History of Warren County, Chapter 42

CHAPTER XLII

HISTORY OF ELK TOWNSHIP*

 

THIS township, the organization of which was effected on the 3d of May, 1830 (although formed as "Number Seven" and attached to Kinzua March 8, 1821), is situated in the northeastern part of Warren county, and is bounded north by Cattaraugus county, in the State of New York, east by Allegheny River, separating Elk from Corydon, south by Glade, and west by a part of Glade and Pine Grove. In extent it is one of the largest townships in the county, though for obvious reasons it is not so thickly inhabited as many of the more favorably situated and naturally wealthy towns. In general appearance it is rough, mountainous, and very rocky. Huge boulders scattered over the surface of the township present, superficially at least, the appearance of having been set in their beds by the convulsion of some prehistoric upheaval, earthquake, or "tempest, dropping fire." On the Warren and Olean road, about one and a half miles north of Peter Smith’s residence, there are several rocks of such immense proportions as to be worthy of special mention. This road was changed by Mr. Cobham to conform to the demands of these silent but immovable sentinels. Two of the rocks are about 100 feet in length and rear their rough shoulders some fifteen or twenty feet above ground. The earth about them is of a beautiful white sand. The roadway here is always dry and smooth. Here are also two cavities shaped like wells, one of which is about five feet in diameter at the mouth, and some twelve feet in depth, after which it diminishes in diameter, though still extending into the bowels of the earth. A pole twenty-five feet in length cannot be made to reach the bottom of this aperture. Near this is another cavity so small as not to admit the body of a man, which is still unfathomable with any pole. A stone dropped in either of these holes may be heard tumbling along its dark descent for a number of seconds.

The soil of Elk varies from a light sand to all kinds of clay and black loam, and is well adapted for the cultivation of nearly all the crops raised in the north - wheat, oats, potatoes, onions, grass, clover, fruit, and all the garden vegetables. It requires a good deal of manure, however. The writer has used plaster largely for this purpose, and finds it very effective, though he needs at least five bushels to the acre, rather than half a bushel, as a few theorists are accustomed to recommend. The principal business of the town is agricultural. The inhabitants, a stranger would think from their polyglot speech, are contributions from many nations, English, Irish, Dutch, German, Swedish, Danish, and Yankee. The lumber trade, at one time thrifty, has now dwindled, and is really unprofitable. The fact is that the timber has all been cut away except small tracts of hemlock and oak, and indeed, the latter is nearly all gone now, owing to the heavy demand for it in the manufacture of railroad ties. There are now about four tie mills in town, which consume all the oak timber, and do not realize very heavy profits. The dairying interest here is in its infancy, the land not having yet been sufficiently cleared for grazing large numbers of cattle. The facilities will undoubtedly be good in a few years.

No oil has been discovered within the present boundaries of. Elk, though many profitable wells have been drilled in that part of the original township which now forms a part of Glade township.

Coal Bed. - The Quaker Hill coal mine was discovered about 1834 by one Pond Curtis, who made the discovery while he was digging a well on the west side of the little ridge, about where the opening of Silas Dinsmoor’s mine now is. I do not remember how long Curtis operated the mine, but I have been informed that the coal was used for fuel in the house into which my father moved about 1839 previous to the time of his removal. At the date of my earliest recollection of the mine it was worked by a Mr. Thomas. This was about 1843. William Jones operated the mine next after Thomas. My brother, David Dinsmoor, moved to the mine in the fall of 1847, according to my best recollection. With the exception of about two years, 1854 - 55, he continued to operate the mine until his death in 1881, when his son, the present owner, Silas Dinsmoor, succeeded to the ownership and operation of it.

Township Officers. - There is no record of the first election held in the township, nor of the elections for several years. I cannot find that the first settlers voted at any place for many years. As Elk had been settled many years before the organization of either Kinzua or Elk, and as there were nine years between the organization of Kinzua and Elk, the citizens of Elk must have voted at Kinzua, if anywhere. The first account of any organization that I can find was a school meeting held on the 11th month, 26th day, 1835. Of course there must have been an election held in 1831, but no record was kept in the town; neither does this adjourned meeting give a single name of the members of the board of directors. The writing is Daniel Pound’s. The present officers in the township of Elk are: Justice of the peace, W.O. Martin; Mrs. Mary Walling, postmistress; constable, E.A. Headly; road commissioners, Jacob Shulers, A.A. Instone, Frank Nelson; William O. Martin, secretary; school directors, Andrew Clendening, president; Charles Frostburgh, A.A. Instone, Stephen Lounsbury, August Fosburgh; collector, August Fostburg; treasurer, Charles Fostburg; mail carrier, John McStraw; auditors, Jerome Knapp, Lyman Walling; assessor, William McMahon; board of election, judge, Peter Larson; inspectors, George Holman, Daniel McMahon.

Charles Fostburg keeps a store on the Warren road near the Roy farm. Mike Quinn also keeps a store of groceries.

There are four nearly new church edifices in Elk, besides the holding of meetings in school-houses, and besides the Presbyterian (Indian) church. The Methodist Church stands idle. The Lutheran Church is most largely attended by Swedes. The Evangelical and Catholic Churches have small congregations. The United Brethren have meetings occasionally in school-houses. There were twelve school-houses in town in 1835. I built a school-house at my own expense in 1857 on Cornplanter Run. The present population of Elk may be very near 700.

The First Roads, - The first road is called the Old State road, and leads from Erie county, and passes through Warren and McKean counties, I believe, to Philadelphia. This road crosses the Allegheny River near William Marsh’s, in Kinzua. The next road leads from the old house of Robert Miles, in Pine Grove, to the house of Benjamin Marsh, in Elk, at the Allegheny River. There was opened a road from Warren to the house of Benjamin Marsh, in Elk, up the Allegheny River, and connecting with the above named road at Benjamin Marsh’s. Another leads from Warren to the New York State line at the Allegheny River, near Calvin Webb’s.

The First Settlers of Elk. - From the best information to be had at this late date, a George Schoonover made the first settlement on tract 5566, on the west bank of the Allegheny, on the farm which is now a part of James Roper’s place, and lies opposite the lower Cornplanter Island. Mr. Schoonover was moving down the Allegheny, either to Franklin or Cincinnati, late in the fall of 1815 or 1816, and having heard that the river at Big Bend was frozen over, he landed his boat, unloaded his goods and family, made himself at home, and commenced building a log house. It appears that Schoonover and his wife were both young. His wife was a very handsome woman, and gave birth to the first male child of the town. Walter Seaman and Schoonover were related, and Seaman soon after appeared on the ground, and built another shanty near the first. It appears by recent developments, that Seaman had three daughters born here, viz., Susanna, Polly, and one other. Susanna was born in 1819. In the mean time, however, Benjamin Marsh arrived and built a hewn-log house, and, I believe, it is a part of the present dwelling house of Lewis Ladow. It seems that Marsh had a son born here, which died in infancy. It also appears that it became necessary to make some division of the property, whereupon Schoonover sold his interest to Seaman, who in turn disposed of his land to Marsh. Marsh soon after divided this property, giving to his second son, William S. Marsh, some 250 acres at the south end, and himself keeping about 170 or 180 acres - the same piece now occupied by James Roper. He next gave Ira F. Marsh, his eldest son, 100 acres next north. Meantime Enoch Gilman had married Marsh’s eldest daughter, and bought of his new father-in-law 270 acres south of the Cornplanter reservation. Hiram Gilman, who married Marsh’s youngest daughter (for these giants of other days looked upon the daughters of men that were very fair), received from his father-in-law the 170 acre piece upon which, as we have said, he lived. These transactions took place about 1829 or 1830.

Hiram Gilman was the first postmaster in Elk, at that time Kinzua, and was also justice of the peace in the days when justices were appointed by the governor, upon the petition of their neighbors. Mr. Gilman held the two offices for several years, or until 1834 or 1835. Elk was organized as a separate township on the 3d of May, 1830, having previously been a part of Kinzua. During the progress of a convivial spree, as it is called, but which our author forcibly and justly denominates a drunken row, Guy C. Irvine stabbed William S. Marsh in the abdomen, a thrust which cost Mr. Irvine $500. So much for whisky, which was a staple article in early times. Benjamin Marsh was drowned in the Allegheny River while on his way to Warren on a float. His body was discovered by Indians, some three months after the fatality, under an oil boat at Sill’s Landing, and was identified by Osmer Hook, John F. Davis, and Abijah Morrison, who sent word to the family. Mr. Marsh was interred in the cemetery at Warren.

Enoch Gilman sold his land in Elk, before mentioned, to the writer of this chapter (Peter Holt), and he and his wife are long since deceased. They reared a large family of children, all girls but one, and all of whom have gone to other parts.

Up the river, at the State line, Abel Morrison and Russell M. Freeman moved to the place afterward owned and occupied by Calvin Webb, and began to build a saw-mill, but soon concluded that the site was hardly suitable, and therefore with their families, crossed the river into Corydon, where they built and operated the mill. The ground they abandoned was next occupied by a John Morris and by Warren Reeves. Reeves kept tavern in the very house that his predecessors had built, and sold large quantities of whisky. Calvin Webb bought the property of Reeves, and also kept tavern and store in the building. It is related that a wayfaring man, who stayed with Webb a few hours, warned him that his house was going to be destroyed by fire, and it is further said that another man, named Levi Leonard, who took supper at Webb’s, taking notice of the old-fashioned and broken stove, set up in a box of sand, also informed Webb of the danger to which he was in this careless manner exposing the building. Mr. Leonard and the wayfaring man went on to Dalrymple’s for the night. About midnight of that same day the house was irretrievably in flames. Some years afterward, when a new house had been placed on the same site; Mrs. Webb took an axe and knocked in the head of a barrel of whisky, with the expressed determination that that should be the last whisky in that house. Mr. Webb kept a store there for many years, and gave the property and good will to his son, James K. Webb, who also engaged in the mercantile business for a long time, though whisky was forever a proscribed article in that household. The property has remained in the Webb family ever since, though Mr. James K. Webb has resided in Frewsburg, N.Y.

We now come to the Dalrymple place opposite Corydon. Here, in 1832, David Dalrymple built a house, in which for a long time he kept tavern. He also built the saw-mill now owned by his son James. Next below Dalrymple was S. Fisher, who was the father of quite a family, and filled a number of important offices, such as that of school director, justice of the peace, road commissioner, etc. Mr. Fisher came from the vicinity of the Genesee River, in the State of New York. He was killed by the overturning of his buggy in the Narrows. One daughter now lives in town - Mrs. E. Harrington, about half a mile below the old homestead. Dr. Peter Hollister, with his son, now occupies the Fisher farm. He has doctored in the writer’s family to the fourth generation. In this neighborhood, and on the Dalrymple farm, a store was kept at a later day by Amos Peterson, who, after a brief experience here, removed to Corydon. Jacob McCall also kept store in this town for a time, and went to Corydon, where he was the quondam proprietor of the Corydon House. The Messrs. Morrison, mentioned above, came from the East in 1817.

Going down the river, we next come to the old Elk mill, built very early by one of the Halls, from Jamestown, N.Y. It has been quiet for many years, and the very place can hardly be discovered. Next is the old Merritt or Flagg mill near the Big Bend. At this place was kept the first school under the school law of the State, in 1834. The old tavern house, torn down a few years ago because it was in the way of the railroad near Big Bend, was built by William Culbertson, one of the first settlers who came to this town at the beginning of this century. Another early settler in this vicinity was Devorck Hodges, especially noted in his day for his extreme fondness for liquor. He moved away from this part of the country many years ago.

The first settler on Quaker Hill, in this township, was Daniel Pound, who came as early as 1823 or 1824. Upon his arrival, and until he was able to build a rude shanty for shelter, his only house was his wagon. He is remembered principally from the fact that he was perhaps the most indefatigable friend of the schools in the township. He and his brothers, Elijah, Asa, and Thomas, with the assistance of their cousin, Jonathan Asher, built a log house on the corners, near the site of the present Evangelical Church, which was used for both church and school purposes. Daniel Pound here taught a night-school for the benefit of the young people of this town, and he also frequently organized and conducted spelling schools. He also erected a building on his farm in which he kept a select school. He and his brothers bought a number of thousand-acre tracts of land from the county commissioners of Warren county. The names of the Pound brothers were Daniel, Thomas, Jonathan, Elijah, jr., and Asa, sons of Elijah, sr. As has been stated, Asher Pound was a cousin of these brothers. Daniel Pound settled on the farm now owned and occupied by William Holman, where he lived until 1844. He was a surveyor, and subdivided the greater part of the township of Elk. Most of the members of this remarkable family were determined Abolitionists, both in practice and principle. For example, Daniel would use neither clothing nor food that was the product of slave labor. Jonathan Pound lived next north of the residence of Daniel, and cleared the larger part of the farm now owned by Jacob Mack. He afterward exchanged farms with his brother Thomas, who had settled the place now owned and occupied by Andrew Clendenning. Jonathan left this part of the country a few years later. Thomas continued to reside on the land which he had obtained by the trade with his brother. He built a saw-mill on a branch of Jackson Run, above Russellburg, and in 1834 sold it to the writer of this chapter. He owned several large tracts of land in Elk township, but he sold them all and removed to the East, and later still to the West.

Elijah Pound, jr., was the youngest son of Elijah, Sr., and settled and considerably improved the farm that Joseph Clendenning had first cleared in part. Elijah afterward moved to the farm now occupied by William McMahon. In 1838 he and his wife Judith, with their family, removed to Monroe county, N.Y., whence they removed to Rock county, Wis., in 1847. On this farm last mentioned, on the 6th of December, 1832, a son was born to these good people, who was destined to bear an important and conspicuous part in the legislation of the nation at a later day. His name is Thaddeus C. Pound, for he is still living. He is now a resident of Chippewa Falls, Wis. He commenced teaching when he was fifteen years of age, attended an academy several terms, afterward taught the union school at Caledonia, Livingston county, N.Y., attended the Rushford Academy in Allegany county, N.Y., and went to Chippewa Falls, Wis., in the spring of 1856. There he began as a book-keeper, early engaged in the lumber and mercantile business, and continued to advance until he became one of the foremost leaders in public enterprises. He was a member of the Assembly of Wisconsin in 1864, 1866, 1867 and 1869, and in the latter year was elected lieutenant-governor. Since 1876 he has represented, without interruption, his district in the National Congress - the Eighth. Elijah Pound, sr., lived with his son and namesake until his death, at a very advanced age. He had 1,000 acres of land, which he subdivided and sold. Asa Pound, the next brother, lived on land since occupied at different intervals by Asa A. Bennett, Joseph Bennett, and where A.H. and D.H. Lounsbury and John McStraw now live. He sold out or exchanged for lands in Ohio with a Mr. Reeves.

Asher Pound, a cousin of those whom we have been describing, settled upon the farm now occupied by Mrs. Walling, and which had been first settled by William Shattuck, though he had never lived on it. After a brief residence in Elk, Asher Pound removed eastward. William Shattuck settled on what is now the James Roy farm, and there made extensive improvements. Mr. Roy married one of his daughters. Mr. Shattuck came from the State of New York about 1833, though he had been preceded as early as 1826 by men who were active in his interests. He was a Quaker in religion, an unwavering Abolitionist in politics, with the fiery zeal in that cause that stirred Garrison, and with an ability that might have made him as prominent as Garrison, had he possessed the latter’s means and audiences. He was eccentric in his ways, but his eccentricity was ever on the side of the right. He had a large family, most of whom were daughters. He had two sons, the elder of whom was drowned while in bathing at Stump Creek Eddy, and the younger, William, jr., now lives at Salamanca, N.Y. William Shattuck, sr., was called upon at various times to fill nearly all the offices within the gift of the town, such as that of school director, supervisor of highways, etc. He finally removed to a farm near Randolph, N.Y., where he lived to an advanced age. His widow is still living, and at this writing is on a visit to one of her daughters beyond Chicago.

John B. Hodges lived in what is now Glade township, and had a large, well-conducted farm there. He was a man of large stature, and took a prominent part in town affairs. He held many town offices. He finally moved away a few years ago. He had two sons, who lived in Russellburg.

William Snyder, another early settler, lived on the farm afterward occupied by Daniel Lounsbury. He removed into what has since become Glade township, and there died. John Snyder also lived in that portion of the original township of Elk, which has become Glade, and thence went west many years ago. Asa Plumb settled early near Cobham Park, where he reached a good old age and died. (For a sketch of George A. Cobham, see the history of Glade.)

A.W.S. Bidwell was a brother-in-law of Daniel Pound, and settled at an early day on the MacMahon farm, south of the residence of William MacMahon. He lived many years on this farm, started a good orchard and raised a great deal of excellent fruit. He held several important township offices. He belonged to the Hicksite Quakers. After many years of residence in this town he removed to the East.

John Fitzwater settled on the hill above Cornplanter Run, and east of Bidwell’s Settlement, where he cleared some sixty acres of land and built the first saw-mill on the site now covered by the steam mill of Lewis Ladow. Daniel Pound owned a half-interest in this mill, and each part-owner furnished his own stock of timber. Fitzwater was a very thorough man, and performed all his duties with energy and promptness. The writer of this chapter helped in the building of this mill, and operated it half the time for Daniel Pound. It was during the construction of this mill, in 1833, that occurred the memorable natural phenomenon, the shower of stars. Fitzwater reared a large family of sons and daughters, and finally sold out his mill interests and removed to Ohio, none of his family remaining here. Thomas Fitzwater lived a little way west of his brother, on a small piece of land, but did not stay long.

James Headley settled first on fifty acres west of Benjamin Marsh’s, and after making improvements traded with Peter Jackson and removed to Quaker Hill, where he died at an advanced age. Elwood Headley now owns the place left by his father. Peter Jackson did not remain in town very long - yet long enough to become distinguished locally for the fact that his two little boys treed an old bear and captured two or three of her cubs, which they took to Warren and sold. This was considered quite a feat for so small boys.

Isaac Bidwell came from the East and settled on one of the branches of Ackley Run, where the family of the late Edward Reynolds now live. Here Mr. Bidwell built a small saw-mill and an equally small but serviceable gristmill. He had not made very extensive improvements before leaving for parts unknown to the writer. His was the only grist-mill ever in town. Edward Reynolds got the property and made many improvements, besides rebuilding and enlarging the saw-mill, and putting in machinery for manufacturing fanning-mills, wash-boards, etc. He died there a few years ago.

Edson Hall bought a tract of land just west of the last above named, and erected a very respectable saw-mill, which property afterward came into the hands of his brother, Chapin Hall, of Warren. Both are long since deceased. A Mr. Davis built a saw-mill on the south branch of the run, above the Hall mill, which did a good business for those days. Both these mills are within the present limits of Pine Grove township, though at the time they were built they were in Elk. In this same tract, that was set off to Pine Grove, dwelt Joseph and Reuben Jones, brothers, who are now in Pine Grove.

Eli Northrop cleared a farm on the road leading from the old "Pound Meeting-House" to Pine Grove, by the Edson Hall saw-mill, where he died many years ago, though I believe his widow is still living. James Headley came from New Jersey and settled on apiece of land about one and one half miles west of Benjamin Marsh’s, on the Pine Grove road. After making something of an improvement he traded farms with Peter Jackson, taking in exchange a piece of land on Cornplanter Run. Many years afterward he made a visit to New Jersey on foot, and before starting applied to the writer for a supply of codfish, which, upon obtaining, he pronounced good, saying that he could save money by eating nothing but codfish and drinking nothing but water. During his later years he removed to Quaker Hill, where he died at an advanced age, and was followed some time later by his widow, who had also reached years beyond the allotted number.

Daniel Lounsbury was an early settler from Wayne county, N.Y., and bought out William Snyder, on the corner of the road leading from Warren to the Allegheny River. He had a family of four sons and three daughters, and divided his large farm among the former. He was one of the first road commissioners under the new road law of 1845. He lived to fullness of years and was survived several years by his widow. Daniel H. Lounsbury now lives on the west end of the old homestead, and is himself getting advanced in years. He has been honored with several township offices. He has one son and one daughter. A.H. Lounsbury lives on the south side of the corner above mentioned, and is a highly respected citizen. Hiram A. Lounsbury occupies the old homestead proper, and sustains well the family reputation for integrity and industry. He has several children. Harlow A. Lounsbury has been dead several years. His widow occupies a part of the old homestead.

Asaph A. Bennett came from Plymouth, Mass., in the thirties, and settled on a part of the Asa Pound farm, and south of Lounsbury Corners on the Warren and Olean road. He was a carpenter by trade. He and his wife have been dead for a number of years. Joseph Bennett now lives on his father’s farm and that of William Reeves. The old house burned some years ago. John McStraw, who satisfies the legal needs of the people hereabouts, and is a justice of the peace, lives north of Joseph Bennett. Frederick Kilburn settled near and adjoining the place of Mr. Webb. He was from Wayne county, N.Y. He and his wife have been dead many years. His one son, Allen R., now lives on the old homestead, and has recently put in a saw-mill. A.C. Marsh, who has been in town some thirty-three years, came from New York State, and settled on the Warren and Olean road on the farm originally settled by Samuel Kilburn. Albert Cargill, a peaceable and law abiding citizen, married a daughter of Calvin Webb, and settled on a part of his land.

William Roper was a native of Norfolk, England. He came to Elk in August, 1833, from Canandaigua, N.Y., and cleared a piece of land about two miles east of the Warren and Olean road. He afterward traded this tract for land where George Nobbs now lives, on the Warren and Olean road. He had two sons, James and George, the latter of whom went west, and from all accounts was killed. William Roper died in 1878 at the age of eighty-three years. His surviving son, James, married the eldest daughter of William S. Marsh, and now lives on the Hiram Gilman farm.

John Nobbs came from the Isle of Wight to Ontario county, N.Y., and thence to Elk in 1835. He and his wife have been dead many years. They had two sons and one daughter. George, one of the sons, still owns the old home, but lives on the old Roper place. Martin Frazer came from England and settled next east of the Nobbs farm, on the Pine Grove and Allegheny road, about four miles west of the Allegheny River. He was an eccentric and humorous man, who would have his joke on all occasions. He was very apt in his expressions. He went west a number of years ago and there died.

Owen Feany came originally from County Sligo, Ireland, to the State of New York, and, in 1854, thence to this town. He is now some ninety-one years of age, and lives near Joseph Clendenning.

Joseph Clendenning came from Managhan county, Ireland, about 1852 or 1853, and owns the farm first settled by Elijah Pound, jr. Andrew Clendenning came from Canada and settled on the old Thomas Pound place. Nathaniel Enos formerly lived in Niagara county, N.Y., and settled on the Shuler place in this township about 1830 or 1831. He built a log house and found it convenient to occupy it before he had finished his fire-place. One winter’s night a panther leaped on to the roof and peered through the hole left for the chimney. The tracks were examined by the neighbors next morning. After a few years Mr. Enos removed to the place near Clendenning’s; of his large family only one son, Abraham, who lives on the old place, is now in town, the others being scattered or deceased. Mr. Enos was a man of decided individuality. John I. Striker came from New Jersey and settled near the place afterward occupied by Nathaniel Enos. At a later day he bought lands and a saw-mill in Cattaraugus county, N.Y. Levi Learn came from New York State about 1833 or 1834, and settled west of the Striker place, where he cleared a large farm. He reared quite a family, of sons and daughters, three of the former of whom are now living, viz., Lewis, Jacob, and Adam, while one daughter is the wife of Andrew Clendenning. Mr. Learn lived to be more than eighty years of age. His wife died some years previous to his demise. Lewis Learn, by purchase and operation of law, has become the owner of his father’s farm and the interests of his brothers and sisters, besides the farm formerly owned by John Striker. Jacob Learn lives near the State line, and Adam lives southeast of Clendenning’s Corners.

Lewis Mintouge came to Elk from the State of New York and settled near the State line, and near the junction of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties. He held several town offices in Elk, such as school director, auditor, town clerk, justice of the peace, etc. He removed to Jamestown and did not remain there long. He had one daughter, who married Edward Reynolds, and is still living.

Zenos Rice came from New York State also, and settled about one mile northeast from the saw-mill of Thomas Pound. He cleared quite a farm there and then removed to the West. Daniel Gould came from Old Galen, N.Y., in 1833, and settled near the northwest corner of Elk township. He was the father of several sons and two daughters. His youngest daughter became the wife of David Holt, brother of the writer, and is still living. Mr. Gould and his wife have been dead for a number of years. John Brokaw came from New Jersey about 1831 and built a saw-mill on the State Line Run. He did not reside within the limits of the township, though his saw-mill was within the town. Freeman Fenton owned a saw-mill on the State Line Run, below the Brokaw mill. James K. Webb also built a saw-mill on the west branch, of State Line Run, though it is not very active now. Henry Brown, of Warren, built another saw-mill on the west branch of State Line Run and west of the Webb mill. Orren Hook built a double saw-mill a mile below Corydon on the river, which was in charge of Benjamin Marsh for a number of years, and was finally washed away by the flood of 1865.

John Holman came from Kent, England, to Rochester, N.Y., and thence to Elk township, where he bought the Daniel Pound homestead. Being of a roaming disposition, he did not stay long, but went west in quest of a fortune, and finally drifted to Oregon, where after a number of years he died. He had a large family of sons and daughters, the eldest of the latter being now Mrs. Walling. Mrs. Holman attained an age something beyond eighty years, and died. William Holman now lives on the old farm. Mrs. Walling lives on the place next south, and has been the postmistress for Germany for many years. Jacob Lash came to Elk about 1834 or 1835, and lived in different parts of the township. He finally settled permanently on the place adjoining the James Roy farm. Mr. Lash reared a large family. He was, in, his younger days, one of the merriest of jolly men, but years have somewhat sobered him; he is now about seventy-seven years of age.

Jason Andrus was a very prominent man. He came from the State of New York about 1833, and settled about one mile south from John I. Striker’s, on a thousand-acre tract. He made extensive improvements, and subsequently added another thousand acres to his possessions. He was a surveyor, and speculated in land to a considerable degree. He was a successful man. He took an active and a prominent part in town affairs, was at different times school director, supervisor, justice of the peace, etc. His family consisted of two sons and three daughters, only one of whom, Mrs. Owen Ladow, is now living. Mrs. Andrus died many years ago, and her husband married again. His second wife attained an advanced age, and died something more than a year ago.

George F. Dinsmoor, from the State of New York, came to Elk about 1835, and soon after purchased the place now owned and occupied by Jacob Mack. Mr. Dinsmoor reared a large family, and died full of years. He was frequently called upon to fill town offices, and was capable of holding any office which lay within the gift of the town.

Lewis Ladow, from the State of New York also, married the eldest daughter of Joseph Clendenning, 1st, and with his brother purchased the old Fitzwater place, and the W.S. Marsh farm. He has held several township offices, and has built a large steam saw-mill. At the mouth of Hodge Run is the most extensive saw and planing-mill in town, owned by Imel, Powers & Shank. The mill does a large business, and is connected with an extensive store. Charles Rollins came to Elk a number of years ago, and built and now operates a saw-mill on Hodge Run. R.E. Green formerly owned the Enoch Gilman farm, and now lives at Big Bend in Glade.

Peter Holt was born in the township of Billings, twelve miles from Liverpool, Lancashire, England, on the 2d day of April, 1811. On the day of the opening of the Liverpool & Manchester Railroad (which he witnessed), September 16, 1829, he, with others, took ship at Liverpool, though they did not sail for a number of days. After sailing for nearly a week their ship was dismasted, and they were obliged to return and put in at the Cove of Cork, Ireland, where they remasted their ship and fitted her out in new rigging. Their next attempt was beautifully successful, and they arrived at New York on the 20th of November. Thence they took a steamboat to Albany, and journeyed on to Buffalo, arriving at John McKinney’s a few days previous to Christmas. Peter Holt came to Elk in 1833, and helped to put the running gear into the Fitzwater & Pound saw-mill. His first vote in this country was cast for Jackson in 1832. He has resided in Elk ever since his arrival here, fifty-three years ago. On the 3d of September, 1834, he married Susan B. Howard. In April, 1834, he bought the Thomas Pound saw-mill. In 1850 he built a saw-mill on Cornplanter Run, which was burned about six years ago. His wife was a sister of the late Edward Howard, of Fredonia, N.Y., and came to Elk in 1831. They have had seven sons and four daughters, five sons and two daughters of whom are now living. Mrs. Holt was born in Herkimer county, N.Y., on the 19th of September, 1814. She witnessed the last leap of Sam Patch over the Genesee Falls, at Rochester, N.Y.

A Partial History of the Indians of Elk Township - The Indian reservation is about three miles south of the New York State line, on the west side of the Allegheny River, and contains nearly 1,000 acres, including two islands, called Cornplanter Islands. This reservation was a gift by the State of Pennsylvania to John Obeal, alias Cornplanter, for meritorious services during a part of the Revolutionary War with Great Britain. Cornplanter was held in great esteem by General Washington, from which the writer has read letters highly commending the, invaluable services of Cornplanter. All this property is exempt from taxation of any kind. The county commissioners did at one time assess this property, but Cornplanter rebelled and resisted its collection. He appealed to the governor of the State, who sustained his position.

Cornplanter was much opposed to the education of his tribe, regarding the indoor book training of the white people as effeminate and enervating. Nevertheless, he did give his eldest son, Henry, something of an education, which that enterprising and modern-like young man improved by forging his father’s name to a check. This act so enraged Cornplanter that he drove his son into Canada, and forever after disowned him. The Legislature of the State made an appropriation of $1,000 to be used among these Indians for school purposes, not more than a hundred dollars of which was to be expended in a year. Subsequent appropriations have increased this annuity to something like $300 a year. The Indians do not take kindly to school. They are very fond of music, and at one time had a very respectable band, besides having among them a number of good singers. They have a good church, built by the Presbyterians in and about Warren. It adds much to the appearance of their town. Some years ago the Legislature made an appropriation of several hundred dollars to be expended in the erection of a monument to the memory of Cornplanter, and Judge S.P. Johnson was placed in the supervision and management of it. Judge Johnson has done much for the good of the Indians. They are of a peaceable disposition when not in liquor, and have made considerable advancement in the arts of civilization. It will be better for them, however, when they relinquish their unhappy jealousy of each other, which now disturbs all their mutual relations in religious and public affairs. Cornplanter died in February, 1836, at the great age of a hundred years or more; at the time it was alleged and believed that his age was one hundred and fourteen years. He had three sons and three daughters, viz., Henry, Char1es, and William, Polly, Esther, and Mrs. Silverheels.

 

* Substantially as prepared by Peter Holt, of Elk.

SOURCE: Page(s) 498-510, History of Warren County, J.S. Schenck & W.S. Rann, Syracuse, New York: D. Mason, 1887