John Phillips Downs.

History of Chautauqua County, New York, and its people (Volume 3) online

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may seem, kept a constant record of his life for thirty-
five consecutive years. This practice gave him experi-
ence in writing so that he was able to contribute to
various newspapers and magazines. In fact he was
the editor of the first news publication in the old
Jamestown Union School in 1886. In 1893 he was
interested in newspaper work and got out a creditable
Chautauqua Lake edition to the Jamestown "Sunday

Although Mr. Black never made use of his literary
ability as an asset, he is gifted with a poetic sense and
has written some creditable poems. These are char-
acteristics of the man which are not generally known,
but which serves to show his artistic and literary ten-

Mr. Black's early training in his chosen profession
was with B. E. Prudden, one of Jamestown's best
photographers in those days. This was in 1893. In
1S90 young Black's father died and he was left with his
widowed mother to battle with life's problems. Dur-
ing this time he essayed writing short stories and did
considerable newspaper work up to the time he began
traveling for the North American Portrait Company,
at that time a progressive and thriving enterprise of
Jamestown. For several years he represented this
house on the road. In iSg,'! he made his first venture
into business and bought out a third interest in the
Loucks Aristotype Company, of Jamestown, N. Y.
This company, composed of Tom, George and Will
Loucks, manufactured printing-out paper for the use
of photographers. Later in this same year Mr. Black
exchanged his interest in this company for the photo
studio which is still conducted by him. In 1895 he
conducted a branch studio in the village of Sinclair-
ville for over a year. In 1899 the big convention of the
Photographers' Association of American was held at
Celoron, N. Y.. in which Mr. Black was prominently
identified, and he captured one of the prize's for good
workmanship. In 1905 Mr. Black traveled extensively,
visiting New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, and
other large cities in quest of e.xperience in his chosen
work. The year 1914 marks a sad period in the life
of Mr, Black, as it was in this year he lost his mother,
a sainted woman, whose influence for good was felt
by all who knew her. This irreparable loss cast a
gloom over the events immediately after, and a series
of misfortunes attended every step. It was in the
latter part of this year that Mr. Black ventured into
the moving picture business while also conducting his
photo studio, but owing to mismanagement of those
he employed to run his moving picture business, this
venture came to grief. This, however, taught him a
lesson, since which time he has confined his entire time
and attention to his photographic affairs. As a result
he has succeeded in bringing the business to its pres-
ent high degree of success and efficiency.

Mr. [{lack is identified with numerous social organi-
zations of the city, lie belongs to the Fraternal Order
of Eagles, the Loyal Order of Moose, the Benevolent
and Protective Order of Elks, and the Jamestown
Board of Commerce. During his early life in James-






town, he took an active interest in the Young Men's
Christian Association, just then starting; and in 1886
was confirmed in the Episcopal church, and was for
several years librarian of the Sunday school.

Modest and retiring in disposition, earnest and con-
scientious in his work, it is but natural that he is get-
ting the recognition he deserves, and future history
will record the name of Black as among those who
worked and won. As an example of Mr. Black's liter-
ary efforts in his early days, the writer submits the fol-
low poems :


Pray come with me, those who have never tried
The sweet enjoyment ot a moonlight ride
Upon Chautauqua, sparkling in the light
Of Luna, lovely Goddess of the night.

The dipping oars so gently move the boat,
The silver moon reflected, seems to float
Beneath the clear calm surface of the lake
And sheds soft radiance o'er the rippling wake.

The quiet stillness, which o'er all prevails,
Emhues our nature with responsive thrills.
We're lost in thought, scarce moves the oars apace,
And silence reigns supreme in every place.

What are our thoughts as o'er the lake we glide.
Surrounded by the peaceful eventide?
Are they of love, or hate, or philosophic lore,
Of present, future, or of days no more?

Nay. none of these, we think of nature fair.
More lovely far than artist's pictures rare,
O. rapturous beauty of the silent night.
Clothed in voluptuous robes of pale blue light.


Dedicated to the Bells at Chautaqua. in the vear 1SS8,
by T. Henry Black.

Chautauqua Chimes, Chautauqua Chimes,
Methinks I hear them now at times,
Filling my soul with melody,
Inspiring thoughts of poetry.

Hark! in the chambers of my brain

Again I hear that sweet refrain.
And with it happy thoughts of yore
Come drifting through my memory's door.

Blissful the walks beneath the trees.
Fanned by the cooling evening breeze.
While clear the notes ring from the bells
In silvery tones the cadence swells.


Autumn is here, the time of year

When Dame Nature doth appear

In a twofold character.

Sad, though gay, she seems to say,

I'll rejoice, then die away.

The autumn breeze sighs through the trees

Adorned with many colored leaves.

Which, blown around, lie on the ground.

In every nook and corner found.

Rustling now beneath our feet.

Trampled in the muddy street.

Floating lazily through the air.

Suggesting sadness everywhere.

Flushed, though faded, there they lie.

The cymbol of a summer sigh.

The birds are gone, we miss their song

At eventide, and at the dawn,

As flying round from tree to tree

They filled the air with melody.

The crickets, too. which chirped all through

The summer days, have bid adieu;

Likewise the bee no more "we .'^ee.

Nor the butterfly floating idly.

For silence reigns throughout the land.

Touched by autumn's withering wand.


lifetime A. Lincoln Gleason built up a high reputation as
a breeder of pure Holstein cattle, as a dealer and ship-
per of live stock, and as the owner of Apple Grove
Farm, apples being a specialty with him for many
years. He was well known far and near as a thor-
oughly modern, progressive farmer, a reliable, ener-
getic business man and as a man of upright life and
high principles. He was a son of Rufus and Marie
Etta (Northrop) Gleason, his father a farmer who
came from Connecticut and early settled in Chautauqua
county, N. Y.

A. Lincoln Gleason was born at the home farm.
Open Meadows, town of Harmony, Chautauqua coimty,
N. Y., Aug. I, 1866, and died on a farm in the same
town, May 21, 1920. He was educated in the public
schools, and adopted his father's calling, beginning his
farming and stock growing operations when a young
man. At his death at the age of fifty-four he was the
owner of a fine farm consisting of 250 acres of well
improved land, his apple orchard the most extensive
in the county. He was an enthusiastic breeder of Hol-
steins, his pure bred nearly white cattle being a prize
herd. He dealt heavily in live stock, and was one of
the best known shippers in the county. Apple Grove
Farm, named for its orchards, was equally well known
in the produce market, the annual shipment of fruit
being very large. Mr. Gleason was a member of the
Patrons of Husbandry, the Methodist Episcopal
church, and in politics a Prohibitionist.

Mr. Gleason married, Nov. 26, 1903, at Open
Meadows, Chautauqua county, N. Y., Johanna Peterson,
born in Denmark, March 28, 1882, daughter of Peter
and Johanna (Swanson) Peterson, her parents of
Swedish birth. Children: Ellen Maryetta, born Sept.
16, 1904; Eva Hazel, born July 25, 1906; Ethel Mar-
tin, born March 7, 1908; Abraham Lincoln, Jr., born
Sept. 14, 1911; John Samuel, born Feb. 21, 1913;
Richard Norman, born Dec. 18, 1918. Mrs. Gleason
survives her husband and continues the management
of Apple Grove Farm.

JOHN EVELEN CANEEN, M. D., graduate of
the University of Buffalo, medical department, in 1883,
has passed many years of his professional practice in
Ripley, Chautauqua county, N. Y., even though from
1901 to 1918 he was in medical practice in Nebraska.
From 1887 until 1901, Dr. Caneen practiced success-
fully in Ripley, to which place he returned in 1918
to resume his practice.

John Evelen Caneen is a native of New York, bom
in Cattaraugus county, Aug. 20, 1855, the son of
Thomas and Dollie (Cooper) Caneen. His father was
a successful merchant, having extensive business in
that part of the State, and the son was given good
educational opportunities. For primary instruction he
attended the district schools, later taking a preparatory
course in the Rudolph Academy, and subsequently
entering the State Normal School, from which he grad-
uated in due course. Then he proceeded to the Uni-
versity of Buffalo, and became an undergraduate in
the medical department. After proper application to
the study of medical science for the requisite period.



he srraduated. thus gaining the degree of Doctor of
Medicine. That was in iS8,i. He began to practice as a
general practitioner in that year at Cherry Creek,
Chautauqua county. N. Y., removing to Ripley in 1S87,
and there practicing continuously until iqoi, when he
went to Nebraska, there engaging in professional work
until lOlS. when he returned to Ripley and resumed
liis practice.

Dr. Caneen is well regarded in Ripley, and in Chau-
tauqua county generally, and during his earlier prac-
tice in this State had good place among his profes-
sional confreres. He has held membership in the
American Medical Association, the New York State
Medical Association, the Chautauqua County, New
York Medical Association, and the Nebraska Medical
Association. Religiously, Dr. Caneen is a Baptist, and
fraternally he belongs to the Odd Fellows.

Dr. Caneen married (.first) Minerva Graham, of
Olean. N. Y., by whom there was issue, a daughter,
Ethel, who now is Mrs. George Mcintosh. He mar-
ried (second) Bertha S. Stilson, of Cheiry Creek,
Chautauqua county, N. Y., to whom also one child
has been born, Dorothy Kathryne, who attends school
in Ripley.

FRANCIS GEER— At a ripe old age, Samuel Geer,
a pioneer of the Fredonia district of Chautauqua county,
N. Y., died, leaving a son Francis Geer, born in Fre-
do:iia, .\pril 19, 1812, who died in Jamestown, Aug. 8,
lb«S7. He grew to manhood at the home farm and
attended the district school, remaining his father's assist-
ant until coming of age, then learned the tanner's trade,
which he followed for several years. He then located
in Jamestown, where he learned furniture finishing and
became an expert in that line. He was well known in
the furniture trade, and continued in business in James-
town until his death. He was a member of the Baptist
church, and a Republican in politics, coming to that
party upon the collapse of the Whig party. He was a
man of quiet, domestic tastes, temperate in all his habits,
never using tobacco, and was of most correct, upright,
moral life. He is buried in Lakeview Cemetery.

Francis Geer married, in Jamestown, Julia Marsh,
born in Kiantonc. Chautauqua county, N. Y., daughter
of .Asa B. and Delia f Davis) Marsh. Mrs. Geer was
a member of the Baptist church, and a woman highly
esteemed. She died July 16, iH'M, and is buried beside
her husband in Lakeview Cemetery. Mr. and Mrs. Geer
were the parents of eight children : Judson Francis, a
Union soldier in the Civil War, who died in the army;
ThC'dorc Orlando, also a soldier of the Union, who
died in the service; Isadore, married Joseph Hegeman,
both deceased, she a teacher in Jamestown prior to her
marriase; Lester Clement, deceased; Delia Elmira, died
agfd twelve years; Louise E., of further mention;
Emerson E., deceased; Adalaide, a resident of James-
town; Emma, died in youthful womanhood.

Louise E. Geer was born in Jamestown, N. Y., where
she was educated in the public schools, finishing with
his;h school ({raduation. After a special course in the
normal department, she began teaching in the Fairmount
public =rhool; she remained here for one year. This
wa5 follov.ed by a long term of service in the public
schools of Jamestown, N. Y. ; this was preceded by five

years with the school at Sinclairville, as well as a
number of district schools. In 1888, she began her
career as an educator in Jamestown, as principal of the
Central School, succeeding Mrs. Ella Lakin. For thirty
years Miss Geer continued head of Central School,
retiring in 1917, after forty years of able, faithful
service as an educator. The good which has come to the
youth who have come within her sphere of influence as
teacher and principal cannot be reputed, but her friends
are legion, and she is rich in the love and respect of
thousands of former pupils.

Miss Geer continues her residence in Jamestown. She
is a member of the County and State Teachers' Associa-
tion and other societies, a communicant of the Baptist
church since 1870, and a teacher in the Sunday school
for about the same period, and an interested Christian
worker. In 1912, she toured Europe, visiting the differ-
ent Capitols and thoroughly enjoying the opportunities
olTered to a lady of her culture and refinement to enjoy
the art treasures and senic wonders of the countries

NORMAN R. THOMPSON— The Thompsons came
to the town of Stockton, Chautauqua county, N. Y., at
an early date, Abel Thompson erecting the first house in
the town. Newell C. Thompson, son of .'\bel Thompson,
and father of Norman R. Thompson, was born in Cen-
tral New York, in 1811, and was brought to Stockton
by his parents in 1813. He married Saniantha Bailey,
and they were the parents of ten children, two of whom,
George M. and Norman R., are now (1920) residing in
Jamestown, N. Y. Abel Thompson, upon coming to
Stockton in June, 1812, purchased 100 acres of lot 29,
and 178 acres of lot 37, his land extending west beyond
the creek and north to and including a part of the village
of Delanti. His house was square, built of logs, with
a split log floor. In the spring of 1813, while the snow
was yet deep and covered with a crust, he brought his
familv, using an ox team for the purpose. He died in

Newell C. Thompson, aforementioned, was a tailor by
trade, a Republican in politics, held several town offices,
and died in the faith of the Methodist Episcopal church.
The children of Newell C. and Samantha (Bailey)
Thompson were: Harriet C, became the wife of W. W.
Seeley ; Byron W., a veteran of the Civil War, wounded
in battle, married Louisa Bissell; Frederick; Almedia ;
Sarali J., died young; Ella M., became the wife of
Samuel Riddle; Mary F., became the wife of Hiram
Hart; George M., married Harriet Miller; Eva; and
Norman R., of whom further.

Norman R. Thompson, son of Newell C. and Samantha
C Bailey) Thompson, was born in the town of Stockton,
Chautauqua county, N. Y., Sept. 10, 1837, and since
1883 has been a resident of Jamestown, his present home
(1920) No. 50 Allen street. He was educated in the
district school and Westfield Academy, and after a
short period as a farmer began teaching school, a pro-
fession he only abandoned after teaching forty consecu-
tive terms. In March, 1876, he was appointed by J. P.
Wickensham, Pennsylvania Superintendent of Public
Instruction to fdl a vacancy in the office of County
Superintendent of Schools for Warren county, and for
two years continue'! in that office under appointment.

«^y^£^. ^^^tZ^^^'^^^i^^c



He was then elected by the people for a full term and
served until its close with efficiency and fidelity. In
1883 he moved to Jamestown, Chautauqua county, N.
Y., and until 1890 was engaged as a bookkeeper. In
that year he was appointed treasurer of the city of
Jamestown, an office he held continuously for eight
years. In 1899 Mr. Thompson was appointed to a
position in the office of the adjutant-general at Albany,
N. Y., his duty the compiling of Civil War records of
New York State men. In that capacity he compiled the
officers' records for the work, "New Work in the Civil
War." He remained in that position for twelve years,

When a young man of twenty-three years, on Aug.
21, 1S61, Mr. Thompson enlisted at Stockton in the
Union Army to serve three years. He was mustered
into the United States service on Aug. 30 following, as
corporal of Company G, 49th Regiment, New York Vol-
unteer Infantry, and went to the front. Colonel Daniel
D. Bidwell commanded the regiment, and Captain
Jeremiah C. Drake commanded Company G. The 49th
was a fighting regiment, and with that command Mr.
Thompson saw three years of strenuous military life.
He was promoted to the rank of sergeant, Dec. 26, 1861,
was wounded in action at the battle of Antietam, Sept.
17, 1862, and at the battle of the Wilderness, May 12,
1864. On July 30, 1864, he was promoted regimental
commissary sergeant, and on Oct. 18, 1864, was honor-
ably discharged and mustered out at Buffalo, N. Y. Two
monuments mutely testify to the valor of the 49th, one
on the battlefield of Gettysburg, erected by the State
of New York, another marks the "Bloody Angle,"
erected by the survivors of the regiment near Spottsyl-
vania Court House, Virginia, erected in 1902 by the then
surviving members of the regiment, Norman R. Thomp-
son being a member of the committee in charge of the
raising of funds. The monument was dedicated on Oct.
9, 1902. At the ceremonies attending the dedication of
the Gettysburg monument, July 2, 1893, Mr. Thompson
was one of the speakers. He is an official of the Forty-
ninth Regimental Association, and in 1920 was one of
the thirteen survivors who attended the annual reunion
at Kennedy. N. Y.

Mr. Thompson is a member of James M. Brown Post,
No. 285, Grand Army of the Republic, and of the Union
Veteran Legion. He has recently been elected quarter-
master-general of the National Union Veteran Legion
for the seventh time. He is also a Master Mason of
Mount Moriah Lodge, Jamestown, and a member of
other beneficial and fraternal orders. In religious faith
he is liberal, and in politics a Republican.

Mr. Thompson married, Aug. 18. 1S68, Kate F. Swift,
daughter of Gordon and Hannah M. Swift; the former
was born in Vermont, and the latter in Worcester, N.
Y., but later were residents of Chautauqua county, N.
Y., residing in Carroll and Jamestown. The only son
of Mr. and Mrs. Thompson, Carl Gordon, born in 1870,
died in June, 1900.

This brief record reveals Mr. Thompson as a good
soldier and a good citizen. He has never sought prefer-
ment or public position, every honor which has been
conferred upon him coming unsought. He has won the
commendation of his superiors in office and rank, in
peace and in war, every duty having been ably and

honorably fulfilled. His long life has been a useful
one and he holds the confidence and respect of all who
know him.


New York, and particularly Chautauqua county, owes
much of its prosperity to the activities of a number of
distinguished citizens of Swedish birth or ancestry, mem-
bers of this n'ation having settled here in large numbers
during a considerable period. Among these distin-
guished citizens none is better known than the late
Charles Peter Dahlstrom, who was for many years
identified prominently with the industrial interests of
the community, and who as head of the Dahlstrom
Metallic Door Company of Jamestown won a position
high in the esteem of his fellow-citizens and did much
to promote the material advancement of the region.

The Dahlstrom family is of Swedish origin, and Mr.
Dahlstrom himself was born on the Island of Gotland
in that country, Sept. 4, 1872. He was a son of Lars
Peter Dahlstrom, likewise a native of the Island of
Gotland, Sweden, and a man of culture and education.
For many years he held a high rank in the Swedish
military organization, and acted as practical instructor
for the army. After his retirement from this position
he returned to his native land, to the old Ducker Farm,
which has been in possession of the family for over
two centuries, where he has since resided. He is a prom-
inent member of the Swedish Lutheran church. At one
time the elder Mr. Dahlstrom paid a long visit to his
son in the United States, but eventually returned to
Sweden. Lars Peter Dahlstrom married Jacobina
Strom, and they were the parents of the following
children: Olga, who became the wife of Captain Hjelmer
Osterman, to whom she bore two children, Ehrich and
Shea ; Charles Peter, with whose career we are here
especially concerned; Andries Frederick, born in 1875,
died in 1907; Ervid, born in 1S79, died in 1907; and

Charles Peter Dahlstrom passed his- childhood in his
native land, and attended the public schools of Gotland
until he had reached the age of twelve years. He then
became a student in a school of technology at Stockholm,
where he completed his education. After graduation
from the latter institution, he served an apprenticeship
in the trade of tool and die-making, and immediately
afterwards, in the year 1890, came to the United States.
He was an exceedingly skillful mechanic and had made
a reputation for himself for inventive genius and the
skill he had in devising improvements on machinery
and the construction of new mechanisms adapted to
special uses. When he first came to this country he
settled in Buffalo and secured employment there at his
trade. After several years spent in that city, three of
which were passed as an employee of the Spalding
Machine & Screw Company, where he invented a num-
ber of devices and took out several patents, he went to
Chicago and worked in the same line in that city and in
Milwaukee. His old employers, however, valued his
services so highly that they persuaded him to return to
Buffalo and again enter their service. Mr. Dahlstrom,
however, was anxious to find new openings for himself,
and after a short period with the old concern, left them
a second time and went to Pittsburgh, where he was



given a position witli the Westinghouse Electric &
Maiiuiactiiring Company. While thus associated, Mr.
Dalilitrom was brought to the attention of George
Westinghouse, the remarkable inventor and scientist,
and the two men formed a close personal friendship,
which continued until the time of the former's death.

It was in the year iSoo that Mr. Dahlstrom first came
to Jamestown. X. Y.. and in this city he first entered
the employ of the Art Metal Construction Company,
with which concern he signed a live years' contract.
During his employment by this company, Mr. Dahl-
strom invented a metalic door, the great possibilities of
which he was quick to realize, so that on the expiration
of his contract he at once withdrew from his associa-
tion with the Art Metal Construction Company and
organized the Dahlstrom Metallic Door Company, of
which he was the head. At first the concern was a
small one. with a plant at Jamestown occupying but a
single floor of the old Gokey building, but his door met
with such instant favor among architects and builders
that his business grew by leaps and bounds. The Dahl-
strom Metallic Door is especially adapted for use in
high buildings and hotels, where its fireproof qualities
render it invaluable, since by its use fires may be con-
fined entirely to the room in which they started, thus
saving immense loss in life and property. It was not
long before Mr. Dahlstrom found it necessary to in-
crease his quarters, and with this end in view he erected
a four-storj' brick plant on Buffalo street, Jamestown.
At the time this building was first designed, it appeared
adequate to the needs of the company for some years,
yet so rapid was the increase of his business that even
before its completion extensive additions were planned
and begim. The Dahlstrom door has been adopted
almost exclusively by construction companies in this
countr>'. and an enormous number of them are now
disposed of throughout the United States. Its advan-
tages have recommended it beyond the confines of this
country-, however, and it is now extensively used in
Canada and even in Europe. The whole of this great
growth occurred under the direct management of Mr.
Dahlstrom himself who. up to the time of his death,
which occurred .Xpril lo, TOOO, continued as its active

Online LibraryJohn Phillips DownsHistory of Chautauqua County, New York, and its people (Volume 3) → online text (page 14 of 101)