This town is situated near the center of the eastern border of Erie county, with Alden on the north, Elma on the west, and Wales on the south. The town was formed on December 2, 1823, from Wales and Alden, with its present boundaries, which embraced all of the original Buffalo Creek Indian Reservation situated in the two towns named, except a strip on the north side, which remained a part of Alden. The territory lying east of the Two Rod road and also a tract a mile wide at the south end of the remaining portion was a part of the purchase by the Ogden Co. from the Indians. The town has an area of about twentyeight square miles, or 17,208 acres. It is drained by the headwaters of Little Buffalo Creek, and Big Buffalo Creek crosses its southwestern corner. The surface is rolling, with sandy and gravelly soil in the northwest and southwest parts, and clay intermingled in other localities.

Settlement began in Manilla territory in 1827, when Jesse Bartoo located on the farm now owned (but not occupied) by Isaac M. Watson, in the southern part of the town. John M. Bauder soon afterward purchased this place and also the Erasmus Adams farm near Porterville. George W. and Jeremiah Carpenter bought in the same year a tract on the Four Rod road east of Marilla village, now owned by Frank Brooks. In 1828 Joseph Carpenter settled on land including the site of the village. In the next spring Ira and Justus Gates purchased ten acres on the northwest corner of Carpenter's land, and built a frame house and a saw mill. Among the settlers of 1830 were Rodney Day, Cyrus Finney, John L. Chesbro and Horace Clark. Rice Wilder came in in 1831, and in 1832 Jesse Bartoo built a saw mill on the site of Porterville, and soon afterwards added a grist mill. The place was long known as Bartoo's Mills. In 1833 Thomas Keisey, Joseph Flood, Archibald Porter, Samuel Stewart, Nathan White, John Brewer, Simeon Thomas and Ephraiu Kelsey settled in the town. Early settlers on the Two Rod road south of the village were Elias Mason, Daniel Nettleton, Ezra Clark, Dudley Dennison, John M. Bauder, Walter Markham, Zera Parker and others. At the same period William Hatch, Elias Hatch, Leonard Hatch, Fordyce Bell and others located in the territory of Marilla west and southwest of Bartoo's Mills. Other prominent settlers were L. A. Bantoo, John A. Campbell, George Eldridge, R. B. Mason and James R. Stedman.

Marilla Village.- After the building of the saw mill and a dwelling on the site of the village in 1829, by Ira and Justus B. Gates, Jeremiah Carpenter settled there and built, about 1840, a house, which has been occupied since about 1877 by Ellery E. Dennison as a harness shop. Very soon afterwards H. F. Mason, Joshua Axtell, Fowler Munger, Darius Lindsey and Martin Kennedy settled there and built houses. After the sale of the main part of the Indian Reservation in 1842 Jonathan Blanchard, Elder Salisbury, George Shay and John Chadderden settled on the west side of the Two Rod road. In 1847 Miles Carpenter built the first store, which became a part of the Albert Adams house. The place was called Shanty Town and South Alden previous to the formation of the town of Marilla. Before the close of the last war the hamlet had grown to a thriving village. A large part of the place was destroyed by fire in 1865, but was at once rebuilt. The old saw mill changed hands several times, and was finally converted into a cheese factory and subsequently torn down. A second saw mill was built by Joseph and Jeremiah Carpenter in 1838 and soon passed to possession of James Chadderden; it was abandoned about 1863. A grist mill was built in 1858 by John C. Carpenter, H. T. Foster and Frank Chesbro; it had several different owners, and was burned December 25, 1893, and rebuilt by William Van Cotter.

After the first rude tavern, the Spring Hotel was built in 1853 by Niles Carpenter; it had numerous proprietors and is still in use. The Willis Hotel was built in 1863 by R. G. Willis; it is unoccupied. Harrison T. Foster succeeded Niles Carpenter, the first merchant, for a short time, and then in company with Charles Walker built a second store in 1851, and closed it in 1854. In the fall of 1855 H. T. Foster and J. H. Brooks formed a partnership which continued to 1865. After other changes Mr. Foster took G. C. Monchow as partner in 1874 and the business is still carried on under the firm name of H. T. Foster & Co., though Mr. Foster died in 1889. Other past merchants of the Village were Philip Conly, grocer (1853), Henry Barrett, Samuel Adams, Halliday & Mills (hardware), Abraham Bemis, Jeremiah and William Carpenter, Bass & Miller, Johuathan K. Bass, Thomas Miller, Henry Sergeant, G. P. Miller & Co. and J. H. Brooks & Co.

Dr. Hiram Taber was the first physican in the village about 1853 and died in 1874. Dr. Andrew J. Brooks was the next and he also is deceased. Dr. I. G. Wheeler succeeded.

The first postmaster was James Chadderden; his successors have been Fowler Munger, Stephen Chadderden, H. T. Foster, Jefferson H. Brooks, Henry D. Harrington, Alfred Ebbs, Jay Winch and Gustavus C. Monchow.

The Manilla Record was established by F. C. Webb in January, 1883; it lived about two years. Subsequently Benjamin Money started the Industrial Union, which he removed to Alden. About 1893 Harvey H. Blackman founded Poultry, Garden and Fruits, a monthly, which was discontinued in the spring of 1896.

F. H. Mason built the first blacksmith shop in 1851, and Lyman 0. Ford the first wagon shop in 1852. Other blacksmiths of the village have been Julius Wilder, Albert Adams and Charles Otto.

The village now contains 1 general store, 1 hardware and furniture store, 1 hotel, 1 flour mill, 1 creamery, 1 harness shop and four churches.

Porterville.- This is a hamlet in the southeast part of the town, where Jesse Bartoo built his saw mill in 1832. In 1836 he added a grist mill. These passed to Archibald Porter a few years later, from whom the place received its present name. R. G. Willis owned the mills later and during the late war Erasmus R. Adams purchased the prop. erty and still owns the grist mill. Royal A. Barron kept a small store from 1838 to 1840, and E. R. Adams opened a store which is now kept by his son. He built a new grist mill in 1880 and has long been a leading citizen of the place. A cheese factory built by F. H. Cummings is not now in operation. There is a tin shop and a few other shops in the hamlet.

Williston.- This is a hamlet taking its name from Eugene, John and James Willis, who established a steam saw mill there in 1863. After passing to possession of various persons it was abandoned. Charles Willis built a store in 1879 and the place has now two stores and one church.

Iron Bridge is a small settlement three and one-half miles east of Marilla village where a grist and saw mill are in operation, which were formerly owned by Herman Jahn.

Dairying is carried on to a considerable extent in this town but not with such success as in many other portions of Erie county.

The first town meeting was held at the house of Niles Carpenter, March 7, 1854, and the following officers elected:
Jesse Bartoo, supervisor; Daniel A. Smith, town clerk; Timothy G. Graianis, Royal R. Barron and Seth P. Tabor, justices of the peace; Thomas Miller, superintendent of schools; Julius P. Wilder, commissioner of highways; James P. Flood, assessor; John R. Wilder, collector; Erasmus R. Adams, overseer of the poor; John R. Wilder, La Fayette Lamb, Levi T. Ball and Sylvester R. Hall, constables; Abner S. Adams, Peter Ostrander and Jacob Hart, inspectors of election; Jeremiah Carpenter, town sealer.

The supervisors of Marilla, with their years of service, have been as follows: Jesse Bartoo, 1854; Seth P. Tabor, 1855; Niles Carpenter, 1856; Joseph P. Flood (to fill vacancy), 1856; Peter Ostrander, 1857; Sylvester Franklin, 1858; Jonathan Stedman, 1859; Harrison T. Foster, 1860-64; Samuel S. Adams, 1865; Harrison T. Foster, 1866; Benjamin Fones, 1867-69 (died in 1869); Whitford Harrington, elected to fill vacancy, 1869, and re-elected in 1870; Henry D. Harrington, 1871-72; Robert H. Miller, 1873; Russell D. Smith, 1874-78; Erasmus R. Adams, 1879-80; Harrison T. Foster, 1881-85; James Willis, 1886; Asa B. Smith, 1887; James Willis, 1888; Harrison P. Foster, 1889; Erasmus R. Adams, 1890-94; John R. Veeder, 1895-97.

The few Methodists in this town previous to 1850 worshiped in an old building half a mile east of Marilla village. It was owned by the Wesieyan Methodists and used by other denominations. After its abandonment in 1850 the Methodists met in Sons of Temperance hail until 1854, when they erected the present church.

The Disciples church was organized in 1856 and built a house of worship in 1858. The society was formerly much more numerous than at present.

The Free Baptist church of Marilla was organized in 1874, and its house of worship was erected in the next year.

The Roman Catholic church was erected in 1854, under direction of a priest from Buffalo.

The United Brethren society built a church at Williston in 1873.

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