Chapters from:
by Charles Schults, published in 1901.

Transcribed by Mary Lee and Laura Greene

 BUT few now survive of the early settlers who pitched their tents in the wilderness which has now been made into as pleasant and profitable a farming country as is to be found in Western New York. Time plays no part in covering from mortal gaze the forms of those pioneer men who lived and worked, nobly and well. The years run on in continuous number above the graves of those men, who toiled early and late, for the foundation and advancement of all that tends to make a town prosperous. The reminiscences disclosed in the life of these early settlers are rife with interesting incidents, which have been snatched from the fleeting memories of the past, for the contemplation, perhaps, emulation, and education of present and future generations. Such reviews are designed to quicken our patriotism and the pride which we should feel in the town and in the men who founded it. Their works have left an impress upon the annals of time. Long after their mortal frame has re-turned to dust their memory is cherished in loving remembrance by us. These men were actuated by the same motives and passions which influence their descendants and place before us a striking example of fortitude and courage in meeting the questions of life by which we can well afford to profit. As a community when we pay them the tribute of  these pages we pay a tribute to ourselves, and while we deplore their loss we revere their memory. 

"They little thought how pure a light, 

With years should gather 'round; 

How love should keep their memories bright,  How wide a realm their sons should sway." 

Luther Allen was born  October 10, 1798, at Fabius, Onondaga County, N. Y., and died at Gowanda, February 20, 1847. He came to the town of Dayton about the year 1818, and located on lot 39, and resided there for a few years when he removed to what is now the village of Dayton, where he remained most of the time up to his death. His first wife whom he married at Fabius was Huldah Benedict and her father and oldest brother were both Revolutionary soldiers. She died at Dayton, October 20, 1837, where all their married life had been spent. She was well suited to be the wife of an early pioneer. She had great personal courage to battle with the difficulties which surrounded her. An intelligent and lovable woman, she died universally mourned by those who knew her. Luther Allen came to Dayton with his wife in the winter coming from Onondaga County with a yoke of steers and a sled and bringing with them the few household effects they had been able to gather together to begin their battle for life and home in the great wilderness which surrounded them here. Mr. Allen was a man of superior business ability, an elegant writer and very competent to draft such papers as were needed to be drafted among the early settlers. He held the position of Justice of the Peace for a number of years when the towns of Dayton and Persia were included in the town of Perrysburg and for a number of years after the town of :City>Dayton became a separate township. He was also a land surveyor and in his early years a teacher in the public schools. He was a man of fine personal appearance with keen piercing black eyes, erect as an arrow, six feet in height and finely proportioned and with a pleasing manner. While living in the town of Dayton he was elected three times as Supervisor in spite of the fact that nearly the whole town was opposed to him in politics. Mr. Allen and Ralph Johnson were the only Democrats who ever had the honor to represent the town of Dayton on the Board of Supervisors. His first wife at her decease left two children. The eldest Mrs. Lucinda Judd is still living and resides at Gowanda with her son. The other, Norman M. Allen, now resides at Dayton. Mr. Allen was married the second time to Los Leland Tuthill and resided with her until his death in 1847. By her he had one child, Luther Allen, who now resides at Cleveland, Ohio, but who for some years resided with his brother, Norman M. Allen, at Dayton. Mr. Allen's second wife died at Gowanda a few years after her husband. She was a lady of great intelligence and high attainments and was universally loved and respected and when she died was mourned by all who knew her. Mr. Allen was a highly useful member of the community in which he lived and which was composed of the pioneers of the town of Dayton. He transacted nearly all the legal business. They had but little litigation and such differences as arose between them he settled in a manner generally satisfactory to all parties concerned. He seemed to live for the good he could do for others and there was no man who knew him but who mourned his early death as a personal loss. 

Jonathan B. Allen was born August 10, 1824, and married, November 8, 1849, Fanny, daughter of Timothy M. and Amanda (Redfield) Shaw. Their children were Ellen (Mrs. A. C. Wright); Laura (Mrs. David Brand); and Cora L., who died September 2, 1877. Mr. Allen was a farmer, held several town offices and died October 7, 1898. 

Hiram Austin, son of Samuel, came to Dayton in 1826, cleared a farm and died there November 16, 1875. He was twice married and had three children, of whom Hiram C., born January 26, 1825, married Jane Hooker, has five children and resides with his son on the homestead. 

Norman Bacon was a son of Penuel and was born in OnondagaCounty. He came to this town at an early day and died May 9, 1849, on the farm which he cleared. His wife, Lucy Ann Parke died here in 1872. Their son, Elisha H., was born in the town, September 15, 1846; married in 1868, a daughter of Zalmon Rich and afterwards married a daughter of Walter Dean. He is a farmer and has six children. His brother, Esek P., served in Co. B., 154th N. Y. Vols. and died in Andersonville prison. 

John W. Badgero, son of Jacob and Sophia Badgero, was born in Vermont, and came to Dayton while young. He married Laura A., daughter of Abel and Maria ( West) Jolls by whom he had these children Christina C. ; Frances M. ; Ellery G. ; Laura M. ; Phoeba E. ; 'Ada E. ; and Ira M. Mr. Badgero was a soldier in the late war in Co. A., 154th N. Y. Vols., and died inDayton. January 17. 1895. 

CharlesBerwald, a native of Germany, came to America in 1848, locating in the town of Hanover and removed from there to South Dayton in 1860. He operated a saw and hingle mill for a number of years and did much for South Dayton in the early days. He died March 3, 1891/  November 15, 1857, he married Bathsheba Wickham, a sister of John  Wickham, who still survives him and lives at South Dayton. They had three children : May, born September 2, 1860, married S. E. Young, and died  May 19, 1898. They had one child, Maude, born in October, 1885; Charles  Berwald, born  January 19, 1865, resides at South Dayton; Flora, born   August 13, 1868, married Lee Stearns and now resides at South Dayton 

Dennison Bartlett came to Dayton while young and died here, aged sixty years. His wife, Alzina Campbell, bore him five children. 

Charles W. Blair was born at Stockbridge, OneidaCounty,  February 22, 1822, and came to Perrysburg and thence to Dayton at an early day. His father was William, son of Robert, a native of Massachusetts. Charles W. Blair has served as Justice, Commissioner of Highways, and Postmaster at Cottage. He married Pastorette A., daughter of William D. and Betsey (Webb) Smith,and their children are: Emmett,who now resides at Jamestown; (  Ada A. and Cora A. deceased). Mr. Blair died at Cottage,  April 24, 1897. 

William Blair, another son of Robert, was born in Massachusetts in 1785, and came to this town while young, locating at Cottage, where he died  December 14, 1862. His wife, Susan Curtis, was born  February 14, 1793, and died  September 3, 1832. One of their sons, William W., married Mary Walker, and of their children Charles H. was born in Perrysburg,  September 22, 1838, and  July 4, 1865, married Christina C., daughter of John W. Badgero. Charles H. enlisted in Co. A. 44th N. Y. Vols., was wounded at Gettysburg and was discharged in 1864. William W. Blair served from 1862 to 1865 in Co. K., 155th N. Y., and was six months in prison. 

David Brand came to Gowanda and lived many years, removing finally to Dayton and eventually to Iowa, where he died. Of his children Henry C. was born in Gowanda and died in Dayton in 1872. He married Sarah Howard and their son, Henry 11., born in Dayton,  February 22, 1847, married Eliza M.  Loomer,  February 20, 1869, who died, and he then married again Rachael E. Smith. Daniel H., another son of Henry C., was born  July 6,1854, and married Kate, daughter of Jonathan and Fanny (Shaw) Allen. 

The Brown family was well-known throughout the towns of Dayton and Villenova as pioneers, they being among the first to settle in the woods and make homes from the wilderness. The family were originally from Brookfield, MadisonCounty, N. Y., and vicinity. Luther Brown was born and raised in Brookfield and is still remembered by the older residents there. Hozea Brown, his son, with several other families from MadisonCounty,emigrated to CattaraugusCounty in the early days, and settled in the town of Persia. The families moved this distance of some two hundred miles with ox teams, bringing their few, be-longings with them. Their settlement in the town of Persia was at random or hazard, they becoming tired of the overland ox team mode of travel. With scarcely anything to commence with, these pioneers cleared places and built log cabins in the woods. Hozea Brown was then a young man of about twenty-five years, was married and had one son, Ira, now living at Cottage. The privations and hardships of these pioneers were similar to those of all the early settlers. Money was almost unknown and barter was the medium of exchange. Hozea Brown and his wife were the tailors of that part of the country, and people came from far and near to have garments cut and made. Ten children were born to them : Ira Brown, who resides at Cottage; Frank Brown, who died at O'Neil City, Neb., in 1896; Esther Kirkland of Bowling Green, Mo.; George Brown, who died at South Dayton in 1898; Rebecca Cole, living at Gowanda; Eliza Young, living at South Dayton; Milan and Merton Brown (twins) the former residing at 

Gowanda, the latter dying in Libby prison; and H. J. Brown, living at Gowanda. 

George Brown was born  August 1, 1831, at the old log house home in Persia. At the age of about fifteen he left the farm and for a few years hired out to farmers in the vicinity, working by the month, and during the winters working for his board and attending the district school. He accumulated some money in various small speculations and in 1857 purchased the Brown farm in the town of Villenova, on which he built the house and set out the shade trees which still stand. In 1859 he was married to Helen B. Holmes of Madison, N Y., a graduate of HamiltonCollege. A son, L. H. Brown was born two years later, and six months after his birth the mother died. In 1862 he was married to Jennie A. Bartlett of Villenova, and four children were born. The eldest son, L. H. Brown is a prominent contractor and dealer and is well known throughout Cattaraugus and Chautauqua Counties; Merton L. Brown, one of the foremen in the Ajack Machine Works of Corry, Pa. ; Milan J. Brown, postmaster at Little Valley, N. Y. ; Algia M. Brown, who died August 15, 1886, and Georgia E. Brown of South Dayton. 

Ezra Brown, a native of Vermont, came to ChemungCounty, where he died at an advanced age. He served in the war of 1812. His son, Daniel, was born  June 15, 1813, and came to Dayton in 1847, locating near Wesley, where he died  August 5, 1882. He married Fanny Perham, and their children were : Ellen, Harriet, Jeanette, Josephine, Julius and Ellis. The latter was born February 11, 1856, and November 21, 1875, married Sarah L., daughter of George and Jane (Ashdown) Williams and their children are: Welcome J., Helen M., and Lena W. Julius Brown was born February 24, 1854, married December 27, 1874, to Ida Ann Easterly. They have one son, Ellsworth. 

 Abner Batchellor, a native of Massachusetts, came to Dayton as an early settler, married Mary A. Dow, had three children and died  June 19, 1880. Netta A., who now resides on the old homestead near South Dayton is the only survivor of the family in the town. 

John  Casten was born in DuchessCounty and came to Collins, ErieCounty, where he died. His son, James, born in the same county,  September 29, 1801, was located in Buffalo as a dealer in live stock for many years, and came thence to Collins, and from there to Leon, where he died  March 3, 1888. He married Amanda Wheeler, who was born July 6, 1802, and his children were: Anna E., James W., Ira W., Emily A., Mary J., William H., Eunice L., Stephen L., and John G. John G. Casten was born in Buffalo, March 14, 1833, and in 1860, married Martha M., daughter of Samuel and Susan (Fairbanks) of the town of Leon, who was born March 9, 1841. Their children are: Susan A., James S., Addie M., John F., Ira B., William E., Stephen A., Ella M., Archie R. 

 Abner Comstock, a Canadian by birth, came to Dayton in 1829, and died in 1859. He had ten children by two marriages, among them being David, who was born in Persia, and married a daughter of Ranson Remington, by whom he had five children. 

David Crowell was born at Sherburne, N. Y., and came to Villenova, where he died in 1861. He was married three times and of his children, David, also lived in Villenova, until his death in 1841. He married Annie Faulkiner, and their children were : Seth, Norman, William, James, George and Charles H. Charles H. Crowell was born in Villenova, August 27, 1840, and December 3, 1861, married Celestia Robbins of Hanover, N. Y., and had one son, Fred, born August 5, 1871.Mr . Crowell enlisted in 1861 in Co. H., 100th N. Y. Vols., and was honorably discharged in 1862. Fred D. Crowell married Emma Smith of Dayton, (and is now deceased). 

Azariah Darbee, Jr., was born  February 11, 1793, at Wells, Vermont. He was one of the pioneers of the town of Dayton. He came to the town in 1816, settling at Cottage, where he died  November 1, 1883. He married for his first wife,  January 12, 1815, Prudence Hubbard, who was born  October 30, 1793, and who died  March 6, 1825. Their children were : Orilla, born  December 28, 1815, married to Christopher Gardiner of Cherry Creek; Hubbard, born  September 15, 1817, died in Washington, 1899; Lafayette, born  December 18, 1818, deceased; Isaac P., born  June 11, 1820, died in infancy. For his second wife, Polly Barton, in 1824, she died,  January 18, 1876. Their children were: Eliza M., born at Cottage December 222 1825, died there  August 27, 1896; . Augustus J., born  September 13, 1827, died  January 15, 1901. He married Lyandia Leonard and their children were: Lucy A., born August 3, 1856, died when thirteen years of age; Bettie E., born August 7, 1861, married John Derringer and resides at Niagara Falls; Grace V., born December 25, 1867, married September 26, 1893, G. B. Perrin and resides at Dayton; Ellen, born September 22, 1829, married Merrill Pierce and died January 16, 1899; Polly born May 13, 1832, married Jonathan DeReamer and now resides at Cottage; Bettie, born May 12, 1834, married Merrill Rich and died September 15, 1897. Mr. Darbee was a devout Christian and did much for the church and Christianity. 

Elbridge Eddy was an early settler of Persia, where he died in 1878. He was a native of Enfield, Mass. His son, Guilford, was born in Persia, May 10, 1833, married Clarissa Ketchum and they have seven children. He is a blacksmith at Cottage. 

Daniel D. English, son of William, was an early pioneer of Dayton. He was born in WashingtonCounty, N. Y.,  May 9, 1807, and died here   April 15, 1874. His wife, Amanda Gere, died in Leon, October 21, 1880. Their children were: Eleanor. Sanford, Oscar, Alida, Amelia, Edgar, Theodore, and Lewis all born in Dayton. Oscar English, born  December 31, 1839, married  September 2, 1866, Mercy R., daughter of William and Bathsheba ( Waite) Potter of Leon. She was born in Machias,  October 26, 1843. Their children are: Bert L.; born  May 27, 1869, and Maude (adopted) born  August 22, 1879. Mr. English has resided on his present farm for over thirty years and has been one of the assessors of Dayton for many years. Theodore English (See South Dayton. ) 

John Fisher, a native of Albany, a miller by trade, a soldier of the war of 1812, died in Italy,YatesCounty, at the age of 106 years and six months. Of his children, James married Rachel Gilbert and of their children Jeremiah, G., was born  May 8, 1830, married Sally Ann Cook, and they have three children. Louis R. (see South Dayton); Lillie, who married Dr. F. E. Tuttle, and Clifford R. Mr. Fisher is a dealer in monuments at South Dayton. 

Henry Fuller, son of Benjamin, had seven children, of whom Edgar was born in Dayton, July 7; 1843, married Alice Conklin, and is a Wesleyan minister. 

Jonathan Gragg, born in New Hampshire, in 1791, came to Dayton, where he was killed by a falling tree  October 21, 1850. His wife, Philenda, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Adgate, died in 1855. Their children were Clarinda, Margaret, Elizabeth, Joseph, Chester, Adgate T., Caroline and Edgar. A Adgate T. Gregg (see Dayton). 

Edward C. Hurlburt, son of Byron C. and Harriet C. Hurlburt, was born in Haskinville, N. Y., April 17, 1868, and on August 31, 1889, he married Bertha M., daughter of Oscar and Emma (Easton) Vincent of Leon and resides on the Easton estate near Wesley. 

Harrison P. Hall was born  January 17, 1824, in Boonville, N. Y. He removed to Leon in 1840, and to South Dayton in October, 1875. By occupation he is a millwright. He married,  February 6, 1848, Delinda Francis, daughter of Cadwin Francis of Leon. They had one child, Fred, who died when seven years of age. 

Daniel Howard was born  December 29, 1825, in the town of Perrysburg, what is now Dayton, where he still resides. He married in 1845, Emily Ross, who was born in Brookville, Pa., August 19, 1827, and died in Dayton, July 26, 1896. They had five children : Urbin, born ----, 1846, resides at Wesley; LeRoy, born 1849, resides at Dayton ; Hiram, born ----, 1850, resides at Gowanda; Sarah N., born ----, 1852, she married Bert Wilcox and died  November 25, 1900; Maggie, born ----, 1856, married John J. Volk and resides at Dayton. 

Calvin Hall, a native of Vermont, came to Dayton in 1855 where he died in 1890. His wife, Sarah Mosher, died here aged fifty-four. They had three children, Calvin E., Phoeba and Lydia. Calvin E. Hall was born  January 22, 1826, came to Dayton, with his father, and finally moved to Buffalo, where he died in 1890. By his wife, Sarah Watkins, he had these children : Mary Z., Ada, Edmund, Drusa, Jesse, and Robert B. The latter was born in New Albion,  July 1, 1853.  January 1, 1872, he married Nettie, daughter of Patrick Schafer of Salamanca and their children were : Gertrude, Charles C. , Jessie M., and Mabel D. 

Nelson Hillebert, son of John C. and Elizabeth Hillebert, was born in OnondagaCounty,  November 11, 1809, came to Dayton in 1837, settling near Wesley, where he died  September 13, 1871. He was postmaster and highway commissioner for many years. He married, September 11, 1845, Eleanor Harvey and their children were: Emeline J., Amelia, George N., Adaline, Mary and Warren W. Emeline J., born in Dayton, September 22, 1846, married February 15, 1871, George Bailey and has one daughter, Dora E. Warren W. was born August 21, 1885, married Belle Payne. George N. Hillebert, born in Dayton, January 27, 1851, married Ursula Skeels and their children were Nelson and Clifford (deceased. ) 

Jacob Hooker was son of Daniel, who was a native of Germany, a resident of Boston and later of Brandon, Vt., and a soldier of the Revolution. His wife, Mary (Gates) Hooker, died in Perrysburg, aged about ninety years. Jacob Hooker was born in Stowe, Mass., came to Perrysburg in 1835, and died November 25, 1863. His wife, Lois Fife was born  December 24, 1788, and by her he had five children. 

John Hooker, another son of Daniel, married Philena Waterman, reared ten children and died in 1888, in Perrysburg. His sons, Hall and Ray, served in the rebellion, the first being killed in action. Newell P., another son was born in Perrysburg,  March 20, 1850, married  June 22, 1884, Christine Johnson. Mrs. Johnson was born in Sweden, February 1, 1860. Her father came to Dayton in 1884. 

Harry Howard, a native on OnondagaCounty, came to Persia, as one of the first settlers, cleared a farm on Nash Hill and thence removed to Wesley, where he died in 1881. His wife Delia Bacon died in 1888. Their children were: Harriet, Amanda, Alexander, Norman, Emeline and Charlotte.  Alex¬ander Howard, born in Persia, died in Dayton in March, 1861. He married Lucy, daughter of Amos and Amelia (Towne) Ross, and their children were: James, Albert, Emma and Amanda. William H. Howard was born in Wisconsin, June 8, 1850 and  March 1, 1874, married Mary  A.,daughter of Hiram and Alzada (Ingersoll) Remington of Leon. 

Harvey Hubbard, a native of Massachusetts, came to Dayton while young and died here in 1872. His son, Charles, accompanied him to the town and still resides within its limits; several family connections also live in Dayton and hold high places in the esteem of the community. 

AsahelHulett was born in Shaftsbury, Vt., in 1800. His father, Aaron, served seven years in the Revolution as a groomsman of Washington's horses. Asahel married Almira, daughter of Elisha and Dolly (Calkins) Darbee, who bore him eleven children, of whom Andrew J., born  October 26, 1833, married Frances Allen in 1856, by whom he had two children, Lucy and Allen. Mr. Hulett married the second time to Mrs. Elizabeth Kimball, 

daughter of John Dye, in 1865 She was the mother of two children, Helen and Horace Greeley. His third wife was Mrs. Annie Dye, daughter of Jonathan C. and Margaret (Stivers) Wade. Mr. Hulett enlisted in July, 1863, in Co. C., 112th Inf., and served to the close of the war. His brother, Marcus, was a soldier in Co. A, 154th Inf.; and another brother, Asahel, was a member of Co. B., 112th Inf., and served to the close of the war. Mr. Hulett is a black-smith at the village of South Dayton. 

William G. Hall, son of Justice, was born at Portage, N. Y., came to New Albion, and finally settled near the Wesley Post-office, where he died. He was a farmer and married Almeda Rich of Barre, N. Y. His children were: Charles W., Leonard 0., Alzina A., Mary D., Delbert, Rowland, Arad, Sarah, Denton and Marion. Charles W. Hall was born in New Albion,  November 3, 1837, and on  March 11, 1861, married Betsey, daughter of Norman L. and Lucy A. (Parke) Bacon by whom he had one son, Burt H. The post-office at Wesley was named after Mr. Hall, his middle name being Wesley, and was postmaster of that place for many years. He served as corporal in Co. B., 154th N. Y. Vols., and was at the battles of Chancellorsville and Rocky Face Ridge, being severely wounded at each engagement. Delbert, another son, was born in New Albion, May 12, 1848, and married, March 27,1865, to Mary J., Wood, a native of Niagara County, who bore him three children, Glenn W., Wm. J., and Jennie M. Mr. Hall served in the Civil War in Co. D. 179th Vols. Glen W. Hall, born August 5, 1868, married Anna, daughter of  Obediah and Mary A. Luce of New Albion. 

Thomas Wellington Johnson, an early innkeeper of the town of Dayton, was born  December 29, 1826, in Dayton, and died  March 28, 1861, at Markham. He was a son of Col. Ralph Johnson. He married, October 12, 1848, Emily Prosser and their children were Richard P., born March 18, 1850, he married in September, 1882, Mary A. Chadwick and they reside at Gowanda; Celia M., born February 19, 1852, she married October 31, 1872, DeHart Spencer and they reside at Cherry Creek; Katie A. and Cora M. (twins) born September 4, 1854, Katie A., married, November, 1878, L. D. Inman, and died in 1882; Cora M., died at Markham, in 1857; Ellen B., born July 20, 1856, she married, in March, 1880, F. G. Mitchell, and they reside in Buffalo. Mr. Johnson was a very popular and influential man, He once owned a good farm of 140 acres, a large saw mill and the hotel at Markham. 

Carrier Jolls was a early settler in Perrysburg, where he died. Among his large family of children was John, who was the first to settle on the present Foster farm, where he died, aged seventy-nine. He likewise had a large family from his two wives. 

Col. Ralph Johnson became a settler in what is now the town of Dayton in 1815. He located on lot 30 and continued to reside there until he died. One of the foremost citizens, he was the first postmaster in the town, which position he held for many years and until the opening of the Erie Railroad in 1851, when the post-office was removed to what is now Dayton Village. Soon after he established himself at Dayton, he engaged in the tanning business and the manufacture of boots and shoes. He continued in that business until about 1865. In company with Anson C. Merrill he erected the first saw mill in the town and soon after became the sole owner of the mill, which was the principal headquarters for manufactured lumber for many years. This mill, which he owned and operated so long was located at or near the center of the town at Markham. His wife's name before her marriage was Maria Cole. They had four children, two sons and two daughters, all of whom attained their majority and three of whom are now deceased. One daughter is still living and resides at Perrysburg.. The eldest son was named Richard and the other Thomas W. The eldest daughter, Matilda, was the wife of James M. Rich, and she and her husband have been dead for many years. The youngest daughter was the wife and is now the widow of John Townsend of Perrysburg. After the town of Dayton was organized in 1835, Col. Johnson was elected the first Town Clerk and held the office continuously for about ten years, when he was succeeded by his son, Richard. He was a Democrat in politics and a large majority of the town were opposed to him in that regard for which reason he never received that political preferment to which he was fairly entitled and which he would have otherwise have received. He held the office of Supervisor for one year and was the only one with one exception from the Democratic party who ever had that honor. He was universally esteemed among his neighbors without regard to party and his kindness and assistance which he rendered to the early settlers of the town by his mills, shoe shop, and tannery were invaluable. His word was as good as that of any man in any town, his integrity was unquestioned, he was somewhat eccentric and had strong and unwavering convictions upon political and all other subjects with which he had any considerable knowledge and to these views he held strenuously no matter how unpopular they might prove to be among his neighbors. Prior to 1850, he built the hotel at Markham, which building is still standing and in which for many years all the elections and town meetings were held. About the year, 1851, he erected the first hotel at the village of Dayton, which was destroyed by fire a few years since. He was greatly interested in the militia organizations in the early settlement of this part of the county and state. He was at one time the colonel of a regiment of Militia which assembled once a year at Lodi (now Gowanda) for a general training day as it was called. This day was the general holiday of the whole country round when the people assembled to see the parade of the regiment. The Colonel who was not a graceful horseman and he made an appearance when riding at the head of his regiment that was likely to create the impression that he was not so much of a Colonel as he really was. But a few of the men of the regiment would be uniformed at all, and a great many had no guns. The parade at this time would present an appearance almost ludicrous but then it was looked upon as a marvel, and the man who made sport of it would be banished from the community by the froze of public opinion. Colonel Johnson was a man of the highest integrity. He had great public spirit and was greatly interested in the improvement of the country and of the town in which he lived. He acquired a goodly competence by the most assiduous industry and when he died he left to his children and to their children the priceless inheritance of a good name. N. M. A. 

Gile Johnson, the fourth son of John and Althea (Watkins) Johnson was born in Stafford, Conn., in the year, 1804, and soon after removed with his parents to HerkimerCounty, N. Y. When seven years of age, he with his five brothers and a sister, became orphaned by the death of his father. His mother, unable to provide for so large a family with her limited means found a home for him in the family of a Mr. Griswold, a farmer of that County, with whom he lived until he was twenty-one years of age. In 1826 he came to Cattaraugus County, N. Y., and bought a farm, adjoining that of his brother, Ralph's in the town of Dayton, which, like the entire surrounding country was a dense forest, and which by his energy and industry was soon cleared up and with an occasional addition of from fifty to one hundred acres was occupied by him until his death, which occurred in December, 1872. Two years after purchasing his farm, he married Philena Salisbury, daughter of Calvin Salisbury of HerkimerCounty, N. Y., who died in 1839, leaving three little boys. He soon after married Milley, daughter of Calvin and Hannah Rich, of New Albion, who died in 1858, deeply lamented by her numerous friends and acquaintances and especially by her family, consisting of two sons and four daughters, besides the sons of her adoption. He afterwards married Rosalinda Hubbard, of Dayton, who lived but a few months; and in 1860 he married his present surviving wife, Mrs. Sarah Ann Bailey, daughter of Nathaniel Hurd of Perrysburg. In early life he became connected with the Methodist Church of Dayton, of which he remained a faithful member to the time of his death and had the satisfaction of seeing nearly all his family honored members of the same. Besides being a constant officer of the church he was twice elected as supervisor of the town and often held other responsible town offices. Like most men whose accumulations depend upon their own energy and foresight he was prudent and economical; yet he would not on any account take advantage of the necessity of others. At an early day when there was a scarcity of wheat and when it could be sold for several dollars a bushel, he would sell his wheat for one dollar and would only sell a few bushels to any individual; and so also when there was a scarcity of hay and when his neighbors' cows were starving for want of it and when it could be sold for a fabulous price, he would sell his hay for ten dollars a ton and divide it among his neighbors, according to their necessity. He was conscientiously honest in all his dealings. In regard to his farm work his motto was, "Drive your work and don't let your work drive you." In all business transactions he was punctual and prompt to meet all contracts and engagements. He took a lively and deep interest in the welfare of his family, and was a kind and affectionate husband. His example in life was in perfect harmony with his Christian profession. 

Chauncey E. Law, son of Lewis M., who was for many years a hardware merchant, and died in Pennsylvania in 1861, was born in Aurora on April 22, 1857, married May 2, 1852, Minnie E., daughter of George and Caroline Dailey of Dayton, by whom he had two children: George L., born July 30, 1883, and Chester D., born January 4, 1892. Mr. Law is a painter and resides at Gowanda. 

Aaron Markham, a native of Massachusetts, came to Dayton in 1836, and died here in 1852. Among his five children was Aaron, Jr., whose son, William R., born  November 27, 1814, came to this town in 1843. Of his sons, Aaron and Sylvanus served in the Ellsworth Zouaves, the former being killed (aged nineteen) and Philo A., who was a member of the 154th N. Y. Inf., and lost an arm at Rocky Face Ridge. He was brevetted 1st Lieutenant for meritorious service. (See Dayton. ) 

Henry C. Mason is a son of Isaac, who was born in Massachusetts, November 23, 1798, and died  December 27, 1885. Brooks Mason, the father of Isaac, was a Revolutionary soldier and was the third settler in the town of Pen-field,MonroeCounty, where he died. Henry C. Mason was born in Penfield  September 14, 1825, and on  October 31, 1847, he married Almanda M. Crane, who bore him these children: Orinda C., Isaac C., Levi D., and Loren D. James B. Mason, a brother of Henry C., was a lieutenant colonel in command at ClinchMountain, West Va., where he was killed in 1863. George P. Mason, another brother was a captain of Co. B. 11th Mich. Vols., and was killed in Kentucky; Levi A., another brother enlisted as Captain of Co. I, 2d Mich. Vols., and served to the close of the War, participating in forty-seven different engagements. Russell B., still another brother, enlisted in August, 1861, in a Michigan regiment and. was wounded at White Oak Swamp. Henry C. Mason, the fifth brother enlisted in Co. C. 64th N. Y. Vols. in September, 1861, and was discharged  December 3, 1862. He is now a farmer and resides near South Dayton. 

Johnson Merrill, son of Capt. Isreal , was born in Manchester, N. Y., May 9, 1833, began life teaching school when he was sixteen, came to Syracuse in 1854, and purchased an interest in the salt works there and in 1856 removed to Persia, where he married June 17, 1858, Sarah E., daughter of Benjamin J. and Sally (Prentice) Allen. They moved to Meadville, Pa., where they both taught school three years and then went to Oil Creek, where he engaged in oil speculation. In 1866 they returned to Dayton and settled at Cottage, where he died  May 7, 1891. Their only son, William W. Merrill, was born  May 29, 1868, and is a farmer residing near Dayton. 

Silas H. Merrill was born in Dayton in 1830. His father, Heman Merrill, was born in Connecticut, in 1791, and died at the age of eighty years. Silas H. married Maria J. Marshall of Erie County, Pa., and their children were Ara N. and Martha I. He was prominent in local politics and for many years a deacon in the BaptistChurch. On  December 29, 1876, he was killed in the Ashtabula railroad disaster and nothing was ever found of his remains. 

James Moore was born in Batavia, in 1825, moved to Leon and thence to South Dayton, in 1880, where he died  April 20, 1899. In 1848 he married Nancy M. Graves, who still survives him and lives with her son, William H. at South Dayton. Their children were Marion (deceased); William H., Marinda, Phena, Emmett, Ira, Heaman, Lillie and Kitty. 

Anson C. Merrill was one of the early settlers of the town of Dayton, and lived upon a farm not far from the center of the town. He came from the town of Fabius,OnandagaCounty, about the year 1820, and died at Dayton, aged about seventy-five years. He was a man of good ability and discharged many important duties official and otherwise during the earlier years of his manhood. He was Supervisor of the town of Dayton during the years 1839-'40. He had six children of whom but one survives, Mrs. Ruth Redfield of Eden, ErieCounty, N. Y. He, in company with Ralph Johnson, erected a saw mill near the center of the town about the year 1830, which for many year was the only mill for the manufacture of lumber in that vicinity. It afterward became the exclusive property of Ralph Johnson. Mr. Merrill was an enterprising man of more than ordinary ability and had the respect of his neighbors and all who knew him. Some of his grandchildren have grown up and reside in the vicinity and are good men and women. His wife, Bethany, survived him for a number of years and died at an advanced age. 

Stephen L. Peterman was born in Hanover,  July 13, 1853. For several years he was engaged in railroading and was in the cigar business at Nashville for two years. Ke came to South Dayton in 1877 and has since been engaged in farming and the commission business.  October 1, 1878 he married Mary E. Hyatt of Nashville. They have one son, Vern, born  August 27, 1879. 

Porter A. Parke, son of Avery and Lodema (Nash) Parke was born on the homestead at Dayton, June 26, 1840; married September 9, 1864 to Amelia, daughter of Daniel D. and Amanda English, who was born March 14, 1844. Their children are Clara A. ; Herbert H. and Clarence E. Mr. Parke served in Co. K. 25th Wis. Vols. and was discharged  February 16, 1865 on account of wounds and now resides at Wesley. 

Joseph K. Peck, a native of Connecticut born  November 4, 1776. His wife Isabella Hyde, also a native of Connecticut, was born June 30, 1779. Their children were Mary, Samuel, Joseph, Hannah, David B., Emily, Peter, Lurany, Eunice, Joel and Horace. Of these Horace was born  December 27, 1831, married  October 3, 1852, Delia Poland and has had born to him these children : Hiram C. ; Elmer H. ; Ella 0. ; Elma S. ; Willa C. ; Albert H. and Elga E. 

Marcus J. Rhodes, son of Joseph and Sarah L. Rhodes of Northville, Pa., was born at Corning, N. Y. March 5, 1854, married Martha J. Merrill (now deceased) and had born to him, four children. He is a farmer and resides at Dayton. 

A. L. Roberts was born at Cottage,  March 2, 1839. He married Rachel Youngs of Hydetown, Pa.,  July 3, 1862. She was born at Hydetown  November 28, 1844 and died  October 8, 1877. He married again  July 25, 1878, Maria S. Bunce of Cottage, who was born there  May 6, 1848. Mr. Roberts children were: Wm. C. born September 10, 1863, married January 1, 1885 to Glennie Smith of Cherry Creek; they now reside at Jamestown ; Kittie, born January 1, 1868, died February 16, 1880; Eddie B. born May 11, 1879, died March 28, 1880; Clifford N. born December 17, 1884, died February 2, 1886; Nelson B., born October 18, 1889. Mr. Roberts is a mechanic and resides at South Dayton. 

William Ranlett was born  April 22, 1790 in the town of Meredith, N. H. His father was a Revolutionary soldier. He moved to South Dayton in April, 1852, and in company with his son W. W. built the first mill at South Dayton. This they operated for seven years and then sold to  Wickham and Berwald. Mr. Ranlett died  October 23, 1884. He married Orpha Perham, who was born  June 15, 1793 in Vt. and who died at South Dayton May 21, 1867. Their children were Sarah A. born April 29, 1827, married Asa P. Chase, who died in November 1851, their son was Eugene A. Chase with whom she now resides. 

William Wallace, born April, 1829, and died  September 5, 1862. He married Sally Maxwell, who died in December 1897. Their children were Adelbert W., born in March, 1854, now resides in Bradford, Pa. ; Jane born in November 1852, married Alfred Newcomb, and now resides in Cherry Creek; Lafayette born July 8, 1838 (See South Dayton. ) 

Abraham A. Rugg was born in the town of Perrysburg, May 22, 1823. He came to South Dayton in 1846, where he died  May 18, 1881. Mr. Rugg was a progressive citizen and did much for South Dayton in its early days. He built the first school house there and was the first trustee after the district was organized. He married Katherine L. Babcock of Villenova, a native of Vermont. She died  April 19, 1882. Their children were Clark, born  May 16, 1851. He married February 19, 1872 Nettie Crapyo, a daughter of David Crapyo and she was born February 18, 1851; and Mina E. born November 10, 1866, resides in the town of Hanover. Clark has one son, John born  June 19, 1884, married  March 15, 1898 to Lizzie Bruckman, now resides at South Dayton. Clark Rugg is a carpenter at South Dayton and his handi-work is seen on many buildings there. 

John A. Rice, a pioneer of the town of Dayton, was born in Providence, R. I. in 1800, and came to Dayton in 1830, settling on lot 60, the place now owned by Andrew Spire. He died in 1882. His wife, Polly Nichols, was born in MohawkValley in 1802 and died  February 4, 1894 in the town of Dayton. Of their children, Henry T. Rice was born in the town of Dayton May 4, 1834, where he has since resided excepting for a time during the war of the rebellion, an honored and upright citizen. Mr. Rice enlisted in Co. H., 44th N. Y. Vols. and was a good soldier. The last day of the seven days fight he was shot through the left groin and was left on the field for seven days and then taken as a prisoner to Richmond and placed in a tobacco warehouse. At the second exchange of prisoners he was taken to Fortress Monroe and from there he wrote home and his father came after him. Returning to South Dayton he settled on the farm now owned by Charles Miller and at the present time resides on a farm a short distance from the village. Mr. Rice is a well read man. For a time he was postmaster at South Dayton.. He married  September 7, 1864 Ellen Young, daughter of Henry Young. They have had three children. Cora, born  June 8, 1865, married  October 28, 1883, Wilson Hubbard and now resides near Cottage; Lee E., born  January 1, 1872, Married Leo Smith  January 8, 1892, and now resides near Cottage. Norman R. born  February 4, 1886, now living at home. 

Orange Remington was born in Rutland County, Vt. June 2, 1810, came to OnondagaCounty, and thence to Dayton in 1832. Here he cleared a farm in the south part of the town and died there in 1871.  November 11, 1835 he married Mary D. Mayo and his children were Hebsabec, born  November 8, 1837 ; Wallace W., born  June 30, 1839 ; Garrett P. born  September 5, 1841, and George W., born  February 25, 1845. Geo. W. married Alice Dean. Garrett P. married  July 4, 1861 Augusta, daughter of Darius and Mary A. (Merrill) Markham, who was born in Dayton, January 20, 1846. He was a soldier of the civil war and is now a farmer at Markham. 

E. S. Slawson was born in Hanover, N. Y. November 5, 1838. He moved from Nashville to South Dayton in 1883, where he lived until he was killed by the falling of a tree  January 9, 1887. He married  December 21, 1857, Frances Peterman of Nashville, who was born in Forestville,  May 30, 1840 and who still survives him. There were born to them three children : Anna, born May 8, 1861, married to D. S. Howe of Parisville, N. Y. and died February 9, 1897; Bradner H., born November 15, 1862, resides at Cherry Creek; Nellie B., born December 23, 1864, married Walter Andrews and now resides at Grenare, Pa. E. S. Slawson was a vocal instructor and had an excellent reputation as a leader and conductor of singing conventions. 

Augustus Seeber was born July. 5, 1839, in  Herkimer County, N. Y. He moved to Leon in 1865 and to South Dayton in 1897. He married  May 7, 1864, Charlotte Edick, who was also born in Herkimer County,  October 28, 1844. They have two children, Vern, born September 22, 1869, he married Carrie Wood in 1891, and resides at South Dayton; Hess, born February 2, 1878, he married Hannah Fox in June 1897, and they reside at Little Falls, N. Y. 

Adam Smith was born  June 9, 1832 in Alselce, France. He came to America in 1848, settling at Tonawanda. He moved to Perrysburg in 1856 and thence to Cottage in March, 1876, where he now resides. He married  October 17, 1856 Elizabeth Knopf of Buffalo. They had eight children, Henry, born in 1857, Adam in 1859, Chas. in 1860, Phillip in 1863, deceased; Flora in 1866, Mary died in infancy; Lettie in 1870, and George in 1876. 

Hiram Sherman, an Englishman by birth, came to New Albion as an early settler and died there in 1861. He married twice and of his ten children, Alvin H. died  January 3, 1901. 

Abraham Sprague, son of Reuben and Huldah Sprague was born at Hamburg, N. Y., married Louisa, daughter of Samuel and Mary (Shaw) Oakes. They had two children, Juliette, who married Geo. W. Winslow, and now resides at Smith's Mills; and Emory, born  Feb. 1, 1863, now resides with his widowed mother at South Dayton. 

PhilemonStudley, son of Jonathan and Lois (Huntley)  Studley, natives of New England, was born  March 27, 1817, settled in Pomfret and finally removed to  Dayton, he married first, Elvira Starks, second Chloe A. Adams, and third Alvira Darling. His children were Mary E., Charles A., David, Maria and Marion. Charles and David served in the Civil war, the latter dying in Vicksburg, June 9, 1863. 

Benjamin Waite, born in WashingtonCounty, came to East Leon with his father in 1830 and died there in 1891. He married Martha, daughter of George Barse and their children were Vermelia, Fred, Lucy and Albert. Albert Waite was born in Dayton, March 7, 1858, and on  February 28, 1882 married Ella, daughter of Horace and Adelia S. (Poland) Peck. He is now a farmer and lives near South Dayton. 

Elijah Wells, Jr., son of Elijah and Lydia Wells of Massachusetts, was born in Conway in that State, moved to OneidaCounty and finally to Perrysburg where he died. By his wife Mercy Hopkins he had these children: Thomas, John, Clarissa, Dexter, Elijah and Luther Elijah Wells was born in Sangersfield, OneidaCounty,  November 1, 1813. He came to Perrysburg with his father and  April 7, 1842 married Lovina, daughter of John and Julia Farnsworth who bore him children as follows: John L., Julia A., Clarissa, Jonathan S., Adelbert C. and Eleanor. Mrs. Wells died at the age of seventy-eight. Mr. Wells is still living and resides at Dayton. A. C. Wells married Lillie Smith. John L. Wells enlisted in the 64th Regiment and died at CampCalifornia in 1862 of typhoid fever. 

Alanson Wilcox became a settler of this town at the age of twenty years. He served in the war of 1812. His son William C. was born here in 1845 and was twice married. 

Alonzo Wood, son of George, married 1844 Betsey Satterly of Otto. He served in Co. A. 9th N. Y. Cavalry. He is a farmer and resides at Dayton. 

 Lemuel H. Wood was an early comer to Leon where he died in 1853. His son Daniel T. born in 1830, married Sarah Wells. He served in Co. K. 64th N. Y. Vols. He has been assessor of the town for several years and resides at South Dayton. 

William Wolfe Jr. was born  January 31, 1859. He is a son of William Wolfe who was born  November 10, 183'3, in Germany and who now resides at Fair Plain. Mr. Wolfe Jr. married January 4, 1880 Minnie Silleman, daughter of Leopold and Louisa (Fass) Silleman and she was born  May 24, 1862. Their children are Bertha E. born July 4, 1881, she married February 27, 1897, Merrill Rhodes ; Nora M. born June 13, 1885 ; Laura J. born June 3, 1888; Mabel born November 5, 1890, died September 17, 1892; Esther W. born November 2, 1894; William Arthur born January 13, 1898. Mr. Wolfe is a farmer at Fair Plain. 

FrederickWeigand was born in Saxony, Germany,  December 4, 1825 and came to America in 1849, settling near Buffalo. He removed to Markham in 1857 where he now resides.  October 27, 1850 he married Johanna Kiel, who was also born in Germany August 13, 1826 and came to this country in 1818. To them have been born five children. Emma, born July 28, 1851, married Hiram Pierce and now resides at Gowanda; Charles, born April 22, 1853, resides near South Dayton; Louis H. (see Markham); Sarah, born March 28, 1857, married Thos. Phillips and now resides near Eden; Mary, born May 28, 1859, married Louis Limberg and resides in Buffalo. 

FrederickWachter was born in Brague, Switzerland,  September 26, 1834. He emigrated to America in 1854, settling at Gowanda. He came to Dayton in 1858 where he died  April 30, 1894. April 13, 1856 he married Julia O'Niel, who was born in Ireland, May 14, 1832 and came to America in 1852. Their children were Wm. H., born March 10, 1857, died June 4, 1891; Anna, born March 10, 1859, married Wm. Brader and now resides at New Castle, Pa.; John, born May 10, 1861, now resides at Rochester, N. Y. ; Margaret J., born June 23, 1863, married Joseph McCourt and now resides at Dayton ; Frederick, born Feb. 27, 1866, died in infancy ; Francis X., born Feb. 26, 1868, married Mary Fox and is now a blacksmith at Dayton; Dennis J., born July 29, 1$70, married Lucy Morrison; Julia M. born Nov. 30, 1873, married Charles EI. Maher,  Nov. 27, 1900, they now reside at Dayton. 

Gideon Webster was born at Warsaw, N. Y.,  April 27, 1812. At an early date he commenced the manufacture of leather at Gowanda, N. Y., (thenLodi) and continued in that business for many years with a reasonable degree of success. He then retired from the leather business and engaged in business as a dry goods merchant at Gowanda and continued in that business for a number of years. His goods and store were destroyed by fire at the time that nearly all the business portion of Gowanda was burned. Soon after he settled on what was known as the Waterman farm near the village where he remained until 1867, when he sold his farm and removed to Alleghany City, Pa. There he engaged in lumbering which he followed until 1872 when he removed to Fredonia where he died  Oct. 2, 1895. He was twice married. The first time to Maria Spencer, a daughter of Judge Phineas Spencer. She died at an early age and he was then married to Abigail Grannis who still survives him. At his decease he left two children. One an unmarried daughter and the other the wife of Clarence H. Lake, the late Sheriff of Chautauqua County, who now resides at  Jamestown, N. Y. Some time about 1860, Mr. Webster became the owner of large tracts of land in the Town of Dayton, which were covered with a heavy growth of pine and other valuable timber. These lands rapidly increased in value and from the timber and the land he obtained a considerable addition to his already fairly acquired wealth. He was a man of great tenacity and strength of purpose. He had convictions of his own upon all subjects of which he had any considerable knowledge and he had no hesitation in making them known. He was a man of stern integrity and highly respected by those who were associated with him in business. His keen intellect and unerring judgment made him a man of more than ordinary ability and intelligence. He was faithful to his friends but was not a man to spend much time on those whom he did not like. He was a man of large stature, being more than six feet in height, erect and a fine specimen of physical manhood. He could , not do too much for those whom he respected nor to little for those whom he did not like In every community where he resided he was held in the highest esteem and was worthy of that esteem. As one of the pioneers of this part of the state he will long be remembered by those who were the recipients of his favors and who remember his kindly ways. 

-N. M. A. (written by Norman M. Allen

George Young was born in Lansingburg, Rensslear (Renssalaer) Co., N. Y.,  Oct. 22, 1805, and died at South Dayton,  Jan. 11, 1892. He married  April 30, 1858, Emily Sherman, who was born  Feb. 2, 1820, in Hanover, N. Y., and died  Nov. 28, 1898. Their eight children were: Charles, who died when ten years of age; Isabelle, who married Rev. A. W. Bushee, now resides at Traverse City, Mich. ; Emma, who married Mr. Barry, now resides at Albion, Mich. ; George, who resides on the old homestead at South Dayton; Millie, who married J. E. Cushman, now resides at Silver Creek; Grace, who married E. F. Beach, now resides at Hanover Center; Sherman E., who resides at Hamlet; Eva I., who married W. Waxam, and resides near Nashville, N.Y. 

J. P.Zanger was born  Dec. 27, 1856. He is a son of Phillip Zanger, who was born  Jan. 24, 1811, in France and died  Feb. 22, 1893. His mother Henrietta Minach, was born in Saxony, Germany and died  Feb. 13, 1892. J. P. Zanger married  May 18, 1881, Lena Silleman and they have one son Farm Merton, born  Nov. 16, 1882. Mr. Zanger is a farmer in Fair Plain.

History of Dayton page 2

Back To Cattaraugus County

If you have anything of genealogical or historical interest to add to this site, or if you are interested in becoming a member of the Painted Hills Genealogy Society, please contact us at:
Painted Hills

This page is maintained by the PHGS
Last Update February 2, 2020