The Town of Randolph, (so named by the early settlers who arrived from Randolph,
Vernant), was erected from the Town of Conewango in 1826. It was reduced in size
by the formation of the Town of South Valley in 1847.
The principal waterway of the Town is Conewango Creek. The Atlantic & Great
Western Railroad, affording the townspeople good shipping facilities to the
principal cities of the South and East, had a station at the Village of Randolph.
The first settler arrived in 1820 followed by the erection of a tannery in 1822,
a sawmill (1823), and the opening of a tavern and store in 1823. Sample Hill
received its name from pioneers (Frederick, John, Samuel, Jackson, and Jacob
Sample) who settled in that portion of the Town. As of 1879, interred in the
Randolph Cemetery is one of the oldest persons in the County, Nancy
VanRensselaer, who lived from 1876 to 1975.
Floating lumber down the Conewango, the Village of Randolph's first sawmill was
erected in 1830. It was later enlarged and in 1870 became known as "Red Lion
Mills". A number of lumber related enterprises soon evolved including Gibb's
Handle Factory 1874, and W.A. Eddy's Planing Mill, 1870. Other developments
within the Town included Randolph Grist Mill (1853), Randolph Creamery #2 (1878),
and Randolph Driving Park Company (1872).
The Village of East Randolph, located in the northeastern corner of the Town and
partly in the Town of Conewango, owes its existence to the excellent water power
used for milling. The Village saw its first settlers in 1825, a sawmill in 1825,
and grist mill in 1826. Dixon, Pease & Swan (1830), a foundry for plows, oven,
mill castings, was followed by Hall's Machine Works (1832), a shingle factory
(1853), East Randolph Foundry and Machine Shop (1873), East Randolph Tannery
(1872), and A.C. Merrill's furniture store. By the 1870's, the Village housed
2 churches, a school house, a hotel, an ashery, a tavern, a store, a public
house (1835), H.H. Wheeler Hotel (1850), a bank (1870), a post office (1850),
physician (1829), an attorney (1854), and a publication, The Boys' Argus, later
known as Empire Herald.
The Village of Randolph, located east of the center of the Town, was incorporated
in 1867. The opening of the Randolph Academy and the completion of the Atlantic
and Great Western Railroad, with a station in the Village, led to substantial.
In the 1879's there existed Willard & Hammond's Milk Pan Factory (1873),
Randolph Creamery (1874), 3 churches, a drug store, a hardware store, furniture
and cabinet business, a doctor (1831), a dentist (1843), an attorney (1836), a
publication (The Randolph Register), a public house (National Hotel, 1840, later
known as Union House), a school, a post office (1830), a bank (State Bank of
Randolph ,1874), several stores (i.e. Bush, Woodworth & Co., Shean's, Arnold &
Touslley, Knapp & Carter) a hotel (Camps Hotel), and a tavern.
Schools sprang up "under the fostering care of a few minds that had tasted the
sweets of knowledge and desired to pass it on to future generations". The Eclectic
Medical College of Randolph was opened in 1848. However, due to misconceptions
of its purpose, local feeling caused it to be removed to Syracuse, later to
New York City. The Chamberlain Institute, located between the Village of East
Randolph and Randolph, opened in 1849. The Randolph Academy and Female Seminary
opened in 1850. In the Town of Randolph, the Western New York Home for Homeless
and Dependent Children opened in 1878, embracing 8 acres, as a home for vagrant,
neglected and orphaned children. Its purpose was to provide a home that would
them in leading industrious lives and to become self-supporting members of society.
Source: Cattaraugus County Book 1808-1995/96