Formation of Java

Formation of Java

From the book "History of Town of Java"
Compiled by Java Historical Society, 1976


The territory of western New York was originally claimed by Massachusettes by virtue of charter granted by the King of England to the Plymouth Colony. The same territory was subsequently granted to the Duke of York and Albany - the question settled December, 1789.

This area was part of Albany County from 1683 to 1772; then Tryon County from 1772 to 1784; Montgomery County from 1784 to 1789; Ontario County from 1789 to 1802; and Genesee County from 1802 to 1841 when Wyoming County was formed.

In 1789, all the State line through Seneca Lake northward to Lake Ontario and south to Pennsylvania was called Ontario County and the single town called Northampton, took up the entire Holland Purchase. This was again divided into 4 parts and Batavia took up all the Holland Purchase.

On March 19, 1808, Sheldon was formed and comprised of what is now Arcade, Attica, Bennington, Java, Orangeville and Wethersfield. In 1811, Attica was formed; Bennington in 1818. China (consisting of the present Arcade and Java) left Sheldon in March, 1818. China assumed the name of Arcade in 1866. On April 30, 1832, the present boundaries of Java were established and we were on our own. We are the youngest town in the county, but still not as young as the county.

Joseph Elliott was the chief surveyor for the Holland Land Co. They originally sold land for $2.75 per acre with 10 percent down; this was later reduced to $2.00 and no down payment because many were too poor to afford the prices. The Holland Land Co. was criticized for this. Holland Land Co. released the land in this area in 1809.

The first white settlers in the area were in 1802 and were John Tolles, Jacob Wright, Nathaniel Sprout, Stephen Crowe. Other early names were Samuel Coleman, Joshua Gates, David Wolcut, Ereatus Wells, Guy Morgan, Abraham C. Hollenbeck, Amasa Joslin, James Hall, Lemuel J. Paul and Oren Waters. There is no record that any of these stayed on.

The earliest names on the permanent settlers are Timothy Kerby in 1812, near Strykersville, then to Curriers; S. Woodworth-1816, M. Warner-1814, both near Strykersville; D. Smith-1814, D.H. Wooster-1812 and H. Woolsey-1819 all near Java Village; A. and M. Twiss in 1817 on Catt. Rd., then they went to Curriers; L. Stearns in 1816 at Java Lake; R. Jewell-1816 in North Java Area; B. Lockwood-1817 and Elijah Bassett-1819, on the Youngers Rd.

The first mill was established in 1816 in Java Village by Daniel H. Worcester, the first inn by Charles Fox at Curriers Corners in 1818 and the first store in 1820 by Comstock in Java Village. It is said that Joab Wooster, son of Daniel, was the first white child to be born in the town of Java, in 1815 near Java Village.

Taken from Beers 1880 History

Java was formed from China 4/20/1832. It lies on the west border of the county, south of the center. Its surface is an elevated region, broken by hills and the deep valleys of the streams. The highest summits are 400 to 600 feet above the valleys and 1000 to 1200 feet above lake Erie. Buffalo Creek flows through west part and receives a large no. of tributaries. Catt. Creek takes its rise in the east part. Catt. Lake is a small sheet of water in the south east part, nearly surrounded by steep hills. It forms on of the sources of Catt. Creek. The soil upon the hills is a thin dark loam under laid by hardpan; in the valleys it is principally a gravelly loam. About 1 mile east of Java Village is a quarry of fine building stone.

Java Village lies upon Buffalo Creek in the new part of the town. Population about 200. North Java in the north east corner of the town, contains a church and about 100 inhabitants.

Java Center, center of town; East Java, south east part; Curriers Corners(Java p.o.) in the south west and Williamsville, near the border are hamlets. The first settlement was made by Jonas Sellick (from Ruthland Co., VT) in 1802 near Wrights Corners. There are 5 churches in town.

End of Beers

It is not known exactly where the name Java originated, but the story has it that there were many nationalities in the Town and everyone wanted it named after their homeland. It was named Java because no one was from there and the name didn't favor anyone.

The first town board meeting was held at the home of Abner Currier in March 1833. Elected to the office were Moses Twiss, Supervisor; Nelson Wolcott, Town Clerk; Nathan Thompson, Seth Lewis-Justices of Peace; also 4 constables, 3 assessors, 2 overseers of the poor, 3 commissioners of highways and 3 commissioners of common schools. There was also a sealer of weights and measures and Harry Harrington was elected Tax Collector. Following is a list of supervisors to the present[1976]:

1833-36 Moses Twiss
1838 John Parish
1839 Nelson Wolcott
1840 Samuel Clark
1841 Joseph Currier
1843 & 45 Ebenezer Jackson
1844 Joseph Currier
1845 & 53 Samuel Clark
1854 Merrit B. Lewis
1855 Sam Clark
1856 Samuel Woodworth
1857-58 John S. Rogers
1859-60 Delslow D. Davis
1861 Amos Stevans
1862-63 William W. Blakely
1864-65 Ira B. Healy
1866-67 Samual Smith, Jr.
1868 William Lewis; died and replaced by Denslow Davis
1869-70 Henry S. Joy
1871 & 73 Samuel Smith
1874-75 James W. Ives
1876-78 Walter S. Joy
1879 Augustus Lyford
1880-81 John E. Mason
1882-85 Samuel Smith
1886-87 Dr. William Boddy
1888-89 C.B. Woolley
1890-91 Samuel Smith
1892 Geo. W. Sutley; he was removed from office in Dec. 1893 and replaced
by John E. Mason who served also in 1894.
1895 no one is listed
1896-97 S.O. Warren
1898-1904 C.A. Mason
1905-06 John F. Green
1907-08 C.A. Mason
1909-12 Frank S. Cooper
1913-1918 Charles E. Mason; resigned in 1919 and Charles A. Mason took his place.
He also held in 1920 and 1921, during which term he died and was replaced by James
Keenan who served until 1935.
1936-39 J. E. McCormick
1940-41 Millard Homes
1942-47 J. E. McCormick
1948-55 Frank Hanley
1956-1963 John F. Hamm
1964-1967 Edward Redding
1968 to present Vincent B. George

To order a copy of the History Of Town of Java, see the historians page. To find out if a specific individual is in this book, return to the County page and go to lookups.