May 18th the Ischua Valley Historical Society gathered at the Howe-Prescott
Pioneer House on Route 98 South to celebrate the 200th anniversary
of this hamlet. The historical sign donated from the Bush family
estate was unveiled at this event.
State Senator Catharine Young sent a representative, Bill Heaney,
who read a letter praising Cadiz and the important part it played
in history. Congressman Tom Reed’s representative, Lee James,
presented us with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition.
Maggie Fredrickson gave a brief talk on the Underground Railroad
and Della Moore from the African American Educational and Cultural
Center spoke on Cattaraugus County’s efforts to promote historical
The sign, located in front of the Howe-Prescott House, plays tribute
to this area’s history. Mrs. Phyllis Baughman Bush left part
of her estate to the Society as a tribute and memorial to her husband
James Bush who was raised in Cadiz. Some of the funds were used
to purchase this sign.
Tours were given of the Pioneer House and barn. Cemetery records
were distributed to visitors who were interested in exploring the
Cadiz Cemetery, the resting place of soldiers from the American
Revolution, War of 1812 and Civil War. Several families who were
involved in the Underground Railroad are also buried there.
Bill Buckner, the owner of The Stagecoach Inn, a stop on the Underground
Railroad, permitted visitors to go down into the basement to see
where the tunnel used by escaping slaves was located before being
A wonderful picnic followed with hot dogs, beans and salads. A delicious
chocolate cake was served for dessert.
Christa and Dan Heckathorn presented the Society with a series of
old Cadiz pictures that they had discovered and framed. They will
be on view at the Howe-Prescott house on the first Sunday of June,
July and August from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. Later they will be kept at
the Miner’s Cabin.
Bill Watkins, the Deputy Historian of Machias, has been working
on a book on Cadiz. When completed, it will be available for research
at the Cattaraugus County Museum at Lime Lake and the Miner’s
Cabin in Franklinville.
"The first settlers arrived here in 1806 and this area was
called Conrad’s Mills. Later the name was changed to Cadiz.
Dairy farming was the main occupation in this tiny hamlet within
the Township of Franklinville. The famous Ontario Knife Company
began in Cadiz in 1898 and later moved to the Village of Franklinville.
Cadiz became a center of the Underground Railroad. Escaping slaves
were rafted up Ischua Creek and hidden in area homes and the Stagecoach
Inn at the four corners. Families known to be involved in this activity
were the Meads, Burlingames and Searls.
The Howe Prescott Pioneer House circa 1814, located on this site,
serves as a museum for the Ischua Valley Historical Society. Abolitionist
Merlin Mead lived here in 1841. George L. White, son of Abolitionist
William White a blacksmith, was born in 1838 in a home that once
stood across the road from this saltbox house.
In 1871 George L. White founded the Jubilee Singers at Fisk University
in Tennessee. The original choir at this Black University was composed
of former slaves who toured and performed throughout the world to
raise funds to support the University. White, the musical director,
is credited with helping save the spirituals and songs that had
been passed down by slaves when they were in bondage. The Jubilee
Singers are still in existence today.
This sign has been erected in memory of benefactors James W. and
Phyllis Baughman Bush."