On the road from Frewsburg to Fentonville are three historic lots of the Holland Land Company, all centered upon the homestead at today’s 696 Warren Road, but extending south to include the homestead at today’s 317 Warren Road, and north to include the homestead at today’s 125 Water Street. The farm at 696 Warren Road comprised the northeasterly portion of Holland Land Company Lot 51. The 1854 Wall Map of Chautauqua County showed the E. Cowen home here. Then, the 1867 Atlas of Chautauqua County showed the F. M. Cowen home here. On the 1881 Atlas of Chautauqua County, the home of E. M. Cowan was shown here with 82 acres of land. These are all different spellings of the same family name, and a Cowan daughter was mentioned indirectly in the “Personal Notices” of the 1881 Atlas, where it was stated, “I. W. Thayer, farmer and lumberman, was born in Carroll, February 5th, 1832, and married Lucy A. Cowan, September 16th, 1863. He has held numerous offices of trust in the town.”
The farm at 125 Water Street has the distinction of being the birthplace of New York’s Governor Fenton. This homestead was shown to encompass all of Holland Land Company Lot 52 north of the Cowen (Cowan) farm, and it ran from the Conewango Creek all the way into the next Holland Land Company lot to the east. Three homes were shown on the Fenton farm in 1854, two on the west side of the road, and one on the east, all in the name of G. W. Fenton. In 1867, the three homes were shown again. The two on the west were shown in the name of W. H. H. Fenton, and the one on the right was shown in the name of G. W. Fenton. The home on the right was also labeled in the 1867 Atlas as “Birthplace of Gov. Fenton.” In the “Personal Notices” of the 1881 Atlas, the Fenton farm was described as follows: “Thomas J. Fenton owns the old homestead where Reuben E., George W., and W. H. H. Fenton were born. It consists of 432 acres, and has been managed by Mr. Fenton with signal success. Originally embracing 627 acres, it was located by George W. Fenton, after whose death it was divided, though remaining in the possession of his descendants, W. H. H. Fenton owning that portion west of the road down to the Conewango. The little farmhouse where ex-Governor Fenton was born is still standing.”
Looking again at the Cowen (Cowan) farm in 1854, it can be noticed that in addition to a road running easterly near the south end of this farm, there was also a road at today’s Riverside Road running westerly across the Conewango. The road running easterly is today’s Austin Road, and the 1867 Atlas indicated that the J. M. Cowen home was located at the northeasterly corner of this intersection. Just to the south were the G. Moore home on the west side of today’s Warren Road, and the W. Corkins home on the east. Today’s Riverside Road did not cross the Conewango in 1867, and only two homes of R. O. Fenton were shown on its south side. By 1881, the bridge was again open, and the ten-year-old Dunkirk Allegany Valley and Pittsburgh Railroad ran parallel with and west of Warren Road. E. F. Fenton owned the 152 acres across the road from the Cowen (Cowan) farm, stretching all the way to the Conewango. South of Riverside Road and south of the Cowen (Cowan) farm was the 87-acre farm of H. W. Haskins, again stretching to the Conewango. The Haskins house was shown at the location of the former J. M. Cowen (Cowan) home. The other two homes shown in Holland Land Company Lot 51 in 1881 were that of W. Corkin on the east side of the highway with 28 acres stretching to the Conewango, and that Mrs. Deborah Moore on the west side of the road, with 88 acres also including frontage on the Conewango.
In 1854, the next Holland Land Company lot to the south, Lot 42, was shown to be comprised mostly of the Jacob Adams farm, with the home shown across from today’s 317 Warren Road. Running easterly between Lot 42 and Lot 51 in 1854 was today’s McCoy Road. The Wetmore home was shown on the south side of this road in 1854, 1867, and again in 1881. A short distance south of the east end of this road was the Leonard Adams home, near the northeast corner of Lot 42. It was shown in 1867 and again in 1881, both times with a long driveway. A son of Leonard Adams appeared in the “Perosnal Notices” of the 1881 Atlas as follows: “John G. Adams was born in Carroll, July 19th, 1851, and is a farmer, carpenter and painter. His wife was Ellen A. Clark, of Ellicott. Leonard Adams, his father, was born in Newton, Mass., March 22nd, 1808, and lived there until he grew up. October 2nd, 1845, he married Rebecca G. Farwell, of Waltham, Mass., and removed to Chautauqua county about four years later, and located where he now lives on a farm near Fentonville. He trained in the military service four years and was a foreman of a Newton, Massachusetts fire company two years. He has had five children, Ida, John, Anna, Francis, and Isaac. The latter is dead. Of the four living all are married except Ida.”
On the southeast corner of Warren Road and McCoy Road, at today’s 480 Warren Road, was the F. F. Fenton home in 1867, shown as one of the W. H. H. Fenton homes in 1881. The Jacob Adams home was shown in 1867, but not in 1881. By 1867, the H. and J. H. Adams home was shown at today’s 317 Warren Road. It was shown as only the J. H. Adams home in 1881, but, the H. Adams home was shown to the south, across the street. In the “Perosnal Notices” of the 1881 Atlas, it was stated that “Hiram Adams, jeweler, and owner of a farm, Fentonville, was born in Newton, Mass., December 20th, 1838, came to Fentonville in 1847 and married Lydia M. Wiltse, of Carroll, January 24th, 1871. Jacob Adams, his father, served in the War of 1812-14. His grandfather was a Revolutionary soldier.”
Just south of the Hiram Adams home was the school house, which had been shown in 1854, 1867, and again in 1881. The 1867 Atlas indicated that this was School House No. 1. South of the school house was the Swift home shown in 1854, but in 1867 and 1881, it was shown in the name of C. Doty. Across from the school in 1881 at today’s 317 Warren Road was the home of Nancy Rawson. She was one of the few women who had “Personal Notices” in the 1881 Atlas, where it was stated, “Mrs. Nancy F. Rawson, Fentonville, eldest daughter of the late Jacob Adams, was born in Newton, Mass., July 23rd, 1833. February 20th, 1855, she married Levi L. Rawson of Carroll. He was extensively engaged in lumbering and farming and died October 23rd, 1866.” For further information about early Frewsburg and Fentonville, consult the deed record of the Chautauqua County Clerk, the Holland Land Company Archives at SUNY Fredonia, and the extensive collection of the Chautauqua County Genealogical Society.