The company was founded by John B.F. Champlin and originally called J.B.F. Champlin, later J.B.F. Champlin & Son. In 1886, Champlin's brothers-in-law, the four Case brothers, W.R., John D., Jean, and Andrew joined the company. It then became known as the Cattaraugus Cutlery Company. They didn't become a manufacturer until about 1890 when they purchased tools and equipment from the Beaver Falls Cutlery Company that had recently gone out of business. Cattaraugus went on to make extremely high quality knives and straight razors that are much sought after by collectors.