BY JOHN S. MINARD.
WHEN CANEADEA was formed March 11, 1808, it covered the territory now embraced
in Belfast, Bolivar, Cuba, Clarksville, Friendship, Genesee, Rushford, New Hudson and Wirt, besides its present
reduced area. The first townmeeting was held at the house of Jedediah Nobles April 5, 1808,* and the officers then
elected were scattered over quite an extent of territory. It "held its own," territorially, until 1815,
when in consequence of the rapid settlement of the country, Friendship was taken off comprising its present territory,
Bolivar and Wirt, Cuba, Clarksville and Genesee. In 1816 Rushford was set off covering present Rushford and New
Hudson. Belfast was taken off in 1824, not however with its northern boundary so far north as at present located.
In 1831 a small part along the southern border was annexed to Belfast, since then its limits have remained unchanged,
being township 5, of range 1, of the Holland Company's survey, excepting section 5, which was the triangle since
known as "Brook's Gore." This laid between the Caneadea Reservation and the Transit Meridian, and was
north of the present northern boundary of the town, now included in Hume.
* The Nobles place is east of the Genesee, 1 1/2 miles above Belfast village, and now owned by W. W. Byrnes.
Caneadea, the only Indian name given to a town in our county, comes from the old Seneca name found on the Guy Johnson
map of 1771. The town is more connected with American and Indian history than any other Allegany town as here was
located the famous "western door" of the Iroquois Confederacy. The large stream coming from the west
and emptying into the river at Caneadea Centre has always been called Caneadea Creek. Shongo brook has its source
in the extreme eastern part of the town. It derives its name from Chief Shongo who lived on the fiats at its mouth,
and the fiats have been called "Shongo fiats."
Caneadea is an interior town, lying northwest of the center of the county and bounded north by Hume, east by Allen,
south by Belfast, west by Rushford. The Genesee river forms its distinguishing geographical feature, here making
the most noted change in its direction (so distinctly marked as to have been in early times called the "great
angle"), changing abruptly from a northwest to a northeast course. The surface is broken into two distinct
ranges of hills by the Genesee, while the western range is broken by Crawford Creek (named after an early settler)
which rises in New Hudson, runs northeasterly through the northwest corner of Belfast and discharges into the river
north of Oramel, and the Caneadea Creek which, for two miles or more after entering the town, makes its way riverward,
through a rocky defile, presenting in some places perpendicular banks of over 100 feet in height, upon which for
some part of the way still stands the original growth of hemlock, pine and other timber. Houghton Creek also comes
from the west, piercing the same ridge, but without impressing itself so distinctly as the Crawford or Caneadea,
while numerous smaller rills and brookiets seek the river at various points. On the east the only streams which
have names are the Vandermark and Shongo, each finding its way through deep, rocky chasms, which in early times
furnished facilities for mills, and so were made useful in manufacturing the cheap lumber with which this town
abounded. These streams, as well as the river, when first visited by the white man, were well stocked with a great
variety of fish, among which were innumerable brook trout.
When first explored by the white man Caneadea was covered, with the exception of occasional open flats along the
river, with a prodigious growth of pine, oak, hemlock, elm, chestnut, beech, maple, cherry, ash, and along the
river with butternut, hickory and wild plum. It was subdivided in 1800 by Alexander Rhea, assisted by James Rogers
of Big Tree as hind chainman, George Washington, an Indian of Squakie Hill, as fore chainman, and Seth Fields of
Big Tree as axeman and others.
In the northwestern part is a sheet of water, covering 25 to 40 acres, (the second largest natural body of water
in the county) called Bull Head Pond, but more generally known as Moss Lake, from the large quantities of moss
of a peculiar character about its margin. This is shipped to Rochester for use in packing fruit trees for shipment.
This lake is quite popular as a pleasure resort.
Years ago grindstones were made in the garge near the west side of the town. These stone, from their peculiar "grit,"
were known to the settlers north of here as early as 1807. For a long time the Caneadea grindstones have made no
figure in the market.
THE OLD COUNCIL HOUSE. - When. Joel Seaton came soon after 1830, he bought the lot on which was the Indian village
of Caneadea. Here, with other buildings, stood the council house. It was some distance back from the road, and,
at that time, a man of ordinary stature could reach the eaves with his hands, and had to stoop when going through
the door. There were, places for fires at each end and holes in the roof admitted light and gave egress to the
smoke. Mr. Seaton took the house down and rebuilt it by the roadside, adding, however, some logs to the walls to
make them higher. The Seaton family lived in it for some time, then used it as a barn. It was an object of much
interest for many years. About 1871 Hon. W. P. Letchworth purchased it and removed it to his residence at Glen
Iris at Portage Falls, and under the supervision of John Shanks, an aged Indian, it was there reconstructed as
nearly to its original condition and appearance as possible. It was "re-dedicated," Oct. 1, 1872, with
interesting ceremonies, by a party of Indians, descendants of Brant, Cornplanter, Red Jacket and Mary Jemison.
Many "pale faces" attended this "last council of the Senecas on the Genesee," and among the
guests was ex President Millard Fillmore. This "council" was made the subject of an, interesting article
in Scribner's Monthly of July, 1877. During the Columbian Exposition at Chicago, the taking of the council house
thither as an "exhibit" in connection with the New York state Indian village was considered, but the
timbers were found to be in such condition as to render the idea an impracticable one.
It is universally conceded that one Schoonover, a Dutchman, was the first settler, he locating in 1800 on lot 11,
section 10. east of the center. He made a small opening, burnt the brush, and scattered appleseeds and so came
the first nursery in Allegany county. Here is still to be found what is supposed by some to be the largest apple
tree in Western New York, if not in the state. It is about 8 feet in circumference and hardly ever fails of a good
crop. In 1802 Ephraim Sanford and Zephaniah Huff from Wayne, Steuben Co., came by Almond and Angelica, and, reaching
the river near the Transit Bridge, made exploration of it as far as Portage Falls. They then went back to Wayne,
and the next spring Huff returned, planted corn, and put up a log house. Remaining until he had harvested his crop,
he went back for his family, and in February, 1804, Huff settled opposite the village of Caneadea, on the lot now
constituting the farms of Charles E. Parker, Ephraim Huff and Mr Hale. Sanford returned in 1803, bringing with
him from Steuben 18 others, for which Mr. Ellicott let him have his land at a low rate.
In the spring of 1802 Timothy Hitchcock of Bainbridge, N. Y., came and articled lot 13, section 10. Building a
little bark tent just east of the present village of Caneadea, he passed the summer in making improvements, then
returned to Bainbridge. In the spring of 1803 he returned with James Rice, who had married his sister Eleanor.
Rice paid $5 for the use of less than an acre of land on the site of the village of Angelica which he planted with
corn. He bought Schoonover's interest in lot 11, section 10, and articled lot 9, section 10. Rice and Hitchcock
worked together improving the land and building their log houses. In the fall one returned to Bainbridge for their
families and stock. A few years after James Rice built another house about where the Westbrook House barn stands,
and opened the first public house kept in Caneadea. About 1806 or 1807, Arad and David Hitchcock came from Bainbridge.
David Hitchcock and James Rice put up the first carding mill in town (probably first in the county) about 1807
or 8. Hitchcock brought the machine from Bainbridge on a sled. It was located on the east side of present highway
on Caneadea Creek. A short time after a high flood carried away the dam and building, but through almost superhuman
exertions of the settlers the machine was saved. It was then rebuilt farther up the stream, just west of present
railroad. It caught fire and burned, causing quite a loss to the owners, as they had to pay their customers for
the wool they had left with them at the rate of one dollar a pound.
Some time after a few families had settled, and made some improvements, they found themselves with seven "porkers,"
but no salt. They got together a few dollars, and Hitchcock made a dray of a tree crotch, and started for the Onondaga
salt works at Syracuse, having for most of the way only an Indian trail to follow. He returned in three weeks with
two barrels of salt and made the settlers happy over the prospect of eating salt pork, instead of venison and bear
The first birth was that of Elizabeth, daughter of Ezra Sanford, April 15, 1804. He lived on the Michael Dougherty
place, where he no doubt built the town's first framed house. The first burying ground probably was on the river
2 miles above the center. An old burial ground was in Oramel where the schoolhouse stands, and some of the graves
are still to be seen.
For some time during the War of 1812 the Indians run a sort of express from the north side of the hill where Houghton
Seminary stands, up the ravine and on to Buffalo, and the people used to congregate there to hear the news from
the front. Once there came a rumor that the Caneadea Indian warriors had gone to join the British. The frightened
Mrs. Hitchcock began to prepare her children for flight, but Big Kettle, the chief, came and said "Squaw and
papoose no go. Indian good friends," and the scare was over.
James Caldwell who came early from Vermont was the first postmaster here, was supervisor and justice of the peace
for many years. He built the first tannery in town, on the John Ingersoll place, and one later on the Munn place.
The machinery for grinding the bark was simple. A large stone, six inches thick and five feet in diameter, shaped
like a grindstone, was attached to a beam fastened to a center post. A circular trough of plank was filled with
the bark and then a horse made the stone revolve like a wheel, crushing the bark over which it was made to run
until it was ground. The stone is now used as a cover for a well on the Caldwell place in Hume, where James Caldwell
removed, and died.
About 1805 Noah Franklin from Bainbridge settled on the John Ingersoll place. Noah's son Ramson was deaf, but not
entirely dumb, and could work with skill at blacksmithing or carpenter and joiner work, and was quite a hunter.
He once shot between the eyes, and killed a large panther near the quarry on Caneadea Creek.
Asa Harris, known as Squire Harris, came from Connecticut about 1808. He taught the first school here in 1811,
in a log structure about opposite the residence of the Burr Bros. He built the first framed barn in town which
is still standing on the John Ingersoll place, which he purchased from the Holland Land Company in 1830, and there
lived, and died in 1842. His wife and 6 children survived him. He was highly esteemed. He was noted for his great
self possession. Once some young fellows were picking berries back of his premises, and there came up a heavy thunder
shower. They ran across his fields and found a valuable mare dead, killed by lightning. All excitement they hurried
and told him, when he very calmly replied, "By the life, I will go right over and take her hide off."
This was the nearest approach to swearing he ever made. He was a good friend of the Indians, and they gave him
a name, Chic-wa-au-wie and called his children Chie-was-sies. The meaning of neither is known to me.
About 1820 Daniel Ingersoll from Steuben county took up land where the village of Houghton now is. He was friendly
to the Indians, and they always asked his advice on business. He died in 1826, leaving a wife and ten children;
all except Polly, Mrs. John S. Wilson, are died. John, the oldest son, helped his mother care for the family. When
30 years old he married Jenette, daughter of Squire Harris, and settled near Burrville. He had a good position
during the construction of the old canal, and when it was completed he bought lumber and shipped to Rochester.
In 1853 he bought out the heirs of the Harris estate, and removed to the farm in that year. He died at Caneadea
Centre, Jan. 18, 1844. The farm is owned by his daughters, Mrs. Viola Butler and Mrs. Lenora Vedder.
William Pinkerton, first from Pennsylvania, then from Steuben county, settled about a mile north of Caneadea in
1805. In 1806 he sold and removed to Cattaraugus county. In 1814 he returned and purchased a farm in the south
part of the town. Daniel Dodge was a settler on the river in the north part of the town as early as 1809-10. Moses
Stockwell settled about a mile below Caneadea, probably as early as 1807-8, for after making some improvements
he sold to Major Alanson Burr, who came in 1810 from Bainbridge, Chenango county.
Samuel Burr, father of Alanson, came from Scottland. Alanson Burr, though born in Vermont, was a bound out boy"
in Connecticut. He first took up a farm in Bethany, Genesee county, where his wife, Mary Bush, died. He returned
to Bainbridge, and married his wife's sister Susie, then fourteen years old. They came from Bainbridge to Caneadea,
with an ox sled containing their household effects, and leading a cow. They were nine or ten days in making the
distance, and sometimes "camped out" over night. Mr. Stockwell had made a little clearing where Burrville
afterwards was. Indians were their neighbors. He helped to cut out the roads to Angelica and to Pike. Mrs. Burr
used to ride horse to plow out corn with a child in her arms, and has been to Rushford to mill on horseback also
with a child in her arms. Mr. Burr built a still, where is now Edgar Lewis' garden. Indians used to frequent this
still to exchange corn for whiskey. Loring Francis had a "still" east of the river near the south line
of the town, about the same time
Major Burr kept the first tavern at Burrville in a log structure. The Indians had a small village a little southeast
of Burrville on the low ground. Judge Dole and Luther C. Peck, on their way to court stopped there once, about
night. It was raining. Many Indians were around there and a fight ensued. Burr seized a "black snake"
whip and lashed them severely right and left and soon quieted the disturbance.
Mr. Burr was drafted during the war of 1812-14, and started for Batavia the rendezvous. He met a man, whom he hired
to take his place giving him all the money he had (a few dollars) his boots, coat, hat (a tall silk) and came home
barefooted. He did not find his wife at home but found a crotched stick leaning against the door (the Indian way
of signifying that she was safe, and taken care of by them). Going to their shanties he found her safe. Burr was
a large man, strong and courageous; had great influence with the Indians, who regarded him with much fear. There
was something in his presence and bearing that made them obey him. At one time when two or three hundred Indians
were present they danced around him, and formally adopted him, giving him an Indian name, Un-gwa-de-o (big man),
by which name he was known at Salamanca, Buffalo and Tonawanda. Major Burr held many offices of trust and responsibility
and was a prominent citizen of the county. He was a life long Democrat. He had six children, Joseph, the oldest
being the first white male child born in town. The late Col. A. L. Burr of Caneadea, Alvah Burr of Yorkshire and
A. J. Burr of Caneadea, were his sons. Mrs. Morse, recently living in Fillmore, and the late Mrs. James A. Jackson
were the daughters. *
* (A. J. Burr is my informant as to matters pertaining to the Burr family, and is owner of the ancestral
acres purchased of Moses Stockwell. He says that in days before the canal they have had fifty teams at their place
at once coming in from the north after lumber and shingles. They paid for lodging and horses to hay, 25 cents,
meals 1 shilling, whiskey per drink 3 cents. In canal times $75 a day has been paid at their house alone for liquor.)
Eleazer Burbank from Vermont settled near Oramel in 1812. He afterwards kept a public house, built by James
Caldwell, which J. E. Munn owns. George P. Ketchum from Pennsylvania also came in 1812. In 1814 Hiram Gray settled
in the southern part and in 1815, came Samuel Hunt from Vermont. In 1816 John Hoyt erected the first sawmill in
town. at the mouth of Caneadea Creek. He started from Windsor, Vt., June 9th, and arrived at Caneadea July 3d.
His brother Richard and Moses Barnard and their famlies accompanied him. They brought 16 cattle, 8 horses and 4
hogs. Mr. Hoyt had previously bought of David Hitchcock 100 acres of land, 15 were cleared and a log house built
in which the three families lived for one year. In the winter of 1816-17 provisions being scarce Mr Hoyt went to
the mill at Hornellsville taking with him 25 bushels of wheat, bringing the flour and bran back. He was a stirring,
wide awake, enterprising man His son, John, owned the Harry Tucker place, and died a few years since at Oramel
at an advanced age, having lived a life which commanded respect and esteem.
Simon Wilson from Windsor, Vt., came in 1813, and settled in the central part of the town. He was drafted during
the War of 1812-14, and went to Buffalo a•nd hired a substitute. His son, John S. Wilson, who died some 2 or 3
years ago, stated that when they came into the town there was no store, and that the first one was kept by one
Waldo on the A. J. Burr place; also that Nicholas Nicholson built the first saw mill; that when George Minard settled
in Hume about 1830, he came up there and bought the lumber for his barn, and he and his brother Albert delivered
it to him by running it down as a raft.
Luther Houghton, a native of Lyndon, Vt.; settled in the northwest part in 1817, coming from Centerville (where
he located about 1811) with his family. He lived the remainder of his life in Caneadea. His son Loren (dec.) succeeded
to the old homestead, and his son Henry now has the place. Cyrus H. Clement, son of James, of Windsor, Vt., also
came in 1817. He was a mechanic, bought and run a sawmill, changed his location several times, and finally settled
where he lived so long and died. He was justice of the peace for many years and well known and influential in town
affairs. Henry Herrick, also from Vermont, located about two miles north of Caneadea in 1818. Alpheus Estabrook
of Vermont came from Centerville to the northwestern part of Can.eadea when but 14, preceding his father, Benjamin
Estabrook, by two years, and being the youngest pioneer on record. Timothy S. Daniels, a native of Windsor, Vt.,
was a settler as early as 1824. He removed to Allen in 1833, returned in 1846, and afterward went to Pennsylvania,
where he died in 1877. His son Charles R. resides in town. Arad H, Franklin, another Bainbridge man, came in 1824,
went back in 1826, returned in 1830, purchased the farm of Cyrus H. Clement opposite Caneadea village, where he
ever after resided. He was prominent in town affairs. His son, Phil D. Franklin, is the proprietor of the "red
gristmill" and sawmill adjoining. Edward Nicholson, from Delaware county, and later Steuben county, came in
1828, settling on lot 35 of the Caneadea Reservation, where he ever after resided. He was one of the best of agriculturalists
and highly respected by his fellow townsmen. He died ten years ago.
George W. Parker started in 1831 from Chatham. Pa., for Michigan. Stopping in Caneadea over night he learned that
some land on the east side of the river on the Reservation could be purchased at a bargain, and he bought about
300 acres. Sixty acres had been cleared and cultivated by the Indians, and an Indian but erected. Shongo creek
ran through this land and emptied into the river here. Near its mouth, on Shongo flats, was a famous sugar orchard
or sap bush." The trees were greatly enlarged for about five feet from the ground from being tapped so many
times with the axe. The Indians had made sugar there for a long time, and the Parkers succeeded them with improved
methods of tapping, using buckets and hanging them with nails. A few years since the "bush" was cut down.
Mr. Parker was a great hunter, kept hounds, and used to run deer into the river and shoot them, a practice condemned
by the hunters who had no dogs. He was a Forty niner Californian, and also explored the wild lands beyond Lake
Superior. He died in 1868 aged 75, leaving two daughters, Mrs. Amos R. Smith and Mrs. Edwin Leet (dec.), and two
sons, Noah H., now of Pennsylvania, and Andrew J., who is in the west.
Col. James A. Jackson came in 1831 from Hartford, Conn., and has since been widely known as a farmer and inn keeper.
He married a daughter of Maj. Alanson Burr. He commanded a regiment of the old militia, and held every office in
the town except magistrate. He was born in Herkimer county in 1806, and died in Caneadea April 14, 1888.
Abel N. Rice, son of Josiah, came from Chenango Co. in 1823, and went into a little plank house which stood where
the Burr Brothers now live. He traded principally at Rushford and Angelica.
Anson Arnold from Granville, Washington Co., came in 1830, and in 1833 bought lot 73 of the Caneadea Reservation,
100 acres, at $2 per acre, and built a, log cabin 20 by 26 feet. His nearest neighbors on the river were Drock
and Seaton. He was a clothier, carder and cloth dresser and had worked four years at Perry. On the north of his
place it was one unbroken forest to Rush Creek in Hume, and, except two or three small clearings, on the east to
the Short Tract. In 1833 he helped to open the road on which he lives, the the first one in that part of the town.
He remembers a pack of wolves killing a deer within ten rods of the house. Mr. Arnold says that in 1830 neither
shingles nor lumber would buy shirting, tea or sugar, and he had paid John Freeman at Hume, six shillings per yard
cash for cottton cloth (shirting width). Tea was $1 and $1.25 per lb. He sold M. W. Skiff over 300,000 shingles
at one dollar per M. He also says he never knew an Indian to steal. Mr. Arnold married Lutheria Wilson Feb. 12,
1835, and the aged couple are spending the evening of their days on the old homestead, with their son Alfred.
"Deacon" Walter Alworth was a settler about a mile north of Arnold's in 1834. He did well his part in
all improvements and died about ten years since. His widow still survives.
THE GERMANS. - About 1851 Gen. Micah Brooks who was a large landowner in the east part of the town, induced some
German families of Rochester to settle upon his lands which he sold at reasonable prices on easy terms of payment.
Meeting with success, they were soon joined by friends from Germany who had barely sufficient means to make their
first payments and put up their rude mud thatched cabins. They lived on plain fare, cut their several openings
in the forest and soon made a living off their cleared ground. The people have prospered and this part of the town
has made rapid improvement, and stands second to no other section of the town, while for good citizenship, honest
dealings, sterling worth and substantial prosperity, the settlement takes high rank. Achilles, Buckhister, Johannes,
Zollman, Zorn, Brandes, Mineke, Reutch and Behrms, are names of some of its worthy families.
Prominent among those who came in 1834 was John Smith, born in Vermont in 1791, who came from Kinderhook to Caneadea.
He purchased 300 acres half a mile west of Caneadea village, and in 1836 erected part of the Jackson House where
for a while he kept a store. In 1838 he sold the goods to Henry Runyan from Syracuse, who conducted the business
until 1840 when he died. He was one of the first to be buried in the Caneadea cemetery. Amos R. Smith, his son,
was a man long conversant with town affairs, but better known for many years as a successful pension agent. Burton
Butler, a grandson of Col. Zebulon Butler, who was a leading patriot of eastern Pennsylvania in the Revolution,
and commander of the militia which vainly opposed the Tories and Indians that committed the bloody massacre of
Wyoming, settled about 1833 or 1834, a short distance west of Oramel, and about 1835 located in Drock neighborhood
on the farm now owned by Ephraim Ballard. He died in December, 1891. Simon Drock, a negro, settled on the east
side of the river about 1836. George T. Turner came in 1836. purchased 100 acres where Wm. Powers now lives. He
built a loghouse and barn, planted an orchard as soon as the ground was cleared. He died in 1864. His son, Geo.
W. Turner, is a resident here. Sylvester Spencer, son of Sylvester, removed from Centerville in 1838 and settled
on the east side of the river and is one of the few settlers now living. Rodman Freeborn came here before 1840
and was a prominent man in the town and county. He removed to Angelica where he died. His farm is now owned by
Mrs. Harriet Tucker.
During the making of the Genesee Valley canal many foreigners, Irish in particular, were attracted here by the
good wages offered, and after the canal was completed many made the town their home. Purchasing land they cleared
up farms, and by hard labor, persistent effort and rigid economy, they have produced good homes and rank among
the substantial citizens. Among them the names of Mountain, Curran, Dougherty, Sheehan, Burke, Butler and Whalen
are prominent, with many others.
The completion of the canal gave an impetus to lumbering, and the villages of Burrville, Caneadea (Center) and
Oramel sprang up like magic. Oramel, for a short time the head of navigation, became a place of some importance;
a great shipping place of lumber, and the best market in northern Allegany. The Republican Era was for a time published
there by Horace E. Purdy. But the opening of the canal to Olean pricked the Oramel bubble and it collapsed. Burrville,
once a lively little place, where the first postoffice was located, a station on the stage route, and where in
canal times considerable business was done, has, as a village, entirely disappeared. Houghton, early called "Jockey
Strut," though on the canal, never in canal days aspired to be a village, has since the advent of the railroad
and the seminary made a healthy growth, and is a very pleasant, clean and tidy village. There are three postoffices,
Houghton, Caneadea and Oramel at these villages The schools are well supported; those of the three villages being
exceptionally good, while the rural district schools are fully up to those in other towns. Three substantial iron
bridges now span the Genesee in the town, and others have been placed over the creeks, and evidences of prosperity
are to be seen on every hand. The equalized valuation of real and personal property for 1895, is $472,361, and
the amount of tax 7,371.16. The equalized value of land per acre $20.72. The number of acres assessed is 21.950.
There are four cheese factories in successful operation, one at Houghton, owned and conducted by Peter B. Loftus;
one at Caneadea, owned by Young & Young of Fillmore, and run by Charles Howser; "Shongo" factory
in the east part of the town also owned by Young & Young, and operated by Frank Adams, and one at Oramel owned
by A. E. Perry of Belfast.
The prominent business men and merchants are F. J. Corp at Houghton; Burr Brothers, J. L Jackson, N. B. Sherman,
B. D. White and F. L. Davis at Caneadea; and C. W. Vosburg & Co. at Oramel.
THE "SOLDIER DEAD" OF CANEADEA are, John Cole, Peter Fox, Darius Ott, Ezra Pryor, Charles Seaton,
O. Barnard, H. Merchant, A. Bannister, John Hendry, G. W. Dunham, Sidney Chase, Ambrose Smith, Joshua Barney, Albert
Little, Joseph Steuben, Thomas Pendergast, Philander Kellogg, Barney Riley, Esquire W. Johnson, David Magee, Edward
Clark, Benson Bacon, Simon Wilson, Hugh Bennett, Charles W. Minard, R. A. Westbrooks, Wm. Pinkerton, Benjamin F.
Andrew, Frank Johnson, Cyrus Johnson, Fred Willard, Reuben Madison, Curtis Daniels, Monroe Elliott, Charles A.
Ellis, Albert H. Johnson, Wilson Dunham, Frank Rawson, Abel S. Nicholson.
The first town officers were William Pinkerton, supervisor; Isaac Sanford, town clerk; David Sanford, John Higgins,
Asa Harris, assessors; Simeon Gates, Squire Haskell, James Rice, commissioners of highways; James Sanford, constable
and collector; Elisha Chamberlain, Ezra Sanford, overseers of poor. The early town records are missing.
SUPERVISORS FROM 1812 - Thaddeus Bennett, 1812, 1813; Israel Curtis, 1814; Alexander V. P. Mills, x815; Dyer Story,
18x6; Ezra Sanford, 1817; Asa Harris, 1818; William Burnett, 1819, 1820; Hiram Gray, 1821-23; Asa Harris, 1824,
1825; James Caldwell, 1826-29, 1832, 1833; John McKeen, 1830; Eleazur Burbank, 1831; Cyrus H. Clement, 1834, 1835,
1844, 1845; Alanson Burr, 1836, 1840, 1841; George C. Caldwell, 1837; Edward Nicholson, 1838; Noah Bowker, 1839;
James A. Jackson, 1842; David H. Franklin, 1843-1846; Rodman Freeborn, 1847; John Ingersoll, 1848-53, 1855, 1873;
Horace E. Purdy, 1854; Truman Hall, 1856; A. L. Burr, 1857; R. B. Laning, x858; Lorenzo H. Brooks, 1859, 1860;
James A. Jackson, 1861, 1862; Henry Burleson, 1863, 1868-71; Wm. E. Hammond, 1864-66, 1874-76, '86, '87, '88, '89,
90; Thomas R. Leet, 1867; James T. Severance, 1872; Fred L. Davis, 1877, '80; H. Thompson, 1879, '80; Charles A.
Burr, 1881,; L. N. Brainard, 1883; J. L. Jackson, 1884, '85; S. M. Bartlett, 1891, '92, '93; D. W. Chamberlain,
The present officers are: Daniel W. Chamberlain, supervisor; Fred L. Davis, town clerk; Ellis L. Beebe, collector;
Fayette McKee. commissioner of highways; Edwin P. Swan, James E. Munn, Jacob T. Clement and Charles R. Parker,
justices; Willis L. Fox, James Wilson, Henry Stephens, assessors; Riley Steuben, James J. Scribner, Robert Bacon,
constables; Charles Gleason, George W. Denio, overseers of the poor; Joel M. Van Dusen, Michael Kenny, Willard
Kelly, excise commissioners.
RELIGIOUS. - The first religious services were held on the site of Oramel by Rev. Ephraim Sanford at his own house,
as early as 1804, and until the erection of school houses when they were made use of, the dwellings of the settlers
were the places of worship when some itinerant preacher found his way into the settlement.
Methodist Episcopal Church, of Oramel. - At an early date a church was organized here but by whom or when cannot
be stated as the records are missing. Many years later, under the pastorate of Rev. O. S. Chamberlayne, a zealous
worker, a reorganization was effected, with these trustees: Francis Armstrong, William Conable, Geo. E. Parker,
Alsen Hurlbut and E. E. Young. The charge has always been connected with the Belfast and Caneadea charges. Some
years before this a Baptist church edifice had been erected, which at this time had become old and suffering from
neglect. The newly organized Methodist church bought the property, repaired and remodelled it, and made it a comfortable
place of worship. It has a seating capacity of about 200, and the house and lot are probably worth 1,250. Since
the purchase of the church the pastors have been, Rev. Mr. Hopkins, J. B. Whiteside, H. O. Abbott, Mr. Stevens,
Mr. Osborne, E. J. Cook, Julius Brown, John A. Smith, M. D. Jackson, T. E. Clayton, O. N. Leggett, C. S. Daley,
G. H. Hancock, W. D. Allen, E. M. Kelly.
Congregational Church, Oramel. - After Congregational preaching was had at occasional intervals at the schoolhouse
and private houses, the Congregational society was organized May 12, 1842, at the house of Elihu Eurez. Rev. R.
H. Conklin and Hiram Gregg of the Angelica Presbytery, presiding. These persons presented letters: Elihu Eurez,
Stephen Baldwin, James Cowing. Eli Nettleton, Mrs. Oliver Cary, Jr., Mrs. Julia Baldwin, Mrs. Malinda Eurez, Mrs.
Mary Nettleton, Mrs. Susannah Gowing, Mrs. Anna M. Carey, Mrs. Hannah Baldwin, Mrs. Urilla Colton, Miss Emarancy
Gowing, Miss Laura Colton and Mrs. Betsy Gowing. These with. a few others constituted the new church, which took
the name of the First Congregationalist church of Caneadea, and elected these officers, Stephen Baldwin and Elihu
Eurez deacons, Oliver Carey, Jr., church clerk and treasurer. July 10, 1842, a meeting of the church was held,
Rev. Royal Twitchell presiding, and Joseph C. Sawyer was received on profession of faith, the first member received
into the church after the organization. March 11, 1843, Robert Renwick was received in like manner, and the following
Sabbath "seven children of believing parents were baptized, viz., Deacon Eurez, one, Oliver Carey, Jr., one,
Robert Renwick, three, and J. Colton, two." The first pastor, Rev. Mr. Twitchell, closed his labors in February,
1846, and was succeeded in 1849 by Rev Daniel Russell, who remained till Feb. 4, 1855. In 1853 the church edifice,
the first in town, was erected and dedicated free from debt. The pastors since Mr. Russell have been: Rev. G. B.
Cleveland, 1855-6; Rev. J. Wynkoop, 1859-60; Rev. J. C. Richardson, 1861-65; Rev. Wm P. Jackson, 1865-71; Rev.
George B. Nutting, 1875-76; Rev. W. J. Ballard, 1876-78. In 1879 there were only 11 members and the house now appears
as though seldom used.
The Caneadea M. E. Church. - Owing to lack of early records the memory of the older inhabitants has been consulted
to supply items of the history of this church. The consensus of opinion is that the church edifice was erected
about 1854. The first frame was blown down. Another and a better one soon succeeded it. Before this meetings had
been held in private dwellings and the schoolhouse, and it was because it was to be a UNION church, where people
of any religious belief might worship, that sufficient funds were secured to build it. The deed of the ground upon
which it is built bears date Nov. 14, 1863. The consideration was $30, the amount of land .82 acre, and the title
came from Timothy Rice and wife. In time the Methodists became the proprietors of all the interests represented,
and it has for a long time been classed as a Methodist" church, and made a "station" on the Belfast
charge until some three years since. It is now supplied by the pastor of the Rushford church. Since, and includina.
1874, the pastors have been: Revs. E. J. Cook. 1874-1875; J. F. Brown, 1876-1877; J. A. Smith. 1878-1879; M. D.
Jackson. 1880; T. E. Clayton, 1881-1883; O. N. Leggett, 1884-1885; C. S. Daley, 1886-1887; G. H. Hancock, 1888-1890;
W. D. Allen, 1891-1892; T. W. Chandler, 1893-1894; Mr. Manning, 1895.
The German Church. - The German colony organized a Methodist Episcopal church of 30 members in 1853, with Rev.
F. W. Penger as pastor, and in 1857, through their own efforts, and by help of generous contributions from Gen.
Micah Brooks and his son, Col. L. H. Brooks, a handsome little country church was erected at a cost of $1,200,
which was dedicated in 1858. In the absence of stated ministry, Mr. Henry Achilles supplied the pulpit and conducted
the Sabbath school. This custom was continued for years. Mr. Achilles was succeeded by Mr. Henry Johannes, who,
for the past 19 years, in the absence of a regularly ordained preacher, conducts the services. Col. L. H. Brooks
in the earlier days of this church entertained their visiting ministers, the members in their rude cabins not having
The Wesleyan Methodist Church at Houghton was organized in June, 1852, with Rev. John Watson, pastor. Meetings
were held quite regularly in the schoolhouse for over twenty years. In 1876 a church edifice was built at a cost
of about $2,000. The first trustees, presumably those under whose administration the building was erected, were
W. J. Houghton, J. B. Parker and Truman Palmer. Pastors: Revs. Geo. W. Cooper, S. Brundage, D. W. Ball, J. E. Tiffany,
B. S. Loughlin, G. W. Sibley, E. W. Bruce, and Rev. Robert Jeffrey, the present incumbent. The membership is about
50. A Sunday school of 50 members has Prof. J. S. Luckey as superintendent.
HOUGHTON SEMINARY. - In October, 1882, Rev D S Kinney, one of the leading preachers of the Wesleyan Methodists,
and the manager of their publishing association at Syracuse, said to Willard J. Houghton, "We as a denomination
very much need a school in Western New York." Thoroughly imbued with the truth of the statement, and determined
to be first in the field, Mr. Houghton and others set actively at work, and by February, 1883, had so far succeeded
in obtaining subscriptions in aid of the enterprise as to warrant the presentation of a petition for incorporation.
In April articles of incorporation were obtained. The charter members were Rev. W. J. Houghton, Rev. D. W. Ball,
Rev. H. F. Bruce, Rev. Reuben F. Dutcher, Rev. John C. Benton, Rev. Geo. W. Sibley, Rev. F. M. Moshier, Rev. Benj.
S. Loughlin, W. Dougherty, B. A. Hammond, Edward R. Weaver, and Alonzo Thayer. Mr. and Mrs. H. J. Tucker donated
the grounds covering 11 acres, and work was commenced before April, 1883, had passed. The building was erected,
partially finished, and the school opened in the fall of 1884. Rev. W. H. Kenedy, the first principal, remained
two years and was succeeded by Rev. A. R. Dodd, for six years. Rev. E. W. Bruce then was principal for one year.
Since Jan. 1, 1894, James T. Luckey has been the principal. Rev. W. J. Houghton was the sole agent for six years.
In 1890 he collected the necessary funds, and founded the theological department, calling it the
Bible Training Class." Rev. B. S. Loughlin, the pastor of the Houghton church, was the first teacher in this
department; Rev. J. L. Benton taught for three years. and now Rev. B. S. Loughlin is again at the head. Students
attend the school from states east and west, and quite a number of graduates from the Bible Training Class are
now actively engaged in preaching in different states.
Caneadea Lodge, No. 357, F. & A. M., was instituted June 16, 1855, with 14 charter members. Among them were
James McCray, W. M.; Simon Wilson, S. W.; Levi H. West, J. W.; Alanson Burr, Charles Ingham, and Leonard P. Walker.
George P. Ketchum was the first to be initiated. Down to 1879, 124 masons had been made by this lodge. Feb. 13,
1878, the building containing the lodge room was burned without an insurance, and its charter, furniture and jewels
were lost. Since then communications have been held in a hall over a store in Caneadea village. The masters have
been: James McCray, Levi H. West, Henry Burleson, John Ingersoll, B. F. Bigelow, John H. Saunders, Columbus Balcom,
Sampson Friendly, Joseph T. Russell, Geo. L. Estabrook, Alpheus Estabrook, Jr., Fred L. Davis, N. B. Sherman, Fred
D. Franklin, C. N. Bigelow, J. L. Jackson, Almon H. Lyman, A. L. Franklin Present officers: A. O. Arnold, W. M;
B. D. White, S. W.; M. Z. Butler, J. W.; William Sherman, Treas., C. N. Balcom, Sec.; A. L. Franklin, S. D.; Charles
W. Vosburgh, J. D.; F. J. Lewis, S. M. C.; F. L. Davis, J. M. C.; F. R. Westbrook, Tiler. The membership is now
37 and the lodge is in a good thrifty condition.
Equitable Aid Union. - The charter of the Caneadea Lodge bears date Feb. 17, 1890. Its first officers were: E.
T. Hendry, chancellor; William Sherman, advocate; A. J. Stewart, pres.; P. D. Franklin, vice pres.; Riley Steuben,
auxilliary; B. J. Bacon, treas.; A. H. Lyman, sec.; B. D. White, accountant; W. H. Tucker, chap.; O. D. Hamer,
warden; Bruce Burr, sentinel; Francis Burgess, watchman. The present officers are: Riley Steuben, chancellor; Bruce
Burr, advocate; A. J. Stewart, pres.; P. D. Franklin, vice president; B. D. White, secretary; E. T. Hendry; accountant
and treasurer; W. H. Tucker, chaplain; O. D. Hamer, warden. Meetings are held semimonthly in Masonic Hall. The
membership is 24. It has had one death, that of Mrs. E. T. Hendry.