About

Town Of Brant, NY

Brant is a town in Erie County, New York, United States. As of the 2010 U.S. census, the town had a population of 2,065. The town was named after the Mohawk leader Joseph Brant.

The Town of Brant is located in the southwestern part of the county and is known as one of the “Southtowns.” It is south of Buffalo.

Town of Brant, Erie County

Town of Brant, Erie County

History

The first white settler, Moses Tucker, arrived around 1816. The town was originally in the Town of Willink and was organized March 25, 1839 from parts of the Towns of Evans and Concord.

An Early History

J.H. French’s, Gazetteer of the State of New York, Syracuse, New York: R. Pearsall Smith, 1860, contains the following entry for the Town of Brant:

BRANDT[1] – was formed from Collins and Evans, March 25, 1839. It lies upon the shore of Lake Erie, in the S.W. corner of the co. The surface is generally level, with a gentle inclination toward the lake. Cattaraugus Creek forms a part of the S. boundary. The other principal streams are Big Sister, Delaware, and Muddy Creeks. The soil is generally a gravelly loam intermixed with clay. Brandt (p.v.) contains 20 houses. Mill Branch (Farnham p.o.) is the Saw Mill Station on the B. & E.R.R., and contains 30 houses. The first settlement was made in 1817, by Moses Tucker[2]. The first religious services were conducted by Benj. Olmsted, in 1820. A union church is the only one in town.

[1] Named from Col. Joseph Brant, the Mohawk chief. His Indian name was “Tha-yan-da-nee-gah,” said to signify “wood partly burned,” or “a brand;” and as the Indians are unable to distinguish d from t in their pronunciation, it became Brant. — Asher Wright, Missionary at the Cattaraugus Reservation.

[2] John, Robert, and Major Campbell, and John West, settled in the town in 1808, and Ansel Smith, Robt. and Wm. Grannis, and Benj. Olmsted, in 1819. The first birth was that of a son of John West, in 1818; the first marriage, that of Levi Grannis and Leah Hallida, in 1819; and the first death, that of Matthew West, in 1822. The first mill was built by Sam’l Butts, in 1822; the first inn was kept by Josephus Hubbard, in 1825; and the first store, by Milton Morse, in 1835. Julia Bradley taught the first school, in 1823.

This early source is incorrect in its information about the meaning of Brant’s name. His Mohawk name meant “he places two bets”. His Christian name came from his stepfather. When natives were baptized, they were given Christian names, often based on the name of the white missionary or priest who converted them. Brant’s stepfather was given the Christian name “Barent” which was later shortened to Brant in common use. When Joseph was young, he was known in his village as “Brant’s Joseph” and his sister as “Brant’s Mary.” They later became Joseph Brant and Mary “Molly” Brant.