Town of Clarence

CLARENCE - was formed from "Willink," (now Aurora,) March 11, 1808. Buffalo was taken off in 1810, Alden in 1823, and Lancaster in 1833. It lies upon the N. border of the co., E. of the center. Its surface is level. A limestone terrace about 50 feet high, with a wall-like front facing the N., extends E. and W. through the center of the town. The streams are Tonawanda Creek, on the N. border, and Ransoms Creek, flowing N.W. through near the center of the town. The soil in the N. part is clayey, and in the S. a sandy and gravelly loam underlaid by limestone. Clarence Hollow, (Clarence p.o.,) near the S.E. corner of the town, contains 3 churches, the Clarence Academy,(1) and a pop. of 400; Clarence Center (p.v.) contains 2 churches and about 40 houses. Harris Hill (p.o.) and North Clarence (p.o.) are hamlets. The first settlement was made at Clarence Hollow in 1799, by Asa Ransom.(2) The census reports 7 churches in town.(3)

(1)Established as the Clarence Classical School in 1841, by J. Hadley and R. Blennerhassett.

(2)Asa Ransom was a man of considerable influence with the Indains. They gave him the name of "O-wis-ta-no-at-squo-nich," signifying "maker of silver," or "maker of silver money." Gen. Timothy Hopkins settled in the town in 1797; Asa Chapman, Timothy James, Wm. Updegraff, Christopher Saddler, Levi Felton, Abraham Shope, John Haines, and John Gardner, in 1801; Andrew Durnet, Geo. Shurman, Bera Ensign, and Jacob Shope, in 1803; and Daniel Bailey in 1804. The first birth was that of Harry B. Ransom, in 1801; and the first death, that of --- Keyes, in 1804. Asa Ransom opened the first public house, in 1801, built the first sawmill, in 1805, and the first gristmill, in 1806; Otis R. Hopkins kept the first store, in 1811. The first school was taught by Rebecca Hamlin, in 1805.

(3)Mennonites, Bap., Seventh Day Bap., Presb., and Union.

Dee Pavey