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Cattaraugus County

Cattaraugus County is named for a Seneca word meaning “bad smelling banks” referring to the odor of natural gas which leaked from local rock formations. 


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Erie County and Wyoming County

E – Alleghany County

S – McKean County, Pennsylvania and Warren County, Pennsylvania 

W – Chautauqua County


Created:  March 11, 1808                       Map of New York highlighting Cattaraugus County

County Seat:

Ellicottville   1817 – 1868

Little Valley  1868 – present


County Courthouse – Little Valley


Location:  303 Court Street / 8th Street

Built:  1964 – 1967

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Nilstein, Witter, Davis & Hamilton

Contractor:  Siegfried Construction Company Inc.


Description:  The building faces southwest and is a three story buff colored brick and concrete structure. The rectangular shaped building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Little Valley. The central entrance on the southwest front has a small canopy over the first story entrance with a white colored stone section above with the County Crest. White colored horizontal bands run between the windows and along the flat roof line. The building houses the County Supreme Court, County Court and County Surrogate’s Court of the 8th Judicial District. 


County Office Building / Courthouse – Olean


Location:  1 Leo Moss Drive / Buffalo Street

Built:  Unknown

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Unknown

Contractor:  Unknown


Description:  The building faces southeast and is a two story grey-white colored siding and concrete structure. The “L” shaped building is located on landscaped grounds to the northwest of the center of Olean. The main entrance is located on the southeast side at the junction of the wings and has a semi-circular one story section. The windows are horizontal and the roof line is flat. The building houses the County Court and County Family Court of the 8th Judicial District.


Old County Courthouse –  Ellicottville 



Location:  1 West Washington Street / Jefferson Street

Built:  1829

Style:  Federal

Architect:  William Stillwell, Andrew Mead and Abner Chase

Contractor:  William Stillwell, Andrew Mead and Abner Chase


Description:  The building faces south and is a two story red colored brick structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Ellicottville. The south front has a central entrance with arched window above on the second story. The roof has Dutch gables along the roof line. The building has a limestone foundation. On the roof is an hexagonal white colored octagonal wood cupola. The building served as the first courthouse until 1868 and is now the City Hall.


See:  The 8th Judicial District is located at 92 Franklin Street in Buffalo and includes Alleghany County, Chautauqua CountyErie County, Genesee CountyNiagara CountyOrleans County and Wyoming County.


History:  The county was created in 1808 and annexed to Niagara County and in 1812, annexed to Alleghany County for judicial purposes. Ellicottville was named as the county seat when the county was organized in 1817. The first courthouse was a log structure erected in 1817 to 1818. The courthouse burned in 1829. The second courthouse was constructed in 1829. In 1868 and is still standing. The county seat was moved to Little Valley. The third courthouse was designed by Horatio Nelson White and constructed by Porter Welch in 1868. The fourth and present courthouse was constructed in 1964 to 1967.



County Courthouse – Little Valley















Old County Courthouse – Ellicottville









Photos taken 2010 and 2011