Theodore F. Jimerson (De-hah-teh), Cattaraugus Seneca

Cattaraugus Indian Reservation Map and Occupants, 1890

Cattaraugus Reservation Map, 1890
Cattaraugus Reservation Map, 1890

The Cattaraugus Reservation, in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, and Erie Counties, New York, as delineated on the map, occupies both sides of Cattaraugus creek. It is 9.5 miles long on a direct east and west line, averages 3 miles in width at the center, dropping at is eastern line an additional rectangle of 2 by 3 miles. A 6-mile strip on the north and 2 “mile blocks” at diagonal corners are occupied by white people, and litigation is pending as to their rights and responsibilities. The Seneca Nation claims that the permit or grant under which said lands were occupied and improved was never legally authorized or executed by the nation. A long and practically undisturbed possession leaves the main question, one of ground rent or quitclaim, upon terms just to all parties, the improvements to remain with the occupants of the soil without appraisement.

The reservation itself is a compromise substitute for larger tracts reserved for the Seneca Indians under the treaty at Big Tree, September 15, 1797. A strip 14 miles in length along the south shore of Lake Erie, extending to a point only S miles from Buffalo, with 2 others, embracing an area of about 50 square miles, and which included what are now the towns of Dunkirk, Fredonia, and Silver Creek, were exchanged by treaty concluded at Buffalo June 30, 1802, with the Holland Land Company for the present compact and fertile tract of 21,680 acres in the counties of Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, and Erie. The Ogden Land Company has the same pre-emption right to purchase these lands, if sold by the Seneca Nation, as that which rests as a heavy encumbrance upon the lands of the Allegany reservation in Cattaraugus County.

The bottomlands, rich, fertile, and well watered, are almost entirely upon the north and east border of Cattaraugus creek. The general shape of the reservation is that of an +. In this angle lies the little village of Versailles, containing a hotel, 3 stores, a gristmill, and a Methodist church, all in the town of Perrysburg, 5 miles distant from the village of that name, on the New York, Lake Erie and Western railroad. By a shrewd establishment of the reservation line a valuable waterpower was left within the angle outside of the reservation proper. Successive mills and factories have been built and burned, so that, aside from the business done at the stores, everything bears the type of a settlement whose best days have ended. From this village a road runs down each side of the creek to the thoroughly modern and flourishing town of Gowanda, which lies in 2 counties, divided by Cattaraugus creek. This, with its banks, mills, and excellent stores, is the nearest market for the farm products of the reservation.

A bench runs along the steep river bank from Versailles nearly to Irving, on the south shore of Lake Erie, backed by a higher slope or hill, which produces good crops of oats, wheat, or barley-when well eared for. About 3 miles westward, on the broken and. neglected river road toward Irving, is a creek known as Burning Spring, bedded and bordered by masses of closely laminated slate and shale, from the crevices of which coal gas escapes in sufficient quantity to boil water for picnic parties.

A second bench, backed by higher ground, marks the north side of the creek, but sufficiently retired to admit of fine meadows and wheat fields in the valley proper.

The real center of all divergence on the Cattaraugus reservation is at the four corners, where the national courthouse and Indian Methodist church are located. From this point the best road on the reservation runs westerly past the Thomas Orphan Asylum (sending off a branch northward, near the Presbyterian Church, through Brandt, 4 miles distant, on to Angola, 8 miles), passes the Baptist Church and schoolhouses Nos. 1, 2, and 3, and enters Irving along with the tracks of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern and Western New York and Pennsylvania railroads, which cross Cattaraugus creek at that point.

The road from Versailles, past the central four corners, with deep and at times almost impassable gulleys, was described to the legislative council at its December session to be “without question the worst mail route in the United States and a daily reproach to the Seneca Nation”. Pledges, freely made, to put it in order were realized to the extent of 1 load of brush and 2 loads of gravel. The mail wagon runs twice each week day from Versailles to Lawton station, on the Buffalo and southwestern branch of the New York, Lake Erie and Western railroad, passing schoolhouses Nos. 5 and 7 and the council house at Newton; and leaving the reservation three-quarters of a mile west of the station, at a distance of 4 miles front Versailles. From this council house a road runs northward to North Collins and southwest by a devious and uncertain track to Cherry Hollow.

On the east side of the creek, reached directly by the road to Gowanda, which runs east from the courthouse square, and high above the rich bottom lands; is spread out the “Four mile level”. Many wagon trails run through its dense bushes, second-growth pines, and young oaks. Thousands of great pine stumps show how the early chiefs of the Seneca Nation turned their choice timber into cash for nominal returns and testify to the unscrupulous robbery by the white people who maintained sawmills near the line as long as there was timber to be bought o or stolen. At present there is not enough timber on the reservation to fence it thoroughly, and to a large extent the wood used for fuel is taken from saplings, which ought to be left for maturer growth.

The reservation is amply supplied with water from small streams and springs.

Occupants of Cattaraugus Indian Reservation

We have carefully copied the names listed on the map in hopes it will provide a better record but also help you in your search for ancestors. This list has been done using section numbers plus telling you if it is an un-numbered section.

Unnumbered section in upper left corner

Jane Jimerson
Daniel Doxtator
Peter Warrior
H. Dennis
Kate Jimmerson
Lucy Washburn
Page Jimerson
John Dowdy

Section 3
James Seneca

Section 5
Wallace King
W. Mohawks: Heirs
Isaac Kenhockerty
Oliver Silverheets

Section 8
Jacob Pierce

Section 9
Jerome Kennedy
No. 1 School
Moses V. Stevenson

Section 10
R. Halftown
Young King
Albert Kennedy
Thomas Silverheels

Section 11
Frank Patterson

Section 12
Julia Speer
Jesse Turkey
Louis Bennett
Wilson Wheeler
Freddie Pierce

Section 13
Emily Seneca
Susan King
Louis T. Jimerson

Section 14
Foster Turnkey

Section 16
Porter Kennedy
Jane Turnkey

Section 17
Allen Jimerson
Geo. Jimerson
Forilla Hilaker
James King
Anna Armstrong

Section 18
John Jake
Andrew Jackson
H. Jackson
Peter Jake

Section 20
Hiram Jimerson
Betsy Sundown

Section 21
Griffith Grouse
Anthony Jimerson
Adam H. Pierce
Young Joe
Louis Longfinger
Thomas Doxtator

Section 24
John Patterson
Widow Snyder

Section 25
I. Jimerson Estate
Sylvester Pierce

Section 27
Nathan Jimerson
M. Armstrong

Section 28
Jocelyn Warnor
Charles Hare

Section 29
Alex John
Geo. Jimerson

Section 30
Hannah Longfinger
W. Williams

Section 31
Theodore Jimerson
Sarah Armstrong
W. Jimerson
Sallie Jimerson

Section 32
Deforest Billy
Charles Williams
Charles Redeye
J. Mohawk

Section 33
Sally Hudson

Section 34
Asa Sundown
A. Halfwhite
Sarah Doxtator
Ida Bishop

Section 35
Gerrit W. Smith
Old Council House
Mary Bluesky
Mrs. M. Jones
Peter Sundown
Noah Twogus

Section 54
Roger Jimerson

Section unnumbered
Joseph Armstrong

Section 117
Albert Fairchild
School No. 7
Wallace Bennett
David George
Albert Bluesky

Section Unnumbered
William Jones
Guy Miller
Willie Parker

Section 38
H. Spring
Baptist Church
S. Lay
T. Kennedy
Cornelius Seneca
Nat Gordon
Sophia Snyder
Lester Bishop
S. Lay Jr.
L. S. York

Section 39
John Lay
T. Kennedy
C. Hare
C. Jimmerson
H. Poody

Section 40
H. Bennet
E. J. Armstrong
M. Stevenson
Old Quaker School Site
School No. 3
Moses Shongo
C.W. Doctor
Widow Hary Pierce

Section 41
Peter Pierce
John Jimmerson

Section 42
David Williams

Section 43

Section 44
John Jackson
Geo Titus
Old Council House
School No. 6
S. Gordon
Billy Doxtator

Section 45
Eliza Johnyjohn
J. Hemlock
Geo Hemlock
John Kettle
T. Snow

Section 46
Jerry Jones
A. Snow
Moses Lay
Alden Johnson
Sophia Lay
John Lay 2nd

Section 47
Jos Lay 2nd
Thos Lay
Amanda Jones
Alden Johnson

Across Cattaraugus Creek with no numbers
John Cooper
Jasper Seeley
Jane Grant
Flora Newton
Sylvester Cooper
Augustus Kennedy
Guy Maybee
Andrew Gordon

Section 59
Presbyterian Church

Section 60
John Pierce

Section 61
Mary Kennedy
B. White
Jonas Steeprock
Isaac Jimmerson Estate
Frank Kennedy
Aug. Kennedy
Charles Kennedy

Section Unnumbered
Thomas Orphan Asylum
Andrew John
Mission House

Section Unnumbered
H.H. Parker
Fair Grounds
Bennei Shongo
Court House
Parson Sundown
Widow Logan
Orlando Kennedy
Methodist Church
Emily Talkchief
Eunice Thompson
Elijah Jimerson

Section Unnumbered
Mary Cooper
S. Jimerson
Geo Wilson

Section (2) Unnumbered under section 45
C. Warrior
E. Pierce
Goe. Hemlock
Wallace Snow
Mary Davis
Widow Johnson
D. Stevens
G. Moses
J. Jones
Goe. White
L. Johnson
Sam Johnson
Geo Turkey
Mary Burton

Section (2) Unnumbered under section 46
Young M. Lay
Hannah Luke
T. Phillips
W. Crow
S. Jimerson
F. Deer
Aug Bennet
Mary Jack
R. Jacob
L. Jacob
C. Green
A. Logan
J. Logan
School #7
Geo. Tommey

Section (2) Unnumbered under section 47
Levi Moses
Geo. Jacobs
Wm. Jacobs
Geo. Pierce
Geo. Wilson
Edward Cornplanter
A. Johnyjohn
Industrial School

Sections below Cattaraugus Creek from County line to section 70
Thompson Jimerson
Susan Butler
Burning Spears
J. Snow
John Waterman
R. Waterman
Samuel Lay
T. Pieter
J. Johnson
Filmore Jackson
W. John
Sally Redeye
Sol. Maybe
Julia Brooks
S. White
Isaac Snow
Austin John
Eliza Mohawk
School house No. 10
Amos Moses
Nicholas Snow
Willett Nephew
W. Bluesky
D. Patterson
Clarinda Crause
Jane Brooks
M. E. Church
Brooks Estate
Moses Yellowblanket
C. Redeye
M. Johnson
Mary Gordon

Section 67
King Tallchief
A.S. Logan
A. Tallchief
Jesse Jimerson
Jacob Jimerson
Jacob Halftown

Section 68

Section 69
G. Tommy
Jesse Phillips
W. White
J. Green
G. Stevens
H. Stevens
Lucy Stevens
C. Tommy

Section 70
Kossuth Bishop

Unnumbered Section next to 71
J. Batton
D. Green
J. Armstrong

Section 73
Hawley Thompson
Eliza Silverheels
Heman Crause
Geo. Twoguns
Walter Kennedy
Lorenzo Twoguns

Section 76
Cephus Twoguns

Section 77
Martin Joe
Thomas Joe
T. Seneca

Section 78
Jabez Pierce
Isaac Turkey
Susan Dennis
H. Tallchief
Old Council House
Sarah White

Section 79
Sam Johnson
Rebecca Harris
Clara Pierce
Robert Joe
H. Wilson
School No. 8

Section 81
Polly Crow
Genl. Wm. Scott
W. Scott
Albert Thompson
C. Thompson
E. Johnyjohn
Susan Cayuga

Section 82
Moses Kinjockerty
T. Doxtator

Section 83
Peter Shongo
Louisa White
Lucy White

Section to left of 76-83
T. White
Deforest Snow
Truman Halftown
Old Mill Site
J. Jacket
R. Silverheels
C. Johnyjohn
C. Hudson
Herman Beaver
Mores Eels
Schoolhouse No. 9
J. Green
Lucy Johnyjohn
H. Beaver
Lewis Johnyjohn
J. Cornplanter
David Thomas
Andrew John
J. Snow
W. Gordon
J. Smith
C. Jimerson
T. Hudson
Julia Jones


Department of the Interior. Report on Indians Taxed and Indians not Taxed in the United States, Except Alaska at the Eleventh Census: 1890. Washington DC: Government Printing Office. 1894.

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