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city, Cattaraugus county, western New York, U.S. It lies along the Allegheny River at the mouth of Olean Creek, 60 miles (97 km) southeast of Buffalo. First settled in 1804 as a lumber camp, its name is derived from the word oleum (i.e., oil) for the oil deposits found in the vicinity; the first settler child born there was named Olean Shepard. Olean became an embarkation point for settlers bound for the Ohio River valley in flatboats, and a town (township) was organized in 1808.