HISTORY of WEST SENECA, NY
FROM OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE
A DESCRIPTIVE WORK ON ERIE COUNTY
NEW YORK
EDITED BY: TRUMAN C. WHITE
THE BOSTON HISTORY COMPANY, PUBLISHERS 1898


TOWN OF WEST SENECA.

This town was formed from Cheektowaga and Hamburg on the 16th of October, 1851, with the name Seneca, which was changed in the spring of 1852 to West Seneca. It lies wholly within the old Buffalo Creek Indian Reservation, which was not opened to white settlement until 1842, when it was sold to the Ogden Land Company. It is bounded on the north by Buffalo and Cheektowaga, on the east by Elma, on the south by East Hamburg and Hamburg, and on the west by Lake Erie and the city of Buffalo. It contains 17,564 acres. The soil is generally a gravelly loam. The surface is level or gently undulating, and is drained by Big Buffalo Creek in the northern part, Cazenove Creek in the central part, and Smokes Creek in the southwestern part. The principal industry is farming and the raising of garden truck for the Buffalo market.

The first town clerk was Morgan L. Whitney. The following are the names of the supervisors of West Seneca, with their years of service:
Levi Ballou, 1852; Erasmus Briggs, 1853-55: Levi Ballou, 1856; Aaron Pierce, 1857-58; John G. Laugner, 1859-61; Nelson Reed, 1862; Richard CaIdwell, 1863-64; Charles A. James, 1865-66; Aaron Pierce, 1867-70; Nelson Reed, 1871-73; Victor Irr, 1874-76; William A. Pratt, 1877-80; Henry Kirkover, 1881-83; Arnold Pierce, 1884; Ferdinand Kappler, 1885-86; Charles Schoepflin, 1887-97.

The Indians continued to occupy this territory until about 1844, when they all moved to the Cattaraugus and Allegany Reservations. Many of them had good farms, notably George Jimeson, who was located on Cazenove Creek. Near him was an Indian council house, while another stood near the city line. Thomas .Jimeson had a tavern on the Aurora road inside the city limits. For a few years after 1811 Jabez B. Hyde taught school in this town, and about 1826 Reuben Sackett was permitted to build a frame hotel on the East Hamburg road; this was long known as "the old Sackett stand." In 1829 a mission church was erected north of Cazenove Creek, near the city limits, and remained in charge of Rev. Asher Wright until the removal of the Indians. Among other white people who were permitted to reside on or close to the reservation were Artemas Baker, Peter Beal, Joel Decker, Isaac Earl, George Hopper and John Wells.

About 1843 the Ogden Company sold 5,000 acres of land, and soon afterward 2,622 acres more, lying in the northern and central parts of this town and in the western part of Elma, to three agents who came from Germany as representatives of a religious sect called "The Community of Inspiration." Their tract and settlements here were known as "Ebenezer." These immigrants, numbering about 2,000 persons, mostly from Prussia and Hesse, arrived in 1844 and 1845 and established the villages of Lower Ebenezer, Middle Ebenezer and Upper Ebenezer. They also built a saw mill, tannery, grist mill and several houses on Cazenove Creek south of Ldwer Ebenezer, and a mill and factory on Buffalo Creek, calling the latter place New Ebenezer. The chief of this community was Charles Meyer. Various causes finally led them to seek a home elsewhere, and by 1864 the last member of the community had removed to their new tract in Iowa. Their lands here were mainly purchased by Germans; the mills on Cazenove Creek and sixty acres of land were sold to John Saxe for $10,000; the woolen factory at Middle Ebenezer, now Gardenville, was bought by John Schoepflin & Son, who converted it into an establishment for the manufacture of horse powers, cider mills, etc.; the factory at East Ebenezer was burned.'

Hotel-keeping seems to have been a leading business in the early history of the town. Besides the tavern of Reuben Sackett there were two or three at the junction of the Aurora and East Hamburg roads, where Jesse Westcott, William T. Deuel and others flourished; one on the Abbott road kept by B. D. Hoag, and another, "The House that Jack Built," erected and kept by Robert I. Jackson.

Among the early settlers of the town were:
Richard Caidwell, Samuel Wasson, Arnold Pierce, Victor Irr. Jacob Dole, George Pierce, Willam P. Stambach, Thomas Scott, William Chase, Peter Logan, A. C. Hoag, James Farthing, John Sutton, W. F. Adams, John Stamp, James Kennedy, John Shuttleworth, Michael Crooker, James Whaley, Samuel Stoddard, John Hoerner, Edward Madden, Andrew Leonard, T. Humphreyville, E. Salisbury, L. Farnham, J. Faruham, Aaron Pierce, G. Cogswell, B. White, Nelson Reed, H. Hoag. I. Hoag, D. Baird, H. Felton, J. Bedford, G. Starkweather, Levi Ballou, Morgan L. Whitney, Ira Deuel, H. Frederich, Dr. F. Jost, Erasmus Briggs, W. Tyrer, C. Stephan, E. Madden, William Schudt, 3. Davis, 3. King, J. Wirth, M. Covey, J. Rose, P. Metzger, William T. Deuel, Lewis Steelbinger, John Murbach, Adam Koch, Nicholas Steelwheuer.

The Holy Cross Cemetery, situated near the city line, contains 123 acres, and was opened in 1854; a white granite chapel was erected in 1894.

Gardenville, formerly Middle Ebenezer, is situated on Buffalo Creek, in the north center of the town. The factory of John Schoepflin & Son is now owned by Charles F. Schoepflin, who also has a furniture. factory and a grist mill there. He is also president and manager of the Buffalo, Gardenville and Ebenezer Electric Railroad, which was built between these points in 1896. Among the merchants, past and present, are:

George P. Trier, Trier & Ferrana, Henri L. Ferrand, Frederick Fritz, William Gorenflo, Philip Snyder, Frederick Kellner, Valentine Leibig and Isaac Gerber. George P. Trier was postmaster here many years; he was followed by Frederick Fritz, Edward Oberdrifter and. Charles F. Schoepflin.

A graded school building was erected in 1896; Albert E. Cook has been the principal since 1895. The Fourteen Holy Helpers Roman Catholic church was built about 1864 and rebuilt in 1883-84. St. John's Evangelical Lutheran church was organized in 1864 and an edifice erected in 1869. Each church maintains a large parochial school. Besides these churches and schools the village contains three 'stores, a bakery, several hotels, a grist mill, one furniture factory, and an agricultural implement manufactory.

Ebenezer is situated near the east center of the town, about a mile south of the Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad, on which is a station of the same name. A tract of land near the station has been platted and named Greymont. Here also is a foundry, built by the Buffalo Drop Forge Company about 1894 and the gas and water meter and bicycle factory established by F. C. Gilfillan about 1893. Ebenezer Village, or Lower Ebenezer, is a small hamlet containing the harness shop of George Pletscher, the store of Charles Wendling, a cider mill, two blacksmith shops, two wagon shops, a graded school, two churches and the Old People's Home of the New York Conference of the Evangelical Association, which was established there in 1896. Among former merchants were Nicholas Steelwheuer, Frederick Wendling, Frederick Wendling, jr., and Edward Wendling. Frederick Wendling, Sr., was postmaster for many years; the present incumbent is John Metzger. The Evangelical Association church was organized by Rev. Miller in 1860 and the edifice erected in 1865. The German Reformed church was organized in October, 1863; their church was built in 1872.

Reserve is a postal hamlet located in the south part of the town. It was originally known as Schudt's Corners, from William Schudt, a longtime merchant and postmaster, who was succeeded in business by his widow. John Roth is another merchant there. The place contains two stores, a few shops and two churches. The Evangelical Lutheran church was organized January 28, 1850. St. Peter's German Evangelical church was formed in 1852.

East Seneca is a small hamlet in the eastern part of the town, contaming a German Lutheran church, while a little south of there is a German Evangelical church.

Blossom, formerly called Upper Ebenezer, lies on the town line between West Seneca and Elma, and contains a store, two churches, etc.

New Ebenezer, situated east of Gardenville, is merely a rural hamlet. South Buffalo, or Winchester, is a small village on the Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad adjoining the city line. Here, at the sulphur springs, was established the St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Home for boys in 1874. It was burned and rebuilt in 1876, and in 1897 a new structure was erected at a cost of $40,000. Excepting this the place is mainly a residence district.

West Seneca, or Limestone Hill, is situated just south of the city of Buffalo, in this town, and is a post-office and station on the Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburg, the Erie, the Lake Shore and the Nickel Plate Railroads. It is also connected with Blasdell and Woodlawn Beach by an electric line and with the city by the trolley cars. St. John's Protectory was established here by Bishop Timon in 1864, when it was incorporated as the Society for the Protection of Roman Catholic Children of the City of Buffalo. The first superintendent was Rev. Father Hines, who was succeeded in 1882 by Rev. Nelson H. Baker. St. Joseph's Male Orphan Asylum, which was organized in Buffalo in 1849, found a permanent home here in 1872.; it has been in charge of Sister Elizabeth Wheeler since 1879. The place also contains a Roman Catholic church and parochial school, a store, etc.

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