L. Wixon, Ira Rice;
Commissioners of Highways, George W. Farr, Peter Zeliff, Levi Leonard;
Commissioners of Common Schools, John Palmer, Wm. L. Wixon, E. E.
Perkins; Inspectors of Common Schools, John Palmer, Wm. L. Wixon, Isaac
Wright; Collector, Lafayette Rose; Constables, Dearborn F. Fellows,
Lorin E. Lewis; Poormasters, Levi Leonard, George W. Farr; Sealer of
Weights, Isaac Wright.
From this period unti11846 the records of the town
are missing. In 1846, Chase Fuller was elected Supervisor; James
Fuller, Clerk; and Enos Parsons and Wm. Grimes, Justices.
Since 1846 the principal town officials have been
Abner O. Hunt
Nathan L. Sears
Manley C. Fuller
A. O. Hunt
Abner O. Hunt
Edwin A. Jones
Samuel W. Fish
Wm. E. Zeliff
John L. Baxter
Giles M. Kellogg
Shep. S. Vibbard
Giles M. Kellogg
Edwin M. Bell
Shep. S. Vibbard
Harper G. Andrews
Shep. S. Vibbard
Harper G. Andrews
E. M. Bell
J. H. Beardsley
JUSTICES OF THE PEACE
V. I. Love
Isaac W. Hall
Abner O. Hunt
Manley C. Fuller
J. A. Hazzard
M. J. Titus
Manley C. Fuller
John L. Baxter
Reuben Du Boise
Shep. S. Vibbard
R. E. Fuller
A. B. Hunt
A. V. Hill
Shep. S. Vibbard
R. E. Fuller
Wm. J. Clark
Walter J. Wright
John F. Bassett
Giles M. Kellogg
Shep. S. Vibbard
Levi H. Stephens
G. O. Cutler
R. E. Fuller
E. C. Topliff
A special meeting
was held at the house of Ira Rice, May 19, 1846, for the purpose of
ascertaining the minds of the people on the propriety of licensing the
sale of spirituous liquors. 'Whole number of votes cast; 9, in favor of
retailing liquor, 6.
Among other action called forth by the
late rebellion was a special meeting, Dec. 28, 1863, when Daniel Smith
presided and James Nichols acted as secretary. Calvin Leonard, Will E.
Zeliff, Sherman Jacobs, M. D. Harris, and M. C. Fuller were appointed a
committee to draft; resolutions, the import of which was that each
volunteer or drafted man should receive a bounty of $300 from the town.
The subsequent quotas were filled in the usual manner.
In 1878 the receipts of the town for the support of the poor were
ROADS AND RAILROADS
In 1846 the town was
divided into the road districts, having Wm. Grimes, P. III. Fuller, and
Ira Rice as overseers. . The number of districts was increased as the
county settled up, but owing to the peculiar nature of the territory,
the mileage of roads was never so great as in other towns of the
county having the same or no greater area. A favorite means of
communication, in early times, was by boats or scows on the Tuna Creek
and the Allegany River. Nearly every family in the Tuna Valley, where
were the principal settlements, had one or the other of these crafts,
and most generally employed them in bringing in provisions and taking
out such products as the country then afforded.
A ferry, owned by Levi Leonard, was first employed
to cross the Allegany, at the mouth of Tuna Creek, but on the 14th of
July 1849, measures were taken to erect a bridge across the stream at
some convenient point. A tax of $1500 was voted, and Daniel Warner, Wm.
Beardsley, and Isaac Freeland were appointed a committee to solicit
additional aid from the people of Pennsylvania to help erect this
structure, which was put up near the mouth of Chipmunk Creek. June 27,
1868, a new bridge across the Allegany was authorized by a special
meeting. This was erected farther down the river, below the mouth of
Tuna Creek, and the old site was abandoned.
In 1878 the commissioner reported that $1494.92 bad
been expended on the public roads, placing them, considering the nature
of the country, in a very fair condition. There are highways on either
side of Tuna Creek and along its principal effluents, and a road on the
Reservation, on the north side of the Allegany.
Parallel with this road runs the Erie Railroad. It consists of the main
line and side-tracks and switches at Vandalia and Carrolton Junction.
The length of the former is 5 3/10 miles, of the latter about 2 miles.
A good station is maintained at Carrolton Junction. In 1876 the
assessed value of the road in this town was $75,000.
The Bradford branch of the Erie Railroad extends
from Carrolton Junction southward, on the east side of Tuna Creek. It
was begun as the Buffalo and Pittsburgh Railroad, and was afterwards
known as the Buffalo, Bradford and Pittsburgh Railroad. It was intended
primarily as an outlet for the coal in Northern Pennsylvania, and was
located and graded to some extent before 1860, but was not completed
until after that period; and after the track was laid some time elapsed
before rolling-stock was supplied. It is said that various expedients
were resorted to by the people along the line to transport freight.
Among other means' employed was a fiat car on which was placed a
stationary engine, from which power was communicated to the car by
means of a leather belt. A Mr. Newell, of Bradford, is credited with
having been the proprietor of this novel vehicle. The main line of the
road in town is 7 21/50 miles, and the switches and side-tracks about
the miles longer. Besides the junction building at Carrolton, there is
a station at Limestone and a stopping-place at Irvine's Mills. The road
does a large passenger and shipping business, and in 1876 was assessed
at $80,000 in Carrolton.
The application of machinery
for manufacturing in town was first made in 1828, by Stephen and Jesse
Morrison, who put up a sawmill on Tuna Creek, where Irvine's Mills now
are. After this had gone down, a mill was put up on the opposite side
of the stream, about 1840, by F. E. Perkins and others. In 1857, B. F.
Irvine and Nelson Parker put up the present mills, which have since
been improved. The firm engaged extensively in lumbering, some years
cutting 4,000,000 feet of lumber and making 2,000,000 shingles per
year, which were formed into rafts and floated down the Tuna to the
Allegany, and so on to market. In addition to the power from the Tuna
steam is employed, thus keeping engaged continually a large force of
men. Parker was killed by the cars at Carrolton in 1874, and Irvine
died in September 1878. The lumber business is now here carried on by
the Irvine Bros.
Near these mills M. Babcock & Son erected
a handle-factory in 1874, having a capacity of 15,000 handles per day,
which were shipped principally to European markets. At present the
factory is idle.
Twenty or thirty years ago A. O. Hunt put up a
small sawmill on lot 41; to which a run of stone was added for grinding
purposes. A sawmill was operated at Limestone, on the Tuna, by Chase
Fuller, and a steam sawmill, at the same point, by Fish & Baxter,
and above the village, on the Tuna, J. O. Beardsley had a sawmill. But
all these have long ago been discontinued.
In 1856, J. Nichols & Co. built a steam
sawmill on lot 2, on Nichols' Run, whose capacity was 8000 feet per
day. In 1872 the mill was removed to Limestone village, where it is yet
operated by Nichols, and now combines saw-, shingle-, and
planing-mills. The motive power is furnished by a. 30 horse-power
In 1865, Wm. Grimes put up a steam
sawmill in town 2, west of Vandalia, which was destroyed by fire in
1872, and rebuilt by Grimes. It is yet operated by his family, and a
sawmill on the Reservation is carried on by J. L. Soule.
At Vandalia a planing-mill was put up in 1871,
which was burned in 1873, and was rebuilt by Boy, Stone & Co., and
is at present operated under the management of George O. Cretline. It
contains excellent machinery, and is capacitated to prepare 15,000 feet
of lumber per day. Seven men are employed.
THE VANDALIA CHEMICAL-WORKS
were established by a company which became a
corporate body Feb. 16, 1874. The capital stock was fixed at $20,000,
in 800 shares. The first directors were Roy Stone, Cushman Bishop, and
Edward D. Loveridge.
The object of the company was to extract
tannin from hemlock and other barks, and vend the same. An
establishment, having a capacity of 15 barrels per day, was erected
under the direction of the company, and operated two years, when a
suspension followed. When fully worked, 13 men were employed. At
present it is operated at less than its full capacity, by S. E. Bishop,
for the proprietors, Adams & Shaler.
THE LIMESTONE TANNERY
The business of tanning
was begun at this point about 1858, by Dodge & Smith, who purchased
Chase Fuller's interest in this real estate, and put up buildings of
much smaller capacity than those at present employed. In 1863 A. E.
& G. W. Palen became the proprietors, and soon enlarged the
works,-introducing new machinery, and conducted the business on a large
scale. The panic of 1873 affected the firm, and in November of that
year work was suspended. Nothing was done until 1875, when F. H. Perry
&; Co. purchased the property, and began operating the tannery in
its old condition, continuing until the spring of 1877, when the
tannery was enlarged by them, and now embraces the following buildings:
the tan-yard, 126 by 308 feet, containing 480 fall-sized vats, whose
capacity is 500 sides per day; 2 leach-houses, 38 by 130 feet,
containing 28 leaches, each 16 feet in diameter and 8 feet deep, in
which 10 cords of hemlock-bark are leached per day; a brick.
engine-house, 30 by 60 feet, containing an 80 horsepower engine, 5
Blake pumps, a hose-cart, with 300 feet of 4-inch hose, and
work-benches; II very large dry-house, containing a 40 horse-power
engine, having 7 lofts, which are reached by means of an elevator
driven by steam; a beam-house, containing 30 vats; a freight-house and
business-office. The latter is warmed by steam, and every part of the
tannery where warmth is required is heated by the same means.
Side-tracks lead from the railroad to different parts of the ground and
into the principal buildings, and every necessary convenience has been
supplied, making this one of the most complete, as well as one of the
largest tanneries in the Union. 12,000 cords of hemlock bark are
consumed annually in the manufacture of 150,000 sides of sole-leather,
which is sold to European buyers through the office of Palen & Co.,
of New York City.
The tannery gives employment to 70 men, and since January 1876, has
been under the management of John Goodsell.
THE OIL INTERESTS
The search for oil in the Tuna Valley began in
1864. That year, James Nichols, Henry Renner, and Daniel Smith leased
1000 acres in. the neighborhood of Limestone, and began sinking a well
in May, on the Baillett farm. At a depth of 570 feet oil was struck,
but nothing further was realized than a confirmed belief that oil
abounded in paying quantities. For some cause the enterprise was
abandoned at this stage, but the prosecution of the oil discoveries was
continued by "The Hall Farm Petroleum Company." This was composed of
New York capitalists, and had among its members Job Moses, who was the
leading spirit of the company, and eventually became the sole owner of
its interests. A tract of land containing 1250 acres was purchased of
Lewis Hall by the company and a well sunk, the-fourths of a mile west
of Limestone village, in the fall of 1865. The second sand was reached
at a depth of 540 feet, and the third, or oil-bearing sand, at 1060
feet. In this, oil was found, and all the indications favored a good
well. It yielded for a part of a day at the rate of 200 barrels, but
was lost by an accident before its capacity was fully ascertained. Mr.
Moses was so much encouraged that he purchased 9000 acres in addition
to the Hall tract, and leased 1000 acres more for oil purposes. In 1867
he put down another well, a short distance west of the first well, and
after a depth of 1100 feet had been reached it was tubed; and again an
accident prevented the realization of anything from this source. The
following year a third well was sunk more than 1000 feet, which
produced at first 10 barrels per day, but was soon reduced to 3.
The oil development now dragged slowly, and
nothing important was done until 1871, when a fourth well was put down
on the Moses tract, on lot 41, in which oil was struck in the second
sand, at a depth of 540 feet; but the well was extended to the third
sand; and a depth of about 1100 feet. In this, the yield of oil was not
large but the quality was good, and the well proved remunerative. Other
attempts to strike the" oil belt" were made, but it was generally
believed that it did not extend so far north, and in the spring of 1875
the two wells named above were the only producing ones in town, chiefly
because, as was afterwards ascertained, the other wells were not sunk
deep enough. The work of putting down new wells was now directed to
points nearer Bradford, and in December, 1875, Harsh &; Schreiber
begun work on a well on Wm. Beardsley's farm, near the State line, and
on the west side of the Tuna. About the same time, Wing & Lockwood
were engaged in boring a well on the Hiram Beardsley farm, on the east
side of the creek. Oil was struck in the second sand, 775 feet from the
surface, the yield being about 25 barrels per day. These wells were
completed and tubed in February, 1876; and soon after another well was
finished on the Muller farm by the" Consolidated Land and Petroleum
Company," oil being struck at a depth of 1075 feet.
Inspired by the success which attended these
wells, new combinations and companies were formed, leases of new tracts
of land were effected and larger leases subdivided, and in a few months
a forest of derricks crowned the upper part of the valley in Carrolton,
which gradually extended its growth until now it has taken root on the
Reservation on the Allegany, six miles from where it received the
impulse which caused it to expand. In October 1876, there were in town
35 producing wells and 60 more in course of drilling. At this date
(December, 1878) 250 wells have been sunk in town, of which at least
225 produce in paying quantities. The largest producing wells have been
the "Eureka," on the Clark farm, in 1877, and the" Irvine Farm
Company's," in the fall of 1878, each about 175 barrels per day at
first, but gradually decreasing to below 100. The average yield of the
wells in this part of the Bradford region is probably less than 10
barrels per day; but as there is sufficient gas in most of them to
force the oil to the surface, the expense of maintaining them is not so
great, and nearly all the wells are remunerative. And when the expense
of putting them down has once been defrayed, many of them afford
incomes which will enrich their owners. It may be said, in this
connection, that the oil development in Carrolton is attended with no
such great excitement as usually prevails in oil regions, but is more
of the nature of a legitimate occupation; and many of the improvements
caused by the oil interests will remain after the field has been
It is a work of no small moment to dispose of
the oil after it has once been produced, and various means are employed
to transport the crude petroleum to the refiner or consumer. The usual
method by railway carriage was found insufficient and unsatisfactory.
Accordingly, carriage by means of pipe-lines has been advantageously
employed. The oil from the tank of the producer is concentrated at some
convenient point, by gravity or otherwise, where a pump-station is
erected, either to force it into huge tanks on the spot or miles away.
This work is done ill Carrolton by the" United Pipe-Line Company." The
first station was established in the full of 1875, at the State line.
This is yet maintained, and the company has now at this point the
tanks, whose united capacity is 75,000 barrels. In 1877 the pipes were
laid to Carrolton Junction, and a station there established. From this
the oil is pumped into four tanks here located, or forced to Salamanca.
At Irvine's Mills, a station and a 25,000-barrel tank were erected in
the fall of 1878. At these points are also loading-racks, by means of
which the oil is conveyed from the tanks to oil-trains on the
railroads. In October 1878, the company had 15 miles of 2-inch and 17
miles of 4-inch pipe in the town of Carrolton, and were laying more as
the demand increased.
Several attempts have also been made to refine
the erode oil in town. For this purpose the" Producers' Refining
Company (Limited)" was organized, in 1875, but did not succeed in its
aims, its franchises being transferred to the Pipe-Line. A second
refining company was formed in 1877, which also failed to become
A refinery is now (December, 1878) being
built on the McCarty farm, a mile from Limestone, by a company of
producers, assisted by the businessmen of the village. Its capacity
will be 60 barrels per day; and, if the experiment proves successful,
other refineries will soon be built by men who are anxiously watching
what success shall attend this effort.
In the course of the oil development some important
discoveries have been made and interesting curiosities revealed. Veins
of salt water have been struck at various depths, some so strongly
saline that 7 gallons 'of the water produced 1 gallon of salt of
excellent quality. Pieces of petrified wood have been taken from wells
185 feet deep; and in a well now being sunk on the Reservation a piece
of charcoaled wood was found at a depth of 200 feet, and 90 feet above
the first rock. Salt water was struck at a depth of 900 feet.
HAMLETS AND VILLAGES
At Irvine's Mills is one of the oldest hamlets
in town, the lumber interests here having caused quite a settlement. It
is now a way-station on the Bradford Railroad, and contains 2
lumber-mills, a handle-factory, and a number of residences. A store was
kept here at an early day by Thomas Clements, and afterwards by the
owner of the mills. A tavern was also kept here.
is a hamlet on the east line of the town, on the
north bank of the Allegany, and consequently within the Reservation.
The Erie Railroad has a switch at this place, but it does not regard it
as a regular station, and no buildings or platform have been provided.
Here are several lumber-mills, hemlock-extract works, several shops,
store, tavern, and 130 inhabitants.
One of the first to engage in trade was
Shepard Soule. He was followed by John Carr, Gilbert Soule, A. B.
Canfield, M. H. Sweeten, and A. C. Bishop, at present in business.
John Carr kept the first public-house; the present is kept by Mrs. L.
The Vandalia post-office was established in
1867, having as the first postmaster William Soule. The subsequent
appointees have been John Carr, Gilbert Soule, and David Vanetta.
Five miles down the Allegany, owes its existence
wholly to being the junction of the railroads, -the Erie and the
Bradford branch. Aside from what usually attends such a place it has no
interests, there being but a small store and a few dwellings of the
nature usually found in villages located on the Reservation; but the
travel to the oil regions has brought considerable traffic to the
junction, and there are the public-houses, and a large depot building,
containing telegraph and express offices, an engine-house, having two
stalls. The largest of these is kept by Peter Boyle, who is also
the post-master of the office established here a few years ago.
The United Pipe-Lines have a pump-station here, and four iron tanks,
whose combined capacity is 60,000 barrels of crude oil. Hundreds of
cars are loaded daily from a large loading-rack. There is also an
elevated track for the reshipment of coal brought by the Bradford
on the east side of the Tuna Creek, two miles
from the Pennsylvania line, is a very flourishing village, containing
about 1200 inhabitants, and interests noted in detail in the following
pages. Where the village now is was first a hamlet, locally known as
Fullersburgh, from the number, of Fuller families, who were the
original settlers of the village site, and Limestone was the name
applied to a hamlet on the west side of the creek, about the-fourths of
a mile from the railroad-station. The term is evidently a misnomer, as
no limestone rock formation exists anywhere in this locality. It is
said to have had its origin from the circumstance attending the
exhumation of some skeletons in prehistoric mounds near by. When the
bones were exposed to the air they crumbled to pieces, producing a
white dust resembling slacked lime. This fact caused some of the
settlers to remark that the bones were just like limestone; hence the
application to the stream on which the mound stood, and later to the
hamlet. This contained a store, some time after 1850, by Daniel Warner,
and soon after another store, by Hunt & Walker; subsequently Brown
& Hall and others were in trade, Daniel Walker being the last thus
A large public house was erected at this place about
1855 by Nathan S. Sears, and kept by him a few years. Other landlords
were James Blake, William Clark, and Henry Renner. The building is at
present used as a tenement.
The location of the railroad on the east side of the creek and the
subsequent building of the tannery-where Limestone now is, diverted the
business interests of the old village to this point; and the latter
place is at present simply a farm settlement. Although Limestone had a
substantial growth after the railroad was fully in operation, it did
not rise above the character of a country trading-point until the oil
interests in this section assumed importance; and only since 1876 has
the village attained anything like its present proportions.
In 1876, H. H. Perry &; Co., the chief
owners of the village site, platted it, and from this time on the place
has taken a position among the active, enterprising villages of the
western part of the State, and, unlike many villages in the oil
regions, has a permanent and inviting appearance. There are already
many fine residences and business blocks, and others are being built.
Limestone was incorporated under the
provisions of the act of 1870 on the 7th day of December, 1877, at an
election held for this purpose, when 52 voters declared for
incorporation and 2 against. The bounds comprise 1000 acres of land
lying along the base of the east hill, about 1 1/2 miles long and 1
mile wide. On the last day of December, 1877, village officers were
chosen to serve until the regular meeting in March, 1878, -E. R.
Schoonmaker, President; Geo. Paton, E. J. Knapp, M. G. Bell, Trustees;
Shep. L. Vibbard was appointed Corporation Clerk; James Zeliff, Street
Commissioner; and J. W. Fritts, Fire-Warden.
Among other measures adopted and executed by
the village board was the appropriation of $800 for a" lock-up" and
public pound, which were erected in 1878; the streets have been graded
at an outlay of $1600, and other interests have been materially
enhanced since incorporation.
The present village officials are:
President, E. R. Schoonmaker; Trustees, E. M. Bell, James Nichols, E.
J. Knapp; Treasurer, C. M. Stone; Collector, J. C. Deuell; Clerk, S. S;
Marsh; Street Commissioner, James Zeliff; Fire-Warden, J. W. Fritts;
Police Constable, O. M. Drake; Police "Magistrate, Shep. L. Vibbard.
In 1847, Chase Fuller put up a small building at the head of Main
Street, in which he opened a store, which was kept by him, Talcott
Howard, and others, until 1856, when it became the property of Dodge
&; Smith, the proprietors of the tannery. They continued a store in
this building until the full of 1863, when they occupied what became
known as the" Tuna Valley Store." This is a two-story building 75 feet
long, and the upper story was originally used as a hall. In 1868, A. E.
&; G. W. Palen became merchants here, continuing until 1873. Since
that period various firms have occupied this building, the store being
at present kept by Schoonmaker, Goodsell & Co.
The second store in the place was put up in
1864, by D. E. &; J. D. Bell, near the railroad crossing, and is
now known as the Harper building. In this, the Bell Bros. were in trade
until 1876, when they moved into their fine building which was erected
that season. They are the oldest merchants in the place. Another
dry-goods store is kept by C. M. Stone.
The first drug store was opened by Dr. James
Nichols, in 1871, in the place occupied since 1876 by Nichols &;
Paton. A second drug store, opened by Leonard &; Co., in February
1877, is now continued by H. S. Baker.
M. F. Higbee kept the first hardware
store, in 1876, in the Nichols' Block, which was erected that year. The
upper story forms a room 36 by 57 feet, and is the public hall of the
place. Greenwood &; Coope, hardware dealers, have traded here since
The first grocers were Barry &; Shafer, the former being still in
trade. In this line are also W. H. H. Harper, J. C. Knapp & Co.,
William Paton, and others.
About 1862, William H. Cable opened the first
tavern in a building yet used for hotel purposes, and known as the "
Eagle House." Soon after Henry Renner put up a part of the present"
Limestone House," which was enlarged to its present size by an addition
on the west end in 1877. This house is yet kept by the widow of Renner.
Opposite is the largest building in the place, a long the-story
structure, enlarged in the fall of 1876 by E. R. Schoonmaker, and since
favorably known as the" Tunegwant House." E. C. Topliff and others have
been landlords here. Besides these hotels, there are 6 or 8 other
public houses in the place.
The Limestone post-office was first kept at
Irvine's Mills, about 1840, by F. E. Perkins. A. B. Rice was next
appointed, then Abner O. Hunt, and after him Chase Fuller, the office
being moved from time to time to the " places occupied by the
foregoing. The office has since been held by L. D. Warner, P. Hull,
Daniel Smith, .A. E. Palen, and E. R. Schoonmaker. There -are five
mails per day.
. The Limestone Bank, by Bell Bros., was opened
November 1877, as a branch of the First National Bank of Olean.
The newspapers of Limestone are mentioned in
the chapter on the press of the county.
The medical profession had as its first permanently
located representative Dr. James Nichols. He came to the town in 1856,
and since 1863 has been in active practice. In 1871, Dr. M. C. Bissell
located as a practitioner, and still continues; and since the spring of
1878 Dr. Smith has been a resident physician. .
As attorneys, there are at Limestone Frank H. Robinson, admitted May
18, 1876, and located here September of that year; P. O. Berry, since
November, 1876; Z. M. Swift, admitted in 1866, located January, 1877;
and W. H. Gibbs, admitted in 1877, and located in the fall of 1878.
In 1850 it was reported
that the receipts from the county treasurer for school purposes were
$63.33. In 1876 the receipts from the same source were $892.23; and
total money received from all sources was $2038.33. Almost the entire
school interests of the town are represented by the Limestone Union
This was formed of Districts Nos. 1 and 3, in
June 1870, and a short time after had District No.2 attached to it.
Arthur Palen, Job Moses, John McKenzie, John Hazzard, John A. De Voe,
Eli Hooker, James Nichols, Nelson Barker, and R. E. Fuller constituted
the first board of education. "
A commodious two-story frame schoolhouse was erected
on a large lot the following year, which has been enlarged by the
addition of a two-story wing OD the north side of the main building. An
appropriation of $2000 has been made for the erection of a similar wing
on the south side, when it will be one of the largest school buildings
in the county. At present it contains five well-appointed rooms, in
which a like number of teachers are engaged.
The Union district also embraces branch
schools at Hooker's, near the State line, and at Irvine's, north
Limestone. The number of children of school age in 1878 was 510, from
which the school secured an attendance of 387. The amount expended for
the support of these schools was $4000.
Oct. 7. 1878, an academic department was established, and an
appropriation of $500 made for apparatus and library purposes. To
conform to the new order, the name of the school was changed Nov. 4,
THE LIMESTONE ACADEMY AND UNION SCHOOL
and as such it is regarded by the Regents of the
State, who have received it among the schools controlled by that body.
The school is at present under the principalship of C. W. Robinson,
assisted by the primary, one intermediate, one junior department, and
one senior department teachers. The graduation is thorough, and the
reputation of the school for scholarship is excellent.
The Board of Education m at present composed
of E. R. Schoonmaker, President j S. S. Marsh, Secretary j E. M. Bell,
Treasurer; George Paton, Collector; and James Nichols, M. C. Bissell,
L. H. Stevens, D. F. Woodford, George W. Baker, M. G. Coggswell, and N.
S. Kellogg, Trustees.
The town m at present comprised in five school
districts, containing schoolhouses valued, with sites, at $7260. Number
of teachers employed, nine, to whom was paid, in 1878, $2623. Number of
weeks taught, 154 1/5, number of children of school age, 736; average
daily attendance, 276. Amount of money received from the State,
$1214.83. Amount of money received from tax, $3617.69.
Aaron Kellogg relates that the first religious meeting in Carrolton was
held at his place in 1831, that being the most roomy house in town at
that period. The minister was a Rev. Mr. Glazier, of the Baptism
persuasion. No church organization followed his efforts, and no organic
body existed until 1843, when a class of Methodists was formed in the
southern part of the town. It appears, however, to have had many
obstacles to overcome, resulting principally from the meagre
settlements, and did not gain much in membership the following years.
The minister on the Bradford circuit preached to them people every few
weeks or less frequently, but not until the population of the town had
been augmented by the oil development, was a movement made to erect a
spiritual home. The first movement in this direction was the
organization, May 21, 1872, of
THE FIRST SOCIETY OF THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL
CHURCH IN CARROLTON
The trustees selected
were James Nichols, Wm. McGill, Job Moses, Henry Wade, Cortes Harris,
Israel Adams, Arthur Palen, George Higgs, and Ann
Harris but the purpose to build a church was not immediately
consummated. In the spring of 1877, James Nichols, E. R.
Schoonmaker, and E. M. Bell were appointed a building committee,
and that season a very fine frame edifice, 35 by 50 feet, with a
well-proportioned vestibule and comer tower, was erected in the village
of Limestone, at a cost of $2100. It was dedicated Aug. 26, 1877, by
the presiding elder, Rev. L. F. Watson, and the Rev. John A. Copeland.
The appointment now became a separate charge under the past0ral care of
the Rev. Benjamin Copeland, who remained with the church until
September, 1878, since when the Rev. R. C. Grames has been the pastor,
preaching also at State Line and Nichols' Run.
The Limestone Church has 45 members, and a board of
stewards composed of J. G. Drehmer, A. L. Metcalf, James A. Lewis, and
George Paton. The former two, E. R. Schoonmaker, E. M. Bell, and Cortes
Harris compose the board of trustees.
The Sunday school connected with the church
had its origin in a union school organized in 1876, with C. M. Stone
superintendent. Since May 15, 1878, a separate Methodist Sunday-school
has been maintained, having 87 scholars, and J. G. Drehmer as
ST. PATRICK'S CHURCH (ROMAN CATHOLIC)
had its origin in the labors of the Franciscan
brethren of Allegany, who preached here (Limestone) once a month. To
accommodate the worshipers a small house was erected in the eastern
part of the village, in which meetings were held with such success that
in August, 1878, the mission' became a parish, having the Rev. Father
George as a resident priest. Fifty families at present constitute the
The original house of worship was much enlarged and improved in 1877,
and was consecrated anew in June 1878. It is a plain frame, with
annexes, and can seat 300 persons. In the fall of 1818 a very fine
priest's house was erected on the same lot, by the devoted members of
Limestone parish, and the entire property is valued at $2500.
THE LIMESTONE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
was formed June 19, 187'1, with the following members: C. M. Stone, C.
Johnson and wife, J. W. Fritts and wife, and Mrs. M. K. Todd. The Rev.
R. G. Williams, of Bradford, supplied the society with preaching until
the last Sunday in May 1878, the meetings being held semi-monthly in
Since June 1, 1878, the Rev. C. F. Goes has served here and at Tanport,
as pastor of the Presbyterian churches, his labors being attended with
encouraging results. The members of the Limestone church number 18, and
J. W. Fritts is their elder.
The first board of trustees, formed soon after the church, was composed
of C. M. Stone, W. H. Harper, and Fred Gerwick.
In July 1878, a Sunday school was organized by the church, which at
present has 40 members, and appears to be in a flourishing condition.
The services of the church are still held in Nichols' Hall.
A YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION
has recently been formed at Limestone, and under its direction a public
reading-room was opened, Dec. 2, 1878. A building on Pennsylvania
Avenue has been fitted up and supplied with a good collection of books
and periodicals. The project has been instituted and is carried forward
mainly by the Rev. Goss, Grames, and Prof C. W. Robinson, although the
citizens of the place manifest a commendable interest in the matter and
give it encouraging support.
Limestone Lodge, No. 780, F. A. M. - This flourishing lodge first held
its meetings under a dispensation granted in 1877, and in June, 1878,
it was duly chartered with 9 members. The initiations and additions
from other sources have increased the membership to 35, having the
following officers: Warren Dow, W. M.; H. V. Day, S. W.; F. H.
Robinson, J. W.; James Nichols, Treasurer; E. R. Schoonmaker,
Secretary; John A. Todd, S. D.; Guy O. Irvine, J. D.; E. E. Herrick, J.
H. Beardsley, Masters of Ceremonies; J. G. Drehmer, Tiler. The lodge
meets in an elegant hall in the Bell Block.
Tuna Lodge, No. 1217, K. of H., was instituted at Limestone, with 21
charter members, Sept. 19, 1878. The first officers were T. N. Cooper,
P. D.; H. G. Andrews, D.; C. M. Stone, V. D.; M. R. Wheelock, Ass't D.;
S. R. Vibbard, Rep.; M. H. Paxon, F. R.; E. M. Bell, Treas., J. W.
Fritts, Chap.; E. E. Hardy, G.; J. Greenwood, Guard; J. F. Bassett, Sen.
Limestone Lodge No. 177, A. O. U. W., was organized Oct. 18, 1878, with
57 members, and, as officers, F. H. Robinson, P. M. W.; J. H.
Beardsley, M. W.; J. G. Drehmer, G. F.; Lorenze Hill, 0.; S. L.
Vibbard, R.; C. M. Stone, F.; George Paton, Rec.; A. L. Metcalf, G; S.
Woodring, J. W.; E. S. Knapp, O. W. The meetings of both of the above
orders are held in Masonic Hall, and both are highly prosperous.
(Click on an photo
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Among the most prominent business men of Limestone, and those whose
industry made them successful in life, none deserve more credit than he
whose name heads this brief notice. He was a self-made man in every
sense of the term, and one whose influence was felt wherever he lived,
particularly in the community in which be passed the last eleven years
of his active business life.
Henry Renner was born in Mense, Germany, June
6, 1826. He emigrated to America about the year 1840, and, first
settled near Glenwood, Susquehanna Co., Pa., where he remained nine
years engaged in tanning, a trade which he learned in Germany. Among
other firms he worked eight years for Messrs. Schultz &; Eaton, of
Susquehanna County, and after coming to Limestone, in October, 1869, he
worked the years at his trade there. In 1873 he purchased the present
site of the Limestone House, and two years afterwards he erected the
present hotel thereon, which stands to-day a monument to his enterprise
and a credit to the village. .
On the 24th of December 1857, he was married
to Mrs. Juliana Bell, widow of Worthy Bell, a native of Susquehanna
County. The result of this union was much mutual happiness and one
daughter, Maud, who was born June 13,1860. After a useful and busy life
Mr. Renner died, April 19, 1878, respected by all who knew him, and
loved by a host of mends. He was a good practical business man, honest
and fair in all his dealings, and always sustaining a reputation for
integrity that was above reproach.
Mr. Renner held several offices in the town in
which he lived, and in all of them his official conduct "was actuated
by the same principles of honor that characterized his private business
Mr. Renner was a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, being in
good standing at the time of his death as a member of Olean Lodge, No.
253, and also of St. John's Commandery. He was interred with the
beautiful ceremonies of the Masonic order.
By her first husband Mrs. Renner had the children; two sons and one
daughter, of whom the latter is deceased. Her other sons, Edwin M., and
Maurice J. Ben, are extensively engaged in the mercantile and banking
business at Limestone, under the firm-name of Bell Brothers.
JAMES NICHOLS, M.D.
Cattaraugus County is noted for the number
and excellence of its
professional men. Nor are these confined to any particular locality,
but we find them in various parts of the county; one or more in every
village of any considerable size. The representative physician and
surgeon of Limestone and its surroundings is Dr. James Nichols, who has
practiced medicine in this county for about fifteen years with
James Nichols was born at Arcade, Wyoming Co., N.
Y., July 23,1825. He
was the oldest son of John and Sally Nichols, who came to Arcade in
1812, and were among its first as they were among its most respectable
settlers. He moved with his parents to Centreville, Allegany Co., N.
Y., in 1837. About that time his father met with financial misfortune,
losing his property, so that young Nichols was compelled to depend upon
his own labor for support and education. He went to Farmersville,
Cattaraugus Co., in 1844, and there taught the village school several
terms. He subsequently chose medicine as a profession, and engaged in
its study with E. S. Stewart, M.D., of that place, now of
Ellicottville, completing his medical education at the Buffalo Medical
College, from which institution he was honorably
graduated. On account of ill-health he did not immediately engage in
active practice, but moved to Carrolton in 1856, where he followed the
lumber business, and, through the arduous, muscular labor of that,
greatly improved his physical condition. He commenced the regular
practice of medicine in 1864, and has since been uninterruptedly
engaged therein. He is a member of the Cattaraugus County Medical
Society, of which he has been president, and also elected delegate to
the State Medical
On the 1st of March, 1852, he was united in
marriage with Mary Jane
Wade, the eldest daughter of Henry Wade, Esq. They have had four
children, namely: Henry James, born Aug. 26, 1856, died Sept. 19,1857;
Jennie M., born Jan. 19, 1858; H. James, born Sept. 16, 1859; John B.,
born Jan. 1, 1861. Dr. Nichols was twice elected a member
of the board of supervisors for
Farmersville, and nine times to the same position in the town of
Carrolton. He was a war Democrat, and was appointed upon the Senatorial
Committee by Gov. Morgan, and assisted in raising and organizing the
113th and 154th Regiments of New York Volunteers. His political record
has been a peculiarly honest one. Actuated always by the same
principles of integrity that characterize his private business, he
succeeded in fulfilling the duties of the various offices to which he
has been elevated with a remarkable fidelity.
He is at present a member of the firm of
Nichols &; Paton,
druggists, of Limestone, and besides attending to his extensive medical
practice, finds time to attend the requirements of his business. He has
been almost a constant member of and at different times president of
the board of education of Limestone Union Free School, and was largely
instrumental in procuring the organization of that and also of the
Limestone Academy. The doctor became a member of Union Lodge, No. 334,
F. A. M., Bradford, Pa., about sixteen years ago. He withdrew from that
lodge in March 1878, and was one of the charter member of Limestone
Lodge, No. 780. He is now a member of Olean Chapter, No. 150, and of
St. John's Commandery, K. T., No. 24.
was born in County Mayo, Ireland, about the year
1835. He emigrated. to
America in 1850, and settled in Dunkirk, where be remained for about
fifteen years. In 1865 he removed to Carrolton, where he embarked in
the mercantile business. He continued in that for about two years, with
fair success. In 1870 he erected the Junction Hotel, to fill a want
long felt by the traveling public, as there was no good public
stopping-place at Carrolton before. He has done well, and made a
financial success of the enterprise.
In 1868 he was appointed. Postmaster at
Carrolton, and has
retained the office ever since.
He was in the 68th Regiment of New York National Guards, which
was called out to do duty during the, rebellion, being stationed near
Harrisburg, Pa., during an emergency. He is a consistent
On New Year's Day, 1862, he was united in
marriage with Margaret,
daughter of John T. Tyrrell, Esq., a prominent Irish citizen of
Buffalo, a man noted for athletic strength and a fondness for manly
sports. Mrs. Boyle was born near St. Catharine's, Canada, April 5,
1852. They have had eight children, namely: John J., Edward D., Nellie
May, Kittie Maud (deceased), Grace C. (deceased), Charles Peter, Mary
Maud, and William P. Boyle.
Mr. and Mrs. Boyle are consistent and earnest members of the Roman
Catholic Church, and attend the same as regularly as services are held
at Carrolton, and frequently at Dunkirk.
Peter Boyle is now proprietor of the Junction
Hotel, in connection with
which he has a restaurant, billiard-room, and livery stable. In
addition to his regular business he farms quite extensively. He is an
intelligent and practical businessman, enjoying a good reputation for
honesty and fair dealing. A fine illustration of his hotel and
surroundings, with portraits of himself and wife, can be seen in
another part of this volume.
PETER BOYLE of
Residence of PETER BOYLE -
opposite the Erie Depot, Carrollton