This town was erected from
the old town of Perry (now Perrysburg), April 10, 1818. It was
made to embrace all that part of the county lying south o the fifth
tier of townships and west of the sixth range, its eastern boundary
being the west transit line. Twelve townships of the Holland
Company's survey were thus included, and from which Connewango and
Napoli were taken off Jan. 20, 1823; Mansfield and New Albion, Feb. 23,
1830; and Salamanca, Nov. 19, 1864, reducing the original town to the
north three-fourths of township 3, range 7, having an area of 18,968
The surface partakes of the nature of the interior
part of the county, and is mainly a hilly upland, or ridges, divided by
a deep valley extending in a general southerly direction. This
valley is smaller than one which divides the hills father to the east,
and from this circumstance received its name, which, subsequently, was
applied to the town. The valley is from one to two miles wide,
very beautiful, and remarkably fertile. There are also a few
smaller valleys, from which the hills rise to a height of from 500 to
600 feet above the creek. The were originally crowned to the
summits by forests of hemlocks and deciduous trees, most of which have
been converted into lumber. Many of the hills are tillable, and
most of them afford good grazing.
On lot 77 the summit of the hills is comparatively
level and covered by a peculiar rock formation, which has not inaptly
been termed the "Rock City." This city of stones covers an area
of nearly 100 acres, elevated about 2000 feet above tide-water and
several hundred feet above the general level of the valley, and is
truly a natural curiosity. The rocks, belonging to the Catskill
conglomeration, are arranged in large masses, resembling elevated
squares, or stand upright in rows, with large fissures between them,
like streets and alleys in a city. Very often these streets cross
each other at right angles or suddenly terminate against the sides of
perpendicular rocks from 20 to 30 feet high. These huge masses
are composed of white pebbles conglutinated together, and the
passage-ways have been caused by the disintegrating agencies of time,
which have wasted away the softer parts of the rocks, leaving the
harder portions standing. On some of them the seeds of trees took
root, and, railing to find the proper nourishment on the rocks, sent
out rootlets over their sides, intertwining them and adding to the
picturesqueness of the scene. Some of the rocks yet support these
forest giants, but in most instances they have yielded to the elements,
and in their fall added to the fantasy of the place, which, by all
these agencies, has been made imposing and impressive.
The soil on the hills is somewhat clayey, but on the
lowlands is a gravelly loam, deep and fertile, yielding rich
returns of the various grains and grasses.
Little Valley Creek and its tributary brooks, all
draining towards the south, are the streams of the town, and afford a
PIONEER SETTLERS AND LANDHOLDERS
All accounts agree in placing the settlement of the
present town as early as 1807. That year John Green, Benjamin
Chamberlain, and probably one or two others, took up some land in the
valley of the creek, but left before they had made any notable
improvements. Luther Stewart, Wm. Gillmore, Alpheus Bascom, and
David Powers came shortly after, and also made slight improvements, the
latter building a small saw-mill. Some time during the war of
1812 these settlers left, not so much from a fear of the enemy as from
the probability that the war would retard settlement so much that the
country would yet for many years remain a comparative wilderness.
It appears, however, that such was not the case. A few years
after the peace was declared, in 1819, the following were among the
landowners in the present town: James Green, lot9; George Bennett,
lot12; Stephen Lampman, lot 21; David Chase, lot 21; Benjamin Winship,
lot 21; Stephen Crosby, lot 22; Royal Tefft, lot22; Amos Stewart, lot
22; Enoch Chase, lot 23; Noah Culver, lot 24; David Gregory, lot 40;
and John Rainhard, lot 53.
Four years later, lot 11 had some improvements mad
by Lyman Chase and Samuel Lyon; James Stratton and George Hill lived on
lot 12; Alvin Chase and Abba Phillips on lot 13; Lyman Lee, on lot 22,
on the Tefft place; David Ball, on lot 23; Guilson Morgan, on lot 24;
Daniel and Simeon Smead, on lot 40; William A. and Noah Hopkins, on lot
41; and David Hopkins, on lot 65. The Hopkins brothers, David
Ball, Royal Tefft, and a few others of the foregoing removed
early. Some of the more prominent pioneers are briefly sketched
It is stated, on good authority, that Stephen Crosby
was the first permanent settler. He was a native of Putnam
County, but removed to Cazenovia, and came from there to Cattaraugus
County immediately after the war of 1812, in which he served, although
but a boy. After living in Franklinville a short time, he came to
Little Valley in 1816, having no neighbors nearer than
Ellicottville. Mr. Crosby held many important town offices, and
in 1823 was elected the first assemblyman from this part of the
county. He lived on lot 22, on the present Truman Winship place,
many years, but in the latter part of his life resided in Mansfield,
where he died Aug. 30, 1869. A daughter, Zillah, was born in
1819, and married Nathan Crosby, also and early settler, still living
in that neighborhood.
David Chase, a native of Massachusetts, came to the
town in 1817, and settled on lot 21, on the place now occupied by
Nathaniel Bryant. A son-in-law of Chas. Bryant came to the county
in 1817, but lived in Ellicottville many years before removing to this
Among Chase's sons was Alvin, who died on the old
Culver place in 1874. Abba Phillips was a son-in-law, and
emigrated to Iowa. Gaius Whiston, another son-in-law, was an
early settler on lot 21. The home is now occupied by his son
Norman, a well-known citizen of the town and county.
Enoch Chase came at a very early day, and opened
what is now known as the Coleman farm, when that locality was an entire
wilderness; here he died in 1825. His sons were Enoch, Lyman, and
twin sons Kimball and Johnson.
In 1819, Henry Chase came to the town and began
clearing up a farm on lot 23. He died in town, aged eighty-four
years. One of his sons, Abner, followed from Saratoga County in
1825, and is yet a resident of the town, having attained the rare age
of ninety years.
Lyman Lee, a native of Massachusetts, visited the
town in 1821, but did not bring on his family until the following
year. Mrs. Lee brought some apple-seeds with her from
Connecticut, which she planted on the place where they first lived,
near the cheese-factory; and the trees from this source supplied the
first orchards in the town.
In 1827, Mr. Lee put up a frame house without the
use of liquor, - a marvellous feat in those times, - which has always
been occupied by the family, and in which E.N. Lee, a prominent
merchant of the town, was born.
Benjamin Winship, a soldier of 1812, on lot 21, was
one of the early pioneers. The homestead is now occupied by a
son, Isaac. Other sons were Nathan, Joseph, Benjamin, and Truman.
About 1823, Noah Culver came from Chautauqua County,
and opened a place on lot 24, - the present Jonathan Wheat place.
He had sons named Noah, Eliphalet, and Lyman, who were well known among
the early settlers. Simeon Smead lived on lot 30, where the Owen
place now is, about 1820, and was one of the most prominent ment of
that day in town. A brother, Daniel, lived in the same locality,
and both removed to Burlington, Ia., many years ago.
James Stratton was an early settler on lot 12, and
lived in town to the advanced age of ninety years. Leander,
Lorenzo, and Zebulon, were his sons. Lorenzo afterwards occupied
the homestead, and about 1853 commenced to domesticate the American
elk. He inclosed a tract of mountain land with a high fence, and
had at one time 23 of these animals so tame that they could be readily
approached. He sold a pair for $1000 to a citizen of Canada, who
presented them to Queen Victoria; and others were sold to the king of
Italy. Mr. Stratton removed to Tennessee, where he is said to be
the sole proprietor of an entire valley.
Other settlers about this period were Asaph Hyde, on
lot 30, and Zuma Doolittle, on lot 40, and the Stark and Thomson
families, honored and well-known members of which yet remain in town.
In the northwestern part of the town Asa and Lewis
Sweetland, from Genesee County, located about 1830, and, as that
section was then sparsely settled, suffered many hardships. Both
men were poor, and had no means of obtaining a subsistence except by
making "black salts," which they carried to Ellicottville and sold at
20 shillings a hundred. With this money they could purchase flour
at Silver Lake at $12 per barrel. They often worked all day
chopping for four pounds of pork or half a bushel of potatoes.
Both these pioneers yet reside in that part of the town. Among
their early neighbors were Jeremiah Maybee, Levi Godding, and Levi
Stevens. Where the village now is, lived, among other early
settlers, John Hickey and Benjamin Fuller; and south, Alfred Ayers,
James Puddy, Samuel Owen, Dimmick Marsh, and William Fisher. In
1837 there were 57 houses in the town, valued at from $10 to
$500. The latter was the assessed value of Dr. Alson
Leavenworth's residence, on lot 64. This was a brick house, and
the first of this material in town. The population in 1860 was
1206, and in 1875 but 1147.
MEMORANDA OF EARLY EVENTS.
Daniel Smead built the first frame house, about
1820, on lot 30. About the same time Stephen Crosby erected the
first frame barn, on the place now belonging to E.N. Lee.
In Stephen Crosby's family also occurred the first
birth, March 6, 1817, - a daughter, who was named Orril. She is
at present the wife of Silas Choate, of Hillsdale, Mich.
In 1825, Enoch Chase departed this life, and was
buried in what afterwards became the town cemetery, near E.N.
Lee's. Probably he was the first adult to die in town.
Among the early marriages are mentioned those of
Gaius Wheaton and Relief Chase, and Benjamin Winship and Hannah Sanders.
Luther Doolittle and Benjamin Johnson were pioneer
innkeepers, the latter keeping at a place where the Coleman farm now
is; and Alfred Ayers kept the first store below the village, all before
The act of the Legislature of April 10, 1818,
organizing the new town, provided that the first meeting should be held
at the dwelling-house of Jared Benedict, on the first Tuesday of March
next. But the records of this meeting, and those of the meetings
up to 1823, cannot be found. On the 4th of March, 1823, the
meeting was held at the house of Enoch Chase, and the following
officers elected: Supervisor, Simeon Smead; Town Clerk, Guilson Morgan;
Assessors, Jonathan Kinnicutt, Aaron Razey, Benjamin Winship;
Collector, Nathaniel Fish; Commissioners of Highways, Gaius Wheaton,
John A. Kinnicutt, Amos Morgan; Constables, Nathaniel Fish, Lyman Lee,
Noah Hopkins; Overseers of the Poor, David Chase, Benjamin Chamberlain;
Commissioners of Common Schools, Aaron Razey, Guilson Morgan, Simeon
Smead; Inspectors of Schools, John A. Kinnicutt, Wm. A. Hopkins, Gaius
Since 1823 the principal officers of the town have
||Cyrus S. Shepard
|Converse H. Chase
|Nathan C. Brown
||Horace S. Huntley
|Almon P. Russell
|Joseph H. Green
|Joseph F. Thompson
||Horace S. Huntley
||Stephen C. Green
|Sidney S. Marsh
||Stephen C. Green
|Joseph F. Thompson
|Enos C. Brooks
|Wm. W. Welch
||Wm. W. Welch
|Lewis A. McMillan
|Justices of the Peace
| Stephen Crosby
|John A. Kinnicut
| Dimmick Marsh
| Asa Sweetland
| Horatio Dix
| Dimmick Marsh
| John Boardman
| Horatio Dix
| David Hathaway
| Eliphalet Culver
| Dimmick Marsh
| Nathan Crosby
| Harvey Eldridge
| Eliphalet Culver
| Dimmick Marsh
|Edwin O. Locke
| Nathan Boutelle
| Thomas L. Newton
|1846 Dimmick Marsh
|1847 Harvey Eldridge
| Lyman S. Pratt
| Edwin O. Locke
|Thomas L. Newton
| Dimmick Marsh
| H.C. Gaylord
| Stephen C. Green
|Alonzo L. Ames
| Wm. P. Crawford
| Thomas L. Newton
| A.L. Ames
| Fuller Bucklin
| Elisha Puddy
| Henry Hoyt
| Horace S. Huntley
| Alvin P. Russell
| George Town
| Henry Hoyt
| H.V.R. McKay
| Nathan Crosby
| Fuller Bucklin
|Alonzo L. Ames
| Henry Hoyt
| Elisha Puddy
| E.A. Wheat
| F. Bucklin
| Isaac Winship
| Elisha Puddy
| M.N. Pratt
| James Morris
| Isaac Winship
| John Travis
| Willard Gould
| M.N. Pratt
| Vedder C. Reynolds
were held April 2, 1864; Aug. 29, 1864; and Feb. 9, 1865, to vote aid
to the Government in suppressing the Rebellion. At the latter
meeting a bounty of $400 for each volunteer from town was voted, and
E.S. McMillan, J.C. Peabody, and E. Puddy appointed a disbursing
committee, with discretionary power to fill the quota under the
President's call for troops.
On the 26th of May, 1865, $10,000 was voted by the
town to secure the erection of the county buildings at Little Valley,
and a fund of $30,000 guaranteed to the supervisors, if they should
decide to locate at that point.
Nov. 30, 1866, $5000 more was voted by the town to
swell the fund to the required amount, and thus secured the county-seat.
LITTLE VALLEY MANUFACTORIES.
David Powers is credited with building the first
saw- and grist-mills on Little Valley Creek as early as 1810, but no
exact information can be obtained. On the same stream Alvin Chase
and brother had a saw-mill at a much later period. Here is now a
good mill operated by Jonathan Thompson. Other mills were
formerly operated on the different streams of the town, but all have
been abandoned, except a few here named.
In 1868, O. and A. Brown erected a steam saw-mill at
Little Valley, which was demolished by an explosion in 1872. It
was rebuilt on a larger scale, but on the 5th of June, 1875, the boiler
again exploded, killing David Brown (at that time one of the
proprietors), James H. Wiest, the fireman, and a four-year-old son of
Below this point, Horace Howe erected a very fine
grist-mill, having five run of stones and containing first-class
machinery. The mill could not be operated advantageously here,
and was removed to Persia by Silas Vinton in 1873, where it is now
operated as the "Hidi Mills."
Nearly opposite from where the Howe mill stood,
William Adye put up in 1869 an establishment for grinding feed, the
manufacture of barrels, and planning lumber. The motor is a 16
horse-power engine. Oscar Ayde is the present proprietor.
The Little Valley saw- and grist-mills are operated
by steam and water-power furnished by the main stream above the
village. They were built, in 1870, on the site of an old saw-mill
by J.H. Mack. The lumber-mill contains also planning and matching
machines. Near this place is a cheese-box factory and cooperage
by J.F. Mack
of the town are yearly receiving greater attention. The product
is principally cheese, although a large quantity of butter is made
annually from the milk of the cows belonging to private dairies.
The Little Valley Cheese-Factory, a mile and a half
below the village, was erected by D.P. Bensley in 1867. It is a
three-story frame, 35 by 75 feet, and is supplied with good
machinery. Since 1875, J.M. Osborne has operated the factory,
which has 25 patrons. 10,000 pounds of milk are used daily in the
manufacture of 17 sixty-pound full cream-cheeses.
The Larabee Creamery and Cheese-Factory, in the
western part of the town, was built by E.C. Brooks in April,
1871. It is a well-appointed building, 32 by 75 feet, in a good
neighborhood. For the past few years A.L. Larabee has been the
proprietor and operator, and manufactures large quantities of butter
and half-skim cheese.
The Little Valley Creamery was established in the
spring of 1877, by J.H. Mack, near the village. The factory is 30
by 100 feet, and is abundantly supplied with pure spring-water, but
employs steam as the motive-power. 5000 pounds of milk, furnished
by 17 patrons, are worked up daily by a process employed by Mr. Mack
only in this part of the State. The milk is allowed to sour
several days before churning, and is kept at a certain temperature by
means of steam-pipes or ice-water, when it yields a larger amount of
superior butter, whose keeping qualities far surpass butter made by the
old methods. The factory is supplied with good machinery, and is
LITTLE VALLEY CENTRE.
This is a small hamlet, a little south of the centre
of the town, with a Free-Will Baptist Church, a school-house, and half
a dozen buildings. In early times it was a place of more
consequence than at present, and had a store kept by David Chase.
Afterwards Warren Weatherby and Edward S. Bryant were here
store-keepers. A tavern was also kept a short time by Dr.
Stillman Chase, who united the practice of medicine with this business
to some extent. At later periods, Doctors Irish, French, and
Miner were practitioners in the hamlet, which is now simply a farming
THE VILLAGE OF LITTLE VALLEY
is a station on the Erie Railroad, near the northwestern part of the
town, about eight miles from Salamanca. It is pleasantly located
on a level piece of ground, environed by high hills, which give the
surroundings a picturesque appearance, and constitute this one of the
most attractive places in the county. There was but a small
settlement here before the railroad. In 1851, Horace Howe first
platted some village lots on the small creek, where the first
business-houses were erected. The same year Cyrus S. Shepard
platted an addition on the east, extending down the valley; and, in
1867, John Manley platted 150 acres in the western part of the village,
on which were located the county building the same year. From
this time on the place has had a certain growth, and attained whatever
importance now attaches to it. There are at present about 600
inhabitants, three churches, a number of public buildings and
business-houses, where an active trade is carried on. The first
store in the town was kept about a mile below the village by Alfred
Ayers. He occupied a small building which stood near the
railroad-crossing in that locality. Shepard & Smead followed
in business, and later the former alone was very extensively engaged in
trade, combining real-estate speculation and stock-dealing with general
merchandising. His business had assumed such extensive
proportions that nearly every one in the valley suffered from his
failure in 1852.
At the old Shepard stand L.L. Coleman and S.C. Green
were also in trade, and the place was last occupied for this purpose by
Weatherby & Brown.
Horace Howe opened the first store in the village
some time after 1850, in what is now known as the Densmore
building. His business was extensive and embraced many kinds of
traffic; opposite the store he erected a palatial mansion, which was
reputed the finest in the county. Like Shepard, Howe met with
reverses, and his failure seriously affected the prosperity of the
place. The residence was destroyed by fire. S.S. Marsh,
S.C. Green, J.S. Peabody, Chase & Bucklin, and S.B. Densmore
followed as principal merchants. Among those at present most
active in trade are E.N. Lee, R.H. Butterfield, S.A. Tuttle, and J.H.
Benjamin Fuller put up one of the first taverns in
the place, on the site of the "Rock City Hotel." This was
afterwards known as the Howe tavern, and was kept, among others, by
John Hickey. The latter afterwards built a tavern near the
railroad, which he kept many years, but which is now a residence.
The Howe tavern was burned, and the present house was built about 1866,
by J. Gano.
The "Palace Hotel" was built in 1876, by Henry Dow,
and soon after became the property of S.C. Green, who very successfully
conducted it until the spring of 1878, since when F.K. Alvord has been
the landlord. It is a large three-story building with
accommodations for 75 guests, and its appointments and conduct reflect
credit on the place.
A banking office was opened
in the place by S.S.
Marsh, in 1868. It became a bank of deposit and exchange, and
suspended in February, 1875.
The Cattaraugus Republican, a weekly journal of
influence and large circulation, was removed to Little Valley from
Ellicottville in 1868, and is the first newspaper published at this
It is believed that Dr. A.B. Wilder, a native of
Vermont, was the first settled physician in town. He died at
Little Valley Centre.
Dr. Daniel Bucklin, from Wallingford, Vt., came in
1839, and began a practice which has been continued nearly ever
since. He is a resident of Little Valley, and has a contemporary
in Dr. Lyman Twomley, from New Hampshire, who has here followed his
profession since 1852. Doctors C.Z. Fisher and S.S. Bedient are
also in practice; and Doctors Powers, Davis, Baker, and Satterlee,
formerly followed the healing art in town.
Simeon Smead sometimes acted as a counsel in early
days, although not a regular lawyer. E.A. Anderson, who came
about 1869, was one of the first accredited attorneys. Joseph R.
Jewell was in the village from 1868 to 1872; Frank S. Smith, since
1871; Charles Z. Lincoln, since 1874; E.A. Nash, since 1876; and Samuel
Dunham, since 1877, have been the practicing attorneys in Little Valley.
From all accounts, a post-office was kept at the
house of Stephen Crosby, some time before 1830. In 1833, Cyrus S.
Shepard held the appointment, and the accrued postage that year was
reported as $32.80. Subsequent postmasters have been Dimmick
Marsh, Fuller Bucklin, John Fitch, Lydia Gaylord, Addie Fuller, and the
present incumbent, Miss J. Woodward. The office enjoys good mail
facilities, supplying the service for Napoli, and on the 5th of July,
1873, became a postal money-order office.
The Little Valley Cornet Band is a flourishing
organization, having a dozen members, under the leadership of James
Brown, which furnishes music for public gatherings and special
The village was incorporated May 9, 1876, with
bounds embracing 640 acres, situated partly on lots 40, 41, 52, and 53
of the Holland Company's survey. The election was held at "Rock
City Hotel," and of the 69 votes polled, 64 were in favor of the
The first board of village officers was elected May
27, 1876, and was composed as follows: President, Stephen C. Green;
Clerk, John Manley; Trustees, Augustus Hover, Almon Brown, Zina Dudley;
Treasurer, Samuel Merrick; Collector, Caleb W. Barton; Police
Constable, Lewis Sprague; Street Commissioner, Amos H. Bedient.
In 1877, Samuel Merrick was the president, and Dell
Tuttle the clerk of the board; and in 1878, the same clerk, and W.W.
Since the village has been incorporated, its
appearance has been materially improved and beautified.
THE LITTLE VALLEY WATER COMPANY
was organized in 1872, with a capital stock of 44 shares, of $25
each. The first board of managers was composed of A.W. Ferrin,
President; W.W. Welsh, Secretary and Treasurer; and S.B. Densmore,
The water supply is obtained from the mains at the
county buildings, which lead from an excellent spring a mile distant,
and is abundant and of a good quality. About half a mile of pipes
in the village are controlled by the company, which furnishes the water
at a moderate cost to the inhabitants.
THE CATTARAUGUS COUNTY AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY
began holding its meetings in the village in 1856. It first owned
a lot of ten acres near Asa Sweetland's. In 1870, a more spacious
piece of ground was secured on the Little Valley Creek, in the upper
part of the village, and improved for fair purposes. The first
meetings of the society here were very successful, but latterly have
been attended with abated interest. For the past few years the
fairs have been held at Randolph.
THE COUNTY BUILDINGS.
In 1867 the erection of the Cattaraugus County
court-house and jail was begun on a five-acre lot, donated for this
purpose by John Manley, in his addition to the village of Little
Valley. The buildings are after plans prepared by H.M. White,
architect, of Syracuse, and were completed in the spring of 1868.
The county offices were opened May 21, and the first term of court held
the latter part of the same month.
The court-house is 56 feet wide and 82 feet long,
built of brick, and covered with figured slate. The lower story
is 13 feet high, and contains the county offices, which are provided
with fire-proof vaults and rendered secure in other ways against the
destroying element. The upper story is 20 feet high, and contains
the court-room and its adjunct offices. The building has a
handsome tower in front 100 feet high, which is surmounted by a figure
of the American eagle. The style of architecture is attractive,
making the building a conspicuous object in the valley. The jail
also built of brick, is in the rear of the court-house, has ample room,
and well serves its intended purpose.
The cost of the buildings was $33,000, $18,000 of
which were appropriated by the towns of Little Valley and Napoli, the
balance was contributed by individuals. Among the most liberal
donors were Hon. John Manley, Judge Chamberlain, Ezra Eames, and Dr.
Little Valley Lodge, No. 377, I.O. of O.F., was
instituted Aug. 15, 1848, on the petition of C.S. Shepard, Abner Chase,
Horace Howe, D.H. Geron, and Luther Peabody. Abner Chase was
installed the first N.G. In 1850 the number of the lodge was
changed to 120, by which it was recognized until its
discontinuance. At that time and until 1852, the meetings were
held in a hall which belonged to Horace Howe, being the building now
used by McGuire as a saloon. Howe withdrew from the order and
subsequently forcibly ejected the lodge, destroying its property and
proceeding to other extreme acts, which created intense excitement and
much bitter feeling. C.S. Shepard immediately built a new hall on
the opposite side of the creek, which has generally been known as
"Masonic Hall," in which the lodge met until 1854, when owing to the
demoralizing agencies at work among its members, it disbanded, and the
order has since been without a lodge in the place.
Cattaraugus Lodge, No. 239, F. and A.M., was
instituted in January, 1851, and found a home in the old Howe
Hall. Later, the meetings were held in the Shepard Hall,
afterwards especially set aside for its use. For many years it
flourished here, but was removed to Salamanca in 1875.
Little Valley Lodge, No. 47, A.O.U.W., was organized
Dec. 29, 1876, with about 20 members and the following officers: A.
Hover, P.M.W.; C.Z. Lincoln, M.W.; S.B. Densmore, G.F.; Emery
Sweetland, R.; D.F. Rundell, F.; C.L. Sprague, R. The present
membership is 36, having as officers C.Z. Lincoln, P.M.W.; M.N. Pratt,
M.W.; A.C. Merrick, G.F.; S.B. Densmore, R.; D.F. Rundell, F.; C.L.
Sprague, R. The meetings of the lodge are held semi-monthly in
THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
of the town are taught in comfortable buildings, and are usually well
attended. The school at the centre was the first organized.
Wheelock Chase was an early teacher in winter, and Mary Marsh and Axie
Fay of summer schools, at this point. The present is the second
house that occupies the site. In 1828 the town was divided into
districts, and liberal appropriations made for the support of schools.
In 1853 the school building in district No.3, which
includes the village of Little Valley, was erected. It is an
attractive, roomy structure, and contained, since 1869, two
schools. In December, 1877, the district was organized under the
general act of 1864 into
A UNION FREE SCHOOL.
Willard Gould, Cyrus A. Fuller, Charles Z. Lincoln,
Wm. W. Henry, and Stephen C. Green were chosen trustees of the Board of
Education, which organized by choosing Willard Gould president, and
Charles Z. Lincoln clerk. George E. Town is the present principal
of the school, which has an attendance of 120 pupils. The town is
divided into six schoold districts, containing six school buildings,
valued at $3575, with 175 volumes in library, valued at $150.
There are seven teachers employed, to whom was paid $1721.85.
Number of children of school age, 341; average daily attendance, 172
663/1000. Amount of public money received from State,
$858.63. Amount of money received from tax, $1031.55.
The Free-Will Baptists are credited with organizing
the first church society in town, Oct. 8, 1826, although it does not
appear that a legal organization was effected until June 15,
1839. The trustees then elected were Lyman Lee, Abner Chase,
Samuel Owen, Lyman Culver, Benjamin Winship, Cyrus W. Fuller, and Cyrus
A small meeting-house was built about a mile below
the village, in which worship was held by Elder R.M. Cary and others a
number of years, when the house was removed to the centre of the
town. Here its use for church purposes was continued at irregular
periods until the society became so weak that the meetings could no
longer be kept up. The house is still used for occasional
services by different denominations, but the original society has long
since disbanded, leaving no records from which to compile a complete
In the old town of Little Valley:
THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
was the first incorporated. A meeting for this purpose was held
Dec. 5, 1823, over which Levi Dow and Wm. A. Hopkins presided.
Benjamin Chamberlain, Smith Waterman, John A. Kinnicutt, Wm. Kendall,
Jonathan Kinnicutt, and Jeremiah Maybee were elected trustees, but we
have no knowledge that anything was accomplished by the
organization. Services were held at stated times by the
itinerants of the circuits formed in the western part of the county, in
school-houses, and at the homes of the members in the northern part of
the present town and the southern part of New Albion. In 1852,
Randolph Ciruit supplied this section, having as preachers in charge
Revs. A. Burgess and N.W. Jones. A class had been formed in the
Sweetland neighborhood several years before, which was now to form the
nucleus of the church at the village. Among the chief members
were the Sweetlands, Thompsons, Giddings, Taggarts, and others, to the
number of a score. On the 20th of August, 1858, this class was
legally incorporated at a meeting held at Odd-Fellow' Hall, and L.M.
Bottsford, L.H. Wilson, Asa Sweetland, S.C. Green, and Jonathan
Thompson chosen as trustees of the new body. In 1859 a frame
meeting-house was erected by the society in the village of Little
Valley, which was dedicated November 19, by Bishops Simpson and
Ames. In this house worship was held in connection with other
appointment in the adjoining town, which resulted in an encouraging
increase of membership. The winter of 1877 was made especially
notable by a revival whereby 41 persons were added to the church under
the ministrations of the Rev. James P. Mills. The membership is
at present 100.
In the summer of 1878 the meeting-house was
enlarged, and handsomely remodelled at a cost of $1650, under the
direction of S.C. Green, W.W. Henry, and Willard Gould as a building
committee, and was rededicated Aug. 1, 1878, by Bishop R.S. Foster,
assisted by Prof. Bowne, of the Boston University. It is now one
of the handsomest church edifices in the county, and will comfortably
seat 300 persons. In the rear of the main structure is a chapel,
which will seat 75 persons more. The estimated value is
$3500. The parsonage, erected in 1866, and repaired in 1878, is a
very comfortable home, reported worth $1500.
Since 1852 the following have been among the clergy
of the Methodist Church at this point: Revs. W. Chesbrough, D.C.
Osborne, T.D. Blinn, S.L. Mead, J. Robinson, T. Warner, J. Akers, F.W.
Smith, A. Barras, E.A. Anderson, W.W. Case, E.B. Cummings, R.W. Scot,
Peter Burroughs, E. Brown, W.B. Holt, and, in 1878, J.P. Mills.
A well-attended Sunday-school is maintained by the
church, which is superintended by the pastor.
THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF LITTLE VALLEY
was organized Dec. 3, 1840, at the house of C.S. Shepard, and was
constituted of 17 persons. William Hall and Ira Gaylord prepared
the articles of faith, and the Rev. Reuben Willoughby was the first
pastor, maintaining that relation many years. On the 22d of
October, 1842, Ephraim Hall and Harrison Fisher were elected the
deacons of the church, and the same year Hiram Eldridge was sent as the
first delegate to association meeting. For the first four or five
years the church flourished, followed by a season of declining
interest. The Revs. Mead, Holmes, and Leonard served short
pastorates without materially increasing the prosperity of the
society. Feb. 14, 1852, the Rev. Chalon Burgess was called to the
spiritual leadership of the lingering body, and at once made vigorous
efforts to revive the work, beginning, among other measures, the
building of a church edifice, which was completed in 1853, at a cost of
$2500. November 6 the following year the "First Congregational
Society of Little Valley" was formed, electing as trustees Cyrus W.
Fuller, Lyman Twomley, William R. Crawford, Horace Howe, and Washington
D. Burgess; and for a period the church was again highly
prosperous. Mr. Burgess severed his pastoral connection April 1,
1861, and for the next eight years the pulpit was supplied by Revs.
Newcomb and Lowing, and by Deacon Wheeler Beardsley. This lack of
pastoral care, and other circumstances, enfeebled the church so much
that services were discontinued; and the house was occupied
occasionally by the United Brethren and Protestant Methodists, who held
services without organized societies.
In 1870, the church was again reopened by the
Congregationalists, who greatly improved the house, and again
consecrated it to divine service, March 19, 1871. In April
following, the Rev. Charles L. Mitchell was invited to become the
pastor, and was installed June 28, 1871. He remained until
August, 1873, and was followed by a short pastorate by the Rev. Henry
Beard, and since July 28, 1874, by the Rev. J.D. Stewart. The
interest has been successfully revived, and from a membership of 28, in
1874, there has been an increase to 100, as the present
membership. Regular services are maintained in the church at the
Little Valley and at Dublin, an out-station of the church. The
church was renovated and modernized in 1878 and is now in every respect
an attractive place of worship. Since its reorganization, James
Chapman, B.B. Weber, and J. Wesley Sweetland have been elected deacons
of the church. A Sunday-school was opened during Mr. Burgess'
pastorate, but was discontinued while the services of the church were
suspended. It was successfully re-established in 1871, and is now
very prosperous. The church also maintains three Sunday-schools
in the country surrounding the village, having an aggregate membership
THE ST. MARY'S ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH OF LITTLE VALLEY
was erected in 1874, under the direction of the Rev. John Byron, the
priest of the parish of Salamanca, of which this church forms a
part. The house is 24 by 40, and cost $1600. Services are
held once a month, which are regularly attended by eight
families. Father Byron is yet the spiritual leader of the church.
THE LITTLE VALLEY RURAL CEMETERY ASSOCIATION
was formed Sept. 29, 1862, of 15 corporators and the following
trustees: David L. Tate, Cyrus A. Fuller, James Chapman, James S.
Beers, Asa Sweetland, George Hilsle, and Elisha J. Davis.
One and a half acres of ground at the village was
secured for burial purposes, and appropriately improved. The
present officers of the association are George Hilsle, President; James
Chapman, Treasurer; and S.C. Green, Secretary.
Herman Fisher was the first person interred in the
new cemetery, which now contains the graves of some of the pioneers of
BREVET-COL. HENRY V. FULLER*
HENRY V. FULLER
*Written by John Manley, the personal friend of young Fuller.
The war for the suppression of the Great Rebellion
against the Government and Union of the United States developed the
better and higher qualities of many men; others, lacking moral stamina,
or physical force, or intellectual strength, fell below the just
expectations of confiding communities, whose representatives they
were. War at the best is destructive to morals, material, and
wealth. It is also true that war promotes ambition, arouses the
loftiest impulses of patriotism, enlarges and quickens the capacity of
well-balanced men who become participants in its varying struggles,
reverses, and victories. The successive and rapid incidents of
the War for the Union too often proved that those earlier clothed with
authority were not equal to its demands; and, as events passed and
trials culminated, those proving unequal to command were, by the
inexorable law of events, obliged to give way. Others, developing
military tastes, culture, and capacity, by the same law were advanced
and promoted from subordinate to superior rank. Thus, many who
became leaders in the later period of the great conflict, and are now
recognized as the most distinguished commanders, were comparatively
unknown in its earlier days. As it was on the broader field, so
undoubtedly it was with the famous regiment with which the subject of
this notice cast his fortunes.
Henry Van Aernam Fuller, oldest son of Benjamin and
Ann Van Aernam Fuller, was born in the village of Little Valley,
February 16, 1841. He had two brothers and a sister.
Benjamin C. was a soldier in the 37th N.Y. V., now a clerk in the
Interior Department; and Nathan A., paying teller in the United States
House of Representatives during the 42d, 43d, 44th, and 45th
Congresses, serving Republican and Democratic Houses with fidelity in
this responsible position. His grandfather was the first settler
in Randolph; his father was among the earliest in Little Valley.
His father was widely known as energetic and honest; hard-working and
benevolent; kindly aiding others, he subdued forests and caused the
wilds to produce grain and fruit; and his mother is a lady of
intellectual strength, well read, and of dignified presence. She
is a sister of Hon. Henry Van Aernam, surgeon of the 154th N.Y.V., in
the war, and Representative in Congress.
Henry V. Fuller, Dec. 24, 1860, married Adelaide C.,
daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Lyman Twomley, of Little Valley. She was
a lady of culture and energy, and was postmaster several years.
On May 19, 1862, a son was born, Henry Twomley Fuller, of striking
resemblance to his father. He is now approaching manhood, and has
the noble example of a father's manly virtues, gallant deeds, and the
fame of one of the most heroic and brave defenders of his country's
liberties for an inheritance. At the head of his profession, the
doctor, a genius, unmanageable by adults, is easily subdued and always
yields willingly to the young scion.
At the age of seventeen young Fuller was so capable
and trustworthy that he was employed by Messrs. Bradley, Fay & Co.,
extensive lumber manufacturers, to "run the river," down the Allegany
and Ohio, to Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Louisville, taking charge of
the stock and making sales; and such was their confidence in his energy
and fidelity, that he continued with them until the beginning of the
war. Such was his bearing as a boy, his senior employer said of
him that, "Henry standing, walking, or speaking, exhibited the
qualities of superior manhood."
Young Fuller entered the army a private, Sept. 10,
1861, joining Company F, 64th Regiment, New York Volunteers.
Reaching its rendezvous, "Barracks No. 3," at Elmira, he was warranted
by the colonel "orderly-sergeant." At the election of
line-officers he was chosen second lieutenant and commissioned Dec.
10. After the baptism of fire at Fair Oaks he was promoted to
first lieutenant, for bravery in the field, July 23, 1862.
Passing through the Seven Days of the Peninsula, the Pope campaign,
Antietam, and Fredericksburg, for gallant and meritorious service he
was promoted captain, Dec. 30. In the following year
Chancellorsville was fought the 1st, 2d, and 3d of May. It was
followed by the greatest and hardest-fought battle of the war, the 1st,
2d, and 3d of July, 1863, at Gettysburg. There, on the second
day, Fuller, the hero, fell! "Dulce et decorum est pro patria
In front of "Little Round-Top" (where the struggle
was fierce and murderous at the close of the second day's conflict),
Captain Fuller's body was recovered on the morning of July 4. As
soon as the exigency at the front admitted, his remains were conveyed
to his old home. On the afternoon of the 18th July, the military
cortege, Captain Bird, 154th N.Y.V., commanding, Captains Palen,
Thorpe, Saxton, and Lieutenant Baillet, pall-bearers, halted in front
of "the little church where, under Heaven's cool air," the venerated
pastor, Rev. A. Barris, who had eighteen months before consecrated the
bans of youthful hope, now, in the presence of a large congregation,
invoking the Divine consolation in just, fervent, and impressive
language, pronounced the funeral rites for the honoured dead, - Matthew
xxvi. 39. The remains having been deposited in mother earth in
the rural cemetery, Prof. Samuel G. Love, who had been his tutor and a
warm admirer of the man, delivered an eloquent oration in honor of the
"He won our respect by his untiring zeal and energy
in his studies; our love, by many acts of kindness and consideration
freely bestowed upon his associates....At the outset of the war he set
about the task of determining his duty; a careful student of history,
he saw, to some extent at least, the purport and meaning of events;
Rebellion towering high above law and order, could he remain an
indifferent spectator?...Joining his regiment, with it in all its
battles, in camp he found relief in using the pen. He tells us of
his campaigns, the country over which he travels, of the army, its
generals and other officers. He discusses the great questions of
the day: thought, grand and significant, flowing as by the touch of a
master hand. Home, family, his company, his regiment, the army,
all pass in review before his vigilant, vigorous mind....On the fatal
field, the proud young form of Fuller in front of his shattered
company, his sword flashing on high, he shouted to the brave boys to
come on, then and there to win the victory, or surrender only in death!"
At the close of Prof. Love's address, military
honors were paid to the deceased.
Under authority of the laws of New York, 1865, the
first brevet honor conferred was by Gov. Fenton, that of
Brevet-Colonel, In Memoriam, for Capt. Henry V. Fuller.
In the summer of 1861, young Fuller was growing
desirous of joining the Union army. His brother was already at
the front. On the 7th of August, in a letter to the writer of
this memoir, he said, -
"Deeming it to be the duty of every young man, in
these days of his country's peril, to render her every help in his
power, and that the most effectual service which can be given is to
volunteer to fight her battles, I am resolved to join those already in
the field, and stand by them in this struggle for the constitution and
He and other school-fellows desired to join Capt.
Clark's company, the "Cattaraugus Guards," "because our brothers and
friends are there." Again, 28th of August, in reply to a friendly
letter, he continued: "I am very thankful to you for the
excellent advice it contains from a remembered friend. But the
edifice of our nationality is in flames ! We must not stand too
long in preparing ourselves to resist the scorching fire, else the
structure be consumed before we are ready for its rescue." Public
meetings were held in every hamlet to arouse public spirit. At
one held at the church in his native village, Prof. Love and others
addressed the meeting; but it was young Fuller's burning and eloquent
strains that electrified the assemblage, and caused other to follow him
by volunteering. In the mean time the 64th Regiment, New York
State Militia, had been tendered to the government, and was accepted as
part of the quota of New York, under the call of President Lincoln for
three hundred thousand men. It was designated the "64th Regiment,
New York Volunteers." On the organization of the Army of the
Potomac, the 5th New Hampshire, 81st Pennsylvania, 61st and 64th New
York Regiments constituted General O.O. Howard's 3d Brigade, of
Richardson's 1st Division, Sumner's 2d Corps. The "badge" of the
2d Corps was the 'trefoil," - red, white, and blue, for the 1st, 2d,
and 3d Divisions, respectively. The 64th honoured the red.
From Chickahominy River, two mile above Bottom's
Bridge, May 27, 1862, Lieut. Fuller, writing to a friend in Washington,
"I have to thank you for several papers received
this evening. We can occasionally get hold of newspapers.
Usually when a newsboy comes into camp the game is snatch-and-grab,
always after you have handed in the 'quarter a copy' for his Heralds,
Times, and Tribunes, which scatter like wind-shaken leaves!
Therefore you will understand there is meaning when I say, 'much
obliged for your favors.'....The present sanitary condition of the
regiment is 'tip-top.'....Here, now, where we are encamped is a Union
man, - looks like one, appears like one, and has managed to keep
himself and two boys out of the rebel army, - but our Union troops are
running, swarming on him like an army of locusts. His grain is
trampled into the ground; rye headed, that stood up to a man's chin;
wheat, corn - all his crops - are destroyed. There will not be a
rail left on his farm, save where they are covered with mud in the
corduroy roads. His timber is all slashed down; everything shows
the presence of an invading host: the old fellow looks on like
'The aged earth aghast, With terror of that blast.' Well,
now, matters should be made straight between this old man and Uncle
With what a graphic pen he described the destructive
work of an army, - in its most quiet methods, - even with
non-combatants. He continues:
"While I have been writing some news has reached
camp in regard to the fight. Apparently all is well, for there is
a continual storm of cheering, and the appearance of the camp is equal
to a Fourth of July illumination; more than five thousand candles are
burning in this division. We are ordered to 'lay on our arms,'
and be ready for marching at a moment's notice."
Lieut. Fuller, writing of the battle of Fair Oaks,
"my company, although mostly boys, are boys that can
and did fight like young braves ! They were not hot-headed, yet
very determined, but governable."
Following this battle came the "Seven Days," from
the Chickahominy to the James Rivers; marching by night and fighting by
day kept the army continually occupied. From Harrison's Landing,
on the James, the Army of the Potomac, in transports, returned north,
landing at Aquia Creek and at Alexandria; thence continually fighting
during the latter part of August, culminating in the Union success at
Antietam, September 16 and 17.
Writing again from Warrenton, Va., 14th November, he
"Disembarking at Alexandria on one of those
exciting, gloomy, and disastrous days when the decimated and torn but
never broken Army of the Potomac was hurrying through the crowded
streets the succor of the brave - but leader-doubting - army of Pope,
the 64th went up to the old ground of Camp California, from whence I
received a surgeon's permit to visit town. I went to Washington,
but you were not there, and the city was lonesome to me.
Therefore I returned to my regiment the same evening, - meeting it on
the march to Arlington, - determined to gain flesh as I had lost it,
marching and fighting. I have done so, coming up from one hundred
and thirty-five to one hundred and sixty-one pounds...You know our
history, and, as a Cattaraugus man, you probably have some satisfaction
in knowing that it bears a tolerably fair record. Probably in old
Cattaraugus no two of the Arabic characters are regarded so much like a
Name of Honor as the figures "64." Of course we cannot tell what
heroic mantle time may throw over "154." Undoubtedly a century
from now they will both be regarded as talismanic numbers. I have
not read as much about 'Antieta,' as might be written, though some
stirring pictures have been drawn. But the day - the 16th of
September - is impressed on too many memories to be forgotten."
During battle in "Fredericksburg;" Va., 13th
December, 1862, Lieut. Fuller wrote,-
"You know that the army is over the Rappahannock,
and perhaps that we have had a great battle here. Yesterday our
regiment was in the front from 12.30 p.m. until midnight. Our
loss, thanks to having learned how to fight, is not heavy, - sixty-five
killed and wounded, five missing. But we did our work so well
that this morning Gen. Hancock, who is the 2d Corps commander, said to
our regiment, 'You did you duty nobly!' and we were all proud to hear
his commendation. The battle was undecisive; we were unable to
carry the enemy's works. We expect to go in again to-day.
The cannon are now roaring. I think we shall succeed to-day; we
shall do our best. Lieut.-Col. Brooks is seriously wounded, a
minie-ball through the left shoulder. Lieut. Parker (Col.
Parker's brother) is mortally wounded. None killed in my Company
F. Tommy Pratt is severely wounded, twice, and Frank Pease
mortally. [The latter recovered, though with rebel lead in his
hip sixteen years; the former lived only ten days] I received
only a slight brush with a brick knocked by shell."
The Union army returned back to Falmouth, Va., where
on the 26th December, he wrote, -
"The army is exactly in the same position (the 64th
in the same camp) held previous to the 11th inst. It is the same
army, some less in numbers, and perhaps somewhat humiliated, but not at
all demoralized. We have not lost faith, at least none only those
who are weak-hearted. Burnside is a good general, but not a
genius; few men are. We believe in him, but because he failed at
'Fredericksburg' he should not be denounced by such canting organs as
do not possess a tenth of his loyalty."
As regiments became reduced by casualties of war,
"consolidation of decimated" ones was a terribly annoying topic.
The good deeds and name of one's regiment was his love. The
thought of exchanging it for another, of blotting it out, was a hard
blow to its pride. The "64th" was happily preserved to the
end. Young Fuller, writing from Falmouth, Va., Jan. 3, 1863,
"If we are to be consolidated, let it be with the
154th. We fear that by some move in that direction we shall be
joined with the 61st. Colonel Nelson A. Miles, its commandant,
knows how to figure. He is a splendid fellow, - ought to be a
brigadier, and, I guess, will be. Better fellows than those of
the 61st never walked on a battle-field. But they are not from
old Cattaraugus! If consolidated with them we should be in danger
of losing the 'glorious 64.' We have a good name at division and
corps headquarters; that the 64th can be trusted with any position;
that it is as good as a 'forlorn hope' for an enterprise; and we know
that with full ranks and a rousing colonel, we could, as O'Malley said
of his dragoons, 'storm the gates of hell!' We want to keep the
'64,' - we like to preserve our name."
Thus young Fuller, full of patriotism, glowing with
loyalty to the Army of the Potomac, loved with affection his regiment,
because of its valor, name, and fame, gained in so many hard-won
trials. He was magnanimous towards rivals of merited courage and
worth. Colonel Miles of the 61st, so generously mentioned by him,
subsequently became brigadier- and then major-general, for gallantry
and brave deeds, justifying Fuller's estimate of him; and since the war
ended, is known as one of the intrepid Indian fighters of the plains.
Writing again from the camp at Falmouth, Va., Jan.
14, 1863, possibly musing of the coming fatality, he mentioned his
soldiers, wounded at Fredericksburg, in terms of pathos that unveiled
the great heart he possessed, showing sympathy for those intrusted to
his care and command:
"In the event [of consolidation of decimated
regiments] I do not think it will oust me, though I may not have
distinguished myself. I believe I am in for every fight of the
war. No matter, - if they do not wound me, all right. If
they hit a little closer, I shall be all right, of course! But,-
'aye, there's the rub,'- how will it be with that wife and little
affair [infant son] of mine?...Frank Pease writes that you have been to
see him, and is very grateful; I fear he has got his death-wound.
And poor Tommy Pratt has gone to answer at the final reveille !
Pratt was a noble soldier, of the truest courage and best
discipline. He never faltered anywhere. I hope he is on the
muster-roll of heroes in the kingdom come!"
Writing, January 19, 1863, on receiving his
commission as captain, from camp near Falmouth, Va., young Fuller said,-
"Your letter with inclosures came to-day, and did
not wholly surprise me. It is a very pleasing communication - I
must acknowledge the best of the season - for my vanity. That I
have a friend in you I never doubted. I also acknowledge my
indebtedness to Col. Bingham. That I merit the flattering
recommendations given me may be doubted. Yet there are other
fields before us; I shall endeavor to be on them. If I am, I hope
you will always hear of my trying to do my duty as a soldier, fully
performing my work in the ever-faithful 64th. I return the copies
of the letters of Colonel Bingham, yourself, and others. I should
like very much to have them bearing your signatures. I hope they
may be treasured papers by my boy. Probably I never shall have
better testimonials of his father's fidelity to his country to show
him, or a better record from him to draw a spirit of patriotism
from. I thank you all for your confidence in me, and for your
successful efforts in my behalf. I am ambitious. You know
that, Mr. M. My captain's commission advances me toward
that glory for which, like other men, I am reaching. Yet I trust
I am not so unworthy as to wish to occupy the natural position of any
deserving officer of this regiment, merely for the gratification of my
love of titles. I shall feel prouder of my new commission, then,
if it does not rob Lieutenant Lewis of a place he should have.
Alfred H. Lewis is among that number of our officers who have been
tried and found to be trenchant steel. There are now two
captaincies vacant in our regiment, and I hope Lieutenant Lewis may be
promoted to one of them."
Thus young Fuller was ever generous to his
rivals. His wishes were soon gratified: Lewis was made
captain. Together these young officers fought at
"Chancellorsville," and at "Gettysburg," and there, on the evening of
that murderous second day, they fell in the front line of battle
together! And who can doubt that their names are inscribed on the
muster-roll of the God of Hosts?
Colonel D.G. Bingham (three vacant captaincies
existing in the 64th New York Volunteers) wrote to the Governor of New
York, recommending Lieut. Fuller's promotion as captain, saying that he
was "a young man of good education and intelligence; has served as
lieutenant since the organization of the regiment, acting at different
times as 2d and 1st lieutenant, and commandant to company, and
adjutant; and has been constantly with his regiment. He has been
in all the battles in which his regiment has been engaged, besides
several skirmishes; and has, in all, displayed a gallantry and
intrepidity deserving reward. For these and other minor
considerations, which I might detail, I hope your Excellency will
favourably consider this application." This generous testimonial
did honor to Colonel Bingham, as a commander, and the honest,
high-minded man he was. This recommendation was presented to the
Governor by another warm personal friend of young Fuller's, without his
solicitation or knowledge. The case was so strongly and earnestly
written and personally prosecuted, as to arrest the attention and
enlist the favor of the Governor, and he promptly conferred the
captaincy. It is no impropriety, now, to add that soon after (a
vacancy they supposed to exist) the Governor decided to further promote
young Fuller to the lieutenant-colonelcy.
Captain Fuller possessed the confidence of his
superior officers. When General Caldwell commanded the brigade to
which the 64th was attached, he stated to the writer of this paper that
"he knew young Fuller well; that he regarded him as a talented young
man, and one of the live and accomplished officers of his command; was
pleased to learn of his promotion, as well deserved and honorably
earned; and hoped to learn of his further advancement."
Subsequent to his death, General Caldwell stated to
the writer that the general officers of his division had decided, at
the first opportunity, to recommend Captain Fuller's appointment as
colonel of the 64th, as they considered him unusually competent, and
the honor bravely earned.
Soon after "Fair Oaks," on a sunny Virginia summer's
day, to his wife, he writes of the Sabbath in camp in these beautiful
"'Divine service this morning at eight o'clock' said
the adjutant's orderly, passing my tent-door while I was at
breakfast. 'Good!' said I. And we have just 'broke ranks'
from listening to the first sermon delivered to us in six weeks.
The old hymns! I never appreciated them until now. The
'boys' sing them with more fervor than any melody they would call a
favorite at home. Their music calls up a memory of Sabbath
mornings bright as this; with meetings in the little church or in the
old red school-house, with windows up, and Heaven's cool air coming in,
and the choir singing Divine praises, and all peace and harmony!
The sweet 'Beautiful Zion,' and the grandeur of 'Old Hundred,' touch
the heart-strings with peculiar power." ...And of that battle - "I am
unscathed, though many have fallen. Our regiment is
decimated. I know my darling prays for me, and will thank
Almighty God for keeping me thus far from harm. My heart silently
acknowledges His goodness!"
In the last letter ever indited by Captain Fuller,
written to his wife, on the 28th of June, four days before his heroic
end, - when the opposing hosts were marching and manoeuvering for the
advantage, - he is earnest and hopeful for the success of our arms,
fervent and eloquent for the honor and renown of his country:
"The great day is coming - is looming, Olympically,
in our front. The mighty crash of these two contending armies
cannot long be delayed; and when they do meet - ! From this point
I cannot tell. I cannot guess which way we shall move. It
is rumored that Lee has 'changed direction by the right flank,'
and is now moving rapidly on Baltimore. Then certainly Gen. Meade
will turn his face in the same direction." [The enemy changed its
course into Pennsylvania.] "I hope to-morrow morning will see
this army marshalling toward the enemy in heavy columns. God
speed us now! God give us a genius to preside over and direct our
action! God grant that this may be the final great struggle, and
that liberty may mount from this terrible contest panoplied with a
strength which tyranny nor corruption shall never again dare assault!"
Gettysburg was the "mighty crash" predicted.
Few knew and appreciated the high and honorable qualities of Capt.
Henry V. Fuller more than the writer of this grateful tribute to his
memory. I knew him thoroughly for twelve years as an honest boy
and an upright man. He was incapable of dissimulation, and he
scorned a base action. Few knew him but to respect him.
Endowed with superior mental force; possessed of a fine, manly person,
a handsome, pale, intellectual face, clear, gray eyes, brown hair; six
feet in height, erect and dignified in his movements. He was of
pleasing address and an interesting and forcible writer, as he was an
engaging conversationalist and speaker. Had he survived the war,
it was his intention to have devoted himself to the study and
profession of law. I believe that he would have proved a very
able jurist and a most eloquent advocate. His education was
obtained in those great American institutions, the common schools, with
a few terms in the Fredonia and Randolph Academies. At home, or
in the camp, he was a lover of books of the higher class, and a devotee
of the great poets.
It is a singular fact that Capt. Fuller was never
wounded in any engagement but in that in which his life was
sacrificed. He never had a "leave-of-absence" until January,
1863, when he asked for twenty days, and Maj.-Gen. Hancock, commanding
the 2d Corps, gave him twenty-five. He was never on the
"sick-list" until, after the return from the "ill-fated Peninsular
campaign," he was ordered to the hospital, by the surgeon at Arlington
Heights. While there, learning that the army (and his regiment)
were moving up the Potomac, he deserted the hospital, overtook his
regiment six miles above Washington City, marched with it, participated
in the great battle of Antietam, and asked no favors of the surgeon.
As a soldier, Capt. Fuller comprehended his duties,
and performed them regardless of personal comfort. Conscientious,
strict, and just to the brave men of his command, he never asked them
to confront danger where he was not willing to lead. If men ever
inspired respect, courage, and enthusiasm among their fellows, the
subject of this notice did, and his comrades loved him with unstinted
devotion. In the camp, their want and their rights were
scrupulously attended to; on the battle-field, none were more bold, or
brave, or gallant. In battle he led his command with the most
undaunted courage. As the carnage wore on and the leaden hail
increased, and the rebel demons became more furious, so rose the
spirit, and daring, and energy of the soldier; raising his sword, he
would cheer on his men to "boldly meet the foemen; there is no more
danger to yourselves with an unfaltering front, a sharp eye, and a
quick hand upon the matchlock, than in cowardice! Beside, boys,
we are fighting for the right, for liberty, and for our country!"
At Gettysburg, on the fatal day, might he not have said to his daring
"If you fight against your country's foes,
Your country's fate shall pay your pains the hire;
If you do fight in safeguard of your wives,
Your wives shall welcome home the conquerors;
If you do free your children from the sword,
Your children's children quit it in your age.
Then, in the name of God, and all these rights,
Advance your standards, draw your willing swords:
For me, the ransom of my bold attempt
Shall be this cold corpse on the earth's cold face!"
LIEUT.-COL. EUGENE ARUS NASH
This gentleman is on his father's side of English and on mother's side
of Scotch descent. He traces his lineage back to Daniel Nash, his
great-great-grandfather, who resided in the State of Connecticut.
His great-grandfather, Silas Nash, was born near Hartford, Conn., about
the year 1765, and entered the army in the war of the Revolution from
that State two years before its close, at the age of sixteen
years. He subsequently removed to Chautauqua County, N.Y., the
village of Nashville in that county being named after his son William,
who was a prominent lawyer. Aaron Nash, one of Silas Nash's sons,
was killed at the burning of Buffalo while serving as a soldier from
Chautauqua County, N.Y., in the war of 1812. Oscar F. Winship, a
grandson of Silas Nash, was a captain in the regular army, and was
brevetted for meritorious service in the Mexican war.
The colonel's grandfather, also named Silas, was
born at Hartford, Conn., Aug. 23, 1784, and with Simeon Bunce, his
brother-in-law, located in what is now the town of Dayton, in the year
1810. He was a member of the first Board of Supervisors of
Cattaraugus County, and was also a member during many years
thereafter. He was an honest and industrious man, and held in
high esteem by all who knew him. Although a pioneer farmer, he
took an active part in all the varied interests of his town and county,
and performed well his part in advancing its growth and
prosperity. He had two sons and tree daughters, who lived to
maturity. Arus, the father of our subject, and the eldest, was
born in 1811, - the first born in not only the town of Dayton, but the
large town of Perry, which at that time embraced about one-fourth of
the entire county. Dewitt Nash, brother of Arus, lives on the
home farm which his father settled in 1810, has represented his town on
the Board of Supervisors, is a good citizen, a kind neighbor, and a
worthy man. The three daughters, Miranda, Almira, and Emeline,
are (with exception of Miranda, who is deceased) living near the family
homestead. Arus Nash was a successful farmer, and a man of marked
traits of character. Passing his early days in the woods of
Cattaraugus, he acquired a love for hunting, and was known as an expert
marksman. Being ford of adventure, the gold fever and the
excitement of 1849 induced him to make the overland trip to
California. He went as leader of quite a party from this portion
of the State, but died within a few months after reaching the Eldorado
of the West. His wife, Christiana McMillan, was of Scotch
descent, but a native of Warren County, N.Y., being born about the year
1814. Their family embraced eight children, - six sons and two
daughters, - viz.: Corydon B., who died in Washington Territory; Mary
A., who married Horace Howlett, of Dayton, but now a teacher and
resident of Little Valley; Eugene A., of whom we write; Jane V., who is
married and living in La Cygne, Kan.; Clinton D., who died while in the
service of his country, as a Union soldier; Clayton S., murdered in
Southwestern Nebraske in 1874; E. Hart, conductor on the Rochester and
State Line Railroad; and Edwin B., who died quite young. Clinton,
Clayton, and E. Hart, as well as Eugene, were all in the War of the
Rebellion, each sustaining honorable records, and doing valiant service
for their country. Clayton had the additional experience of a
prison life in the hands of the rebels. Mrs. Christiana Nash died
in Brooklyn, Wis., in 1858, aged about forty-four years.
Col. Nash was born the 28th of March, 1837, near
Nashville, Chautauqua Co., NY. He received a common-school
education, followed by an academic course at the Albion Academy,
Albion, Wis., and after graduating at the head of his class, taught
Latin and mathematics for a year in the same institution. He then
entered as junior in the Madison (Wis.) University, but completed his
classical course at the Alfred University, N.Y., graduating with the
honors of A.B. in July, 1860, and standing first in his class. He
then entered the Albany Law School, having previously determined to
pursue the legal profession; he received his degree, graduating in
1861, and was admitted to the bar. The war was then fully
inaugurated, and being patriotic to the core, he cast aside his
ambitious aspirations for legal honors, to take up the sword in defense
of the imperiled nation. He enlisted in the famous
"Forty-Fourth," known as the "People's Ellsworth Regiment," Aug. 8,
1861, as a representative of the town of Dayton, in which command he
saw valiant service, participating in the battle of Centreville,
Siege of Yorktown, Hanover Court-House, Mechanicsville, Gaines' Hill,
Turkey Bend, Malvern Hill, Second Bull Run (where he was wounded),
Antietam, Shepherdstown Ford, Fredericksburg, Ely's Ford,
Chancellorsville, Aldie, Gettysburg, Jones' Cross-Roads, Williamsport,
Rappahannock Station, Mine Run, the Wilderness, Laurel Hill,
Spottsylvania, North Anna, and at Bethesda Church, where he was again
and seriously wounded. Oct. 31, 1861, he was commissioned second
lieutenant; Oct. 29, 1862, he was promoted to captain, on account of
bravery shown in the "Seven Days' Fight," receiving honorable mention
in general orders for his manifest heroism. He wnt before Casey's
Examining Board, which passed him for promotion, and soon after he was
commissioned as lieutenant-colonel, and assigned to the command of the
23d United States Colored Troops. This was an honor he,
fortunately, did not realize, for he was placed hors du combat by the
wound he received at Bethesda Church, and was absent when the 23d was
almost annihilated by the disastrous "mine explosion," near Petersburg,
Va., in July, 1864. Hence he never assumed command of that
organization, its small remnant being merged into other
regiments. He was not sufficiently recovered from his wound to
report for duty until September, 1864. During his service he was
for some time acting adjutant of his regiment, and commanded the same,
in the advance on Richmond, up to the date of the battle of Bethesda
Church. For nearly a year he also served as assistant
inspector-general of the 3d Brigade, 1st Division, 5th Army
Corps. Altogether, his military career was a notable one.
After the war the colonel went to Washington, under
appointment of Gov. Fenton, where he served as State Agent for New
York, but resigned the position and went to Kansas City, Mo. He
there pursued the study of the law for a year and a half, when he
returned to Perrysburg, this county, and commenced the practice of his
profession, which he has continued ever since, with the exception of
the years 1873 to 1876, - his incumbency of the office of clerk of the
county of Cattaraugus. In 1868 he removed to Cattaraugus village,
and in 1874 to Little Valley, where he at present resides and practices
law, in connection with Mr. C.Z. Lincoln, as the firm of Nash &
Lincoln. He has also served as supervisor seven years,
representing New Albion for four, and Little Valley for three years,
and of the latter town is the present incumbent of the position.
It is hardly necessary to state that the colonel is a Republican in
Col. Nash was married, March 12, 1868, to Angie
Clark, daughter of Orrin Clark, of Perrysburg, N.Y., and has one child,
L. Eugene Nash.
It is not necessary to enlarge upon the character of
Mr. Nash, for in this county he is well known as a man of decided
abilities, of great courage, persevering industry, and of marked
ARTHUR H. HOWE.
ARTHUR H. HOWE of LITTLE VALLEY
Jaazaniah Howe, the grandfather of the present officiating county clerk
of Cattaraugus County, was born in Goshen, Mass. He was a soldier
in the Revolutionary army, enlisting at the age of seventeen, and
served until the close of the war. Zimri Howe, son of the above,
and father of our subject, was a native of the town of Granville,
N.Y. He removed to Gowanda (then Lodi), in the year 1825, where
he continued to reside until the fall of 1858, when he removed to
Cattaraugus, Cattaraugus Co., N.Y. He died March 11, 1867.
Esther, his wife, mother of A.H. Howe, died at Little Valley, March 13,
Arthur H. Howe was born in that portion of Gowanda
lying in the town of Collins, Erie Co., N.Y., the 7th day of October,
1843. He attended the union school of his native place, except
two winters (1856-57) spent at the district school in
Cattaraugus. In the fall of 1858 he came, with his father's
family, to this county to reside, and in the following spring went into
the county clerk's office, at Ellicottville, with E.H. Southwick's
successor, Thomas A.E. Lyman, until September, 1864, when he enlisted
in the 98th Regiment New York State National Guard, which was stationed
at Elmira, guarding rebel prisoners. In January, 1865, he was
appointed deputy county clerk, by S.C. Springer, and performed the
duties of the office about three years. Jan. 1, 1868, he was
again appointed deputy clerk, by Enos C. Brooks. At the
expiration of his term, Dec. 31, 1870, he removed to Ellicottville and
engaged in the mercantile business with A.J. Adams. Jan. 1, 1874,
he again resumed his pen in the clerk's office, and July 4, 1875, Col.
E.A. Nash, county clerk, appointed him his deputy. Years of
service in this clerical capacity rendering him especially qualified
for the position, he was nominated, in September, 1875, by the
Republican party, for county clerk, and elected to the office over C.E.
Haviland, Democrat. His term expires Dec. 31, 1879. He has
performed service in the clerk's office most of the time since April,
1859, serving under every clerk save one, W.W. Welch, 1871-73.
Mr. Howe was married Dec. 4, 1867. He chose as
his life companion Harriet Fox, a native of Ellicottville, this
county. She is a daughter of Chauncey J. and Hannah H. Fox,
pioneer settlers of this section, and still living at
Ellicottville. A portrait and biographical notice of Mr. Fox may
be found with the history of the last-named town. The family of
Mr. and Mrs. Howe embraces two children. Mr. Howe, both as clerk
and deputy, has always been a faithful and indefatigable official,
whose continuous and zealous service merits commendation. As a
citizen he is also respected and esteemed.
HON. STEPHEN C. GREEN.
One of the leading spirits of Western Cattaraugus,
in the embodiment of business ability, combined with genial qualities
and sterling worth, is he whose name stands at the head of this notice.
Mr. Green was born in Tompkins Co., N.Y., Jan. 1,
1828. His father settled in Jamestown, N.Y., in the year 1833,
and our subject resided there until he was twenty-two years of
age. At the age of sixteen, however, he was apprenticed to the
printing business, and followed it for five years. At the early
age of twenty-one (in 1849) he embarked in mercantile pursuits, as
being more to his tastes than the trade he had learned; and he has been
engaged in merchandising, with but slight intermissions, ever since
that time. His record as a merchant in Little Valley covers most
of the time since the spring of 1850, commencing in this village the
same season the construction of the Erie Railway was begun.
Sept. 5, 1848, he was married to Miss Laura Ann
Thompson, of Little Valley, who died June 8, 1867. Dec. 15, 1868,
he married Miss Minnie Courtney, of Rushford, N.Y.
In the earlier years of Mr. Green's residence in
Little Valley he was elected a justice of the peace, and several times
served as town clerk. He officiated also as supervisor in the
years of 1863 and 1865. In the last-named year he was elected
county superintendent of the poor, and in 1868 was re-elected, filling
the office for six years, - making one of the most popular
superintendents Cattaraugus County ever had. He was elected to
the State Legislature in the fall of 1869, and received a re-nomination
in the fall of 1870, by acclamation. He served two terms in that
body, sustaining an honorable record. He was a faithful,
indefatigable representative, always in his seat, and voting upon all
questions from convictions of right and duty.
Mr. Green was the first president of the village of
Little Valley after its incorporation. He is a thorough patriot
in every particular. At the County Centennial Celebration - held
at Olean, July 4, 1876 - he was the reader of the Declaration of
Independence, and enunciated the "inspired revelation of American
liberty" with a clear, strong voice, fine emphasis, and a magnetic
sympathy with the subject.
Although not a member of any religious organization,
he contributed liberally towards the erection of the Methodist
Episcopal Church in Little Valley, and more recently towards its repair
and in support of the ministry.
Mr. Green is the owner of the "Palace Hotel," at
Little Valley (of which a fine view is given elsewhere), and although a
"natural-born landlord," prefers to let others manage is stead.
Last spring he leased the hotel to Mr. F.K. Alvord, late of Nunda,
N.Y., who is its present popular host. S.C. Green is still a
resident of Little Valley, - a highly-esteemed citizen, of unsullied
personal, character, and great private worth.
Stephen C Green of Little Valley
GEORGE L. WINTERS.
GEORGE L. WINTERS of LITTLE VALLEY
The life of Mr. Winters has been comparatively
uneventful, and, save in his military career, marked by few incidents
except those which are commonly found in the lives of most of our
successful and self-made men. He was emphatically a "man of
affairs," industrious, sagacious, and enterprising, early developing
those qualities which have so largely contributed to his success.
Alphonzo Winters, the father of our subject, was a
resident for many years of Cannonsville, Delaware Co., N.Y., from which
place he removed to Southport, in Chemung County, this State, where he
worked for a few years, married, and moved West and located in
Tecumseh, Mich., when that section was comparatively new, and where he
died a few years after his settlement, in 1840, when George was but two
years of age. His widow (mother of G.L.), Sally C. Hyde, daughter
of 'Squire Hyde, of Southport, N.Y., after the death of her husband,
moved with her family to Portville, Cattaraugus Co., N.Y., where her
mother then resided. She subsequently married, but the two
children of this marriage are both deceased. The Children of
Alphonzo and Sally Winters were Sarah Eliza and Mary Elizabeth (twins),
Alphonzo O., and the subject of this sketch. Mary E. died during
their residence in Michigan; Sarah E. has been twice married (to Urial
J. Pierce, deceased, and Andrew J. Buzzard, both of Humphrey,
Cattaraugus Co.), and lives in the town of Humphrey; Alphonzo married
Sarah Ely, of Franklinville, this county, is a farmer, and resides at
the last-named place.
George L. Winters was born in Tecumseh, Lenawce Co.,
Mich., April 30, 1838. He started out in life as a schoolteacher,
teaching several terms; he has also worked at several mechanical
pursuits, but has been mostly engaged in farming, for which avocation
he has a preference over the many occupations which have engaged his
He contributed his full share of patriotism, and
suffered more than the larger proportion of the volunteers in the late
war of the Rebellion. Enlisting as a private in Company C, of the
154th Regiment, N.Y.V. Infantry, he rose rapidly, by successive
promotions, through the grades of corporal, sergeant, "orderly," second
lieutenant, to the rank of captain; but the "fortunes (or rather the
misfortunes) of war" prevented his being mustered upon the last-named
commission, having an arm shot off in the memorable battle of
Gettysburg, being taken prisoner, and having his arm amputated by a
March 1, 1865, he was married to Miss Margaret Z.
Pierce, daughter of John and Mary Pierce, of Ischua, this county, of
which place she was a native.
From the time of casting his first vote until the
present time he has acted with the Republican party. He has held
no office except the one of which he is the present incumbent, that of
sheriff of Cattaraugus County, being elected thereto in the fall of
1876, in performing the duties of which he gives general satisfaction.
It has been our aim to give in the military chapter of this history, an
authentic and reasonably full account of the part taken by Cattaraugus
County and her soldiers in the suppression of the Southern
rebellion. But no such account can be anything like complete if
omitting particular mention of the part taken by John Manley, of Little
Valley, who, though not a member of the Union army, rendered constant,
indefatigable, and invaluable services to the cause, as is attested by
a multitude of surviving officers and soldiers who were in the
Having received an appointment as clerk in the
Interior Department, at Washington, he was present in that city when
the fall of Fort Sumter was announced. A company was that day
organized in the Department, in which he was one of the first
volunteers; and he served for the defense of the national capital
during all the exigencies of 1861 and 1862. For nearly a year he
was the only representative of this county in Washington. He
witnessed the arrival of the first troops in that city; and as those
from this county arrived was called upon to aid them in various ways,
which service was always cheerfully rendered.
In the history of the 37th Regiment is mentioned the
letter written by Mr. (afterwards General) P.H. Jones, May 10, 1861,
asking Mr. Manley, as the only representative of Cattaraugus in
Washington, for information and assistance towards the raising of the
first companies in the county. This was among the first of the
thousands of applications (written and personal) which were made to him
during the war, by officers and soldiers, for assistance in a multitude
of forms, pecuniary and otherwise. The best testimony to these
facts, and to the manner in which such applications were invariably
responded to, is furnished by some of the letters received by him upon
those matters, and of which he has more than four thousand now in his
possession. From among these the following is given, as showing
with what entire freedom - without fear of betrayal - he was made the
medium of communication. It is from the letter of a subaltern
complaining of the foisting of a stranger as major upon his
regiment. "Furthermore, you must be the hearer of all our woes
and regimental troubles. Under military regime, there is no one
else to whom we can relate the story of our wrongs as to you!"
Hundreds of letters asking aid came from privates; numberless ones from
line and field officers; many from soldiers' relatives at home.
From the suggestions contained in these letters, many abuses were
quietly corrected; while the confidences of all were ever held
sacred. A paymaster neglecting to pay soldiers (of a regiment to
him assigned) in hospitals for six months, on the complaint, in a
soldier's letter, to Mr. Manley, was ordered by Secretary Stanton to
pay them on the following day; and that paymaster did so pay them!
On the 26th of May, 1862, Hon. Eleazer Harmon,
father of Captain L.G. Harmon, of the 37th, communicated the following
kindly notice of Mr. Manley to the Union and Freeman: "Upon a hasty
visit to Washington, on the occasion of the recent severe illness of my
son, in the 37th New York, I received so much kind attention and real
assistance from Mr. John Manley, of the Interior Department, that I
take great pleasure in making a public acknowledgement of my many
obligations. Indeed, the soldiers from this vicinity, and their
friends, will never know how much they owe this gentleman. He is
perfectly indefatigable in his efforts to search out and relieve the
sick and dying, and in gathering information to send to their friends...
"The whole community is under obligations to this
gentleman; and I for one, am happy to bear testimony to his untiring
The late Hon. James Parker, editor of the Chautauqua
Democrat, on the 21st of May, 1862, mentioned him as follows: "John
Manley. - I cannot resist the temptation to give the name of this
gentleman, a clerk in the Interior Department, a conspicuous notice in
these columns. His labors for the soldiers have been untiring and
unremitting. He has spent a week at a time among the camps,
aiding in correspondence and assisting in the transmission home of
their pay. He posted himself early in the intricacies of the War
Department, forming the acquaintance of the officers there. He
holds the charm, somehow, that easily cuts the 'red-tape' that puzzles
others; by which means he has been enable to send many a sick soldier,
waiting for his discharge and pay, speedily on his way rejoicing, and
blessing such a friend. For all these labours, so important to
the soldier, he has refused all remuneration. Some soldiers of
the 9th New York Cavalry, however, presented him a beautiful Wesson
rifle, a silver shield upon the stock bearing the inscription; 'To John
Manley, by his friends,' followed by the names of twenty-one soldiers
who presented it."
At Gettysburg a large number of the 154th were
captured; the men were sent to Belle Isle, and the officers to Libby
prison. From that prison, 10th December, 1863, Captain B.G.
Casler wrote Mr. Manley: "Your box of clothing and groceries to us was
received, and all in good order. It makes our condition much more
comfortable. We are very much obliged to you, and we hope it will
not be long before we can meet you in Washington and repay your
trouble. Our health is good."
John A. Hall, Esq., now editor of the Jamestown
Journal, writing form Washington to the Democrat, April 8, 1864: "In
your paper of the 1st inst., I noticed the mention of the presentation
from the 64th New York Volunteers to John Manley and lady... There are
many of you readers who know and have reason to remember with gratitude
the recipient of the valuable and appropriate testimonial * of the
gallant 64th. Mr. Manley (or the judge, as he is known here) went
to Washington before the rebellion was fairly inaugurated, and has been
from that time one of the most constant, faithful, and efficient
friends the Union soldiers have had anywhere . . . A man of magnificent
presence, it is generally understood that his countenance is as good as
a pass from Secretary Stanton. Every door opens, and every
sentinel stands aside, at his approach."
*The testimonial consisted of a gold watch and silver plate. Upon
the tea service was the monogram of the 64th, and on each piece was
engraved the name of a battle in which it had fought, - "Fair Oaks,"
"Glendale," "Antietam," etc. Speeches were made by Lieut.
Trevitt, Mr. Manley, Gov. Fenton, N.F. Strong, the distinguished Seneca
chief, and others. Mr. Manley certainly was held in high esteem
in that regiment. Capt. Crowley, writing to Lieut. Trevitt on the
occasion mentioned, said, "Inclosed I send you the original
subscription to the Manley testimonial. If I did not think it was
now too late I would try and write something neat and complimentary to
the honorable John and his lady; but, as it is, the tribute which the
inclosed brings from the best hearts of a brave regiment to him, will
be enough without the humble regards and great good-will of his and
your friend, R.R. Crowley."
The gallant and beloved Col. Bingham, of the 64th
Regiment, died at Le Roy, N.Y., in July, 1864, from disease induced by
wounds and hardships endured in the service. Mr. Manley exerted
himself to procure a final settlement of this officer's accounts at
Washington, and transmitted the amount due to the colonel's sister,
Miss Bingham, who on that occasion (Feb. 4, 1865) wrote Mr. Manley as
follows: "Yours with draft received. I feel under many
obligations to you for all your trouble. I heard that you were in
Ellicottville, but not till after you were gone. I told my
friends there that I would like to see you, and thank you for your many
kindnesses to my precious brother and myself. May God bless you
In September, 1872, the Albany Evening Journal, in
mentioning the nomination of Mr. Manley for member of Assembly, spoke
of him in these words:
"Mr. Manley will have the satisfaction of triumphing
over the combined opposition. He is well known through the
district, and is a man of conceded ability and much popularity,
especially among the 'boys who wore the blue.' His services in
their behalf during the Rebellion will never by forgotten. Never
did a sick of wounded soldier apply in vain to him for aid, and he has
a warm place in many soldier's heart."
Seeing the foregoing, Major Storrow, who was surgeon
at Fort Washington, Md., in 1861-62, with Companies H and I, of the
37th Regiment, and U.S. Regulars, wrote as follows:
"Fort Ontario, Oswego, N.Y., Sept. 26, 1872.
"Dear Manley, - No one better than myself can
testify to the justice and truth of the above sentences. I do not
know who you are for as President, or anything of that sort, but I join
my cordial indorsement of this tribute to your services to our braves,
and to your qualities as a man and friend.
Your old-time friend,
Surgeon U.S. Army."
Mr. Manley early joined with other in organizing the
"New York Soldiers' Relief Association," in Washington, which did a
large amount of work, and he was secretary and on its executive
committee during the war. He also during the war continued a
weekly correspondence with the press of this county, giving full news
of the Cattaraugus troops. These letters were deemed at the time
of general interest.
Hon. Wm. Samuel Johnson, in a friendly note to Mr.
Manley, Aug. 20, 1861 said, "I thank you very much for even thinking of
me, busy as you must be in your position and in the care of the
'Cattaraugus boys.' At present we have much solicitude lest the
rebels make a violent onslaught upon you. I read with much
interest your weekly communications to the Cattaraugus Freeman.
That of last week interested us particularly, as it informed us of the
release of 'Our Boys' from their associates of the 37th. It was
an awful blunder which placed our boys in that regiment. My
regards to Capts. Harmon and Clarke, and Lieuts. Baillet, Trevitt, and
Jones. I could name a quarter of Harmon's company. I often
think of Billy Bird, Sam Woodward, and By. Johnston in particular."
In March, 1865, Mr. Manley was appointed military
secretary, with rank of colonel, on the staff of Governor Fenton, and
on the 1st September was detailed as military State agent in New York
City, where he remained until the closing of the soldiers' depot in May
following, when he resigned, receiving the written thanks of the
Governor for the ability and fidelity with which he had performed his
John Manley is of Puritan stock, his ancestors on
both the paternal and maternal side having crossed the ocean in the
colonial days and settled in Plymouth County, Mass. He was born
in Norridgewock, Me., May 26, 1824. For some years he resided in
Augusta, Me., where he was married, June 24, 1847, to Elizabeth,
daughter of Arno Bittues (a native of Bordeaux, France, who came to
America, and was adopted by Governor Gilman, of Exeter, N.H.).
The children of this marriage are three, - Annie Stevens and Laura
Bittues, both born in Augusta (the latter married to Samuel Dunham),
and John, born at Little Valley, August, 1866.
In October, 1851, soon after the opening of the New
York and Erie Railroad, Mr. Manley came to Little Valley, and has
resided there since that time.
He has taken an active part in the enterprises of
the village and county. He was trustee of his school district
three years, planned and aided in building the village school-house,
one of the best in the county. When he resigned the position of
military secretary to the Governor, in 1866, he bought the large "Howe
farm," laid out the village of Little Valley beyond its then small
proportions, and used his energies to the building up and beautifying
of the village. Col. Robert H. Shankland, the veteran and
accomplished editor of the Ellicottville Union, though a personal
friend for years, gravely charged Manley with the act of "stealing the
old county-seat and tugging it over Fish Hill in his carpet-bag."
In 1866 he was appointed by the Board of Supervisors (with L.S. Jenks
and F>L. Stowell) one of the commissioners, and by his associates
was made superintendent, of the construction of the court-house and
jail at Little Valley, 1867-68. Toward the expenses of erecting
those buildings he gave largely, and also gave the land (five acres) on
which they are located.
In July, 1864, he (being then a clerk in the
Interior Department) was appointed by the secretary of the interior as
special agent for the New York Indians, and he visited all the tribes
in this State, paid the annuities, addressed the Indians in regard to
their Kansas land difficulties, schools, and agricultural
interests. He was complimented on his return by the Indian
Bureau, and his addresses and reports were published in full in the
annual report. He resigned his position in the Interior
Department 1st of April, 1865, having served four eventful years with
fidelity, and bearing the honorable testimonials of chiefs.
His appointment by President Grant as commissioner
(with Messrs. Scattergood and Shanklin) to locate and lay out villages
in the Allegany Reservation, under the law of Congress of Feb. 19,
1875, has already been noticed in the history of that
reservation. Having lived in this county twenty-five years, and
being fully conversant with the subject, he used his influence to make
the villages large to accommodate the growth of business and white
population, and to open it to a proper taxation. In this
direction his labors were successful, and the citizens were very
generally gratified with his efforts.
Mr. Manley was seven times elected supervisor of
Little Valley, - 1860, 1867, 1870, 1871, 1872, 1873, and 1874, being
commissioner and superintendent of the construction of the court-house,
resigned the office in 1867. In 1873 and 1874, he was a member of
the Assembly of New York, elected on the Republican ticket, serving on
the committees on internal affairs, claims, printing, military,
charitable and religious societies. He served his constituents
faithfully and honestly while in the Legislature, and left it with an
In 1856 to 1860 he was secretary, and in 1870 and
1871 president, of the Cattaraugus County Agricultural Society, and in
1873 was a member of the executive committee of the New York State
WILLIAM W. HENRY
WILLIAM W. HENRY of LITTLE VALLEY
was born in the town of Collins, Erie Co., N.Y., April 18, 1837.
He received a common district-school education before his sixteenth
year, at which time he left home to learn the printing business.
After completing his apprenticeship, he continued as a journeyman
printer until 1858, when he commenced the publication of the Gowanda
Reporter, at Gowanda, Cattaraugus Co., N.Y., associated with F.G.
Stebbins. He remained in this connection until the breaking out
of the Rebellion. May 19, 1859, he married Amy A. Aldrich.
In October, 1861, he enlisted as a private in
Company A, 64th Regiment New York Volunteers. He was promoted to
corporal, and subsequently to the position of
quartermaster-sergeant. In October, 1862, he was commissioned as
second lieutenant, and assigned to duty in the line. Immediately
after the battle of Fredericksburg, he was promoted to the rank of
Leaving the service in June, 1863, he returned to
Gowanda, N.Y., where he resided until 1871, filling various town and
village offices, viz., town clerk, justice of the peace, trustee, and
president of the village, and supervisor for the town of Persia.
In January, 1871, he was appointed under-sheriff of Cattaraugus County,
and removed to Little Valley, which has since been his residence.
His service as under-sheriff was during the term of Sheriff William M.
In the fall of 1873 he was nominated by the
Democratic party as their candidate for the office of sheriff, and
elected by seven hundred majority, running some two thousand votes
ahead of his ticket, - the Republican majority in the county at that
time being from eleven to thirteen hundred votes. Mr. Henry is at
present filling the honorable position of president of the village of
ERASTUS N. LEE,
ERASTUS N. LEE of LITTLE VALLEY
son of Lyman and Harriet Lee, was born in Little Valley, Dec. 2,
1834. Lyman Lee was a native of Guilford, Conn. (born in 1799),
but emigrated with his wife, goods, and stock from Bloomfield, N.Y., to
Cattaraugus County, in the spring of 1821, and settled on a
one-hundred-acre tract of land, where the cheese-factory now stands,
and from which not a stick of timber had been cut. He cut enough
timber to build a shanty, and moved into it before fireplace or chimney
were built, in the hurry to clear some land to put in spring
crops. He put in some corn and potatoes, and three acres of
winter wheat from seed brought from Monroe Co., N.Y. In April of
this year there was a heavy snow-fall, and Mr. Lee and other settlers
had to feed their stock by browsing trees and using the straw from
their own beds, until not a spear of straw was left in the
neighborhood. It was not until late in the fall following that
their house, with fireplace and chimney, was completed. Meanwhile
they planted a nursery of apple- and pear-trees, the latter of which
are yet standing. In the fall of 1823, Mr. Lee and Stephen Crosby
made an exchange of farms, the one taken by the former being one
hundred acres, with twenty acres improved, a log house, frame barn,*
and a small nursery of apple-trees. Lyman Lee lived upon this
farm until his death, in 1851. His widow still resides there with
her son, Erastus, and his family. It was in this, the oldest
house standing in the town, that Erastus Lee was born. His mother
was born in Tioga Co., Pa., in the year 1800, and is consequently now
in her seventy-ninth year.
Erastus N. Lee has been engaged all his life in
farming and in mercantile pursuits, having for years carried on a
general store at the village of Little Valley. In the year 1866
he represented his town in the Board of Supervisors, and was re-elected
the following year. Mr. Lee resides upon the homestead farm
before mentioned, in the house in which he was born.