The History of the Germans in Buffalo and Erie County, N.Y. - Part I, pages 237 - 241


territory of Eden formed a part of the town of Willink (Niagara County). On April 20th three new towns were formed out of the district of Willink; one of these was Eden and consisted of the present towns of Boston, Eden and Evans, together with a part of Brant. After the war was over, about 1815, many newcomers arrived in the town of Eden, which soon became very prosperous. About that time Simeon Clark opened a turner's workshop near a little brook where he principally built spinning-wheels of all kinds, which were rapidly sold, as nearly all farmers of the neighborhood cultivated flax and raised sheep. Among the old settlers of that district we find the following German names: John Kerr, H. Kleinemann and John Bley.

In 1817 out of the eastern part of the town of Eden the town of Boston was formed. On March 16th, 1821, sixteen days before the foundation of Erie County, the town of Evans was formed by the Legislature, and the town of Eden received its present form.

Eden Centre

Formerly it was called "Hill's Corners". In 1822 Colonel Asa Warren came there and built a pretty hotel. In 1825 the firm of Fillmore & Johnson established a shop, while although rather small was certainly much better provided than the one Mr. Harris formerly had conducted. The Eden Hotel was built by Gottfried Metz, and later it was owned by G.P. Koeller.[1] Eric Blomquist opened a furniture store. In 1840 Gottfried Metz, at any event the oldest German settler in that district, established a cooper-shop not far from Eden Centre. In 1846 he moved with this shop directly into the village, cut staves and headings first by means of a machine run by horsepower, and bought in 1858 a steam-engine, the first one ever brought to that town. Later on he sold his property to Albert Martin and John Metz, who afterwards sold it to William Faxon.[2]

Eden Valley

It was here where, as previously mentioned, the first mills of the town were established. The first store in that little village was opened by John G. Youngs and Joseph Webster. Eden Valley is a station on the Buffalo & Southwestern Railroad.

East Eden

About 1834 a few Germans came into that part of the town and bought some land, which to a certain extent had been cultivated before by some farmers from the eastern part of the state. As these considered it impossible to make that soil productive and appropriate for large farms, they sold it at a comparatively low rate to those Germans we mentioned before, who through frugality, industry and energy soon succeeded in procuring good paying farms. Encouraged

[1] The German text gives the name as "G.P. Röller" [Roeller]. Return to text

[2] The German text gives the name as "William Paxon". Return to text


by this soon more German colonists arrived and settled there, so that East Eden with its pretty, close lying farm-houses formed a German village in the real sense of the word.

Soon after the first settlers had established themselves in the village a Catholic community was formed, which after a short time became very prosperous, built a beautiful church, and is to the present day continually increasing. Other German settlers belonged to the various sects of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. They were united in 1838, built a church in common in the north-eastern part of Eden, and for several years harmony and unanimity prevailed.

This condition however did not last very long. Discension [sic] spread more and more, and at present in North Eden nearly every sect of the Evangelical Lutheran Confession has its own German church.[1]


The first settler of Clarksburg was Nathan Grover. Simon Clark came there in 1820, soon thereafter built a forage-mill and a saw-mill, and also established a little manufactury for spinning-sheels. It was also expected that it was possible to find petroleum wells, but all the experiements in that direction had no success at all.

Town of Boston

Boston is situated south of the centre of the county; the country generally is hilly, and the Eighteen-mile Creek flows through the middle of the town. The fist settler in the town of Boston was Charles Johnson. He and his brother bought a number of acres of land in the fall of 1803; Charles and his family remained in the block-house of Didymus C. Kenney [2] during the winter, and in the spring of 1804 went to the land selected in the meantime, which was situated in the south-western part of the present town Hamburg. This property consisted of one prairie of about 100 acres, one of about 30 acres, and some smaller ones. Those prairies were often found in the northern part of the county, but were not so frequent in the southern part. From the time of the first settlement until 1808 the town was a part of the town of Erie (Genesee county). After the re-organization of the contract of the Holland Land Company, which we have mentioned before, Boston, however, became a part of the great town of Willink. Its first supervisor was Joseph Yaw. In 1808 he established the first forage-mill in the territory of Boston; in the same year Joel Beebe, the young son of Samuel Beebe, who was also an old pioneer, was killed by a falling tree; this was the first death in the town.

Among the newcomers in 1811 were Benjamin Kester, Lemuel Parmby, Dorostus Hatch and Edward Hatch. On March 20th, 1812, through legislative decision the town of Eden was formed, comprising

[1] Translator's Note: The dissension in Eden is mentioned in 2 texts. See pages 6 & 7 of Tell It to the Church! written by Pastors J.A.A. Grabau & Heinrich von Rohr in 1857 and pages 45 & 46 of The Life of the Reverend J. An. A. Grabau, written by his son in 1879. Return to text

[2]The German text gives the name as "Kinney", as it did in both the English and German text on page 229. Return to text


the present towns of Boston, Eden and Evans. Immediately after this many immigrants came to the town. A family by the name of Torrey settled at the boundries of Boston Corners, and for a long time that district was called Torrey's Corners. On April 5th, 1817, the town of Boston was formed out of Eden with the boundries it has still to-day. In the spring of 1820 a new post-road was established, running from Buffalo in a southerly direction through Hamburg, Boston and Concord to Olean. The postal-station was situated on Torrey's Corners and received the name of Boston. Erastus Torrey was the first postmaster.

During 1825 - 1832 again many immigrants came to Boston, among whom were John Anthony and Martin Keller. The former bought a part of Johnson's property, the latter was active in business life and conducted a hotel for 35 years. During four years he was supervisor, during six terms assessor and during one term poor-master in the county. For a short time numerous German settlers came into the town; and at present they and their descendants form a considerable part of the population. Most of them established themselves on the hills, many also in the valley. The first supervisor in 1818 was Samuel Abbott, the present one is George H. Blanchard. Other officers of the town are: Byron Sprague, clerk; Philip D. Weber, L.G. Ray Whiting, Fred Frank, Frank Bond, justices of the peace; George Henrich, Nicholas Leiber, assessors; Jacob

Caption under picture at center reads The Andrew J. Rich House, Main Street


Hauck, collector; John W. Gasper, commissioner of public roads; John Schunk, warden of the poor.


In the beginning this village was called "Torrey's Corners". The first industrial enterprise was a distillery, established in 1818; in the year 1820 a post-office was opened, and Erasmus Torrey [1] was the first postmaster. The village is at present very prosperous; it is situated in the south-eastern part of the town.

The German St. Paul's Church was incorporated in 1857. The community bought the old Presbyterian Church in North Boston, completed the same, and used it for a church.

The Evangelical Lutheran St. Matthias Community was organized on April 14th, 1854, by the following members: Jacob Kettern, George Schuster, Martin Schuster, Martin Miller, Michael Heichberger, Martin Kummer, George Leese, Martin Keniser, Michael Waltz and M. Heichberger. The church became a rectory in 1861 and in 1875 a parish school was built. The first pastor of this community was Pastor Ernst. In 1834 the German Evangelical Community was formed with twenty members, among whom were: Michael Bastian, Jacob Jautz and Jas. Iss.[2] One of the first pastors was David Brickler; later Jacob Bastian, a son of Michael Bastian, one of the founders of the community, became its pastor.

The Roman Catholic St. John's Church is the only Catholic church in Boston. In the first months of 1869 the Catholic citizens of the town came together and elected the following trustees: Father Uhrich from Hamburg and Augustus Mertz, Anton Weber as well as John Wurtz from Boston. In the same year the young community built a large church, which in 1882 was beautified by a high-altar; it is undoubtedly one of the finest churches in Erie County, outside of the city of Buffalo.

Boston Centre

It is situated in the eastern part of the town. Although the first settlement took place in the immediate neighborhood of the present Boston Centre, this village was developed comparatively slowly. In 1820 Talcott Patchin established a tannery, which he worked many years. When the Hon. N.K. Hall in 1850 under President Fillmore became a general postmaster, the citizens of that district petitioned for a post-station to be established under the name of Boston Centre. Mr. Hall however considered that name a too common one and for the sake of the memory of that old neighbor the name "Patchin" was selected. George Brindley was the first postmaster. In 1857 Michael Stephan bought a little tannery, completed it, introduced steam power

[1] The German text gives the name as "Erastus Torrey", as it did in previous pages. Return to text

[2] The German text gives the name as "Jos. Iss". Return to text


and improved it otherwise. the first hotel was opened by Frederick Jones. Michael Flickinger had a grocery shop for a long time.

North Boston

Among the first settlers in that northern part of the town were John C. Twining and Benjamin Kester. Already in 1816 a saw-mill existed there, and only a few years later a hotel was opened. After the amendments of the constitution had been accepted, prescribing that assembly-members for every district should be nominated, North Boston became the most favored place for political conventions on account of its central location. The formerly quiet place grew very lively, and the inhabitants of the village had often the opportunity to listen to the more or less good speeches of rural statesmen. This of course was changed when the railraod through Hamburg was built.

Town Colden

Town Colden is situated south-east from the centre of the county. The first settlement in the territory of the present town took place in the year 1810. Richard Buffum immigrated from Rhode Island, and established himself in the environs of the present village of Colden as the most appropriate place for the foundation of mills and of a community. For several years Mr. Buffum and his large family as well as other relatives were the only settlers in that district; afterwards, however, the immigration became more lively. On April 2nd, 1827, the town of Colden was formed by legislative decision with the same boundries it has at present. There is no doubt that the town got its name from Cadwallader D. Colden, a citizen of the city of New York, and one of the most prominent political leaders of that time.

The land in the town was largely clay and consequently very few of the newcomers could be persuaded to settle there; at present it has

Caption under picture at center reads Ellicott Square Building

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Revised April 25, 2005
Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks