NOTE:  The spelling of the name Dyke, or Dike, has been a long-running argument between historians & writers.  It is to be noted that all the tombstones visible in the Di(y)ke Cemetery in Elm Valley are inscribed DIKE.  Use your own judgement in deciding which you prefer!

(From Andover , NY -Sesquicentenial Book) 

“In 1795, Nathanial Dike(spelling according to County History 1795-1895) with Indian wife, Esther Burrill (Burrell), two sons, Isaac and James, and daughter, Phebe, had come from Connecticut and started Dike’s Settlement.

At almost the same time, some historians even say before the arrival of the Dike family, Stephen Cole, with some family, came from Tioga County , Pennsylvania , thence up Purdy Creek from Canisteo, over the hills and into Allegany County area.  They also located in the sheltered valley soon to be called Shoemaker’s Corners and later to be known as ELM VALLEY .

The small settlement provided services of a sawmill in 1803, and crude vats for tanning hides in 1805.  Blacksmithing was also a trade in 1806.

Daniel Cole, son of Stephen, was the first white child born in the county – 2/18/1797 .  The first wedding of the area was Isaac Dike to Pamelia Gibson in 1802.  James Dike married Phoebe Pritchard of the Corning area.  James T. Hyde, who came to the settlement in 1796 from Vermont , later married Phebe Dike.

The first death in the new community was in 1796, that of Zeriah, aged ten months and five days, daughter of James and Phebe Dike.  Two more infant daughters of James & Phebe died in 1801 & 1803, all being buried in the town.  Nathanael Dike died and was buried there in 1813 and son James in 1844.”

(From 1806-1879 History of Allegany County- Town of Andover History) 

“ Andover was formed from Independence , January 28th, 1824 .  Before the close of the year its area was reduced by the annexation of a part of its territory to the parent town, and a part of Wellsville was added to Andover November 22nd, 1855 .

The first settlement in the town was made in 1796 at Elm Valley , by Stephen Cole, from Tioga county, PA.  Mr. Cole was a resident upon the farm where he located during the remainder of his life.  Daniel Cole, his son, who was born February 18th, 1797 , was the first white child born in Allegany county.  He died on the farm where he was born, at the age of seventy-three.

Almost contemporaneous with the settlement of Cole was that of James Dyke, from Tioga Point, who located near Cole at so early a date that there is some doubt expressed as to which came into the town first.  Soon afterward Benjamin Brookins and John T. Hyde settled near Cole and Dyke.  They were from Vermont .” 

(From 1806-1879 History of Allegany County – Town of Wellsville History) 

“This town was originally embraced within the boundaries of Scio;  Andover was taken from Independence , Willing from Independence and Scio, and Wellsville was formed from Scio, Andover and Willing, November 22nd, 1855 .

The first white man known to settle in this town (which at the time of his advent was part and parcel of Genesee county) was Nathaniel Dyke, a graduate of Yale College , who during the Revolutionary struggle was attached to the staff of General Joseph Warren, at Boston , Mass. , and was subsequently upon the staff of General George Washington.  It seems almost like a myth to be told that a graduate of old Yale, and an honored member of the military families of both Generals Warren & Washington, should ostracise himself from the high and fashionable society in which his education, social and military qualifications must have placed him, and cast his lot in a dense wilderness, away from society and friends.  But then, there is none so well fitted to open a new country as the man of education and experience, and the social qualities which are the natural accompaniment of the other two.  He was a native of Connecticut , and when he first struck out from his native town and State he located at Tioga Point , Pa. , from whence he came to this town in the spring of 1795, and located on the banks of what is known as Dyke’s Creek, near the center of the town.  His education and military experience well fitted him to become the pioneer settler.”

“Rachael Dyke, born in 1805 was the first child born in what is now the town of Wellsville .”

“The first log house was built by Nathaniel Dyke, in the spring of 1795”

Settler's Days - "Nathaniel Dike returns to Teach His Descendants"

Tombstone Picture of Nathaniel Dike

Copyright © 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009  Ronald G. Taylor All rights reserved.