Gazetteer of New York, 1860 & 1861 page 322
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322    GENESEE    COUNTY.

of this country, as at that time aliens could not hold real estate. Immediately after the passing
of title, measures were taken to extinguish the Indian titles and to survey the tract, A council
of the Senecas was held at
“Big Tree,” now Geneseo, in Sept. 1797, at which time the Indians
ceded most of their lands to the whites.1

The general office of the Holland Land Co. was located at Philadelphia. Theophilus Cazenove,
the first general agent, took charge of all the business relating to the company from the first pur¬
chase of the lands until 1799. He was succeeded by Paul Busti, who took the chief management
of affairs until 1824,—a period of 25 years. His successor was John J. Yander Kemp, who con¬
tinued to manage the affairs of the company until their final settlement. In July, 1797, Joseph
Ellicott was engaged as principal surveyor of the Holland Land Co.2 In 1798, Mr. Ellicott and hia
assistants ran the
E. line of the territory—since known as the Transit Line—from Penn, to Lake
Ontario, forming the basis for the future surveys and divisions of the territory. The surveys were
continued until the whole territory was divided into ranges and townships. The former numbered
from
e. to w. and the latter from s. to n.

In 1798 the first State roads were laid out from Conewagas, on Genesee River, to the mouth of
Buffalo Creek, and to Lewiston, on Niagara River. A few settlers located in various places in
1798-99, but the settlements did not progress with great rapidity until after the opening of the
Land Office in Oct. 1800. The first place of business opened was the “
Transit Store House,”
located on the present site of Stafford Village, in 1798, to furnish supplies to the surveyors engaged
in running the Transit Line. The land office was first established at
“Pine Grove,” the residence
of Asa Ransom, on the present site of Clarence Hollow, Erie co. Upon the organization of Genesee
co., in 1802, the office was transferred to Batavia, where it continued until the final closing up of
the affairs of the company. In 1821, Mr. Ellicott resigned his agency, and was succeeded by Jacob
S. Otto, who held the office until his death, in 1827. His successor was David E. Evans, who con¬
tinued in charge of affairs until 1837, when the business of the company was closed.3 In 1811,
Ebenezer Mix entered the service of the company as clerk, and for 27 years he had control of the,
entire sales and subdivisions of lands,—a post for which his mathematical abilities, a tenacious
memory, and habits of order admirably qualified him. In 1835 the Holland Company sold all their
remaining lands and all their interests to a new company, principally of Batavians, and a new order
of things was established. Difficulties at once arose between the new company and the settlers in
various parts of the purchase; and, finally, mobs collected to destroy the land offices.1 The opening
of this new region to settlement, under the auspices of a liberal and wealthy company, instituted
a new order of things in the general history of the co., and was of incalculable benefit to the settlers.
Mills were erected, costly roads opened, and every thing done to facilitate settlement and to remove
difficulties in the path of settlers. The lands were sold at fair prices and on the most liberal terms.
The affairs off the company, both at their general and local offices, were conducted by gentlemen of
liberal culture, enlarged views, and humane hearts. In consequence of the richness of the lands
and the liberal terms offered by the company, the whole region rapidly filled up with an industrious,
intelligent, and enterprising population. Many of the early settlers afterward occupied high official
positions and became known throughout the State for their ability and integrity.

ability, and he left a name highly honored throughout the ex¬
tensive domain over which he exerted so commanding an influ¬
ence.

.3 In 1850 an act was passed directing the original field notes
and maps to he deposited in the secretary’s office for preservar
tion and as legal proofs. In closing the affairs of the company,
it was found necessary to obtain evidence of the death of certain
original proprietors; and an act, passed May 13, 1846, directed
the appointment of a special commissioner to visit Europe.
Julius Rhoades was intrusted with this duty.

4 One of the principal causes of disturbance was a rumor that
the new company intended to exact a certain sum for the re¬
newal or extension of every contract. This rule became very
obnoxious; the extra payment received the name of the “ Gen'e-
s'ee Tariff,” and opposition to it was extensively resolved upon.
Tho office at Mayville, Chautauqua co., was broken open Feb. 6,
1836, and the books and papers were seized and burned in the
public highway. On the 13th of May, a report reached Batavia
that 700 armed men were on their way to burn the land office
at that place. Mr. Evans, the agent, at once fortified the office,
and collected a force of 50 men, well armed, to protect it. The
militia were also called out. The mob soon came into town;
hut, learning the preparations made to give them a warm re¬
ception, and well knowing the resolute character of Mr. Evans,
they concluded that “ discretion was the better part of
valor,” and went away without offering any violence. Be¬
tween 50 and 60 of the ringleaders were arrested; but the diffi¬
culties were afterward amicably adjusted, and the prosecutions
were dropped.


1

The tracts reserved by the Indians were the Cannawagus
Reservation, oi' 2 sq. mi., on the Genesee, w. of Avon; Little
Beards and Big Tree Reservation, of 4 sq. mi., on the Genesee,
opposite Geneseo; Squakie Hill Reservation, of 2 sq. mi., on the
Genesee, n. of Mt. Morris; Gardeau Reservation, of 28 sq. mi.,
on both sides of the Genesee, in Castile and Mt. Morris; the
Caneadea Reservation of 16 sq. mi., on both sides of the Genesee,
in Allegany co.; the Oil Spring Reservation, of 1 sq. mi., on
the lino between Cattaraugus and Allegany; the Allegany
Reservation, of 42 sq. mi., on both sides of the Allegany River,
extending n. from the Penn, line; the Cattaraugus Reservation,
of 42 sq. mi., on both sides of the mouth of Cattaraugus Creek;
the Buffalo Reservation, of 130 sq. mi., on both sides of Buffalo
Creek; the Tonawanda Reservation, of 70 sq. mi., on both sides
of Tonawanda Creek, mostly in Genesee co.; and the Tuscarora
Reservation, of 1 sq. mi., 3 mi. e. of Lewiston, Niagara co. The
titles to all these reservations, except the Tonawanda, Buffalo,
Cattaraugus, Tuscarora, and Allegany, have since been ex¬
tinguished.

2

Mr. Ellicott took entire charge of the surveys of these lands,
and completed them in 10 or 12 years. In 1800 he received the
appointment of local agent, and for a period of more than 20
years he had almost exclusive control of the company’s local
business. Under his management an immense tract of wilder¬
ness was converted into one of the finest agricultural regions in
the world. From his first advent into Western N. Y., he took a
high position as an enterprising citizen, independent of his
connection with the land office. He conducted the large and

3

pomp heated business committed to hi3 charge with marked


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