Chapter 15 - Town of Elma 1866 to 1884


TOWN OF ELMA 1866 TO 1884.

For a statement of officers elected at the town meetings since the town was organized, and for the years for which this history is to continue, see Chapter XXI.

For a table of assessments of personal and real property, the equalized valuation as fixed by the Board of Supervisors, the town expenses for each year as audited by the Town Board, the expense for roads and bridges and taxes of the town for each year since the town was organized and for the years for which this history is to continue, see Chapter XXI.

For alphabetical lists of Marriages and deaths, of some of the residents of the Town of Elma to 1900, see Chapters XVIII and XIX.

For a statement of the post offices of the town and the dates of their being established, with the names of the persons appointed as postmaster with the year of their appointment, see Chapter XXI.

For a statement of the organizing of the different churches, the erection of their houses of worship, and their Sunday Schools, etc., see Chapter XXI.

For a table of the United States Census, and the State of New York separate statement of the census of the population of the Town of Elma, 1860, to 1900, see Chapter XXI.

John Kihm came to East Elma and was blacksmith in the shop at the east end of the bridge in 1866.

On January 1st, 1866, Lewis Northrup made a New Year's present to his son, Eli B. Northrup, of the sawmill and millyard on the north side of the Cazenove Creek at Spring Brook; and that year Eli Northrup -overhauled and remodeled the mill and put in a large circular saw.

Henry Kehm moved on to the south half of Lot 53, on the west side of the Bo wen Road, in the spring of 1866.

The Schultz Steam Sawmill was built on Pond Brook, north of the Jamison Road, and west of the Schultz Road, on Lot 42, in the summer of 1866, and for a few years it was run, was a great help to the owners of near-by lands, as it enabled them more readily to get the timber into lumber and into the Buffalo market.

In the summer of this year, Ellery S. Allen and his brothers, David and Anthony, Jr., came to East Elma from Saratoga County, and bought of Z. A. Hemstreet the sawmill and gristmill property at the west end of Lot 10, about twenty acres, besides other lands in the near vicinity. This company, known as "The Allen Brothers operated the sawmill and commenced to alter the gristmill building into a woolen factory, thus adding a new industry to East Elma. The gristmill building had never been finished and the machinery never put in and so had never been used as a gristmill.

Jacob Mohn and Jacob Koch came into the town and with their families settled in Blossom.

Hermon Hesse came from Germany in the spring of 1866, and worked for Samuel Green in the Chair factory on Pond Brook in Elma Village.

Albert Morris, the three-year-old son of William Morris was killed while playing with several other boys on the bridge over the Creek on the Aurora plank road, south of the Mouse Nest tavern, by the team and wagon driven by a Mr. Morey of Holland, who was returning from Buffalo, and who did not see the little boy. The funeral services were conducted by Rev. Sanford of East Aurora, and the burial in the Spring Brook cemetery.

John Luders bought of Hiram Harris the north half of Lot 40, in the Aurora part of the town and on the west side of the Schultz Road. Deed dated December 12th, 1866, recorded in Liber 261, on page 349.

John Cook bought of John Luders the east part of Lot 45, of the Lancaster part of Elma. Deed dated December 17th, 1866; recorded in Liber 273, page 106.

During the spring and early part of the summer of this year there had been several meetings held in different parts of the town to talk up the project of a railroad across the town and to ascertain if the people would subscribe for any of the stock of the said railroad.

Mr. William Wallace, Engineer and Superintendent of the Attica and Buffalo Railroad, when completed in 1843, and who had been the prime mover in the survey and construction of the Buffalo, Brantford and Goderich Railway in 1851 to 1858, was in 1866, working to get a railroad from Buffalo to the coal fields in Pennsylvania, the objective point being Emporium in Pennsylvania.

On February 4th, 1865, a company was organized as the Buffalo and Washington Railroad Company and was soon consolidated with the Buffalo and Allegany Valley Railroad Company, and other railroad companies, all to be under the name of the Buffalo and Washington Company, which was in a little time changed to Buffalo, New York and Philadelphia, and still later, to Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad.

It was this proposed road that Mr. Wallace was so much interested in getting built that he went through on the proposed line, holding meetings in all the towns to see what encouragement the people would render towards the building of the road, and some of these meetings were held in this town as above noted. He met with such success in the towns and in Buffalo, that in August 1866, he had the line surveyed from Buffalo to the Transit, the west line of this town. He then engaged Warren Jackman to survey the line from the Transit through the town of Elma and to connect with the survey as made by Buffalo and Allegany Valley Railroad Company on Lot 45, in Aurora part of Elma, where that company had cut down a few trees, indicating the line of their survey, and from that point, on the line of this old survey across the balance of the town of Elma. The directions given by Mr. Wallace to Jackman were 'Ho put in as flat a curve as possible, at the crossing of the Bowen Road, and to keep off the lands of Eron Woodard," as Woodard had absolutely refused to allow the railroad to cross any of his land.

The line as surveyed across the town of Elma was nearly all the way through the unbroken forest, only for a short distance, near the west line of the town, and occasionally through a small chopping was there any cleared land along the line as surveyed by Jackman and his corps of helpers, in October, 1866.

The levels were taken, and profile maps were made that fall, and the road was built on that line the next year from Buffalo to East Aurora.

Isaac Gail's store at East Elma was closed in the fall of 1866.


February, 1867, opened with two to three feet of snow on the level, and with cold weather which continued until the weather moderated on the 10th, and the thaw continued on 11th and 12th, followed on 13th by a heavy rain which took off most of the remaining snow. This caused a great flood and the breaking up of the 12-inch ice in the Big Buffalo and Cazenove Creeks and other streams.

An ice dam was formed in the Big Buffalo Creek, three-quarters of a mile below Elma Village, which caused the water and running ice to set back and form a lake from the ice dam to Hurd & Briggs' milldam, half a mile above Elma Village; and from Hurd & Briggs' sawmill to the high bank south of the creek, the water being from two to six feet deep and all filled with ice. In Main Street, in Elma Village, the ice was piled four to eight feet high, fences, lumber and small buildings being carried away by the flood.

During the night of the 14th, the ice dam gave away, and in the morning of 15th the water had drained off, and before night a track had been cleared in the road, so that teams could go across the flats between the walls of ice.

The Winspear bridge was carried off by this freshet, and was replaced with a lattice bridge during the summer, at a cost to the town of $925.00.

The Blossom bridge was damaged so that the repairs cost the town $450.

The Northrup bridge was damaged and was repaired at a cost of $342.

Many small bridges, culverts, and sluices, were carried away and destroyed which, with the loss and damage to the large bridges, made a heavy road and bridge account for the town to meet.

Joseph C. Standart bought of Stephen Markham, the house, lot and sawmill, on Lots 58 and 59 in the Lancaster part of Elma, on the east side of the Bowen Road, the deed dated February 13th, 1867, recorded in Liber 288, page 328.

Warren Jackman sold to Wilbur B. Briggs, March 7th, 1867, the house and lot in Elma Village on the west side of Main Street and south of the millrace and on March 21st, Jackman moved to Youngstown, Niagara Co., after residing here sixteen years.

In the spring of this year, John Garby bought and moved on to fifty acres of central part of Lot 60, on the west side of Bowen Road.

Harvey C. Palmer and family moved from Saratoga County in April, 1867, to East Elma, where he worked for Allen Brothers on and in the woolen mill, in altering the gristmill building, and putting in the machinery, the whole being completed and in successful operation before the close of the year. It was called "The Niagara Woolen Mills."

The steam shinglemill at East Elma, owned by Munger and Crane, burned July 4th, 1867, and was immediately rebuilt.

Hattie E. Davis, eleven year old, daughter of Wm. H. Davis, who resided on the Northrup Road on Lot 101 and Nellie E. Wallis, the nine year old daughter of Mrs. and Mrs. Wm. D. Wallis, who resided on the Northrup Road southwest from Spring Brook, on Lot 35 of the Mile Strip, were both drowned on the afternoon of July 24th, 1867, in the ''Devil's Hole" in the Cazenove Creek. This hole was formed in the bed of the creek by the rapid flow of the water at the bend of the creek and at that time was about forty feet in length, up and down the creek, and about twenty feet wide and about seven feet deep. It was supposed that the girls while wading in the shallow water along the shore without knowing of the hole stepped or fell into it and both were drowned.

A private cemetery on the Rice Road and north of Lot, 66, known as the Tillou cemetery, had been used for several years when on September 30th, 1867, it was organized under the State cemetery laws as the ''Union Cemetery of Spring Brook." It is generally known as the Tillou Cemetery.

Stephen Northrup bought of Geo. H. Bristol the store and tannery lot in Spring Brook; deed dated October 22d, 1867, recorded in Liber 271, page 440. He put in a stock of new goods; was appointed Postmaster of the Spring Brook Post office by President Johnson.

The survey of a line for a railroad from Buffalo to East Aurora, the levels and maps having been completed in the fall of 1866 and the letting of the contract in the spring of 1867, to build the road, this being a part of the proposed Buffalo and Washington Railroad from Buffalo to Emporium, made the building of the road to the coal fields and lumber region of Pennsylvania a sure thing. This section of eighteen miles from Buffalo to Aurora was built and accepted by the Company, December 22d, and an excursion train between these places, on Wednesday, December 25th, (opening day) was the cause of great rejoicing with all the people along the line of the road.

This part of the road was operated for several years before the road was completed to Emporium, and during these years vast quantities of lumber and wood were sent by the railroad to Buffalo. At this time, 1867, not more than half of the timber had been taken from the land in the Town of Elma, and the prospect of the railroad being soon built to the Pennsylvania lumber and coal region, caused the owners of timber lands in Elma, to rush their wood and lumber into the Buffalo market, before lumber and coal should be brought from Pennsylvania, as then they thought, prices would go down with- a crash. So every effort was put forth by the Elma people to get their lands cleared before the road should be completed.

The building of the road beyond Aurora was delayed several years; but was completed to Olean in July, 1872, ancl opened to Emporium on January 1st, 1873.


Thomas Hines bought and moved on to the southwest part of Lot 39, Aurora part of Elma, between the Williams Road and the Railroad, April 14th, 1868.

James T. Hurd bought of Charles A. Button eleven and one quarter acres of land, being the northwest part of Lot 59, Lancaster part of Elma, on west side of the Bowen Road, the deed dated April 16th, 1868, recorded in Liber 354 page 93.

John Hicks was the blacksmith at East Elma in 1868.

Clark W. Hurd and family moved to Batavia this spring, having rented their Elma property to their sons, Dennis and Charles.

Rev. George W. McPherson was sent by the Methodist Episcopal Conference to the Elma Village Methodist Episcopal Church.

George W. Hatch bought the three-quarter acre lot at East Elma on the northeast corner of Jamison and Thompson Roads, and during the summer of 1868 built a store on the lot.

At the Presidential Election held November 3d, 1868, 569 votes were polled in the town. The total popular vote given to U. S. Grant, the Republican candidate was 3,015,071. The Electoral College gave 214 votes, and 80 votes to Horatio Seymour, the Democratic candidate.

During this year several more families moved into the town, many of them buying parts of lots, some buying only a few acres!

The railroad having been built and in successful operation, -greatly increased the facility of getting to Buffalo for the people and was convenient for the sending of wood and lumber to market by the carload.

The railroad company planned for three stations in the town, one at their crossing of the Pound Road, north from Spring Brook, one at their crossing of the Bowen and Woodard Roads, and one at their crossing of the Jamison Road.

A temporary building was put up for the Spring Brook station; a rough board shanty with board roof was erected as the Elma depot, the company refusing to use the comfortable building, 18 x 30 feet, that the Elma people had built, and the board shanty was used for several years, a cold place in winter and wet inside when it rained as the roof leaked badly, the company refusing to put up a better building until complaints from the people reached the railroad Commissioners, who, on visiting the place in 1878, notified the company that unless they immediately put up a new and comfortable building they, the Commissioners, would build & depot at the expense of the railroad company. The order ended the matter, as the railroad company immediately erected a comfortable depot building on the west side of the railroad and on the north side of the Woodard Road. At the Jamison Road, the railroad business was done in Fred. Wilting's building on the west side of the railroad track and on the north side of the Jamison Road, E. Bleeck acting as the railroad agent.


By deed dated April 2d, 1869, in the settlement of the estate of Lewis M. Bullis, Phoebe Bullis conveyed to Orson S. Bullis the Bullis sawmill and about twelve acres of land, and on the same date Frank Bullis received deed for Lots 22, 23 and 10 acres of Lot 29.

The Union Church Society, of Spring Brook, was organized early in January, 1869. David J. Morris conveyed the lot on which the church building stood, on the north side of the Plank Road and near the west end of Lot 75 to the society, the deed being dated January 18th, 1869; recorded in Liber 427, page 518.

William H. Bancroft sold to Jacob Jerge the house and blacksmith shop lot, in Elma Village on the west side of the Bowen Road, April 1st, 1869. After Casper Jerge 's death, March 16th, Jacob had the entire business of the brothers.

On April 5th, Bancroft bought of Clement Peek, the northwest part of Lot 15 of the Mile Strip at the southwest corner of the Billington and Williams Roads, containing forty-eight acres, subject to the right for schoolhouse on the northeast corner so long as needed for public school purposes; the deed dated April 5th, 1869, recorded in Liber 285, page 318. Bancroft in a few days moved from Elma Village on to the Mile Strip.

Timothy Clifford sold to Michael Beck, April 22d, 1869, the house and lot on Lot 84, and blacksmith shop and Lot on the west end of Lot 75 in Spring Brook; when Clifford bought of John Miller twenty-five acres from the south end of Lot 38, on the northeast corner of Jamison and Schultz Roads; deed dated March 2d, 1870. Clifford built a blacksmith shop near his southwest corner, which he carried on for twenty years.

James Clark was appointed Postmaster of the Elma Postoffice in 1869, and moved the office from Standart's on Bullis Road, to Markham's store with Markham as deputy.

William Bell, who lived on Lot 21 of the Mile Strip, on the west side of Bowen Road, committed suicide in 1869, by shooting himself with a pistol; cause: financial trouble, he, while insurance agent having become considerable short in making his returns.
At the General Election, November 2d, 1869, 407 votes were polled.


On January 3d, 1870, Mr. and Mrs. William Standard celebrated their golden wedding, at their home south of Elma Village. The many friends present with their gifts, testified their respect for the Standart family.

Alonzo C. Bancroft, in the spring of 1870, sold part of his personal property and with his family moved to Wisconsin.

For the United States Census for 1870, see Chapter XXI.

Louis Kleberg was appointed Postmaster of Blossom Postoffice in 1870.

The East Elma Postoffice was re-established in 1870, with George W. Hatch as Postmaster.

Williams' store on the southeast corner of the Jamison and Hemstreet Roads in East Elma burned in the winter of 1870 and 1871.

Horace Kyser's steam mill in Spring Brook, built in 1862, burned in the fall of 1870.

Lyman K. Bass, November 15th, 1870, bought of Orson S. Bullis, the Bullis sawmill with other lands. Bass sold same to Henry C. Sargent and later Sargent took down the mill and sold the sawmill lot to Henry Cole.


John Shay was the East Elma blacksmith in 1871. P- Mrs. James Dunbar bought the McFee property across the road from the Catholic church in Spring Brook in the spring of 1871.

The Bridge across the big Buffalo Creek in Elma Village gave out and two new stone abutments were required for an iron bridge built by the Ohio Bridge Company, at a cost of $3789.89.

The Northrup bridge across the Cazenove Creek at Spring Brook was repaired at a cost of $310.

The Standart bridge was repaired at a cost of $193.91.

Christopher Peek sold his steam sawmill on Pond Brook to a Mr. Wood, who took down the mill and moved it to Sardinia.

This year there were many changes and tranfers of real property made in the town, the descriptions of which must be passed by. The forest is fast disappearing.

At the General Election November 7th, 1871, 406 votes were polled.


Thomas Schneider was the blacksmith at East Elma this year.

George Helfter and Jacob Jerge form a partnership as blacksmiths in Elma Village in April.

A fire company of thirty-six members was organized in Blossom this year.

Clark W. Hurd and family moved to Elma from Batavia, taking possession of their old residence and property.


In the spring of 1872, the Allen Brothers dissolved their partnership and made a division of their property at East Elma and vicinity. Ellery S. Allen took the woolen factory and business with sixteen and two-thirds acres of land; Anthony Allen, Jr., took the sawmill and two acres of land, and David Allen had certain other real estate.

Joseph Wagner bought of Joachin Wagner that part of Lot 39 west of the railroad and north of Thomas Hines on the east side of the Williams Road. Deed August 3d, 1872, recorded in Liber 323, page 44.

A Lutheran church, 21 x 30 feet was built on Lot 40, on the north side of the Woodard Road, in the summer of 1872. Christian Stolle was the contractor and builder. The church cemetery is on the north part of the church lot.

Horace Kyser in the summer of 1872 built a steam sawmill and gristmill on the ground occupied by his sawmill which burned in 1870.

Stephen Northrup's store in Spring Brook burned in August. The postoffice matters and most of the goods were saved and moved into Esquire Ward's office. Northrup immediately built a brick store which was finished, furnished, and occupied by him in November of that year.

The Buffalo and Washington Railroad was completed to Olean in July, 1872.

At the Presidential Election, November 5th, 1872, 456 votes were cast. The popular vote to General U. S. Grant was 3,579,070. At the Electoral College, he received 292 votes and as Horace Greely, the Democratic candidate died before the meeting of the Presidential Electors, the Democratic Electors were divided as follows: For Thomas A. Hendricks, 42; for B. Gratz Brown, 18; for Horace Greely, 3; for Charles A. Jenks, 2; for David Davis, 1. Total 66.

The German Evangelical Society built a church on west part of Lot 75 on the north side of the Plank Road, in Spring Brook, in the summer of 1872, dedicated November 24th, 1872.


A Lutheran Society was organized in Blossom Village and a church building erected across the street from the German Evangelical church.

Alonzo C. Bancroft came back from Wisconsin with his family in the early spring of 1873 and moved into Mrs. Clark's house across the street from the church in Elma village.

The Standart bridge, three-quarters of a mile below Elma Village; went out with the spring freshet, and the voters at the town meeting, March 4th, 1873, refused by vote to rebuild the bridge.

There had for several years been great dissatisfaction as to that part of the Stolle Road along the west line of Lot 12, south from Bullis Road. The Commissioners of Highways finally made a settlement with the owners of land by paying Philip Stitz $125; Henry C. Sargent $100; Wm. Reuther $100; and John Heitman $15. Total $340.

The milldam built by Northrup & Baker in 1844 was replaced by Eli Northrup who built a stone dam in its place in the summer of 1873.

The house that Clark W. Hurd built in 1846 on the east side of the Bowen Road, north of Hurd & Briggs sawmill in Elma Village, was moved, b}'' Hurd in the spring of 1873 to the lot next north of the church, and the Hurd family lived in that house while Hurd was preparing plans and building a large new house on the old site. The new house was raised in September of that year, but was not finished and occupied until 1874.

The Buffalo and Washington Railroad was completed and opened for traffic to Emporium on July 1st, 1873.

For the last five years, the owners of timber lands in the Town of Elma had been working hard to get their wood and lumber into Buffalo before this railroad should be completed to the coal and timber lands of Pennsylvania, fearing that when the railroad should commence to bring coal and lumber, their prices would go down, and so the rush was continued. Every sawmill had been worked to its full capacity and the greatly diminished amount of timber remaining in the town showed that there had been very much hard work done and that a very few more years of such work would see the end of hauling wood and lumber to Buffalo.

Occasionally, a sawmill located on a small stream where the timber was nearly gone, would be placed on the retired list or taken down; and the residents of the town were gradually changing business from lumbermen and wood choppers to farmers.

To show the interest the first settlers in the new town took in - school matters, an account will be given here of the building of the first schoolhouse in Spring Brook and the efforts made by some of the residents for additional room when the first building had become too small to accommodate all of the children of that school district. The records of the Spring Brook school district have been well and continuously kept from the first meeting to organize a school district and are, therefore, evidence that must stand.

In nearly every school district in the town, the records have been lost, so that they could not be obtained. As a rule, the building of the first schoolhouse in a neighborhood or school district would meet with little or no opposition, but when a move was made for an addition or for a new house, the opposition would be out in full force. So the experience of Spring Brook is no exception but proof of the rule.

From the reported proceedings of the Spring Brook school district, viz.:

After one or two preliminary meetings to organize a school district, at a meeting held on April 24th and April 30th and May 2d, 1846, it was decided to build a schoolhouse as per the following contract: "The building to be 20x24 feet with 11 feet hemlock plank one and one-half inches thick, lined with one one-half inch hemlock plank five or six inches wide. Floor of one and one-quarter inch seasoned ash, jointed and lined; eight windows, each fifteen lights of 8 X 10 glass; two one and one-half inch four panel doors, one outside six panel two inch door; lathed and plastered inside and six double and two single desks; roof to be covered with good pine shingles; outside to be finished with good sound pine and bold cornice, to be painted with English Venetian trimmed with white, to be built on a good stone wall two feet high and to be ready for school by June 1st and to be completed by November 15th next. Contract price, $254."

Many families were moving into Spring Brook and immediate vicinity, so the schoolhouse soon proved to be too small to accommodate all the children in the neighborhood who wanted to attend the school.

At the Annual meeting held on October 5th., 1852, a resolution was passed and adopted to build an addition to the schoolhouse. Meeting adjourned for one week.

October 12th, 1852, adjourned meeting; Resolved, That we build an addition to this schoolhouse, so we can have two schoolrooms. Carried. Adjourned to October 16th, at 1 o'clock p. m.

October 16th, 1852. Adjourned meeting; Resolved, that we rescind the resolution to build an addition to the schoolhouse. Carried.

October 25th, 1852. Special meeting. Resolved that we raise $150.00 by tax, to build an addition to the schoolhouse. Carried forty-four to forty-two."

(As the vote was so nearly equal, the names of the persons voting for and against the resolution are here given).

Voting for the tax: John B. Bristol, Charles M. Whitney, C. S. Mariam, William Jones, C. S. Spencer, Cornehus Van Brocklin, David J. Morris, Joseph Stafford, S. Eddy, Amos D. Waters, S. Wait, H. Van Antwerpt, John Van Antwerpt, James M. Taylor, Jonathan Johnson, James Dunbar, William Hunt, N. Wirtman, Joseph Morton, H. S. Larned, Nehemiah Graves, James H. Ward, J. J. French, F. S. Baker, J. H. Letson, Steady Stafford, A. W. Palmer, John Morris, Edward Good, Elias Weed, Benjamin Richman, Nehemiah Cobb, Wynell Todd, John Todd, John Skidmore, William Morris, L. F. Morris, Daniel W. Wilkins, Fisher Ames, John Van Antwerp, Ferris Palmer, George Good, Alonzo Doolittle, Total forty-four.

Voting against the tax: Isaac Tillou, Joseph Grace, Zebina Lee, Israel Morey, John Bohan, James Conley, Samuel Dans, Charles Rogers, Moses Baker, James Deman, John McGivern, Alfred Money, Thomas Corrigan, Amos Dodge, Edward Hill, Melvin Shaw, Lyman Parker, S. Hamlin, Neal McHugh, Zenas M. Cobb, William J. Chadderdon, Barney- Conley, Abraham Morton, James Tillou, Patrick McCormick, Wallace Jones, John McFee, R. J. Jackson, J. H. Gregory, Thomas O'Flannigan, Joseph Tillou, Colby, A. Morrisson, L. G. Northrup, William White, Patrick Phalan, B. J. Smith, John Mitchell, Horace Kyser, T. Fagan, Isaac Hall, Cyrus Soddy. Total 42. Majority for the tax, two."

These eighty-six persons, voters at the school meeting in October 1852, besides others, probably who were not voters, or who did not attend the meeting, and who were residents of the Spring Brook school district, will show how rapidly that part of the town had become settled in the eight years since Northrup and Baker built the first sawmill and millhouse in October, 1844.

The addition to the schoolhouse above mentioned, was never built and the question of the addition was freely discussed in the school district. No further action was had until a special school meeting was called for January 5th, 1863.

At this special meeting a resolution was passed to build an addition twenty-four feet square. Adjourned for two weeks.

January 19th, 1863. - Adjourned meeting. Resolved, that we rescind the proceedings of the last meeting so far as related to building an addition to the schoolhouse. Carried.

Resolved, that we build a new schoolhouse in the center of the lot. Carried.

Resolved, that we raise $400.00 to build the new house. Carried. "Two plans for the new house were presented, called the Morris plan and the Grace plan.

"By a vote, the Morris plan was adopted, fifteen to twelve. March 2d, 1863, special meeting; adjourned for one week because of nonattendance of part of the voters.

March 9th, 1863. The adjourned meeting voted to rescind the proceedings of the meeting of January 19th, to raise $400.00 to build a new house. Carried.

Resolved, that we raise $500.00 to build the new schoolhouse Carried."

There was no new schoolhouse built under these resolutions, and as there were more children in the district than the old house could accommodate, rooms had to be hired from time to time, in which a second school could be kept. Matters continued to run in that way until at a special meeting held on January 6th, 1870, a resolution was presented to levy a tax to raise $2,500 or so much as may be necessary to build a new schoolhouse 26x40, two stories high.

The question was divided and the vote to build a new schoolhouse was lost by twenty-eight to eighteen.

The building of a new schoolhouse was again taken up at a special meeting called for August 7th, 1872, at which a motion was carried to build a new schoolhouse.

A motion to reconsider was carried immediately, and a motion was carried to not build a new schoolhouse. A motion was carried that we repair the old house. A motion was carried to raise $1,000 for the repairs. A motion was carried that the $1,000 be raised in two installments, $500.00 for the first and as much as may be necessary to complete the house for the second.

August 8th, 1872, annual meeting. Motion made and carried that we rescind the movements of all special meetings." This action put a stop to any repairs of the old house.

January 30th, 1873. Special meeting for building a new schoolhouse or to repair the old house.

Motion made and carried that a committee of seven be appointed to prepare a plan for a new schoolhouse and report at a future meeting.

Messrs Zenas M. Cobb, O. J. Wannemacher and Patrick Donahue, the trustees, with Lewis Northrup, William Lockwood, Mr. Walker and Horace Kyser were the committee.

The meeting was then adjourned to February 5th, 1873. February 5th, adjourned meeting. The above committee submitted a plan for a new schoolhouse to be 24x30.

This plan was adopted by a vote of the meeting, and on motion, the trustees were appointed a building committee.

Motion made and carried that the trustees be authorized to levy a tax of $1,000, and apply the same in the construction of the new house.

October 6th, 1873. Special meeting to consider the matter of furnishing the new house, and vote a tax to pay the indebtedness of the district, and to sell the old house. Motion made and carried to raise by tax $235.00 to pay balance due to Samuel Hoyt on contract to build the new schoolhouse. Motion made and carried to raise by tax $280.00 to furnish the new house. Motion made and carried to sell the old house."

The old house was then sold to Michael Beck for $25.00 and was moved by Beck to the side of the old blacksmith shop on the west end of Lot 75, and has since been used as a blacksmith shop.

October 14th, 1873, annual meeting. Motion made and carried that the trustees be directed to repair the woodhouse and use the money received for the sale of the old house as far as it goes, and levy a tax for the balance."

The long controversy as to building an addition to the old schoolhouse, or to build a new house was now settled, and in 1873, the Spring Brook district has the best schoolhouse in the town of Elma.

At the general election, November 4th, 1873, 295 votes were polled in the town.


Alonzo C. Bancroft bought of J. B. Briggs in the spring of 1874, the house and one and one-fourth acre lot in Elma Village on the west side of the Bowen Road and north bank of the Creek.

The high water in the Big Buffalo Creek having washed away the Thompson Road north of the Bodimer house on Lot 9, the Commissioners of Highways of the Town caused a new survey to be made and then bought of the Bodimer heirs the land for the new road, and at the town meeting held on March 3d, 1874, they applied to voters of the town to raise $200.00 to pay for the land so taken and this $200.00 was voted to be raised by tax.

The Eleazer Bancroft sawmill which was built in 1854 near the mouth of Pond Brook in Elma Village gave out, and as Bancroft had about used up his timber, the mill was not repaired and was never used after 1874. C. W. Hurd moved into his new house in Elma Village in the fall of 1874. John Collins bought of Samuel Hoyt the store in Spring Brook at the southeast corner of the Plank and Northrup Roads, in the spring of 1874.

John Standart, who lived in a house on the southwest corner of Lot 9, on the north side of the Clinton Street Road, on July 7th, 1874, shot his wife with a revolver and then cut his own throat with a razor.

The bridge over Pond Brook on the Chair Factory Road having broken down, the contract to build a new bridge and two new stone abutments was let to Hurd & Briggs for $1,200. The bridge and abutments were built in the summer of 1874.

Andrew Schefferstein bought of C. W. Hurd, twenty-one acres of northwest part of Lot 60, on the south side of the Bullis Road. Deed dated August 6th, 1874, recorded in Liber 346, Page 340.


The old Catholic church building in Spring Brook had become too small to accommodate the society, so that building was moved from the corner of the Plank and Rice Roads in Spring Brook, to the east end of their lot, to be used later as a barn for their parsonage, and a second church was built on the old site in the summer of 1874. Just after the frame of the building was raised, there came a very high wind which leveled the frame to the ground. It was immediately raised again and finished and occupied that fall.

A German Evangelical church was built on the south side of the Rice Road and north end of Lot 53 in the summer of 1874.

At the general election on November 3d, 1874, 368 votes were polled.


February 26th, 1875, George Helfter bought of Clark W. Hurd, one-half acre of land on southeast corner of the Bowen and Clinton Street Roads, built a shop and commenced blacksmith work there.

George Kelgus bought of Louis Funke, part of Lot 60, on the west side of the Bowen Road, and between the hotel property and John Garby.

The inhabitants had increased so rapidly in the last few years in the Rice school district that the schoolhouse on the northwest corner of the Bowen and Rice Roads did not accommodate the children of the district. At the annual school meeting an effort was made to have a new house built. While the owners of a majority of the property in the district wanted a new house, there was the opposition generally found and enough of the residents of the district voted ''no" to kill the project; and the prospect was that the old house would continue, but somehow along in the night, the schoolhouse took fire and burned down.

A special meeting was called and the motion to build a new house was carried. The new house was to be ready for the opening of school the next spring. The trustees hired the German church, fifty rods west, for the winter school.

Three hundred and eighty-nine votes were polled at the election held November 2d, 1875.


In April, 1876, Harvey C. Palmer bought the goods in the store at East Elma. The Lutheran church at Blossom burned this year.

The year 1876, being the one hundredth anniversary of the United States as a Nation, dating from the signing of the Declaration of Independence, a Centennial Exposition was held in Philadelphia in honor of that event and many residents of the town of Elma, as well as residents of almost every town, village and city in the United States, made the pilgrimage to Philadelphia; and on their return to their homes reported the Exposition to be the biggest thing on the earth. Every crow thinks her young the whitest of all the birds, and every mother thinks her babe the handsomest babe in the world, and this being our Exposition, it is, of course, a great way ahead of anything of the kind that was ever held anywhere.

At the Presidential election held November 7th, 1876, 512 votes were polled in the town. Rutherford B. Hayes' popular vote was 4,033,050.

The Electoral College gave R. B. Hayes 185 votes; to Samuel J Tilden, 184 votes.

The young People's Association of Elma Village was organized by Rev. George P. Harris in the fall of 1876.


Two stone abutments for the Northrup bridge were built in the summer of 1877 which cost the town $210.00. The Bullis bridge was repaired this year at a cost of $639.00.

Harvey J. Hurd was elected to the Assembly at the November election. At the election held November 6th, 478 votes were cast in the town.

John G. Fisher bought of Stephen Northrup the brick store in Spring Brook, deed November 12th, 1877, recorded in Liber 376, Page 20. Fisher was appointed postmaster at Spring Brook in 1880.


Thomas Moore was the East Elma blacksmith this year. The Lutheran church in Blossom was rebuilt this year. Alois Dusch opened a blacksmith shop in Blossom this year.

The Elma Center postoffice was established with Eron Woodard as postmaster, April 1st, 1878.

Hugh Mullen bought the north half of Lot 2 of the Aurora part of the town on the east side of the Thompson Road, in the spring of 1862.

The Hanvey sawmill, built on a small stream on the land bought by Mullen, being out of repair, and the timber being well worked up in that vicinity, Mullen decided not to repair the mill but took it down this year.

Henry A. Wright opened a store at Elma Center in the building near the railroad depot, which the Elma people built and offered to the railroad company for a depot in 1868, but which they refused and instead built a board shanty which is still used in 1878 while the new depot is being built.

Harrison Tillou this year bought the John McFee place in Spring Brook, across the Plank Road from the Catholic church.

Carl Manke, on April 2d, 1878, shot and killed his neighbor, John Atloff. As Atloff was returning from Buffalo on the Bullis Road, when near the northeast corner of Lot 85, Manke fired at him from behind a pile of lumber. There had been a difference between them as to a line fence.

At the election November 5th, 1878, 481 votes were polled in the town.

Harvey J. Hurd of Elma Village was the second time elected to represent this district in the Assembly.

William Edwards' blacksmith shop and residence, on the southeast corner at East Elma had been occupied but a short time when it burned in 1878.


May 1st, 1879, Joseph Kratz's grocery on the northwest corner at East Elma burned.

Harvey J. Hurd was for the third time elected to the Assembly at the election held November 4th, 1879; and at this election there were 475 votes polled in the town.


Cyrus S. Spencer opened a small store on the south side of the Plank Road in Spring Brook on Lot 81 in the spring of 1880.

John G. Fisher was appointed postmaster for Spring Brook in 1880. The Bullis schoolhouse being too small to accommodate the children of the district, and being in need of large repairs, the inhabitants of the district decided to build a new house. The old house was sold to Philip Stitz for $25.00 and this year, 1880, a new house was built in its place.

The German Evangelical Society this year took down the old Ebenezer Society church and built a new church on the same site, on the north side of Main Street, in Blossom Village.

E. J. Markham, this summer built a cidermill and vinegar factory on the bank of the millrace on the west end of his lot in Elma Village.

At the Presidential election November 2d, 1880, 566 votes were cast in the town. James A. Garfield's popular vote was 4,442,050.

The Electoral College gave James A. Garfield 214 votes and W. S. Hancock 115 votes. Harvey J. Hurd was for the fourth time elected to the Assembly.

The population of the town was 2,555. (See United States census, Chapter XXI). George W. Hurd moved on to Lot 85, on the south side of Bulhs Road, December 24th, 1880.


The Northrup bridge was repaired this summer at a cost to the town of $223.46. 435 votes were cast at the election November 8th, 1881.


At the death of Lewis Northrup in April, 1882, Eli B. Northrup by the will came into possession of the gristmill, and the homestead on Lot 84, in west part of Spring Brook Village.

Jacob Miller's house, on Lot 46, on the north side of Clinton Street Road, burned in February of this year. Miller and his wife went to Blossom to attend a funeral, leaving three small children at home. While the parents were away, the house took fire, the children and part of the furniture being saved by the neighbors.

Adelbert Spencer bought his father's interest in his store in Spring Brook in the spring of 1882.

Cole & Sweet bought of John Collins, the store in Spring Brook at the corner of the Plank and Northrup Roads.

Briggs & Sweet bought of Horace Kyser the steam saw and gristmill in Spring Brook in October, 1882. 463 votes were cast in the town at the election November 7th, 1882.

Ernest Bleeck bought of Fred Wilting on December 12th, 1882, the store and saloon which Wilting had run for four or five years, on southeast corner of Lot 42, on north side of the Jamison Road.

During the last few years the owners of land in the town have been gradually closing up their wood and lumber business, and have put in their time cleaning up their farms; for on many of the farms there was not a tree of the old growth remaining, and as the timber was gone, they must engage in regular farming.

In six to ten years after the trees had been cut, most of the stumps would decay so as to be easily removed, except the pine, which being the last to decay, had to be removed by stump machines. This was quite expensive and on what was called pine lands, the cost was forty to eighty dollars per acre; but these pine stumps were utilized and put into fences, making a homely but durable fence.


On Sunday morning, February 4th, 1883, before daylight, the people of Elma Village were called from their houses by the cry of "high water coming!"

This flood in the village was caused by the previous thaw and the breaking up of the ice in the creek, and a jam or dam of ice forming in the bend of the creek near the Elma cemetery, caused the water to set back over the flats and Elma Village, the water and ice reaching nearly to Mr. J. B. Briggs' house. Never before had there been any water north of the millrace.

Mr. Erastus J. Markham who with his family occupied the store building over the race, fearing that the building would be carried away, left the store, thinking to go to C. W. Kurd's house until the water subsided. Mrs. Markham, while going north on the sidewalk, when near J. B. Briggs' south line, slipped and fell, breaking her ankle. While sitting there a few minutes, waiting for help, the water came up so as to be two feet deep where she sat. The ice in all streams in town went out during this thaw, but no great damage was done to any of the bridges in the town.

Four hundred and four votes were polled at the election November 6th, 1883. Mrs. Julia A. H. Jackman bought of Mrs. Lovina C. Markham, the house and four acre lot, being part of Lot 59 on the east side of the Bowen Road, one-fourth mile south from the Big Buffalo Creek, and one mile north from railroad station.


Alexander Rush bought of Helen Ignatz, the hotel property at the southwest corner of the Bowen and Bullis Roads, being the northeast corner of Lot 60; deed April 28th, 1884, recorded in Liber 474, Page 79.

Warren Jackman moved from Youngstown on to Lot 59 on east side of Bowen Road near Elma Village April 30th, 1884.

A. M. Edwards moved from Buffalo into the Standart brick house, three-fourths of a mile south from Elma Village, May 1st, 1884.

Mrs. Caroline Thayer bought of Julia A. McFee, four and one half acres being the Mouse Nest tavern and Lot in Spring Brook, the deed dated May 1st, 1884, recorded in Liber 391, Page 133.

"The New or Meridian Time" was adopted by the principal railroads of the United States at 12 o'clock noon, November 18th, 1883, and the trains were from that date run on that time instead of local time as heretofore.

The lines of longitude designating the time for the different stations were 75th meridian, 90th, 105, and 120th; these being respectively 5, 6, 7 and 8 hours west from Greenwich.

For seven and one-half degrees east and west they indicate the new standards of time.

The time of Philadelphia, on the 75th meridian, is used for all places between meridian of New Brunswick and Detroit, Columbus, etc.

From Detroit to central Nebraska, the time is that of St. Louis, New Orleans on the 90th meridian. From central Nebraska to western Utah, the time is that of Denver, on the 105th meridian. From Western Utah to the Pacific Ocean, the time is that of Virginia City on the 120th meridian.

Ernest Bleeck built a new store at Jamison on northeast corner of Lot 42. C. W. Hurd built a new barn 110x60 feet and moved other barns and out buildings.

The M. E. Church in Elma Village was painted this year by Clayton Standart. At the Presidential election November 4th, 591 votes were polled in the town.

Grover Cleveland's popular vote was 4,874,986.

The Electoral College gave Grover Cleveland 219 votes; gave James G. Blaine 182 votes.

SOURCE:  History of the Town of Elma Erie County, N. Y. 1620 To 1901; Warren Jackman; Buffalo; G. M. Hausauer & Son; 1902