In the earliest of days of settlement in Cattaraugus County wolves, bear, wild cats and other wildlife caused considerable damage or total destruction to crops and killed farm animals. Bounties were placed on these dangerous animals throughout the townships of the county. This provided settlers with an opportunity to accumulate some much needed money. The effort was so successful that many of the animals, especially wolves were hunted to near extinction.
Note: When the earliest days of the county is referenced, the time frame is the very early 1800s. the Holland Land Company had purchased all this wild territory. It was not surveyed and open to settlement before 1800.
Did you know that many of the earliest settlers went up to the uplands rather than settling in the valleys? Why when it was the valleys of Cattaraugus County that were bursting with fertile soil. The valleys and the entire area was covered with woodlands, virgin forests. That meant the valleys were wet and soggy and often even swampy. These new settlers had a fear of illness from the damp lowlands, probably filled with insects and other wildlife so they chose to settle in the uplands.