John Phillips Downs.

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

. (page 17 of 101)
Online LibraryJohn Phillips DownsHistory of Chautauqua County, New York, and its people (Volume 3) → online text (page 17 of 101)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


the same resolute spirit that has been shown by so many
of the great pioneers of this country. And notwith-
standing everything they prospered, and raised a family
of eight children in the original log house Abial Flint
built. For twenty-one years the family lived in a log
house, as it was not until 1S33 that Abial Flint built a
frame house, their youngest child at that time being
ten years old. Mrs. Flint died fifteen years later, on
May 5, 1849, at the age of sixty-eight years, but her
husband lived to reach the venerable age of ninety-one
years, his death not coming until Jan. 15, i860. Both
were buried in Evergreen Cemetery, and were honored
as pioneers of the district, and as good people. They
were Methodists, of earnest spirit, and took part in the
formation of the first church, both being members of
the first class formed in Portland. Politically Abial
Flint was a Whig and in general was a man of strong,
upright character. He lived on his Chautauqua county
farm for forty-three years, and had the satisfaction of
seeing it mostly cleared and in cultivation before his
death. To those of this generation who consider farm-
ing an arduous occupation it must seem almost incon-
ceivable that men should voluntarily take upon them-
selves the life time task of excessively hard labor that
the clearing of a large acreage of wilderness must repre-
sent; but it was by much valiant effort that practically
the whole of the present rich territories that compri-^e
the United States were won for civilization ; and much
of the stalwart and rugged characteristics of the pioneer
ancestors has descended to, and is evident in the suc-
ceeding generations of the old American families. The
descendants of Abial Flint, of Portland, have been
many but, in general, those descendants have done well
in life, the immediate family of Abial and Mary
(Brown) Flint reflecting in their lives the wholesome
ruggedness of their early life in the log house. The
eight children of Abial and Mary (Brown) Flint were:
I. Daniel E., born .Aug. 22, 1805, and eventually married
Eliza Goddard ; he settled in Shipman, 111., in 1863. 2.
Mary B., bom April 23, 1807, and married John Wilbur,



CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY



in Portland. Chautauqua county, subsequently going
with her husband to Elgin, 111., where he took a farming
property. 3. Jonathan T., born Nov. 30, 1S09; married
Harriet Shuniway. in Genesee county, N. Y., and
settled in Buffalo, in 1S40. 4. Abial, Jr., born May 25,
1S13: married Jane Cook, in Portland, Chautauqua
county, and settled in Missouri, in 1857. 5. Henry, of
whom further. 6. Harriet, born Oct. 6, 1816, and now
lives in Hanover, N. V.. having married James Wilson,
of that place. 7. John VV., born Aug. 26. iSiQ; married
Lovina McGaffan. of Youngstown, N. Y., and eventually
settled in Brant, Erie county. 8. Caroline, born Dec. 3,
1S23; married Ephraim Ballard, of Westfield, and
settled in Silver Creek, Chautauqua county.

Henry Flint, fifth child of Abial and Mary (Brown)
Flint, and father of the brothers, Virgil Henry and
Byron Herbert Flint, who now own the ancestral prop-
ertv, was born Jan, 18, 1S15, He received such education
as was possible in that sparsely populated section in the
days of his boyhood, and after leaving school gave his
whole time to his father, to assist him in the cultivation
of the land already cleared, and in the clearing of the
remainder. Eventually he married Nancy A. Hall, of
another pioneer family of Portland, and they lived the
whole of their married life upon the Flint homestead,
which eventually passed into his possession. When
public improvements and the development of the town
made it necessarj- to run a street through part of the
Flint property, Henry Flint sold an acre, so that he
would not have divided land, and subsequently pur-
chased twenty-five acres of adjoining land from Charles
Van Gasbeck. To Henry and Nancy A. (Hall) Flint
were born thirteen children, a worthy family and char-
acteristic of the earnestness of their lives. The children,
in order of birth, were: I. Helen. 2. Effie, who event-
ually entered the teaching profession. 3. Mary, who
married Mark Haight, of Portland. 4. Abial. 5. Carlos
Hall, who now lives in Fredonia. 6. Burnell, now de-
ceased, who went to South Dakota, and there married
Elsie Clark. 7. Julia. 8. Cora. 9. Virgil Henry, of
whom further. 10. Elmer, now deceased. 11. Hattie,
who is a bookkeeper in New York City. 12. Byron
Herbert, of whom further. 13. Kate Irene.

Virgil Henry and Bryon Herbert Flint, ninth and
twelfth bom children of Henry and Nancy A. (Hall)
Flint, have worthily continued in good cultivation the
ancestral home of the Flint family. The farm is one of
the best kept in the district, and well adapted to the
purpose, general and dairy farming, and grape growing,
to which it is put by the brothers. They are proving
themselves to be enterprising, progressive and up-to-date
farmers, have some good, pure-bred Holstein cattle, and
have about fourteen acres of grape vineyard, which
gives them good returns. The brothers are unmarried,
are industrious, and have executed many improvements
upon the property. The house, barn, and other build-
ings are modern, and were all built by them. They
interest themselves actively in public movements in their
community, and have very many friends, being generally
well regarded. They have reason to be satisfied with
their personal records, and with the place the Flint
family has in the founding and development of that
section of the county.



THE UNION FURNITURE COMPANY, which

today and for many years has been an industrial enter-
prise of consequence to the city of Jamestown, N. Y.,
had its inception in 1903 in the enterprise of four mem-
bers of the Nord-Norquist family of that city. Edward
C. Nord, August F. Nord, Alfred A. Nord, and F. O.
Norquist, all substantial business men of experience in
wood working, and the manufacture of furniture,
formed partnership to enter into the manufacture of high
grade dining room suites. They erected a factory build-
ing, four stories in height, 250 feet long and 60 feet
wide, at No. 234 Crescent street, Jamestown, and
equipped it with such modern machinery as they deemed
necessary and commenced to produce the line of furni-
ture proposed.

Satisfactory development came, and in 1904 the organ-
izers sought corporate powers, eventually being em-
powered to trade under its original name of the Union
Furniture Company, by which name the enterprise has
since been known. As the company developed markets,
the original plant became inadequate for their opera-
tions, and recently it was decided to erect a five-story
brick structure, which is now completed and has floor
space of 100,000 square feet in addition to the 65,000
square feet in its old building adjoining. The old as
well as the new building is equipped with individual
electric motors and most modern machinery. The
results of these new installations will be for purposes of
economy and safety. The motive power of the old and
new plant is electric, which is developed on the com-
pany's grounds.

The success which has come to the Union Furniture
Company, at which steady employment is provided for
about 300 people, reflects credit upon the executives who
have directed its affairs since its original establishment.
The present officials and stockholders are : August F.
Nord, president; Alfred A. Nord, vice-president; and
Edward C. Nord, treasurer and secretary. The company
is represented on the Jamestown Chamber of Commerce,
the Manufacturers' Association of Jamestown, and the
Merchants' and Manufacturers' Association of New
York State. The product of this company has remained
the same, high grade dining room suites, and its market
is in all parts of this country and the firm enjoys a
well earned reputation in the furniture world.



AUGUST F. NORD, well known business man,

manufacturer, and president of the Union Furniture
Company, was born in Smoland, Sweden, July 2, 1868.
His father was a farmer, and the boy grew up on the
farm assisting in the work at home. He attended the
common schools of the village and received a good,
elementary education.

When he was twenty years old he determined to
come to the United States, having a brother, John Nord,
in this country who had done well in a business way.
The young man went directly to Jamestown, N. Y., after
landing, his brother being employed there in the carving
room of the A. C. Norquist Company. August F. Nord
entered the employ of the Norquist Company in the
finishing room, and continued with them for eleven
years, then became associated with the Nord Furniture



a H
tn

CO

H

< m

>

a




BIOGRAPHICAL



377



Company on Second street, of which he was a stock-
holder, remaining there for three years, taking an active
part in the business. He then sold out his interest in
the firm to his brother. John Nord, in order to start
with his other brothers, Edward and Alfred, the Union
Furniture Company. In the beginning of the concern
Mr. Nord was made vice-president, but was later elected
president of the company. Besides his otificial position,
his share of the work of the corporation is to superin-
tend the output of the factory.

Mr. Nord is a member of the Norden Club and of the
Swedish Methodist Episcopal church, in which he is
greatly interested, being a steward of that church body.
He is a stockholder in the American National Bank,
and a member of the Republican party. Of a quiet and
reserved temperament, Mr. Nord has not become inter-
ested in the public life of Jamestown, though he is well
known among the Swedish residents of the city, having
many friends in their midst.

.\ugust F. Nord married Anna E. Sandburg, in 1894,
in Jamestown, and they have the following children: I.
AUdor, born Nov. 15, 1898; educated in Jamestown
public and high schools, and University of Pennsylvania.
2. Elsie, born Nov. 8, 1901 ; educated in Jamestown
public and high schools, now a student of Wellesley
College for women. 3. Gladys, born July 10, 1905 ;
educated in Jamestown public and high schools, now
preparing for college. 4. Frances, born Feb. 9, 1912 ;
now attending Jamestown grade schools.



EDWARD C. NORD, who has been a resident in

the city of Jamestown, N. Y.. for twenty-nine years, a
young man without much means and little education
at the time of his coming to this country, but by dint
of perseverance, study, industry, and natural ability as
a man of business, he steadily advanced in prosperity
until today he is among the leading citizens here. He is
one of the organizers of the Union Furniture Company,
of which he has been secretary, treasurer and genera!
manager since its organization.

Edward C. Nord was born in Sweden, May 9, 1871,
the son of Andrew M. Nord. He was given the public
school education customarily afforded to a boy of his
station, and assisted his father on the home farm. In
1801 the family came to America, and settled in James-
town, where some of their relatives were. The Nor-
quists of Jamestown, so well known in the city, and so
successful in business during the last few decades,
belong to the Nord family, of Sweden, the name "Nord"
being the derivative, the termination "quist" simply
meaning "branch of."

For three years after coming to Jamestown, Edward C.
Nord found employment in the furniture factory of the
A. C. Norquist Company. Then he helped to organize,
and became a stockholder in the Nord Furniture Com-
pany, which opened a store on East Second street,
Jamestown, for the retailing of furniture and allied
lines. Edward C. Nord with his brother, John Nord,
conducted the store for eight years, and in 1903 he sold
his interests to his brother and in conjunction with
August F. Nord, Alfred A. Nord, and Frank O. Nor-
quist, formed partnership to establish a firm for the
manufacture of dining room furniture, thus was the
organization of the Union Furniture Company of James-



town. The history of the Union Furniture Company
as shown in a preceding narrative indicates the active
interest Edward C. Nord has taken in this company.
He has given most of his time to the affairs of his
company, and has taken interest in other movements
wherever time would permit, especially in the civic
welfare of Jamestown. He is a member of the James-
town Board of Commerce and the Norden Club.

Mr. Nord- is identified with the following organiza-
tions as director : The' American National Bank, of
which he was one of the organizers ; Jamestown Marble
Iron Company; Jamestown Mutual Insurance Company;
and he was on the board of the Vinculo Sugar and
Kealty Corporation of Cuba, which had large holdings on
the island. He is a member of the Republican party in
which he is a firm believer. He has been a consistent
member of the Swedish Methodist Episcopal church,
Jamestown, since he came here, and has been one of its
trustees, for many years.

Mr. Nord married, in Jamestown, 1896, Rose H.
Ogren, of this city. They have three children: i. Carol
B., born Jan. 16, 1899; educated in the Jamestown public
and high schools, now studying at the University of
Pennsylvania. 2. Olive H., born Sept. 10. 1902 ;
educated in the Jamestown public and high schools, now
preparing for college. 3. Helen E., born May 21, 1909;
now attending school in Jamestown.



ALFRED A. NORD, well known in the furniture
industry at Jamestown, and vice-president of the Union
Furniture Company, a busy corporation formed by
the Nord brothers, was born in Smoland, Sweden,
Feb. 18, 1875. The family lived on a farm and this son,
like the others, was brought up to assist in the farm
work, and here he attended the village school. When
Alfred A. Nord was sixteen years old he came to Amer-
ica, in company with his father, mother, and others of the
family. The boy went at once to Jamestown, where he
had brothers, and obtained employment with the New-
man Bed Spring Company; later he became employed
in the A. C. Norquist Company, in 1892, in the machine
department. Here he remained for a time and learned
the wood carving trade. He subsequently followed the
wood carving trade with the Atlas Furniture Company,
Empire Case Goods Company, and Jamestown Mantle
Company, and then returned to the A. C. Norquist Com-
pany. In 1902, he with his brothers, August F. and
Edward C, founded the Union Furniture Company, a
sketch of which appears herewith. It is much to Mr.
Nord's credit that while he worked at his trade he
studied evenings at the Young Men's Christian Associa-
tion night school where he acquired considerable learn-
ing. Alfred A. Nord was made vice-president and
has continued as such almost since the organization of
the company. His special part in addition to his official
duties is to oversee the output of the cabinet department.
Mr. Nord is a member of the Swedish Methodist Epis-
copal church of Jamestown, also a member of the official
church board. He is a staunch Republican in politics.

Mr. Nord married, in Jamestown, March i, 1905,
Esther Ogren, of that city. Of this union were born
four children: i. Wesley Alfred, bom April 2, 1907;
educated in the Jamestown public schools, now prepar-
ing for high school. 2. Jeanette Ester, born Sept. 12,



37S



CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY



uxV?: now attending public school. 3. Kermit John,
bom Tan. jo. 1013 : now attending public school. 4.
Charles Lowell, bom Feb. 4. ipKi'.



NATHAN E. BEARDSLEY, M. D.— Any history
01 the medical profession of Chautauqua county would
be incomplete without the name of Dr. Nathan E.
Beardsley. who for nearly thirty years has been engaged
in the active practice of his profession at Dunkirk, N. Y.
Dr. Beardsley is prominently identified with the life of
his community, being respected and valued as a con-
scientious, public-spirited citizen, no less than an able
and devoted physician.

Nathan E. Beardsley was bom March 23, 1S67. in
Chautauqua county, N. Y., the son of the late Noah
and Esther M. (RandalD Beardsley. His primary
education was received in the public schools of South
Dayton, N". Y., and Gowanda High School, which latter
school he left at the end of his second year, to com-
mence the study of medicine with his uncle, C. C.
Johnson, a practicing physician at Gowanda, N. Y.
.\fter ayear and a half spent pursuing a course of medical
reading under the guidance of his uncle, he entered the
medical department of Buffalo University, from wliich
he was graduated with the degree of Doctor of Medicine
in iSoo. After serving his intemeship of one year at the
ButTalo General Hospital, he entered upon the practice
of his profession in May, 1891, and has ever since, with
occasional intervals of aliscnces, made his home in
Dunkirk, and there achieved his great professional suc-
cesses. He has done post-graduate work in the medical
universities of New York City, Bonn and Frankfort,
Germany, and has also attended the Heidelberg Univer-
sity. He belongs to the American Medical Association,
the New York State Medical .Association, the Chautau-
qua Medical Society, and the Dunkirk-Fredonia Med-
ical Society. He is on the medical stafif of the Brooks
Memorial Hospital, and is medical officer at St. Mary's
Orphan .-Xsylum. In everything relative to the welfare
of his home city. Dr. Beardsley takes a keen and active
interest, and is an interested member of the Chamber of
Commerce. He is a Mason, affiliating with the blue
l''d!.'e. chapter, and commandery. He attends the Bap-
tist church at Dunkirk.

Dr. Beardsley married, April 12. 1892, Rose Coxe,
'■i Wyoming county, N. Y., and they were the parents
ri a child, Ru!h Esther, a school teacher of Redlands,
Cal. Mrs. Beardsley passed away May 3, 1910.

Strength of character, tenacity of purpose, breadth
<• f mind, and liberality of sentiment, these are the
qualities that have been strikingly manifested through-
out iJr. Bcardsley's career. With a thorough knowledge
o! human nature, tolerance of its weakness, and ajjprc-
ciation of all that it has of good; ardent and loyal in his
attachments, he numbers his friends by the legion both
in and out of his profession.



OTTO E. WALTER— A native son of Dunkirk,
.Mr. V.'all'-r had th<rc parsed the years of his useful
life, which h'gaii Juni! 22, ifW. but closed with his
accidcnial death, June 13, lOM- Otto E. Walter was of
German parenla;fc, his father dying soon after coming



to Dunkirk, leaving his widow, Ernestine, with a family
to care for.

Otto E. Walter was but three years of age when his
father died, but his mother gave him all the advantages
of the public schools, which he attended until he was
fourteen. He then became an apprentice in the boiler
department of the Brooks Locomotive Works of Dun-
kirk, and after becoming proficient continued there as a
journeyman for several years. He left the locomotive
works to accept an appointment as a member of the
Dunkirk police force, on which he served for si.x years.
He again entered the employ of the Locomotive Works,
and later was promoted to the position of foreman of
the boiler department, a position he filled most capably
for nineteen years. Ill health then compelled him to
resign his post to accept the lighter work of an inspector
in the same department of the works, and in that position
he continued until his death. Mr. Walter was a member
of Dunkirk Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons ; the
Lutheran church, and in politics an independent Republi-
can. He was well known in Dunkirk and was highly
regarded as a man of honor, public-spirited and enter-
prising. He served under Charles J. Wirtner as a
member of the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners,
was for a time assistant chief of the Fire Department,
and in all things measured up to all the requirements
of good citizenship.

Death came to Mr. Walter without warning, June 13,
1914. He with his brother-in-law, Frederick G. Bird,
the latter's son, George Bird, and others, were on their
way to Wesleyville in an automobile when they suddenly
found themselves on the railroad track at Forsythe
crossing near Ripley, in front of a rapidly approaching
Eastern Express. There was no time to do more than
realize the danger before the train struck the car, Mr.
Walter, Mr. Bird and his son George, being killed in
the collision. Mr. Walter is buried in Forest Hill
Cemetery, Fredonia.

Otto E. Walter married, in Dunkirk, Millie Ludwig,
daughter of John and Elizabeth (Schulte) Ludwig, her
parents both bom in Germany, but old residents of
Dunkirk. FVcdcrick G. Bird, brother-in-law of Mrs.
Walter, was born in Dunkirk and for many years was a
foreman in the Brooks and American Locomotive works
at Dunkirk and at Schenectady, N. Y.. being general
foreman of the Dunkirk works at the time of his death,
June 13, 1914. Mr. Bird married (first) Elizabeth
Paxton, mother of George Bird, who was killed with his
father and uncle. He married (second) Carrie Ludwig,
sister of Mrs. Walter, and they were the parents of a
daughter Mildred. Mr. Bird was a member of Dunkirk
Lodge, l''rer and Accepted Masons. Both Mrs. Walter
and Mrs, I'.ird continue to reside in Dunkirk.

MICHAEL J. RATKOWSKI— Among the promi-
iiint liti/rns of f(jreign Ijirlli residing in the town of
|)nnl:iik, Chautauqua county, N. Y., where he has
],i conir :i conspicuous figure in the mercantile life of the
conirnunity, is Michael J. Ratkowski, a self-made man in
the best sense of the term, who by his own efforts has
attained a respected position and the high esteem of his
fellow-townsmen.

Mr. Ivatkowski w.as born Aug. 27, 1R73, in Poland,




-^o JU-<L^i^^^^ Jl . QoOC<y(^(:^oc<A



BIOGRAPHICAL



379



and is a son of Michael and Mary Ratkowski, residents
of that country. The elder Mr. Ratkowski -died about the
time of his son's birth, and shortly after, his wife came
to the United States bringing her child with her, then
but five years of age. They settled at Dunkirk, N. Y.,
and it was there that the earliest associations of the lad
were formed and there that he gained his education as
he grew older, attending for this purpose the parochial
school of St. Hyacinth's Catholic Church. His mother's
circumstances being none too good, he worked as a lad
on the fruit farms of the neighborhood picking fruit
Upon completing his studies, he secured a position in
the local planing mill of Alcott, Ross &: Skelley, and
worked in that establishment for three years. His next
position was in the grocery store of D. Scannell, where
he served successively as order boy, delivery man, and
was eventually put in charge of the delivery department
of the business. He tlien left Dunkirk for a time to
take a place as salesman for the wholesale grocery
house of W. H. Granger & Company, of Buffalo, and
was on the road for this concern about eighteen
months. From the time of his first employment as order
boy young Mr. Ratkowski had taken a keen interest in
his work, and up to the time of his resignation from
the Buffalo house had devoted himself with the most
commendable industry and ambition to learning the
grocery business in all its branches, both retail and
wholesale. He was accordingly excellently well fitted
to engage in business on his own account, when on
March 26, 1909, having saved up sufficient capital, he
returned to Dunkirk and started a grocery store of his
own. It was not long before he had established an
enviable reputation for honesty and fair dealing, and
his enterprise rapidly grew in size and importance until
igi8, when he opened another grocery store, which has
likewise prospered. His ventures having turned out so
well, Mr. Ratkowski decided to extend the realm of his
operations into allied lines, and in 1910 opened his
present meat market, also in Dunkirk. He now con-
ducts these three flourishing establishments and enjoys
a large and high class patronage throughout the city. In
addition to his private business, Mr. Ratkowski has
become interested in the Serv-us-Stores, a chain of
mercantile establishments dealing in groceries with
branches in Dunkirk and elsewhere, where a large and
growing business is done,

From early manhood Mr. Ratkowski has actively
interested himself in local affairs and has become an
influential figure in politics, being affiliated with the
Democratic party, of the principles and policies of which
he is a strong supporter. In 1920 he was elected fire
and police commissioner for Dunkirk for a two year
term, and is now discharging the difficult and responsible
duties of his office with an efficiency and disinterested-
ness which has commended him to all classes of the



Online LibraryJohn Phillips DownsHistory of Chautauqua County, New York, and its people (Volume 3) → online text (page 17 of 101)