Perrysburg was originally named Perry in honor of a hero of Lake Erie, Commodore
Oliver H. Perry. Organized on April 13, 1814, the Town originally included the
entire western half of Cattaraugus county, (It now includes the Towns of
Perrysburg, Dayton, Leon, Conewango, Randolph, South Valley, Persia, New Albion,
Otto, East Otto, Mansfield, Little Valley, Napoli, Salamanca, Coldspring, Red
In 1818, the Town of Perry was divided, renamed Perrysburg, and included the
Towns now known as Dayton, Persia, Otto, East Otto, Perrysburg. A second division
in 1823, removed East Otto and Otto, which were combined to form the Town of
Otto. Persia and Dayton were removed in 1835 leaving the present Town of
Perrysburg with 21,382 acres, plus the Village of Perrysburg with 634 acres. A
small portion of the northern and eastern part of the Town lies within the
Cattaraugus Reservation of Seneca Indians which was established in 1802 (3,750 acres).
Originally, the Town was covered with large growths of deciduous trees, and
considerable pine and hemlock which, it is believed, were principally utilized
locally. Perrysburg saw the operation of several lumber and grist mills (i.e.
Sprague & Ticknor's), tanneries (i.e. Versailles), grape basket manufacturing,
shingle mill, distillery, as well as farmland clearing. Once cleared, the land
was easily cultivated and productive. Large grape vineyards, north of the Village,
produced some of the finest grapes grown in what was known as the
"Chautauqua Grape Belt". Aside from the grape industry, several cheese factories
(i.e. Dewey Factory) and private dairies produced excellent butter and cheeses.
The Town saw its first settlement (1815), an inn (1816), a saw and grist mill
(1820), and a store (1827).
The Erie Railroad, completed in 1851, had a station at the Village of Perrysburg.
The Railroad promoted the prosperity of the Town with easy access to the lake
markets and southern points of trade.
One of the oldest roads in the Town, the present Route 39, passed east and west
through the present Village of Perrysburg which was the site of the first (1815)
The lands of the Village of Perrysburg were first owned by William Cooper and
Elisha Ward. The first public house/tavern opened in about 1821 by Elisha Ward.
A second tavern run by William Cooper, one of the best known in the county at the
time, resulted in the Village being well known as "Cooperls Corners".
Source: Cattaraugus County Book 1808-1995/96