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Formation of the Towns of Chautauqua County

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Article and accompanying sketches copied from
The CHAUTAUQUA GENEALOGIST; Vol 13, No 3, MAY 1990; pages 26-28, 30.
The "Genealogist" is the quarterly newsletter of the Chautauqua County Genealogical Society;
coeditors (1988-1998) Lois and Norwood Barris.


THE FORMATION OF CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY TOWNS 1804-1918

This information was extracted from Hist. of Chaut. Co. (1846) by E F Warren and from Board of Supervisor’s minutes. [compiled by NoLo]

Previous to 1804, the whole of present Chautauqua County was part of the town of Batavia in the county of Genessee, but in that year the town of Chautauque was incorporated, and embraced the entire territory now included within the limits of the County. [Except for ones in the 10th Range.]

In March, 1808, the town of Chautauque was divided and that of Pomfret erected. The tenth and eleventh ranges of townships, from the Pennsylvania line to Lake Erie, and the fifth and sixth townships in the twelfth range, including the present towns of Carroll, Poland, Ellington, Cherry Creek, Villenova, Hanover, Sheridan, Pomfret, Arkwright, Charlotte, Gerry, Ellicott and a part of Busti, were embraced in the new town of Pomfret

At this same time, the limits of the County were defined, and the name given to it. The population did not then entitle it to he fully organized as a separated County, and it was therefore continued as a part of Genessee until 1811. [Note: In the 1810 federal census its citizens were enumerated along with Niagara County.]

In June 1812, the towns of Ellicott, Gerry and Hanover were incorporated. Ellicott included the present towns of Carroll, Ellicott and Poland, and a part of Busti, being the first and second townships in the tenth and eleventh ranges of the Holland Land Company survey.

The Town of Gerry included the present towns of Gerry, Ellington, Charlotte and Cherry Creek. Gerry had the same extent of territory as, and laid immediately north of Ellicott.

Hanover included townships five and six of the eleventh range, which are now in the towns of Villenova, Hanover, and parts of Arkwright and Sheridan.

In 1813 the town of Portland was erected. It was taken from Chautauque, and at its first organization embraced the territory now included in the towns of Westfield, Portland and Ripley.

The towns of Harmony and Ripley were erected by the Legislature in 1816. The former included the present town of Harmony (including North Harmony) and a portion of Busti, having for its northern boundary the line between the second and third townships and the Chautauque Lake; for its eastern, the line between the eleventh and twelfth ranges of townships; for its southern, the Pennsylvania line; and for its western, the line of townships between the thirteenth and fourteenth ranges, according to the Holland Land Company's survey.

The town of Ripley comprised the present town of that name, and that part of Westfield which lies west of Chautauque Creek.

The towns of Clymer, Stockton, and Ellery, were organized in 1821. The former embraced the townships one and two in the fourteenth and fifteenth ranges. Stockton included the fourth township in the thirteenth range and one tier of lots from the third township in the same range, and the same from the fourth township in the thirteenth range. Ellery embraced that part of the third township in the twelfth range, not included in Stockton, the fractional part of township two in the same range lying northerly of Chautauque Lake, and a small part of township three in the thirteenth range, lying easterly of the Lake.

The towns of Busti and Villenova were organized in 1823. The former was named for Paul Busti, the General Land Agent of the Holland Land Company resident in the city of Philadelphia. Busti included portions of the 1st townships in the eleventh and twelfth ranges, lying south of Chautauque lake and between the towns of Ellicott and Harmony was then organized, and taken in part from each.

Villenova was taken from Hanover, and includes the fifth township in the tenth range, according to the original survey.

Ellington and Mina were organized in 1824. Ellington embraced the third and fourth townships in the tenth range, taken from Gerry. Mina was taken from Clymer and included townships two in the fourteenth and fifteenth ranges.

Carroll was organized in 1825, taken from Ellicott, and occupies the southeastern-most portion of the County. It includes the first township in the tenth range, and the east half of township one in the eleventh range, except a tier of lots on the north side which still forms part of Ellicott.

In 1827, the town of Sheridan was erected. It was taken from Pomfret and Hanover, and includes the sixth township in the eleventh range, excepting lots one, two, three, and four, in the southeast corner, on a portion of which the village of Forestville stands, which remain attached to Hanover.

The towns of Westfield, Charlotte, Arkwright, Cherry Creek, and French Creek were formed in 1829.

Westfield was taken from Ripley and Portland, and includes parts of the third and fourth townships in the fourteenth range. It is somewhat irregular in shape, bordering on Lake Erie on the north and extending into the interior as far south as the north line of the second tier of townships, within twelve miles of the Pennsylvania line.

Charlotte was taken from Gerry and includes the entire fourth township in the eleventh range.

Arkwright was taken from Pomfret and Villenova and includes the fifth township in the eleventh range, excepting lot sixty-four in the northwest corner, which remains attached to Pomfret

Cherry Creek was taken from Ellington and is equal to the fourth township in the tenth range.

French Creek was taken from Clymer and is equal to the first township in the fifteenth range, lying in the southwest corner of the County, adjoining the Pennsylvania line.

In 1832 the town of Poland, equal to the second township in the tenth range, was created by the Legislature and taken from Ellicott.

Sherman, the second township in the fourteenth range, was incorporated that same year, taken from the Town of Mina.

In 1845, an act of the Legislature enlarged the town of Ellicott by annexing the northern tier of lots from township one of the eleventh range. Four of these lots were taken from the town of Busti and four from the town of Carroll.

In 1850, by act of the county Board of Supervisors, the town of Stockton was enlarged by annexing from the town of Ellery in township three, range twelve, the eastern four lots from Ellery's northern tier of lots.

Kiantone was formed from Carroll in 1853, taking the eastern half of township one, range eleven, lying west of Connewango Creek, except for the northern four lots given to Ellicott in 1845

Dunkirk, in 1859, became the latest (prior to North Harmony in 1918) and smallest of Chautauqua towns to be formed. It was taken from the northern section of the town of Pomfret, leaving Pomfret comprising all of township five and the entire two southern tiers of lots in township six of the twelfth range

And finally in 1918, North Harmony was taken from the northern section of the town of Harmony comprising all of township two of the thirteenth range and also lots 43 thru 54 in township two of the twelth range.


PULL UP MAPS SHOWING THE FORMATION OF THE TOWNS OF CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY

1808-1813 (86K) 1816-1823 (74K) 1824-1829 (83K) 1839-1918 (71K)