History heading
History heading
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copy61_General Store Bowen Rd
copy61_General Store Bowen Rd
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What would be later known as Elma Village was called "Big Flats", the home of the Seneca Indians, and later name of Hurd or Briggs" mills after the first settlers in that area. In 1842 the reservation was sold to the Ogden Company, who advertised it would sell the land to settlers. In 1844 the Senecas' moved out of Big Flats. People came from the already developed towns of Lancaster, Aurora, Alden and Wales. Reports spread everywhere of the heavy growth of timber and the fertility of the soil.
   The 1800s brought Clark W. Hurd and Joseph B. Briggs to this settlement. They acquired land next to the Buffalo Creek to build a dam, dig a mill race, and construct a saw mill.
  Any mail for settlers in the area was directed to the Lancaster Post Office. Obliging teamsters, on their way home from hauling lumber, would stop in and take any mail to their neighbors. The question was asked "Why not have a post office and have our mail brought regularly?" Several names were suggested, but none were satisfactory, until someone said " There is a big elm tree at the crossing of Bowen Rd. and Clinton Street, why not add the letter a to the word elm and call the post office Elma?" It was accepted and after all procedures were carried out the new Elma Post Office was established and received mail three times a week. This was in 1852. Soon houses were built and a store keeper moved into one of the houses and opened up with a small stock of groceries. (pictured above).
   The need to give children the elements of a good education make it necessary to build a small schoolhouse. The property was donated by J. B. Briggs whose land was on the west side of Bowen Road, which was later to become school No. 7. Its now a private residence.
  The time had come when this settlement, with a Post Office called Elma, was to become a town within Erie County in the State of New York. On September 4, 1856 the Supervisors of Erie County voted to form a new town from parts of Lancaster and Aurora called Elma. The first town meeting was held at the home of Clark W. Hurd (now the Town Museum) and a spirited one it was, since there had been strong opposition to the forming of a new town. The first general election was held on November 3, 1857.

Elma Center from Bowen rd
Elma Center from Bowen rd
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Elma Center, NY Business District 1901

East Elma Covered bridge Jamsion
East Elma Covered bridge Jamsion
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East Elma-Jamison Road Covered Bridge

Train Depot1
Train Depot1
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Elma Center Depot

old town hall cymk
old town hall cymk
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Elma's Old Town Hall formerly School No. 6 Built in 1875.


Town Hall with lake
Town Hall with lake
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 New Town Hall dedicated
 Sept.18,  2004

  The Dedication plaque in the foyer of the Town Hall reads, This building is dedicated to all past, present, and future citizens of the Town of Elma. As time marches on this structure will serve as a gathering place where the future of our great town will be shaped.
  "May this structure always serve to remind us of our rich history and be a source of self-identity and community pride in the many years to come."

TOWN OF ELMA'S PAST
SUPERVISORS
1857-2015
1857-1859 Paul B. Lathrop
1860-1861 Zina A. Hemstreet
1862-1863 C. Peek
1864-1865 Lewis M. Bullis
1866 Paul B. Lathrop
1867-1868  Alfred Marvel
1869-1870 Hiram Harris
1871-1873 Alfred Marvel
1874-1876 William Winspear
1877-1880 Eli Northrup
1881-1882 Alfred Marvel
1883-1884 J. Tillou
1885-1886 Cyrus Hurd
1886-1887 Myron H. Clark
1888-1889 Timothy Clifford
1889-1890 Eli B. Northrup
1891-1892 Charles H. Sweet
1893-1894 Richard Barnett
1895-1896 J. Luders
1897-1903 J.A. Woodard
1905-1906 J. Luders
1907-1908 A.H. Tillou
1909-1910 A. Klehm
1911-1914 E.M. Hill
1915-1918 B. J. Eldridge
1919-1920 C.W. Clark
1921-1922 B.J. Eldridge
1923-1928 H.W. Heim
1924-1934 B.J. Eldridge
1935-1952 Earl Lexo
1952-1962 M.E. Reuther
1963-1987 Bill Lexo
1988-1995 John DiJoseph
1996-2001 Audrey Murdoch
2002-2003 John Dudek
2004-2011 Michael Nolan
2011 - Present  Dennis Powers