Gazetteer of New York, 1860 & 1861 page 168
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This county was formed from Genesee, April 7, 1806. A portion
of Steuben co. was annexed March 11, 1808. Portions were set
off to Genesee in 1811, to "Wyoming and Livingston in 1846, and to
Livingston in 1856. It lies upon the s. line of the State, w. of the
center; is centrally distant 220 miles from Albany, and contains
1,033 sq. miles. The surface is mostly an upland, separated into
ridges and broken by the deep valleys of the streams. The highest
summits,    in the s. part, are 500 to 800’feet above the valleys and

2,000 to    2,500 feet above tide. The declivities are usually too

steep for profitable cultivation. Toward the n. the co. gradually
loses its mountainous character and spreads out into
a hilly
region. The Genesee Kiver flows in
a n. e. direction through
near the center of the co., forming a deep valley bordered by abrupt hillsides. The main ridges
—parallel to the river and about 10 mi. distant from it—form watersheds, dividing the waters
n.    from    those    flowing    s. The    streams e. of the e. ridge are tributaries of the Susque¬
hanna, and    those    w.    of    the w.    ridge of    the Allegany. Narrow valleys break the continuity of

these ridges, and in numerous instances streams flowing in opposite directions take their rise
within, a few rods of each other. The principal tributaries of the Genesee are Wigwam, Angelica,
Philips, Yandemark, Dike, Chenunda, and Cryder Creeks on the
e., and Eords, Knight, Yan
Campens, White, Black, Caneadea, and Six Town Creeks on the w. The streams flowing
e. from
e. border of the co. are Canaseraga and Sugar Creeks, Canisteo River, Karr Yalley, McHenry
Yalley, and Whitney Yalley Creeks; and the streams flowing w. from the w. border are Oil,
Wolf, Dodges, Deer, and Little Genesee Creeks.

The rocks of the co. belong to the shales and sandstones of the Portage and Chemung groups,—
the former appearing in the deep valleys in the
n. part, and the latter covering the tops of the s.
hills. At various localities the sandstone furnishes an excellent building material; and in Rush-
ford it is quarried for grindstones. The shales in the s. w. part are highly charged with bitu¬
minous matter; and many of the springs have a strong bituminous taste and smell. From a
spring in Cuba petroleum, or rock oil, issues in considerable quantities. Iron pyrites are found to
some extent associated with the shale. Drift deposits are found in some portions of the co.,
though not in large quantities. The soil upon the uplands is generally a heavy clay, de¬
rived from the disintegration of the shales, and in most sections largely mixed with undecom¬
posed fragments of the rocks. In the valleys the soil is mostly a gravelly loam and alluvium. From
the nature of its surface and geological formation, the co. is best adapted to grazing; and, although
wheat and the spring grains are successfully produced, stock and wool growing and dairying
form the principal branches of agricultural pursuit. Thfe manufacture of lumber has formed the
leading interest for a long series of years, and facilitated the occupation and cultivation of the
lands; but as the primitive pine forests have disappeared the pursuits of the people have become
more and more exclusively agricultural. A considerable portion of the s. part of the co. is yet
covered with forests, and lumbering is still pursued to some extent.

The co. seat was at Angelica till 1858, when it was removed to Belmont. In 1860 Angelica was
made a half-shire town. The courthouse is an old, dilapidated brick building, built in 1819, and now
entirely Inadequate to the comfortable accommodations of the courts. The jail is a wood structure,
erected in 1849. It has no facilities for the proper classification of prisoners, and no means of ven¬
tilation.2 The clerk's office is in a separate building, contiguous to the courthouse. The poorhouse
is located upon a farm of 180 acres in Angelica, 2 mi.
e. of the courthouse. It is a stone building,

structure. An act was passed, April 2, 1858, providing for the
immediate retrieval of the county seat s. to the line of the
N. Y.
& Erie B. R.; but the execution of the law has been ar¬
rested and restrained by legal proceedings now pending in the
State courts. The first co. officers were Philip Church,
Jacob S. Holt, County Clerk j JohnGibson, Sheriff; and
Luke Godspead,

2 The jail has an average number of 6 inmates, supported at
a weekly cost of $2.75 each.


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