From 1832 until 1835 Alexander Vallance, Daniel Lammie, William Mitchell, Andrew Mearns and their families came from Ayrshire, Scotland and thus added a Scotch element to the population. John McKerrow, from the same place, settled here in 1844.
In 1841 Robert Williams, John Higgins, Thomas Rees, Daniel Morgan, H.O. Roberts, John Lewis and others came from Oneida county and formed the nucleus of a Welsh Settlement. More people came until the population was largely composed of Welsh people. As time went on, people of other nationalities settled in Freedom but there are sill many people of Welsh descent.
Supervisors of the Town of Freedom 1821-1961
William Price - 1821, 1828-30
Enoch Howlett - 1822, 27
James Parmalee - 1823-26
David Wild - 1831-32
Eber Holmes - 1833-35, 1837-39, 1841-43, 1850
David Barrows - 1836
John G. Wood - 1840
Jarvis Leonard - 1844-45
John R. Knowles - 1846
Myron Holmes - 1845
Reuben M. Jameson - 1848, 1858
Henry Crandall - 1849
Daniel Lammie - 1851-52, 1857, 1863-66
William V. Smith - 1853, 1862
Hugh H. Jones - 1854-56
John Higgins - 1859-60
Harrison Cheney - 1861, 1873-74
Warren J. Sawyer - 1867
J.D. Colburn - 1868
Oliver R. Knight - 1869-70
John W. Rees - 1871-72
John Lammie - 1875-79
Omar Crossman - 1880-81
Burton B. Lewis - 1882-89, 1892-93
J.H. Shallies - 1890-92, 1894-99
Theodore Hayden - 1900-03
E.J. Cheney - 1904-22
A.E. Austin - 1923-33
Lewis Jones - 1934-52
George Leonard - 1952
Freedom is situated in the northeast corner of Cattaraugus County with Wyoming County on the north and Allegheny County on the east. The surface is described as "rolling moderately hilly upland" and is good farming and dairying country. Dairy farming is the principal industry at the present time (1961).
The south branch of the Cattaraugus Creek and Clear Creek are the principal streams.
Crystal Lake (formerly Fish Lake) about one mile from Freedom Village is a beautiful little lake. In bygone years, it was used as a picnic spot, having a small hotel and a nice grove for picnic tables. With the coming of the B&S railroad in 1906 business was even more flourishing, since the BR&P also had a station there.
The B&S (later called the W&B) was in operation only about ten years, and soon after the property was purchased by the Boy Scouts and has since been used for a Boy Scout Camp, known as Scouthaven. It is an ideal spot for such a camp, but people from surrounding areas missed their picnic grounds and fishing facilities.
Beaver Lake is toward the southern part of the town. There are several cottages near it.
Freedom was first settled by pioneers who came from New Hampshire and Vermont in 1811. Quite a colony from the two states settled, apparently at what is now known as Howlett's Corners and Hughes Road. Warren Stanley, Ezekiel Reynolds, Elihu Dagget, Enoch Howlett, Rufus Metcalf, Earl Sawyer and Jonas Irish put up log houses that year and moved their families the following spring. The Stanley, Dagget and Reynolds families moved away a few years later and little is known about them. It is related that the Dagget family, in a time of great scarcity of food, dug up the potatoes that had been planted and ate them.
The town was formed from the original town of Ischua by an act of legislature passed April 13, 1820 but was reduced in 1844 by the annexation of some of the west tier lots of Yorkshire.
The first town officers were elected at a meeting held at the home of Gillet Hinck the first Tuesday of March 1821. William Price was elected Supervisor and Early Sawyer Town Clerk. Some men held as many as three or four offices.
A Post office was established in 1824 with Dr. William Coudery who resided at Fish (Crystal) Lake as Postmaster. Enoch Howlett, who erected the first sawmill and kept the first store and inn was appointed the second Postmaster in 1831; a position which he held until his death in 1856.
It is said that the first oil struck in New York State was found in Freedom in 1832. An oil company was formed in 1864 and two test wells were drilled. However, even though there was some black lubricating oil, the supply was soon exhausted and the wells were abandoned. [Source: "150 years of Freedom, 1811-1961", Unknown Author, August 9-13, 1961 ---- Transcribed by K. Torp]
BACK -- HOME
Copyright © Genealogy Trails