Cattaraugus county was formed in 1808 from Genesee County and named "Town of
Olean". Under the act of its formation, Cattaraugus County was provisionally
annexed to Niagara County until there were 500 taxable residents qualified to
vote for members of the NY Assembly. In 1812, for judicial purposes and convenience
of the inhabitants, the eastern portion of the County was annexed to
Allegany County. Acquiring in 1817 the required number of taxable inhabitants
qualified to vote, Cattaraugus County was chartered as it is today. The first
court house and jail were built in Ellicottville in 1817-18, with the courts and
county business being conducted there until 1868 when the County seat was moved
to Little Valley. The original court house, designated by state and federal
agencies as an historical site, has been restored following a 1969 fire, and is
now used for Town and Village of Ellicottville offices.
Located in Western New York's scenic uplands, Cattaraugus County is a
panorama of thriving communities, rolling farmlands, forests and picturesque
waterways. Its wooded hilltops overlook valleys sculptured by glaciers of the
For more in depth reading, please pick up a copy of the "Cattaraugus County Bicentennial History 1808-2008: 200 Years of Adventure--Past, Present and Future" by Maggie Fredrickson and the Cattaraugus County Bicentennial Advisory Committee. Copyright 2008.