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
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 m 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
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, re-
moved 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 nightschool
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
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
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
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 a piece 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 Qaaker 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 fath-
er'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
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, Charles, and William, Polly, Esther, and