History of Alfred, New York
A Centennial Memorial
History of Allegany County, New York
John S. Minard, Esq. Historian
Mrs. Georgia Drew Andrews, Editor.
W. A. Fergusson & Co., Alfred, N. Y. 1896
Transcribed by: Diana Gates Reinhart
ALFRED. The history of Alfred covers an even century. Previous
to 1795 no white man is known to have lived
BY SILAS C. BURDICK.
within its borders. Its high hills with their narrow valleys, which constitute the watershed between the Gene-
see and Canisteo rivers, were covered with primitive forest. The Seneca Indians were owners and possessors
of the land. By the triumph of the American people in the Revolution all foreign claims of ownership were ex-
tinguished, and the power of the Indian Confederacy was broken, but New York and Massachusetts each
claimed ownership under conflicting patents. In 1786 New York conceded the lands to Massachusetts but re-
tained the sovereignty. In November, 1788, the ownership passed to Messrs. Phelps & Gorham. Robert
Morris became owner May 11, 1791, and the same year sold them to Pulteney, Homby & Colquhoun, of Lon-
don, England. By their agents, whose office was at Bath, Steuben county, most of the lands of Alfred were
sold to the settlers at from $2 to $4 per acre.
IT WAS IN THE SPRING of 1795 that Nathanael Dike (see page 301), from
Tioga Point, Pa., settled at the foot of Elm Valley on Dike's Creek. Here
he built a mill, and here, marked by rude headstones, may still be seen the
graves of members of his family, bearing dates 1798, 1801 and 1803.
Stephen Cole, from Tioga Point, also settled in 1795 in the same neighbor-
hood. His son, Daniel Cole, is said to have been the first white child born
in the county. Major Moses Van Campen, Matthew McHenry, Joseph Rath-
bun, William Gray and Rev. Andrew Gray from Wyoming county, Pa., set-
tled in 1796 in McHenry and Karr valleys. John Cryder settled in 1798
near the state line on Cryder Creek, and during the next few years Samuel
and Benjamin Van Campen, Samuel, Joseph and Walter Karr and others
from Wyoming Valley settled in Almond. Tarbell Whitney was a settler in
Whitney's Valley in 1806, and Silas Stillman in 1807. Although the owners
of these lands made strenuous efforts to attract settlers, distrust of titles,
the density of the forest, the presence of bears, wolves and panthers, and of
roving bands of Indians, greatly retarded settlement until after the war
CIVIL ORGANIZATION.-In 1806, in response to a petition of the inhabi-
tants, the legislature of New York passed an-act creating the county of Alle-
gany out of Genesee and Steuben, and constituting the town of Alfred out
of the four southern townships of the seventh or western range of town-
ships of Steuben county, specifying that the first town meeting be held at
the dwelling of Benjamin Van Campen. This meeting was held on the first
Tuesday in April, 1808, and the officers elected were: Joseph Karr, super-
visor; Joseph A. Rathbun, town clerk; John Potman, Silas Ferry and
Wheeler Hinman, assessors; Samuel Karr, collector; Roswell Haskin and
Walter Karr, overseers of the poor; Elihu Knight, Benjamin Van Campen
and William Gray, commissioners of highways; Miles Oakley, Sr:, John
McIntosh and James Ayars, constables; Micah Haskin, Charles W. Clark,
Philip Doderer and Miles Oakley, Sr., overseers of highways; Benjamin Van
Campen, pound-master; Ardon Cobb, Stephen Major and Phineas Stephens,
fence viewers. A bounty of $4 was voted "for every wolf killed."
Alfred as organized contained about 160 square miles, an area 6 miles
wide, extending from the state line 27 miles north along the present west
line of Steuben county to the present northern boundary of Almond.
March 16, 1821, Independence, which included the present Andover and
parts of the present Willing and Wellsville was set off, also Almond, which
included parts of West Almond and Birdsall. April 2, 1857, the western
part of Alfred was made part of Ward. Alfred now covers a space 6 miles
long, north and south, by 5 miles wide, about midway in the eastern range of
the towns of the county, and contains 19,200 acres. The valuation of its real
and personal estate in 1894 was $501,695; state tax, $1.085.98; county tag,
$2,244.10; town tag, $1,752.43; ratio, 13.3165 mills; no bonded debt.
SETTLEMENT.-Its Source.-The original settlers were mainly
Seventh-day Baptists. Their first church in this country was organized by
members who withdrew from the First Baptist church at Newport, R. I., in
1671. This church was the sixth Baptist church organized in America, and
they differed from their mother church only in the observance of the
"seventh day," or Saturday, as the Sabbath. During the latter half of the
17th century, and the whole of the 18th, this people established strong
settlements in the southwestern part of Rhode Island, chiefly in Westerly
and Hopkinton. Out of these by 1800 grew strong settlements and churches
in Rensselaer, Jefferson, Madison, Cortland and other counties of this state.
>From these out-stations and from the original settlements emigration set
westward to the "Genesee country." Mostly poor, frugal from necessity,
strong, industrious, claiming absolute freedom of religious faith and prac-
tice for themselves and all others, and the Bible as the only competent auth-
ority in religious matters, they grappled cheerfully and courageously with
the problems of their situation. Alfred was settled by them during the first
quarter of this 19th century; the overflow passed on to Independence,.
Friendship, Amity, Genesee, and from thence to the western and southern
The earliest settlers followed Indian trails, the chief one leading from
Fort Niagara to and down the Canisteo, Chemung and Susquehanna rivers.
This passed near the northeastern corner of Alfred and had become well
worn by war parties during the Revolution. Settlers from the far east
might come by Albany, and the Schoharie and Susquehanna valleys or by
Schenectady, Utica, Geneva and Bath. Whatever way they chose the roads
were mostly bridgeless and of the most primitive kind, making travel
tedious and difficult. From Hornellsville westward for many years the only
roads were little more than wood paths marked by "blazed trees."
The first settlers in present Alfred came on foot in 1807, from Berlin,
Rensselaer county. These were Clark Crandall, Nathan and Edward Greene.
They bought 800 acres of land along the valley near the northeastern part
626 HISTORY OF ALLEGANY COUNTY, N. Y.
of the town. Crandall's land lying below and that of the Greene's above
Alfred Station. The Greenes were sons of Edward J. Greene, soldier of
the Revolution, born in Charlestown, R. I., 1758. He followed his family
later from Brookfield, N.Y., to Alfred, where he died March 28,1836. His four
sons, Edward, Nathan, Maxson and Isaiah, and his four daughters, Hannah
(Fisk-Spicer), Tacy (Hamilton), Susanna (Maxson) and Annis (Livermore),
all became heads of prominent families. The home of Edward J. Greene
was on the site now covered by the hardware store of Burdick & Greene.
Edward Greene was drowned a few years after his settlement while rafting
lumber in the Canisteo river at Hornellsville. Edward and Nathan Greene
and Amos Jones built the first frame house of the town.
1808. Luke Maxson, Sr., also from Berlin, settled on the south 100 acres
of lot 14. He had also been a soldier of the Revolution. His sons, Luke Jr.,
and George, and his daughters Lydia (Green) and Martha (Saunders-Green),
all became heads of families prominent throughout the history of Alfred.
Luke Maxson, Jr., succeeded to the homestead, and his marriage with Sus-
arena Greene was the first marriage celebrated. The old Maxson home is
now owned by the widow of Perry F. Potter on South Main St., Alfred.
Maxson Greene, son of Edward J., came this year from Berlin, and set-
tled first on land taken up by his brothers, but soon after came into posses-
sion of the farm on lot 14, now occupied by Alfred University and part of
the south half of the village of Alfred. His home is now the home of Ira B.
Crandall. Maxson Greene was a man of great excellence of character, one of
the staunchest and most energetic of the early promoters of our religious
and educational institutions. While on a visit in Wisconsin in 1850, Mr.
Greene died of cholera July 28th, and his wife July 29th. Hannah, eldest
daughter of Edward J. Greene, known as "Aunt Hannah," was one of the
most notable women of early days. She became the wife of James Fisk,
and her home was one of the first "taverns." Being a professional accou-
cheur, she often rode alone on horseback through the woods whenever and
wherever duty called her, her lone journeys giving her many thrilling ex-
periences with bears and wolves. Her husband was drafted in the war of
1812, and died shortly after his return. She afterwards married Gideon L.
Spicer and removed to Friendship. Edward G. Fisk was her son, and Irena,
wife of Luke Greene, was her daughter. She died of apoplexy at Alfred in
Luke Greene, father of Philip S. Greene, Esq., came from Massachu-
setts in 1808, and settled on "Sugar Hill." He removed to Illinois in 1838
and died in 1874. Luke Greene's father, Judge Edward Greene, a veteran
of the Revolution and of the war of 1812, and who had been the first judge
of Madison county, accompanied his other sons, Paris and Jeremy, to Alfred
Deacon George Stillman of Berlin took up the land next west of the Fisk
farm, and his family became another of our chief families. The heirs of his
nephew, Phineas C. Stillman, now own the farm. His sons, George, Jr. and
David M., early removed to Hebron, Pa. His daughter, Sylvia, became the
wife of Elisha Coon. Margaret married Jonathan Palmiter, Esther was the
wife of Jared Coon, another daughter married Edward Burdick, another
married Gardner Hall, Abby married Silas Stillman, and Lucy, Amasa L.
Jones. Rebecca Stillman was the first white child born in the town.
1809. William Saunders from Berlin, N. Y., took up the farm south of
Alfred now owned by Hon. B. F. Langworthy. He returned to Berlin and
married Martha, daughter of Luke Maxson, Sr. Mr. Saunders was drafted
in the war of 1812, served two years, and died three weeks after his return.
His widow sold the farm to Jonathan Palmiter, Jr. She later became the
second wife of Nathan Greene. Her son, William M. Saunders, one of the
very few survivors of the first settlers, is now living at Alfred. Her daughter
Susan married Deacon Charles D. Langworthy, and her daughter Lydia
was the wife of Deacon George Allen. John Teater from Oneida county
took up the farm below Alfred village, now owned by Charles Stillman
where one of the earliest "taverns" was kept. His daughter, Nancy Teater,
who married Samuel White of Whitesville in 1817, was the town's first
school teacher. Charles H. Clark and Peter Murphy were among the ear-
1813. David Satterlee born 1786, ancestor of the numerous family of
that name in Alfred, came from Broad Albin, Conn., purchased 50 acres
from Nathan Greene on lot 7, and afterward 50 acres adjoining, where he
resided until about 1825, when he removed to Hornellsville where he died
in 1877. Elder Amos Satterlee, a brother of David Satterlee, came about
the same time, and was one of the earliest resident ministers of the gospel.
The site of his home is now occupied by that of Arthur B. Greene on North
Main street, Alfred.
1814. James C. Burdick, father of Alexander, Alva, Russell W. and
James T., born in Connecticut in 1771, bought 100 acres on lot 25 at $3 per
acre. Here he died in 1848. Deacon Amos Burdick, born in Kingston, R. I.,
in 1790, with his father, Amos Burdick, Sr., settled in "East Valley" on lot
43. Elias Smith, Sr., a native of Haddam, Conn., came with his family from
Brookfield, and settled one mile west of Alfred, on 100 acres of lot 21. His
son, Elias Smith, Jr., a soldier in the war of 1812, succeeded to the farm,
where he died in 1837, aged 48. This farm is now owned by Albert Smith,
son of Elias, Jr. Ashbel Smith, son of Elias Smith, Sr., and father of Joseph
and Noel B. Smith (still residing in the town) owned the farm next east of
his father's. Ashbel Smith was prominent in public affairs, helping to
* The following copy of an authentic, doubtless, but nameless manuscript, showing the early condition of
the road which became, soon after the close of the war of 1812, the chief thoroughfare between the East and _
"Olean Point" and the "Great West": " In 1809 we opened the road from Andover to Baker's Bridge.
My father bought a barrel of salt and got Mr. Whitney (must have been Tarbel Whitney), to fetch it to where
the Summit now is on the railroad. The road was made on the side hill on account of the big swamp, and it
was so sideling that it needed one man to go along with a handspike through a ring in the sleigh to keep it
from turning over. We had no team and father being unable to get one, he and my two oldest brothers drew
the barrel of salt home on a handsled. It was pretty tough work as the stumps and roots were all in the road."
628 HISTORY OF ALLEGANY COUNTY, N. Y.
open the first road between Alfred and the Genesee river at Scio. He died
aged 84. Isaac Burdick born in Rhode Island in 1763, took up 400 acres in
the northeast corner where he built one of the earliest sawmills. He died
in 1841 aged 78. His sons, Isaac, Palmer and Nathan, succeeded him in the
ownership of the land. Abel Burdick from Brookfield, settled on the hill in
the northern part of the town, and, like most of his race, lived to a ripe old
age. His success in the manufacture of large quantities of maple sugar,
with the most primitive conveniences, was the source of the name "Sugar
Hill." According to Rev. Hiram P. Burdick, Abel, who did not weigh 100
pounds, with his three sons not yet grown, in one year made 2,900 pounds
of sugar, catching the sap in troughs made with axes from cherry and bass-
wood trees. They gathered it with neckyoke and buckets, stored it in larger
troughs dug out from sections of logs and "boiled it down " in five-pail
Richard Hull, a maker of spinning wheels, etc., came from Berlin, and
settled in the eastern part. Four of his five sons and one daughter became
well-known ministers of the gospel; his son Nathan V. serving the First
Seventh Day Baptist church of Alfred for more than 35 continuous years.
Stephen Coon, Sr., came from Berlin, and settled his family on the
farm now owned by Thomas Ellis. Returning to Berlin he died there. His
sons were Stephen, Jr., Charles, George and Olive. About the same, time
Elisha Coon also from Berlin, settled on the farm owned later by George
Sherman. The sons were Asa, George, Lorenzo, Elisha, Stephen, Daniel
and Orson. The daughters were Ann Janette (Main) and Roxy, who became
the second wife of David Rose. The school district here was known as
"Coontown," and its schoolhouse was long used for religious and business
meetings of the town. Stephen Coon built a mill near the Withey spring
north of the "marsh." Jesse Whitford came from Brookfield, settled on lot
35 where he died.
Asa Burdick, born in Rensselaer county in 1786, settled on the hill two
miles west of Alfred on 100 acres of land where he reared a large family.
His son, Asa C. still resides in Alfred. Asa Burdick removed to Wisconsin
in 1852, and died in 1864.
1815. Rodman Place, a tailor and a soldier of 1812, born in Rhode Isl-
and in 1784, came from Rensselaer county and took up 75 acres on lot 22.
He afterwards purchased other parcels aggregating 400 acres. He was the
ancestor of the numerous families of that name now in the town.
1816. Freeborn Hamilton of Brookfield, N. Y., another soldier of the
war of 1812, married Tacy, daughter of Edward J. Greene and settled on
the farm now owned by his son Deacon Freeborn Hamilton. He died in
1869. This was the origin of the Hamilton family of Alfred. Nathan and
Jonathan Lanphear, brothers, came from Berlin, N. Y., and settled in Lan-
phear Valley. Nathan Lanphear, was especially distinguished as a man
of high character and lovable disposition. He was a most useful man in
civil and religious affairs, and lived to advanced age. His son Mortimer
now owns the homestead. Seeley Monroe was a settler in the western part
as was George Greene who came from Brookfield and bought the farm now
owned by Samuel N. Stillman. Elias P. Burdick, born in 1786 in Rhode
Island, settled on lot 21, two miles west of Alfred. He soon removed to
Alfred Station engaging with his brother-in-law, Clark Crandall, in the man-
ufacture of pails. After the burning of their factory he conducted the jew-
elry business at that place until his death in 1867, when he was succeeded
by his son John C. Burdick.
This year was "the year without a summer." Its winter was unusually
mild, but snow fell and ice formed during every month, and vegetation was
mainly destroyed. Great privation and suffering everywhere prevailed.
Jabish Odell, Martin Emerson, Russell Davis and Amos Burdick came this
year from Brookfield, N. Y. Odell settled on "Sugar Hill," Davis (died in
1818) and Emerson in the eastern part of town. Amos Burdick came on
foot, worked some months for Judge Clark Crandall, then took up 100 acres
on lot 19, two miles west of Alfred, where he built a small frame house. He
returned to Brookfield, married Anstis, daughter of John Clark, and came
back in the spring of 1818. In 1839 he sold this farm to Isaac Fenner and
removed to the Fisk farm at the village of Alfred, where he died in 1881,
aged 85. He kept a public house 13 years and engaged in trade in 1862, in
which he continued until his death. His sons, Milo, William C. and Silas C.
have been among the business men of the town. Clark Potter, Enos P.
Burdick, Moses Kemp, Seth Beebe, Sr., Jesse Saunders, Welcome and
Nelson Burdick, Charles Coon, Solomon Head, David Sweet, Ambrose Coats,
Barber Cheesebrough, Thomas Benjamin, Jabez Cartwright, Oliver Bloomer,
Henry Young, Silas Benjamin, John Hill, Green Burdick, Oliver White,
Orrin Turner, Levi and Nelson Sweet, Arad Wheeler and Luke Davis were
among the settlers in the southeastern quarter of the town. Davis was a
soldier of the war of 1812; he went west to locate a land warrant and was never
heard from. Isaac Humphrey was an early settler two miles west of Alfred.
George Allen from Marcellus, Onondaga county, settled in the northwest-
ern corner of the town. Mrs. Alonzo Sisson is his daughter.
1817. John Allen (grandfather of Pres. Jonathan Allen) brought his
family with an ox team from Rhode Island and located on lot 11, where he
took up 200 acres and built a log house the same year. His children were
James, Abram, John, George W. and Catharine. All except Abram, who
removed to Wisconsin, passed their days in Alfred. Benjamin Green, a
soldier of the war of 1812, born in Berlin, N. Y., in 1783, came from Yates
county to "Jackson Hill" where he died in 1864. Ray Green, born in
Rhode Island in 1798, settled first, two miles west of Alfred village. His
wife was Lucy, daughter of Elias Smith, Sr. Joseph Davis bought 50 acres of
Arad Wheeler on lot 18, where he died in 1864. Stephen, Benjamin, and
Arnold Collins, natives of Rhode Island, settled in the southwestern part of
town. Samuel Thacher, a native of Vermont, came from Hornellsville,
married Ruth, widow of Edward Green and sister of Freeborn Hamilton.
630 HISTORY OF ALLEGANY COUNTY, N. Y.
Their home was west of Alfred Station, on land owned by Noel B. Smith.
Mr. Thacher was a substantial and much respected citizen.
1818. Davis Lee, born in Rensselaer county in 1797, took up 200 acres
on the "marsh" (Tip Top Summit), where his son Francis M. Lee now re-
sides. Joseph and John Lee also settled in this neighborhood. William
Crandall, father of Russell, born in Rensselaer county in 1799, when a lad
was a waiter in the army. He settled on lot 44 and died in 1877. Amos
Crandall from Rhode Island purchased 50 acres, built a log house and made
some improvements and went back. The next spring he and Samuel Lan-
phear, his brother-in-law, brought their families with all their goods in a
wagon, drawn by a yoke of oxen and one horse. A little later, Mr. Crandall
sold out, and bought a farm near Five Corners. "Deacon" Crandall, as he
was called, taught school four winters at $10 per month, boarding himself
and taking his pay in produce or labor. He was one of the earliest teachers
of singing schools in the town, and established the first Sabbath school. The
one he organized in his school district has had existence until the present,
nearly 75 years. It is possible that Jonathan Allen received much of his
earliest inspiration from this good teacher, who, living to great age, was a
kind, helpful friend to all to the end of his life. Nathan Williams was an
early settler at Alfred Station. He was a stone mason, for many years a
justice of the peace, and prominent in church and town. Samuel Lanphear,
a tailor, settled.on the north side of "Sugar Hill." Some years afterward
he built a gristmill a half mile below Alfred Station which he operated suc-
cessfully. His brother Acors followed him to Alfred. This year David
Stillman, a saddler and harness maker, came from Berlin and bought the
John Teater farm below Alfred village now owned by his grandson, Charles
Stillman. David Rose, a brother-in-law of Mr. Stillman, came with him.
Spencer Sweet, another brother-in-law, settled on the farm now owned by
James Champlin where he reared a large family. All were prominent in the
1819. Joseph Clair settled in the northern part of the town. Peter
Rose, a soldier of 1812, father of Thomas Rose, took up 90 acres on "Sugar
Hill." Twenty years later he moved west and died in 1877. Weeden Witter
settled this year on" Sugar Hill." In 1820, Benjamin Maxson settled in the
southern part of the town.
1822. Bradford Champlin, born in Rhode Island in 1799, took up 100
acres and lived to old age in town. His son, Green Champlin, is still a resi-
dent. Joshua Vincent from Rhode Island settled in the valley below Alfred
Station and engaged with Judge Crandall in the manufacture of pails and
worked at cabinet making. He later built a sawmill a halfmile south of
Alfred Station. He died at Farina, Ill., in 1873. His son, Daniel C. Vincent,
resided in town until his death. He was prominent in public affairs and a
justice. His son, Paul M. Vincent, was a school teacher and surveyor; he
also moved west. Caleb Warren came from Rensselaer Co., in 1822 and
located on lot 30. Elijah Woolworth, from Lewis county, and later from
Brookfield, settled at the head of Vandermark Creek, and Elijah Lewis from
Brookfield, a cooper, settled on the east side of "Pine Hill."
1823. Abner Allen from Onondaga Co., settled at the head of McHenry
Valley, as did Col. Nathan Potter who bought 400 acres at Five Corners
where he died two years later. Colonel Potter came from Potter Hill, R. I.,
where he had been a ship builder and manufacturer. His sons, David, Nathan
and Elisha were machinists. David built a foundry at Five Corners and
later removed to Almond where he built a foundry and sawmill, Nathan built
a wool carding machine at Alfred Station and Elisha for many years carried
on successful woolcarding and cloth manufacturing and dressing in Whit-
ney's Valley just north of the town line. Later he built a steam sawmill at
Alfred. Albert and Ezra, the other sons of Colonel Potter, were successful
farmers. His daughter Cynthia married Deacon Amos Crandall. Hannah
married Samuel Lanphear, Susan married Daniel Langworthy, Milly mar-
ried Isaac Fenner.
1824. Isaac Fenner, from Herkimer Co., settled this year in the west
part of town. Ebenezer Allen from Onondaga Co., settled in the northwest-
ern part. Luke Green, from Rensselaer Co., located at the "Center" first
as a blacksmith, afterwards as a tanner and currier. In 1836 he engaged in
merchandising which he conducted during his lifetime. George and Asa
Sisson, brothers, and Thomas Merritt, a brother-in-law, settled north of,
and Hosea Barber at Five Corners. All from Rhode Island. Barber was a
tanner, and currier and shoemaker. Christopher Crandall, Rowland P. and
Samuel Thomas took up farms on " Sugar Hill." Daniel, Nathan and Sam-
uel Pierce, settled west of Five Corners.
1825. Maxson Stillman, Sr., brother of George Stillman, Sr., came in
1825 from Rensselaer Co., with his sons Maxson, Jr., Silas and Phineas C.
This was a family of wheelwrights and artisans. Many of the mills and
private and public buildings of Alfred and surrounding towns were built by
them. Of the daughters of this family Susan was the wife of William Lang-
worthy, Martha the wife of James Langworthy, Lydia first wife of Clark
Rogers and Emma, wife of Albert Langworthy, and second wife of Clark
Rogers. Maxson Stillman, Jr., born in 1799, is now the oldest resident of the
town. Always prominent as a citizen, he has served on the board of trustees of
Alfred Academy and University for more than half a century. Joseph Ed-
wards, Sr., Chas. D. Langworthy and Jeremiah Burdick came in 1825. Ed-
wards located on 100 acres a mile west of Five Corners. His son, Joseph Ed-
wards, Jr., now lives in town. Langworthy was born in North Stonington,
Conn., in 1804. In 1827 he bought 50 acres of Nathan Pierce on lot 4 and later
added 250 more. He was a leading citizen and died in 1876. Burdick, a native of
Rhode Island, brought his family with him with a horse team; he settled in
Alfred, later lived in Hornellsville, then returned to Alfred. He died Oct. 1,
1878, aged 92. His sons, Stephen C., William R., and Stillman M., have all
been well-known business men. Thomas Benjamin from Brookfield, settled
on lot 26 and died in 1837. Alpheus Green came from Connecticut; he was
632 HISTORY OF ALLEGANY COUNTY. N. Y.
father of Dr. Elisha C. Green. Daniel Cook, from Massachusetts, was father
of Washington and John H. Cook. Ezekiel R. Saunders from Westerly, R.
I., in 1826 settled on lot 10, died 1878. George Champlin, father of James
Champlin, born in Rhode Island in 1802, purchased 75 acres in the western
part of town in 1827. William Davis from Madison county in 1828 settled on
1829. Thomas T. Burdick, Phineas K. and John R. Shaw came in 1829.
Burdick, a native of Rhode Island, took up 50 acres on lot 10, lived there
until 1865, then at Alfred village. He died in 1869. His brother Alexander
B., from Newport, R. I., settled near him. Their brother Lee, and father,
Thompson Burdick, also lived in town. The Shaws were from Rensselaer
county and settled in East Valley. Carey Burdick, Rogers Crandall and
Barton W. Millard were settlers of this, period. All near the center of the
town. Paul Witter, from Madison county, settled in East Valley in 1834.
John Penny, born in Johnstown, N. Y., Nov. 13, 1802, came from Ithaca,.
where he manufactured cotton goods, in 1835. He settled a mile west of
Alfred village and was a prominent and much respected citizen. He removed
in 1850 to Amity and died in 1861. His brother, Cyrenus Penny, was for a
time connected with Luke Green in business. Deacon Alfred Lewis from
Hopkinton, R. I., was a settler of this period. Jesse Hall and Wesley Kallen
settled in the southwestern part of the town.
1836. Rial Wescott settled in East Valley, also Orlando Kaple, who was
from Connecticut and a Methodist preacher. During this year came George
and Josiah Sherman, brothers, natives of Herkimer county. George, a sol-
dier of 1812, bought 150 acres of Luke Green on lot 21. He died in 1869, aged
77. Clark and Frederick Sherman were his sons. Josiah Sherman, father
of Albert B. Sherman, bought 200 acres now owned by Samuel N. Stillman.
Samuel N. Stillman, son-in-law of George Sherman, at the same time settled
on the next farm west. Mr. Stillman is still residing in Alfred.
A number of settlers of Alfred in its original form, outside of its present
limits, yet who were a part of the community may be named. Joseph Good-
rich settled 1819. He founded the settlement in Milton, Wis., 1839. Beriah
Bliven, Rouse Stillman, Gardner and William Tucker, Zepheniah Wilbur
Gardner, Lorenzo and Green Worden, George Maxson, Stephen Powell,
Henry Sheldon, Thomas Brandt, Nathan Austin.*
The great cyclone of 1838 unroofed many buildings and did much dam-
age in the town, but was not so serious here as elsewhere.
REMINISCENCES BY ETHAN LANPHEAR.-My father, Samuel Lanphear, left Rhode Island
in 1816, the "cold season," on foot, and traveled west to Rochester; the "Genesee river coun-
try" being a wilderness, he followed up the river to Allegany county, passed the home of Mary
Jemison, the "white woman," on his way. He was laid up two months with ague at Geo. Saun-
ders' on the side hill southwest of Baker's Bridge. He returned to Rhode Island in 1819, decided
not to remain among the rocks of Rhode Island, and he and Amos Crandall, his brother-in-law,
with packs on their backs, started on foot for Alfred, where they selected lands on the north
side of "Sugar Hill." Having built small log cabins they returned to Rhode Island. Father
* The above statement must needs be incomplete and probably contains errors, but it has been prepared
with care from the best sources of information to be reached at this time.
owned a house at Potter Hill, R. I., which they found burned to the ground and nearly every-
thing with it; but not daunted at this he bought a yoke of oxen and a large wagon, covered it
with cotton sheets, had his oxen shod, and "breeching" attached to the yoke to favor the oxen
in holding the load in going down hill, loaded in the wagon the goods of both families, and all
started for Baker's Bridge or Alfred. They were accompanied for miles by friends to bid them
farewell as they thought for the last time. They were 15 or so days on the road, stopping to
rest a few days at Brookfield. They succeeded in getting through safely, camping out by the
roadside when no log tavern could be reached. My father was a tailor, and there was not a
regular tailor within a radius of forty miles, though Rodman Place did work at it some. It was a
great help to "Uncle Sam," as they called father. When the news was spread abroad he was
sent for to take his "goose" and shears and come down to Canisteo and help the families clothe
up. Arrangements were made for Uncle Amos to look after the families and father was off.
When he arrived there he introduced himself to Landlord Stephens, who climbed up on a large
stump and hurrahed to his neighbors that there was a tailor in town and all that wanted clothes
cut or made to bring their cloth. It was a harvest for father as he remained until he paid for a
cow, four sheep, two pigs, a pair of geese, several chickens and several bushels of grain. He
returned and found all happy, got a hand to go with him with the ox team, and went for his
earnings, stopping at Hornell's mill at Hornellsville to have his grain ground. Father built a
log pen for his shotes near the house to wont them, and then let them out to get their own liv-
ing on beechnuts through the winter. One night an old bear clambered over the pen and took
one in his arms and started for the woods. A lantern was lighted and swung in the darkness
and some big halloaing was done until the pig was dropped. The next morning the pig was
found back in the pen again. Not long after this neighbors were going through the wood path
and the dog that was along treed a bear. Some stayed with the dog and watched the bear,
while others went for Luke Green, "Sugar Hill Luke," he being a good hunter, to come with
his rifle. It was not long before bruin was a dead bear, and the neighbors around had a treat
of bear meat. All were neighbors in those times and none had anything too good for his neigh-
bor. Wild game was a great help in those early days. My father cleared up his land quite rapid-
ly, as with his shears he could earn two or three days' work with one of his own. Men used to
come from Bath and long distances to get him to do their work, and the custom was for people
to bring their rolls of cloth and leave them, and when they wanted a garment cut or made,
come and leave their measure. I think sometimes he would have a half-cord of rolls under
Uncle Amos used to work at shoemaking some, and rolls of leather were left with him in the
same manner. Sometimes the shoemaker would go from house to house to shoe up the fami-
lies. Sugar Hill took its name from the fact that it Was heavily wooded with sugar maple, and
the settlers made such large quantities of maple sugar. It was not uncommon for my father
to make 500 or 1,000 pounds of maple sugar in a season. The first preachers I remember were
Amos Satterlee, Richard Hull and, later, Daniel Babcock and Spencer Sweet. Richard Hull
preached the first sermon I remember of in the schoolhouse at the " Bridge." He could scarce-
ly read or write his name at that time. He worked at farming, and made spinning wheels-
large and small-quill wheels, etc. He wore no coat, linen trousers, and a vest, without a shoe
to his feet. David Stillman and my father talked the matter over that he ought to have some
shoes. Father, after meeting, stepped out to the door, picked up a stick, and stepped back
to the side of the preacher, stooped down, took hold of his foot and said, "Take up!" He
measured the foot, and the next Sabbath the Elder came to church with shoes on his feet.
Men, women and children often went to church barefooted in those days, and preachers had
no salary. Dr. John Collins was the first physician of Alfred, and a good one too, and a kind-
hearted man. He started the first temperance society, and lectured at the "Bridge" school-
house. I went with my mother to hear him. We both signed the pledge, and neither of us
ever took a glass of liquor as a beverage from that day to this. Bless her memory! I have
seen Elders R. Hull, Daniel Babcock and Deacon Spencer Sweet, all in the pulpit together,
when they would keep the people half an hour or more, waiting for them to agree as to which
should preach. Men were human then as well as now. Amos Crandall, Clark Crandall and
Maxson Stillman used to act as choristers alternately, always standing in front of the pulpit to
lead the congregation in singing. Amos Crandall first started a Sabbath-school or Bible-
class in Alfred.
DEVELOPMENTS, PRODUCTS, ETC.-The first business of the settlers in
Alfred was to make "clearings." The ashes, carefully saved from the
burned fallows and converted into potash, was the first source of revenue.
The making of maple sugar supplied home requirement and the surplus,
634 HISTORY OF ALLEGANY COUNTY. N. Y.
bartered with the merchant, helped to secure needed family supplies.
Lumber had little value beyond the cost of making, on account of lack of
roads and a market. Those who could hunt could in that way help supply
themselves with food, especially if they were fortunate enough to secure the
bounty offered for the killing of wolves. Flax was raised, prepared by
hand, carded, spun, woven and converted into clothing. When it became
possible sheep were raised and their wool formed, entirely by hand proc-
esses, into clothing. Few indeed were the early homes into which the cards,
the spinning-wheel, the flag-wheel, the quill-wheel, the swifts, the warping-
bars, and loom did not find an early entrance. Oxen were in general use
because considered more economical and useful than horses. The virgin
soil, enriched by the ashes of the burned timber, was highly productive; and
when the seasons were favorable, good crops of grain rewarded the farmer's
toil among the roots and stumps. Year by year the clearings widened,
orchards were planted, flocks and herds increased and roads became more
passable. Here and there a mill was built, and a few small stores were
opened. One of the earliest ones was kept by Thos. Langworthy (as was
one of the earliest taverns) in the house where Charles Stillman lives.
The merchant conducted the exchanges of the people, receiving produce for
his goods and turning the produce into cash as best he could. In summer
the wool not needed at home was sold. In the fall fat sheep and cattle went
to market "in droves." In the haying and harvesting season it was custom-
ary for such of the men as could be spared to "go north," to the lower,
warmer and longer-settled farms of Livingston and Genesee counties to con-
vert their time and strength into cash, which usually went to make payments
on the land or improvements.
The log schoolhouse early sprang up in each neighborhood, and the dis-
trict school, the singing-school, the spelling-school and the Sabbath-meeting
became a part of the life of the community. As prosperity permitted, the
large frame-barn took the place of the pole-sided, straw-shingled stable, and
a little later the frame house, with its shaved shingle roof, much smaller
generally than the barn, replaced the log hut as the family dwelling. The
hide of the beef creature found its way to the local tannery, and in time,
duly curried, was converted into boots and shoes by the shoemaker who
perhaps went from house to house for that purpose. Clothing was gener-
ally made at home; but if "style" was desired the services of the village
tailor or tailoress were secured. The styles of those days were different
from those pictured in the fashion plates of city tailors, but the clothing was
warm and serviceable, and that was all that was desired. In summer it
was not uncommon for people to go barefoot even to "meeting" on the
Sabbath. A pair of calf-skin boots or shoes was a luxury to which few could
attain. In later years when the first flush of fertility of the soil was
exhausted, it was found that grass, oats and potatoes was surer and more
profitable crops than corn and wheat, so stock-raising and dairying became
the chief business. This was doubtless brought about the earlier in this
town by the settlement of several thrifty families of dairymen from Herki-
mer county, notably those of Isaac Fenner, George and Josiah Sherman and
Samuel N. Stillman. Their skill and success was imparted from neighbor
to neighbor until, by 1850, butter and cheese were made on nearly every
farm. The opening of the Erie railroad in 1853 gave access to new and
greater markets. The cheese factory and creamery came later to improve
the quality, increase the quantity, and thereby stimulate the business,
which, small in its beginnings, has grown to immense proportions. There
are five cheese factories in the town at present, 1895. Butter, cheese,
maple syrup, apples, potatoes, hay, sheep and calves are shipped in large
The shale rock, and heavy underlying beds of clay of the northeastern
part of the town, becoming of great value as material for fine brick and
pottery, extensive terra cotta works have been established at Alfred for the
manufacture of roofing tile, etc. These works have cost $150,000 and
employ from 20 to 50 men. Tile of improved patterns excelling any other
manufactured in America is shipped to every part of the country. Extensive
pressed-brick works have also been established at Alfred Station.
Pleasant Valley Cheese Factory located near Alfred Station, owned and
conducted by E. P. Fenner, was erected by Harry W. Green. The milk of
250 cows is used and 65,000 pounds of cheese manufactured annually.
Home Cheese Factory and Creamery also located near Alfred Station
was built by Daniel T. Burdick in 1861 and purchased in 1891 by E. P. Fen-
ner, who operates it as a cheese and butter factory, making butter in the
winter. The factory uses the milk of 200 cows and makes about 50,000
pounds of cheese yearly.
Five Corners Cheese Factory located at Five Corners was built by
George West about 1866. The milk of 250 cows is used and the annual pro-
duct is 65,000 pounds of cheese. E. P. Fenner Co., the owners.
McHenry Valley Cheese Factory located in the town of Almond, was
built by Howlet & Reed in 1875, the annual product for recent years being
about 50,000 pounds of cheese. E. P. Fenner is the owner.
East Valley Cheese Factory built by A. W. Langworthy in 1872, in 1883
was purchased by T. G. Brown. The milk of 200 cows was used and 40,000
pounds of cheese made in 1893.
At the 1895 town meeting it was voted to complete the macadamized
road between Alfred and Alfred Station at a cost of $8,000. It was done the
POPULATION in 1830, 1,476; 1835, 1,903; 1840, 1,630; 1845, 1,625; 1850,
2,679; 1855, 1,707; 1860, 1,367; 1865, 1,335; 1870, 1,555; 1875, 1,381; 1880,
1,526; 1890, 1,669.
SUPERVISORS.-1809, Joseph Karr ; 1810, '11, Henry McHenry ; 1812, '13, '16, '17, '18, '24, '25, '26,'30,
'44, Clark Crandall; 1814, '15, Stephen Major; 1819, '21, '23, Jonathan Lanphear; 1820, Silas Stillman; 1827,
Paris Green; 1828, '29, '31, '34, David Stillman ; 1835,'36,'40, '42,'48,'49, Samuel L. Russell; 1837, '39, Joshua
Vincent; 1843, Isaiah W. Green; 1845, '46, Benjamin H. Green; 1847, '50, John Penny; 1851, '54, '61, Alfred
636 HISTORY OF ALLEGANY COUNTY, N. Y.
Lewis ; 1855, J. R. Hartshorn ; 1856, John N. DeWitt; 1857, '6o, '76, '77, David R. Stillman ; 1862,'63, Horace
G. Witter; 1854,'65, John L. Russell; 1866, '67; Ezra P. Crandall; 1868, '69, Maxon J. Green; 1870,'71, Clark
Sherman; 1872, '73, '78, William C. Burdick; 1874, '75, Timothy R. Chase; 1879, William R. Burdick; 1880, '82,
Almond E. Crandall ; 1883,'94, William C. Burdick; 1885, Amos C. Lewis; x886, '87, Joseph W. Smith;
1888, '89, Silas C. Burdick; 1890, David R. Stillman ; 1891, Joseph W. Smith; 1892, '92, Charles Champlin ;
1894. '95, David S. Burdick.
OFFICERS FOR 1895.-Supervisor, D. S. Burdick; town clerk, Frank A. Crumb; justices of the peace,
Charles Stillman, Harrison Keller, J. K. Reading, Ira W. Jones; assessors, Lorenzo D. Collins, William
Ellis, Harley P. Sherman ; collector, T. Augustus Burdick; overseer of the poor, Philip S. Green; inspectors
of election, 1st district, C. B. Stillman, Milo B. Greene, William H. Bassett, L. W. Niles; 2d district, Joseph
Willard, O. C. Hadsell, H. W. Green, R. B. Withey ; constables, William O. Place, Frank Sisson, T. A.
Burdick, Leroy Burdick, Ed. M. Potter.
ROLL OF HONOR.-The people of Alfred have not been wanting in pat-
riotism. The first settlers were, for the most part, sons of soldiers of the
Revolution, and themselves soldiers of the war of 1812. Alfred's sons were
conspicuous in the border warfare in Kansas. At the opening of the Re-
bellion they were prompt to respond to the call for volunteers. Albert R.
Crandall was first to enlist from this town. The names of nearly 150 of her
boys are on her roll of honor. Four or five of the professors and hundreds
of Alfred students fought in the Union ranks, many attaining high rank.
SOLDIERS OF REVOLUTION.-(Partial list), Jonathan Palmiter, Sr., Isaiah Crandall, Sr.,
Judge Edward Greene.
SOLDIERS OF I8I2-(Partial list), Isaiah Crandall, Jr., Amos Burdick, Thomas T. Burdick,
Jeremiah Hall, Freeborn Hamilton, Elijah Lewis, Nathan Lanphear, Luke Maxson. Sr., Luke
Davis, Jabish Odell, Paris Green, Rodman Place, Jonathan Palmiter, Jr., George Sherman, Will-
iam Saunders, James Fisk, Elias Smith, Jr., Henry Sheldon, Rowland P. Thomas, Caleb War-
ren, Peter Rose.
SOLDIERS IN WAR OF REBELLION. Gideon S. Allen, Co. D, 86th N. Y. Reg., enlisted
Oct. 10, 1861, died Georgetown, D. C., May 8, 1862; Nathan A. Allen, Co. G, 160th N. Y., enlisted
Sept. 4, 1862, died New Orleans Feb. 4, 1865; John I. Adams, blacksmith, Co. H, 1st N. Y.
Dragoons, enlisted August, 1862, served 3 years, died at Olean; Samuel D. Butler, Co. H, 1st
N. Y. Dragoons, enlisted August, 1862, died in hospital Suffolk, Va., Jan. 24, 1863; Thompson
Burdick, Co. H, 1st N. Y. Dragoons, enlisted August, 1862, killed Trevellian Station, Va., June
12, 1864; John C. Burdick, enlisted September, 1861, died Nov. 8, 1861 ; L. D. Cartwright, Co.
G, 141st N. Y., enlisted Sept. 29, 1864, died Jeffersonville, Ind., Feb. 17, 1865 ; John Barber, Co.
C, 1st R. I., died Falmouth, Va., April 28, 1863; Erastus P. Burdick, died Morganza, La., Aug.
16, 1864; Henry G. Davis, 85th N. Y., died Andersonville; Mortimer Fowler, 5th N. Y. H. A.,
enlisted Jan. 4, 1864, died at Cuba, N. Y.; Thomas Hull, Co. B, 5th N. Y. H. A., enlisted Jan.
4, 1864, died Baltimore, Md., Oct. 28, 1864; William M. Hunt, Co. H, 1st N. Y. Dragoons, en-
listed August, 1862, died Alfred, 1882; Daniel B. Lee, Co. A, 179th N. Y., died Price's Factory,
Va., Nov. 3, 1864; George I. Langworthy, Co. E, 85th N. Y., enlisted Aug. 28, 1862, discharged
June 25, 1865, appointed inspector of customs, New York City, May 2, 1880, died Jersey City;
July 27, 1882; B. Frank Maxson, lieutenant, 160th N. Y., enlisted 1862, killed Oct. 19, 1864; J.
E. B. Maxson, Co. K, 23d N. Y., enlisted April 14, 1861, accidentally killed February, 1863,
Rowland S. Ormsby, Co. B, 179th N. Y., killed Gettysburg July 2, 1863; Orson Ormsby, Co. B,
179th N. Y., killed Petersburg, Va., June 24; 1864; Edwin S. Palmiter, died Memphis, Tenn.,
Dec. 27, 1862; Russell H. Palmiter, Co. D. 86th N. Y., enlisted Sept. 21, 1861, died in prison,
Columbus, Ga., March 7, 1864; B. F. T. Place, Co. H, 1st N. Y. Dragoons, enlisted August,
1862, died of wounds received, Newtown, Va., Aug. 11, 1864; Elisha Rose, Co. H, 1st N. Y.
Dragoons, enlisted Aug. 12, 1862, died Alexandria, Va., Nov. 1, 1863; Sylvester W. F. Ran-
dolph, lost in McClellan's retreat in 1862; Orra L. Rogers, 85th N. Y., died Andersonville Aug.
24, 1864; Andrew J. Satterlee, Co. H, 1st N. Y. Dragoons, enlisted August, 1862, killed in rail-
road accident May 11, 1869; Benj. J. Spencer, enlisted, 86th N. Y. Aug. 25, 1861, prom. to 2d
lieut., wounded and taken prisoner 1864, not heard from since; Henry W. Shaw, enlisted away
from home, fate unknown ; Anthony V. Shaw, Co. I, 186th N. Y., enlisted Sept. 14, 1864, died
Hatcher's Run, Va., Feb. 17, 1864; Joseph M. Sisson, Co. 1, 5th N. Y. H. A., died August,
1873; William A. Saunders, 23d Ohio, May, 1861, re-enlisted 1864, served 4 years, died March
11, 1880; William G. Thomas, Co. H, 1st N. Y. Dragoons, enlisted August, 1862, died Light
House Landing, Va., July 12, 1864; Paulding Vincent, enlisted September, 1861, discharged,
re-enlisted March, 1864, Co. B, 179th N. Y., died Washington, D. C., Aug. 4, 1864; Alvin Will-
iams, Co. G, 160th N. Y., enlisted Sept. 4, 1862, died Brasher City, La., March 8, 1863 ; George
W. Woodworth, a veteran, enlisted in Co. H, 1st N. Y. Dragoons, killed Port Republic, Va.,
just one week after joining command.
No complete list of Alfred men in the United States army during the
Rebellion exists. Names and regiments obtainable (in addition to the foregoing) are:
23d N. Y., Charles B. Estee, Mark Sheppard, Charles H. Crandall, William P. Maxson,
Asher Williams. 86th N. Y., Nathan W. Burdick, James H. Cooper, George Y. Emerson, Eli-
sha P. Fenner, William H. Rogers, Peter S. Spencer, Simpson Travis, Alburtus C. Rogers, Wm.
A. Rose (capt.), John A. Travis, Henry L. Gerod, Horace Maxson, Oscar Monroe. 64th N.Y.,
Cyrenus P. Ormsby. 85th, Darwin E. Maxson, chaplain. 5th H. A., George S. Sisson, DeLoss
West, Martin A. Davis, Towner P. Andrews, John Lusk, Wm. D. Williams. 130th (1st N. Y.
Dragoons), Henry G. West, Alonzo B. Woodard, Ira G. Travis, Harrison W. Green, Charles H.
Barber, Lucius P. Crandall, Alanson B. Crandall, James R. Crandall, Orlo D. Emerson, Joseph
N. Forbes, John R. Hemphill, Wm. T. Lee, Isaac M. Langworthy, John R. Millard, Nelson Pro-
per, Wm. O. Place, Ira Sayles (captain), Richard G. Smith, Leroy Witter, George W. Wescott,
John Brown, Henry M. Davis, Wm. H. Wells, Samuel D. Butler, William G. Thomas, Geo. M.
Woodworth, A. Wescott, Wm. E. Callen, Clark Randall, Michael Gardner, Augustus K. Ryno.
186th N. Y., James W. Hoard, Anthony V. Shaw. 179th N. Y., Frank M. Beyea, Jarvis S.
Kenyon, Wm. Huffman, Ellery Cornelius, Samuel Champlin. 160th N. Y., James T. Burdick,
Benj. F. Maxson, Stephen B. Clarke, A. Potter, Alvin A. Williams. 147th N. Y., Samuel Whit-
ford. 104th N. Y., Sylvester Allen. 109th N. Y., Collins C. Burdick, George B. Langdon.
161st N. Y., - Williams. 27th N. Y., Chas. W. Berry, Amos C. Lewis. 141st N. Y., Clark
L. Hall, Eli H. Turner, Wm. Gardner. 188th N. Y., Marshall E. Thomas. 97th N. Y., Alfred
A. West. 107th N. Y., Isaac F. Hull. 15th Eng., Seth Curtis. 13th Art., John Morgan, Nathan
J. Willis. 3d Ohio, Wm. Albert Saunders. 4th W. Va., Wm. H. H. Russell (col). Navy,
John F. Langworthy, Orville M. Rogers. Daniel Lewis, William A. Rogers, Elverton Potter,
Thomas J. Place, Adelbert Potter, Wm. R. Potter, Milton S. Babcock, Lucius C. Greene.
The history of Alfred covers an even century. Previous
to 1795 no white man is known to have lived
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