The History of Cattaraugus County, NY
published 1879 by Everts, edited by Franklin Ellis
Chapter: , pages 496-499
Transcribed by Sue Carney February 2004
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(Note - there are no photos in this chapter of the book)

     This town lies on the eastern border of the county, north of the centre, and embraces township 4 in the third range, and two tiers of lots on the east side of township 4 in the fourth range.  The town is joined on the north by Farmersville, and on the east by Allegany County, on the south by Ischua, and the west by Franklinville.  The centre of the town, north and south , is a high ridge, rising to an elevation of about 500 feet above the valley.  In the east and west  the surface is broken and hilly.  The head-waters of Oil Creek on the east, and one of the branches of the Ischua on the west, take their rise on this high land.  The town contains 20,575 acres, of which 14,824 are improved, and has a population of 805, according to the census of 1875.

EARLY SETTLEMENTS.

     In the "Pioneer History of the Holland Purchase" occurs this passage: "The traveler who passes over the road from Rushford to Cuba will have his attention arrested soon after he first strikes the head-waters of Oil Creek by a cluster of neat farm buildings in the centre of a highly-cultivated farm, the whole nestling in rural quiet amid the surrounding hills.  It is where the venerable pioneer of Lyndon first broke into the wilderness, and where he still [1850] lives to enjoy the rewards of his early toils and privations."

     In 1808, Solomon Rawson, the pioneer spoken of above, with his brother William, and their wives, emigrated from the south part of Pennsylvania, located on lots 4 and 5, range 3, and commenced to prepare the way for the tide of civilization that was in a few years to transform the boundless wilderness into cultivated fields, dotted here and there with quiet homes and an occasional church-spire.  These brothers cut a road through from Cuba as they came, and a short time after to Rushford.  They settled on what is now the Olean road, seven miles southwest from Rushford.  Here they built their humble log cabin, and in August of the next year was born Natilla, a daughter of Solomon Rawson.  The Rawsons were joined the next year by the Markhams, three brothers, Simon, David, and Seth, who, with their father and families, emigrated from Connecticut and settled on lot 7, range 3.  These families, the Rawsons and Markhams, lived here for several years before any one settled near them.  Their houses became stopping-places for emigrants passing through to the "Far West."

     In 1810 the Rev. Robert Hubbard, a Presbyterian minister, passed through this section on a missionary tour, and held the first religious meeting at the house of Seth Markham.  When the Free-Will Baptist Church was organized in 1816, Solomon Rawson became one of the first deacons.

     In 1817-18 there was much suffering for food among the early settlers.  Flour was from $14 to $16 per barrel, pork 25 cents per pound, and many of the poorer class of new settlers subsisted on milk, boiled greens, and leeks.
    
     This little band of pioneers were socially and commercially connected with the settlements east of them, although in the east part of the county, Rushford and Cuba were the centre of trade to them, and the inhabitants along the east line of the town are now more connected with Allegany County than with our own.

     In 1818, Ezra Brockway emigrated from Connecticut with his family, and settled on the north part of lot 7, range 3.  His descendants lived there many years.
   
     About 1827 came John Nottingham, and settled in the south part of the town, where his sons and grandsons still live.  The Frarys came soon after.  As early as 1823 one Hopkins settled at Lyndon Centre, and was employed by the Holland Land Company to manage their lands in that section.  In 1826 he was appointed postmaster.  Wm. Spencer and Orrin Upson had settled near there previously, Mr. Upson being one who took contract for land in 1806.  Upon the organization of the town he was inspector of schools and assessor, afterwards justice of the peace and supervisor.  Mr. Spencer succeeded Mr. Hopkins as postmaster.  His daughter, Thankful, was the first to teach school in that section.  Hezekiah and John Lippitt, Peter C. Lane, Henry Morris, Chas. Gilman, Thomas Ashton, Augustus Hayden, Russel D. Jones, John Warren, William Braman, and Samuel Gleason were all residents of the town before 1829.  William Little emigrated to the town in 1830, and settled where his widow still resides.  He was postmaster at that place for several years.  The old residents of the town, who had lived there for fifty years, in 1876, were D. C. Stone, E. Stone, Asahel Taylor, John Stevenson, Geo. Clarke, John Strait, W. Fargo, Wm. Little, Jas. Melrose, E. Melrose, John Goss, Richard Little, M. Varnum, Stephen Graves, Geo. Hoag, Wm. Maxwell, Simeon Nottingham, Alexander Curry, Andrew Curry, A. Turnbull, James Little, and William Carter.  There are many others who settled in the town still later, and who acted their part in clearing the hills and valleys and preparing the way for the cops that have brought so much wealth to the country.  Among these were Deacon Aaron Bissell, who emigrated from Vermont to Steuben County in 1829, where he remained four years, and removed to Lyndon in 1833.  In 1836 he was elected justice of the peace for four years, and in 1839, 1843, 1857, 1859, 1863, 1869, and 1872, holding the position for twenty-five years; and was prominent as a business man.  His death occurred in the winter of 1878-79, at the age of seventy-four.  His wife and several sons are living; one being a physician at Limestone, and two are engaged in the oil business in Pennsylvania.


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     Thomas Case and his brothers came to this town not far from 1830.  Thomas settled about three miles from the village of Franklinville, and for many years devoted his time and energies to farming and dairying, being connected with the cheese-factories in his section.  He has been instrumental in the organization of banks in Cuba, Franklinville, Ellicottville, in all of which institutions he is a director, and was at one time director in a bank at Olean.  He is still living, hale and hearty.  He has retired from the more active pursuits of farming, but continues the oversight of his property.  One of his sons, Jason, is cashier of the bank at Franklinville, and Charles, another son, holds the same position in the bank at Ellicottville.

     The first contract issued by the Holland Land Company, within the limits of this town, was to Robert Brooks, in 1806.  Others, who contracted at about the same time, were Solomon Rawson, David and William Markham and Orrin Upson.

     Early in the history of the town, settlements were made on the east line of the town by the Rawsons, Markhams, and others.  Here the first birth in the town occurred in the family of Solomon Rawson, in August, 1809, and was that of his daughter, Natilla.  In 1811, James Markham, the father of Simon, David, and Seth, "passed over to the other side," and his was the first death in the town.  The first marriage was that of William Markham and Rachel Phillips, March 1, 1815.  In the summer of 1815, Miss Sally Osborne taught the first school in the east part of the town.  The first physician was Dr. Hotchkiss.  The first tavern was kept by William Rawson, in the east part of the town, in 1825.  The first store was opened at Lyndon Centre by Charles Gilmore, in 1827.  The first sawmill was built by Jason Sherman, on the creek near the residence of Thomas Case, in 1843.

                ORGANIZATION OF TOWN

     The town of Lyndon was erected from Franklinville, Jan. 24, 1829, and the act provided that the first town-meeting should be held at the house of Samuel Gleason, on the first Tuesday of March, 1829.  The name of the town was changed to Elgin, April 7, 1857, and again to Lyndon, April 16, 1858.

     At the first annual town-meeting, held at the house of Samuel Gleason on the 3d day of March, 1829, pursuant to act of the Legislature, the following gentlemen were elected to the several offices: Supervisor, Henry Morris; Town Clerk, Hezekiah Lippitt; Assessors, Peter C. Lane, Orrin Upson, and Ezra Brockway; Collector, Charles Gilman; Overseers of the Poor, Solomon Rawson and John Warren; Commissioners of Highways, John Lippitt, John Frary, and Thomas Ashton; Constables, Charles Gillman and James Clark; Commissioners of Common Schools, Russel D. Jones, Augustus N. Hayden, and John Warren; Inspectors of Common Schools, Hezekiah Lippitt, Henry Morris, and Orrin Upson.

     The first election of justices of the peace was at a general election held in the town of Lyndon on the 2d, 3d, and 4th days of November, 1829.  Hezekiah Lippitt, Ezra Brockway, Peter C. Lane, and Orrin Upson were chosen.

     The following is an accurate list of the supervisors , town clerks, and justices of the peace from the organization of the town to the present year:

SUPERVISORS
1830 Solomon Rawson. 1851 Arba Morris.
1831-34 Ezra Brockway. 1852 Edmund Stone.
1835 Solomon Rawson. 1853 Henry Morris.
1836 Enos Brockway. 1854-58 Josiah Q. Perry.
1837-38 Henry Morris. 1859 Henry Morris.
1839 William Frary. 1860-61 Charles Thompson.
1840-41 Henry Morris. 1862-63 James R. Thompson
1842 Henry Stringham. 1864-66 Willard Gould.
1843-44 John Warren. 1867-71 Richard Little.
1845 Arba Morris. 1872 Josiah Q. Perry
1846-48 Orrin Upson 1873-74 Thomas Davis.
1849-50 Aaron Bissell. 1875-78 A. L. Turnbull.


TOWN CLERKS.
1830-31 Hezekah Lippitt. 1859-60 W. R. Godfrey.
1832-34 Henry Morris. 1861 A. L. Turnbull.
1835-36 Augustin N. Hayden. 1862-63 D. R. Campbell.
1837-39 John Warren. 1864 Darius Patterson.
1840-45 Orrin Upson. 1865 Alexander Davidson.
1846-48 Aaron Bissell. 1966.
A. L. Turnbull.
1849 Alexander Howden. 1867 Duncan R. Campbell.
1850 Arba Morris. 1868-70 William Mitchell.
1851 Duncan R. Campbell. 1871-73 Aaron Bissell.
1852-53 John B. Sanders. 1874 Byron Bissell.
1854-56 Nathan A. Bennett. 1877-78 James Scott.
1857-58 Adam L. Turnbull .


 
JUSTICES OF THE PEACE.
1830 John Warren. 1852 Edmund Stone.

Elkanah Bates. 1853 Alexander Howden.
1831 Elkanah Bates. 1854 John Warren

Jacob S. Nottingham. 1855 Abijah Wheeler Jr.
1832 Ezra Brockway. 1857 Aaron Bissell.

Justus Lockwood.
Robert Frayer.

Augustin N. Hayden. 1858 David H. Davis.
1833 Henry Morris 1859 Aaron Bissell.

Hezekiah Lippitt.
J. R. Thompson.
1834 Ezra Brockway. 1860 John Warren.

Peter C. Lane.
E. Stone.

Thomas P. Green 1861 Robert Frayer.
1835 Augustin N. Hayden. 1862 Ebenezer Melrose.

Thomas P. Green
Henry Vaughan.

Henry Stringham. 1863 Aaron Bissell.
1836 William S. Frary.
John Warren.

Aaron Bissell. 1864 E. Stone.
1837 Henry Stringham. 1865 Ebenezer Melrose.
1838 Ezra Brockway. 1866 John Warren.
1839 Solomon Rawson. 1867 John Little.

Aaron Bissell. 1868 De Witt C. Stone.
1840 John Newton.
Thomas Hogg.
1841 Henry Stringham.
Silas A. Gere.
1842 John Warren. 1869 Aaron Bissell.
1843 Aaron Bissell.
Ebenezer Melrose.
1844 Edmund Stone. 1871 D. C. Stone.
1845 Alexander Howden. 1872 Aaron Bissell.
1846 John Warren. 1873 Ebenezer Melrose.

Alexander Howden. 1874 John Strait.
1847 Richard Little. 1875 D. C. Stone.
1848 Edmund Stone. 1876 William McStay.
1849 Otis Lake. 1877 E. Melrose.
1850 William F. Smith.
N. Ryther.

Thomas Case. 1878 E. McKenney.
1851 Richard Little.
S. A. Gere.

            UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

The Associate Reformed Church had its origin in a union of the "Associate" and "Associate Reformed Presby-


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terians," or "Covenanters," in 1732.  The first preaching by ministers of the Associate Reformed Church in what is now Lyndon was held in the year 1835 by Rev. John White, of Seneca Co., N.Y., in an old log school-house, which stood on the summit of the hill east of Lyndon Centre.  The Rev. Mr. Irvin also preached the same year.  The attendance at the services was not large, but the spirit manifested encouraged them to request the Associate Presbytery of Caledonia to send them a missionary, which was granted.

     In 1836, the Rev. Wm. Howden was appointed "to labor in Lyndon and vicinity," embracing Ellicottville, Cuba, Franklinville, and Freedom.  Mr. Howden's ministry was so acceptable that he was retained as missionary in this field until 1848, preaching one year for the New-School Presbyterians of Franklinville.  In 1838, a small frame building was erected for a house of worship a few rods south of the cross-roads, usually called Lyndon Centre, and where the Elgin post-office is located.  By and order of the Presbytery, an organization was effected, under the Rev. Wm. Howden's ministry, Feb. 29, 1840, 30 persons being received into church fellowship; and during his ministry of twelve years with this congregation, 102 persons in all were received into church fellowship.  In 1848, Mr. Howden signified his intention to leave this field.  Mr. D. C. McVean, then a licentiate under the care of Caledonia Presbytery, was sent as a supply to his field, and preached the first Sabbath of July, 1849, and the next Sabbath in Franklinville.  About the last of August or the first of September of the same year, a call from the congregation of Lyndon, of which Franklinville and Freedom were a part, was extended to Mr. McVean to become pastor of the congregation, at a meeting of the Presbytery, held Oct. 3, 1849, and was by him accepted.   On the 29th day of January, 1850, he was ordained and installed pastor of the congregation then under the care of the Associate Reformed Presbytery of Caledonia.  He remained pastor of the congregation until Sept. 6, 1865, when he was, at his own request, released by the Presbytery; 157 persons were received into church fellowship during his pastorate.  In 1852, the present house of worship was erected, at a cost of $1800, having a seating capacity of 300.

   On May 25, 1858, the union between the "Associate" and Associate Reformed Churches was consummated in the city of Pittsburgh, and the united body was called the "United Presbyterian Church of North America."  Since the time of this union the Lyndon congregation has been under the care of the United Presbytery of Caledonia, which came into the union at its consummation.

     The members of the congregation living in and near Franklinville resolved on having a separate organization, and a petition was presented to the Caledonia Presbytery at its meeting in Geneva, N.Y., May 7, 1867.

     The petition was granted, and the Presbytery ordered the organization of the United Presbyterian Church of Franklinville.  In obedience to that order the church was organized by the Rev. Dr. McVean, June 25, 1867.  The effect of this order was a division of this congregation, and 24 members were dismissed to form the new church, and soon after 12 more to form connection with it.  The church was left without a pastor for nearly five years; the administration of divine ordinances was maintained with a good degree of regularity, and several preachers supplied the pulpit.  Among these was the present pastor, Rev. R. G. Campbell who preached during the months of February and March, 1870.  June 6, 1870, a Congregational meeting was held, presided over by the Rev. W. J. Robinson, at which a call was made to R. G. Campbell, a licentiate, of the Monongahela Presbytery, but who was then under the care of the St. Louis Presbytery (now called the Presbytery of Southern Illinois).  The call was sustained as regular by the Presbytery at a meeting held at Mumford, June 20, 1870, and was presented to the candidate Aug. 31 of that year at a meeting of the Presbytery at Franklinville, and was by him accepted.  On the next day the Presbytery met at Lyndon, and Mr. Campbell was ordained to the ministry and installed pastor of the church, and the relation then formed between pastor and people has been maintained unbroken to this date.  The church has a present 70 members, and a Sabbath-school in connection with an average attendance of about 100 members.  James Scott is the present superintendent.

                 FREE-WILL BAPTIST CHURCH

     In 1816 a Free-Will Baptist Church was organized at the house of Seth Markham, by two missionaries, the Revs. Jeremiah and Abraham Folsom.  The Rev. Thomas Pratt was the first pastor.  The Rev. Mr. Howe has ministered to the church; the Rev. Mr. Cartwright is the present pastor.  The church has been supplied part of the time by the ministers in charge of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Rushford.  In 1839 the present church edifice was erected at a cost of $1200.

                     METHODIST CHURCH

A small society has been organized at Abbot's Corners under charge of Ischua Church.

                             POST-OFFICE

     The first mail through Lyndon, on the route from Angelica to Franklinville, was carried by _____ Shaw, about 1826, and in that year _____  Hopkins was appointed postmaster.  The receipts for the first quarter were 50 cents.  His successors have been Wm. Spencer, Orrin Upson, Wm. Little, Fred. Landis, and Duncan R. Campbell, who is the present postmaster.

     There is also a post-office at the Ransom Settlement, on the east line of the town.

                    CEMETERIES

     Early burials were made on the north side of the road, about 80 rods west from the United Presbyterian Church.  The first burial was Mrs. Gilman.  A cemetery is connected with the Free-Will Baptist Church, on the east line of the town.  Burials are mostly made in Franklinville.
                    SCHOOLS

     The first school was taught in the east part of the town by Sally Osborne, in the summer of 1815.  A school was

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taught later, about one mile east from Lyndon Centre.  Thankful Spencer was the first teacher at this place.  She was succeeded by Jane Frary.  The first school-house was built on the top of the hill, at Lyndon Centre, about 1820.

     The number of school districts in the town is at present eight, with six school-houses, valued, with sites, at $1140, having in library 335 volumes, valued at $168.  Number of teachers employed, 6; amount of money paid for teachers' wages in year ending Sept. 30, 1875, $910.75; number of weeks taught, 168; number of children of school age, 262; average daily attendance, 120; amount of public money received from State, $659.45; amount of money received from tax, $202.

                         AGRICULTURE

     This town has no villages within its borders, and the people are devoted to dairying and grazing.  Butter is made in families to considerable extent, and the statistics are not easily ascertained.  The cheese interests are represented by four factories, that manufacture about 570,000 pounds of cheese annually, and are located as follows: Lyndon Factory is situated two miles west of Lyndon Centre, and is owned by Alex. Currie, A. B. Carter, Thomas Case, and E. G. Mitchell.  It uses the milk of about 600 cows.  Elgin Factory is about half a mile north of the Centre; is owned by Richard Little and others, and has connected with it about 325 cows.  Lyndon Factory, No. 2, is situated about two miles southeast of the Centre, and uses the milk of 400 cows.  It is owned by J. N. Sheldon, of Cuba.  What is now called the Stow Factory is north two and a half miles from the Centre, and has a patronage of about 150 cows.  It is owned by De Witt Stow.

     There are three factories just over the line of this town, in Allegany County, which use the milk from many cows that belong in this town, and the statement given about does not fairly represent the cheese interest of the town.

     Following are the agricultural and school statistics of the town for the year

1835:
cres.............................................................    20,953
   "      improved................................................     2,154
Assessed value real estate......................................     $36,959
 "        "   personal estate....................................      $ 238
Cattle..........................................................         678
Horses.........................................................           90
Sheep...........................................................         808
Swine...........................................................         604
Fulled cloth, yards.............................................         575
Woolen, unfulled, yards..........................................      1,280
County tax......................................................     $295.84
Town tax........................................................     $444.90
Number of school districts....................................             5
Public money expended...........................................         $42
Teachers' wages and public money................................         $67
Number of scholars............................ .................         153


Below are given, for comparison, the agricultural statistics of 1855 and 1875 from the census returns of those years:

1855
Acres improved................................................        10,289
  "   unimproved..............................................        9,267
  "   meadow..................................................        3,386
Hay cut, tons.................................................        2,502
Oats, acres sowed.............................................        1,671
  "   bushels harvested........................................      31,873
Corn, acres planted..........................................           162
  "   bushels harvested.......................................        4,430
Potatoes, acres planted......................................           144
   "     bushels harvested.....................................      13,055
Apples,    "        "     ....................................        3,647
Maple-sugar, pounds manufactured...............................      30,545
Honey, pounds collected.......................................        2,620
Cows.........................................................           826
Butter, pounds manufactured....................................      77,700
Cheese,   "      "        .....................................      46,370
Sheep.........................................................        4,063
Wool, pounds clipped...........................................      10,172

1875
Acres improved...............................................      14,824
 "     unimproved...........................................        5,751
 "     meadow...............................................        4,626
Hay cut, tons...............................................        5,196
Corn, acres planted.......................................             92
 "    bushels harvested.....................................        1,665
Oats, acres sowed...........................................        1,560
"     bushels harvested......................................      37,158
Potatoes, acres planted....................................           151
 "        bushels harvested..................................      18,500
Apple trees.................................................        8,039
Apples, bushels harvested....................................      10,645
Maple-sugar, pounds manufactured.............................      35,570
Cows........................................................        1,996
Cows whose milk was sent to factory.........................        1,772
Butter, pounds made in families..............................      32,790
Cheese,     "          "   "       "     ..................           200
Sheep shorn................................................           384
Wool, pounds clipped........................................        1,814
Pork,    "   raised..........................................      54,216