The History of the Germans in Buffalo and Erie County, N.Y. - Part I, pages 247 - 251

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to the present town of Brant were John Roberts, John West and Major Campbell, who settled there in 1818. Ansel Smith as well as Robert and William Grannis came soon afterwards; they were followed by a large number of settlers.

In March 1821 the town of Evans was formed out of Eden, including that part of the territory of Brant which was situated north of the original northern boundries of the reservation. In 1825 Joseph Hubbard opened the first hotel in the territory belonging to the present town of Brant, and Milton Morse established the first shop.

On the 25th of March, 1839, the present town of Brant was formed out of parts of Evans and Collins by legislative action and received its name from Joseph Brant or after "Thayendanegea", the famous chief of the Mohawk Indians.

In February, 1852, the "Buffalo & State Line" (now Lake Shore & Michigan Southern) was opened through the town, by means of which the price of property was raised enormously throughout the whole town.[1]

Caption under picture at right center reads View of Summer Street


[1]The German text also states "Another railroad jointly owned by the New York, Chicago & St. Louis and the Buffalo, New York & Philadelphia Railroad Company was built through the town in 1882, which made its way close to the shoreline of the lake and was for the residents of the town seldom of any real use." Return to text

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The first supervisor of the town of Brant was Jonathan Hascall from 1839 to '44; the present one is Louis H. Schwert. Other officers of the town are: Thomas Hill Johnson, town-clerk, Cortes B. Horton, Henry J. Avery, Clark A. Walker, Adam Woodey and John B. Haugh, justices of the peace; Jonathan Russell, August Middemire [1] and Richard Storm, assessors; Morgana L. Clark [2], collector; George Lallman, commissioner of public roads; and Charles Thomson, overseer of the poor. The present population numbers a little more than 1900.

The Village of Brant

It is situated about in the centre of the town. The first shop was established by Richard Sherman, who sold it to Horatio P. Muffitt; John Winters bought it later from him. In 1877 George Lehley established himself as a cart-wright and John Rapp ran a smith's-shop.

Farnham

The village of Farnham is situated in the western valley of the town of Brant on the Nickel Plate railroad. The first shopkeeper there was Leroy Farnham; he was followed by the Messrs. Goodman, W.W. Hammond, Henry Slender, etc.; a second store was opened in the winter of 1880 - '81 by George H. Walker; in 1869 Pino Schwert [3] established the first hotel, in 1880 George Davis the second one. The present population numbers 300, the principal industry is carried on by the Erie Preserving Co. which has a large plant and employ [sic] about two hundred workmen and workwomen.

In 1864 the Evangelical Lutheran community was organized; as lack of harmony prevailed among them, a separation took place and the seceders founded a second Evangelical community.

Town of Concord

The town of Concord is situated on the southern boundries of Erie, somewhat east from the centre; on the north it is bounded by Colden and Boston, on the west by Collins and North Collins, on the east by Sardinia and on the west by Cattaraugus County; its principal water is the Cattaraugus Creek. Until 1807 the territory of Concord was a perfect wilderness; then two energetic men, Christopher Stone and John Albro established themselves in the neighborhood of the present town of Springville. They built blockhouses although the nearest neighbors lived not less than ten miles distant. At the time of this first settlement the district which now included the town of Concord, belonged to the town of Willink and partially to the town of Erie, both in Genesee County. After the death of his wife Albro moved from his settlement and Stone remained alone in the wilderness; but soon Samuel Cochran and Joseph Yaw joined him. There


[1] The German text gives the name as "August Middlemire. Return to text

[2] The German text gives the name as "Morgan L. Clark". Return to text

[3]The German text gives the name as "Pius Schwert". Return to text

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was more immigration in 1810 and 1811. David Stickney established the first hotel in a blockhouse on the very same ground upon which the Opera House in Springville has been built.

On March 20, 1812 by legislative action the town of Concrod was separated from Willink; at that time it comprised the present districts of the towns of Sardinia, Concord, Collins and North Collins; Concord is said to have been named after the first words of the text of a hymn which was very much sung at that time. [1] After the war of 1812 there was much immigration into the town. March 16, 1821 Sardinia and Collins were separated from Concord and March 22 the present town of Concord was founded independent from Sardinia; since that time it has developed into one of the most flourishing and most populous towns in Erie County. In the early days the largest settlement was in that part of the town which was then and is now known as Springville. One district after the other was cultivated and one farm after the other was established. The immense mass of wood, that was cut, was burnt into ashes in order to prepare potash, which could be easier

Caption under picture at right center reads Buffalo River, near the Entrance


The German text adds after this sentence "The town saw little of the action of the War of Independence and the battlegrounds of the next war were far distant." Return to text

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transported than grain by means of which a more comfortable source of ready cash could be gained.

Game and in particular deer especially on Cattaraugus Creek were not rare; innumerable however were the wild pigeons, which made their appearance every year. Not far from Springville was a place which they seemed to have selected especially for breeding, and although thousands after thousands were killed the traditions tell us that every year new millions of them arrived. White men and Indians supplied themselves with them ad libitum. The squaws cut the trees and took the young pigeons out of the nests in order to salt them for later use.

When the game began to become rare, agriculture developed more and more, the blockhouses gave way to modern wood-houses and from year to year the town progressed in prosperity.

Thomas M. Barrett was the first supervisor of the town of Concord, the present one is Willis C. Clark. Other town officers are: Andrew Fitzpatrick, clerk; Amos Gates, Glen S. Warner, justices of peace; Chester H. Briggs, Wilber S. Stanley [1], Isaiah Gardiner, assessors, Herbert E. McCoy, collector, Galen E. Blakely, commissioner of public roads, Peter C. Williams, overseer of the poor. The present population of the town numbers about 4000.

Springville

This is the most prominent village in the town of Concord and is situated in the southeastern part on the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburg Railroad.

As mentioned before the first settlers came to Springville during the war of 1812 [2], Rufus Eaton built the first saw mill, David Stickney established a hotel and J.P. Jenks opened a little shop. Frederick Richmond, better known as General Richmond opened soon after a second shop, the first hardware store was run by John Blake since 1845, in 1868 Peter Hein established the first men's furnishing store, H. Cohens in 1878 the second one. The first newspaper, published in 1844 in Springville, was the "Springville Express"; two years later the "Herald" was published; some other newspapers followed which lasted a shorter or longer time.

The Roman Catholic St. Aloysius Church was in the beginning presided over by several clergymen of the neighborhood, in 1869 a parsonage was built and father Uhrich occupied it as the first own priest of the named church; a few years later he was followed by father Joseph Niebling, and this one by father Victor Ritter; in 1878 the community built a beautiful new church on Franklin Street at an expense of $7,000.


[1] The German text gives the name as "Wilber S. Hanbro". Return to text

[2] Transcriber's note: The German text says "As already mentioned the first settlers came to Springville during the "War of Independence;". There seems to be some confusion between the German text and the English text, which cites that settlers came during the War of 1812. In other texts I've read in German "War of Independence" or "Unabhängigkeits-Krieg" has always referred to the American Revolution. Return to text

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At present Springville has about 2,000 inhabitants; numerous branches of industry are in operation; among other things the village has a tannery, forage mills, saw mills, a manufactory of conserves, a shoe manufactory, etc. Among the schools of Springville are the Griffith Institute and the Springville Union School. The Farmer's Bank, the president of which is Mr. H. DeLancy, has a very good reputation. The water works are operated by means of pumps of the Holley [1] system and the lighting is done by electricity, the plant being owned by the village. Natural Gas is supplied by a private company.

East Concord

is a little, but beautifully situated village about three miles northeast of Springville and consists of only a few houses, a church and a shop. The latter was opened by Frank Peabody in 1864. A postoffice was established in 1862 or 1863.

Morton's Corners

Three brothers, Alanson, Elijah and Jeremiah Richardson, who established themselves there in 1814 as farmers, founded this village. In 1818 John Battle opened a hotel there, which in 1830 was bought by Wendell Morton, who ran it for twenty years. A.P. Morton was the first postmaster and ran the hotel after his father's death. Otis Morton kept a shop. In Morton's corners are several churches.

Town of North Collins

In the southern part of Erie County, in a westerly direction from its centre, the town of North Collins is situated. On the north it is bounded by the town of Eden and a part of the town of Boston; on the east by Concord, on the south by Collins and on the west by Brant and the Cattaraugus reservation.

The first settlement in this town occurred in 1809; according to good authority Nathaniel Sesson is said to have been the first and Abram Tucker the second settler. In 1810 Samuel Tucker, brother of the latter, brought his family to the new settlement by means of horse and wagon, using the Indian path which ran south from Eden Centre. It was the first vehicle ever used on an Indian path.

From the time of the first settlement to 1812 North Collins was a part of Willink, (Niagara County). In March of the same year it became a part of Concord which included the towns of Sardinia, Concord, Collins and North Collins. The outbreak of the war stopped every settlement and the inhabitants of the new district, although as quakers forbidden by their confession to use arms in a war, took a very lively part in it. Although the cultivation of soil of the territory was hard work and although an unusually great number of wild animals, especially wolves and often even American mountain lions made the


[1]The German text gives the name of the system as "Holly". Return to text


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Revised May 1, 2005
Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks