Hume grew slowly by 1815 not more than twenty families had settled here. Most of the pioneers came from Ostego or Montgomery counties. The development of the Genesee Valley was slower yet. There were many factors for the underdeveloped valley. The Seneca Indians remained even though the extinction of the Caneadea Reservation had occured in 1826. Other reasons settlement along the river was avoided was because of the course waters, fog, malaria, fever, and ague.
Commonly heard names of the early settlers and their trade were as follows: Roger Mills Sr., built first saw mill 1807 & first grist mill 1808. Elisha Mills, opened first store in 1809 in his gristmill or his home. Caroline Russell, taught first school in 1812 in the stable of Philo Mills' barn George Mills, opened first log inn in 1815. Roger Mills Jr. & Bailey Clough, built first carding mill in 1816, later adding to it
machinery for dressing, drying, and pressing cloth.
Thomas Pyre, first blacksmith. M. W. Skiff is believed to have been the first child born in the Town of Hume in 1810, his parents were Joshua & Lucinda (Wright) Skiff. Aaron Robinson, owner of a tannery, boot & shoe shop, and president of the Nathaniel E. Mills, store proprietor and worked an ashery (black salts), circa 1825. Dr. Joseph Balcom, first physician.
Other familiar names which played an important role in the establishment of the Town of Hume were: Fuller, Couch, Penfield, Keyes, Smith, Doud, & Trail. It is interesting to note that many of the most commonly heard names in the early 1800's are no longer common today. Now it is not unusual to hear the names of: Beardsley, Wolfer, Smith, Miller, Cronk, Bennett, Voss, Hatch, Mills, and Thomas, these are only a small few, many are descendants of the afore mentioned pioneers.
Along with the lost names of our forefathers, are also lost or changed names of our hamlets. Hume was first known as Cold Creek, Wiscoy at first was known as The Falls then later still as Mixville. Fillmore was known as Mouth of the Creek, as for Mills Mills and Rossburg those names remain the same even though the booming towns they once were have only a few families living there today.
The religious services were held in the home of Roger Mills from 1812-1814. Missionaries from Caneadea and Rushford first acted as lay-ministers until the Elders Kendall and Ephraim Sandford came from Caneadea to pastor.
By 1817 through 1818 three distilleries were built, due to the surplus of grain, at the "Grover place", the Mills, and later at Hammer's between Mills Mills and Wiscoy. Whiskey, being an easier product to market in the local area and in the foreign market as well as with the Indians. The Indians (Seneca) used to patronize these institutions quite extensively, bringing their corn to exchange for whiskey. A little incident illustrative of the Indian cunning follows:
The corn that the Indians raised when the whites made their appearance was a white, softish kind, easily broken in th mortar, but quite inferior to the yellow corn introduced by the "Yankees", as the Indians called the settlers. For distributing purposes it was far inferior. They soon began to raise the yellow or "Yankee" corn, as they called it. Some of the Millses had a piece of corn on new land. It was cut and put in "stouts" to season for husking, and nothing more thought of it. The "Yankee" corn of the Indians began to come in, in profusion in exchange for whiskey, and quite a trade was driven in that branch of commerce. Soon, however, it was thought by the whites their corn must be in good condition for husking, and repairing to the field for that purpose they were surprised to find themselves entirely relieved of that trouble. It was their own corn that they had been taking in so freely at the distillery!
Post and newspapers at first came from Geneseo, Warsaw, Perry, and for a number of years from Pike until, Hume got it's own post office in 1826. The first appointed post master in Hume was Chauncey G. Ingham. Community members would jointly subscribe to a newspaper, it was first read in th store, then passed to individual homes.
Looking at old maps dated 1869 all of the towns, villages, and hamlets were well populated as well as being much bigger in size as they are today. An example of this would be Mills Mills, in it's early years it supported a gristmill, sawmill, inn, furniture manufactory, school, stores, carding mill, distilleries, and stage depot for the stage line from Portage to Caneadea. As well as having four streets which are abandon today except for one which is now know as Armison Road.
Information for this article was taken from the following sources"
Allegany and It's People A Centennial Memorial History 1795-1895 by John S. Minard
History of Allegany County New York with Illustrations 1806-1879 by W. E. Morrisom