John Phillips Downs.

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

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In addition to the delicate plants cultivated under glass,
there are also grown outdoors a great number of flower-
ing and fruit-bearing shrubs, and a largo business is
done in this line. First class shipping and packing
rooms have been established and the 20,000 square feet
which are contained under glass are equipped with
modern furnaces and power rooms for the most ade-
quate carrying on of the large industry. In addition
to Cherry Park Gardens, Mr. Thies, who has succeeded
his father as sole proprietor of the business since the
latter's death, has a splendid fruit and vegetable farm
of twenty acres in the township of Fredonia, which he
also keeps in the highest state of cuhivation. He all
together employs as many as seventeen hands during the
busy season, and grows about every known fruit, vege-
table and flower on his various properties, although he
specializes in carnations geraniums and tomato plants,
shipping these and his other products to every part of
the State. Mr. Thies is well known in the general life of
the community, and is a member of a number of im-
portant organizations here, including the South Shore
Grower & Shipper Association and the Florists' Club.
He is a Republican in politics and attends the Methodist
Episcopal church.

Frank John Thies was united in marriage. June 21,
1907, with Gertrude Neff, of Frewsburg, N. Y., a
daughter of Ed. and Eliza (Bouquin) Neff, old and
highly respected residents of the town of Pomfret. Mr.
and Mrs. Thies are the parents of two children : Laura,
aged ten, and John, aged two.



HARVEY W. PARKER, one of the leading farm-
ers of the Mayville section of Chautauqua county. N.
Y., is representative of the worthiest agricultural effort



in Chautauqua county ; he has risen to success from the
humblest of beginnings only by the most resolute appli-
cation to hard tasks. When he took the first portion of
his present valuable farming property, it had no improve-
ments and was covered with heavy second growth tim-
ber, which, little by little, with scarcely any help, and
only by dint of the hardest kind of work, often under
most discouraging conditions, he and his wife gradually
cleared. It was work such as the pioneers did, such as
his own father did when he first came into the county
in 1818. At that time the land upon which Harvey W.
was eventually born was practically all virgin forest —
wilderness — and it was that worthy pioneer spirit which
enabled William Parker to keep doggedly on, at tasks
which seemed almost impossible of accomplishment,
until such time as he could realize that he owned a
cleared acreage of good agricultural yield, .^nd an
effort similar to his was that of his son, Harvey W.,
sixty years later, although perhaps the circumstances
of the son were even more discouraging, for when
Harvey W. Parker started to develop his first holding
it was under an incubus of debt ; he had to incur heavy
liabilities in making his first purchase, and his present
rich farm and fine buildings, plus that wealth which is
without price — a worthy family of seven children — rep-
resent the sum total of the life effort of two worthy
Chautauqua county people — Harvey W. Parker and his
wife, Anna (Stebbins) Parker, who was his stay, his
comfort, his encouragement, and also his co-worker,
through all the hard times and trials of their early years
upon the farm.

Harvey W. Parker was born Oct. 17, 1855, on the
farm which adjoins his present property, near Mayville,
Chautauqua county, N. Y. His parents, William and
Sarah (Davis) Parker, are both now deceased, but dur-
ing their lives were much respected by the people of
the neighborhood.

Harvey W. Parker, in his early years, attended the
district school to some extent, but very early in life he
was doing sundry light tasks upon his father's farm,
and as he grew in strength and stature, so his agri-
cultural duties grew in responsibility and in the physi-
cal effort necessary. He conscientiously and ably assisted
his father in the development of the family property
until he was twenty-three years old, by which time he
had become a good farmer, conversant with most of
the operations of a general farm, and possessed of a
strength and spirit such as to give him confidence that
he himself could accomplish the hard task of winning a
piece of land from the wild state. For a while he rent-
ed a farm nearby, but eventually purchased the first
forty acres of his present holding, going deeply into debt
to buy it. His early trials have already been referred
to, and not many of the farmers of this generation
would enter upon such tasks, .^.s opportunity came,
he added to his acreage, until now he has a compact
estate of 122 acres of good land, properly improved.
His residence is an imposing one, commodious and sub-
stantial, which was necessary, for he and his wife raised
a large family. ."Xnd all the farm buildings are
spacious and substantial. Every building on the place
was built by Mr. Parker, as was also every fence, and
the property is well fenced. .-Xbout fifty-five acres are
in cultivation, and the remainder is rich pasture and
woodland, and upon one piece of property more re-



42S



CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY



ccntly acquired is some virgin timber. Altogether the
farm is a well-lxilanced one, adapted well to the purpose
to which Mr. Parker has put it, dair\- and general farm-
ing.

Mr. Parker is a member of the local Grange, and in
political allegiance is a Republican. He has been school
trustee, and he has been urged upon many occasions to
stand for public offico. but he has consistently refused,
feeling that he could not spare the time from the re-
quirements of his own farm management. But he would
have probably succeeded, had he stood for public office,
for he is a man who is much esteemed in the neighbor-
hood.

On Dec. l6, 1S79. Harvey W. Parker married Anna
Stebbins. who lived on a nearby farm, and was of an
old Chautauqua county family. She was liis constant
helpmate in all things until her death, which occurred
in IQ03. and they were the parents of eight children,
seven of whom they reared. Tlie deceased child, Francis
Leon, died in infancy. The seven surviving children,
in the order of their birth, are: i. Fred, who was edu-
cated in the district schools of Chautauqua township,
and now has a farm of his own near Brocton, N. Y.

2. Grace, who attended the same schools as did her elder
brother, and also took the course of the training school
at Westtield, X. Y., eventually becoming a school teacher.

3. Grant, also educated in the district schools of Cliau-
tauQua township, and now a farmer. 4. Bert, similarly
educated, and also a farmer. 5. Edna, who attended
the district school and is now at home. 6. George, also
at home. 7. Ruth, also at home. All the children at-
tended high school at Mayville after attending the coun-
trj- school.

The value of Chautauqua county. N. Y., from an
agricultural standpoint, has been developed by such note-
worthy efforts as those of Harvey W. Parker and his
father. William Parker. And Harvey W. Parker has
given four stalwart sons to continue the development,
and all are in agriculture.



WESLEY G. BRONSON, who since 1912 has been
the r.wiicr r,i the cxtc-nsive farm in Ripley township,
Chautauqua county, X. Y., upon which his parents
settled in 1835. They, Alvin and Maria (Hamm) Bron-
son, may t)c considered to have been among the pioneer
soulers. for their farm in i<S35 was practically in its
wild state, unimproved.

It was upon this same farm that Wesley G. P.roiisiin
was lorn. Sept. 27. i860, and he has lived in the dis-
trict practically all his life. For six years lie worked
at farming occupations in Sherman township, and for
four years was similarly employed in Mina township
of Chautauqua county, but the remainder of his life
has l)OC-n passed in Ripley township, and mostly in culti-
vating the farm upon which he was born. He was edu-
cated in the district school of Ripley township, and
afterwards took resolutely to farming operations upon
the parental farm. In 1912, the ownership passed to
him. he having purchased the share of the other heirs,
and he ha.s since undertaken considerable improvements
upon the place. F.very improvement, of course, was
put there either by his father or by himself, but during
the last sev'-n years he has made rapid progress. The
150 acre?, which is the extent of the property, is now



a valuable holding, and during the years since he be-
came sole owner of it he has rebuilt bam and house,
has built a large silo, and has laid out a large grape
vineyard. Upon the farm he maintains twenty cattle,
and has some tine horses. He is progressive, energetic
and skillful in his farming, and his average yearly out-
going in wages for farm help is $300.

In national politics Mr. Bronson has not taken much
part; he is an Independent in national politics, and is
independent in most of his relations to political ques-
tions ; he is a man who thinks for himself, and some
matters of national policies have been the subject of
deep thought ))y him. In local administration, however,
be has always been very much interested, and has con-
sented to participate, to some extent, in the work of local
administration ; he has held the oflice of school trustee,
and in many other ways has cooperated in community
affairs. Religiously he is a Methodist, member of the
local Methodist Episcopal church and a substantial
supporter thereof. During the recent war Mr. Bronson
proved himself to be wholly patriotic, contributing sub-
stantially to the national loans, and to the other funds
raised by various agencies of the government for the
purposes of the nation in the war.

On Aug. 23, 1888, Mr. Bronson married Lida Thorp,
of Jamestown. She is a woman of marked intelligence
and refuied bearing, and it is of interest to note that in
her schooldays some of her playmates were boys who
later took prominent part in the affairs of Chautauqua
county, and of Jamestown, and some of them are the
historians on the editorial board of this historical work
of Chautauqua county. To Wesley G. and Lida (Thorp)
Bronson have been born seven children, as follows: I.
Hazel, born July 16, 1880; was educated in the district
school of Ripley township ; married R. L. Waite, to
whom she has born one child, Nelson. 2. Walter E. ;
born June 2, 1892; enlisted, Nov. 22, 1917, at Westfield,
N. Y., serving in first enlistment period at date of dis-
charge ; appointed corporal, Feb. 13, 1918, in the Amer-
ican Expeditionary Forces ; worked at construction
work at Camp Dix, N. J., Camp Kelley, Tex., Camp
Sevcir, S. C, and in England, reaching England, Aug. 23,
1018, serving until the close of the war; his discharge
paper says : "Character excellent, service honest and
faithful;" he returned to the United States, Dec. II,
1918; married Alma Perdue. 3. Florence, born Feb. 8,
1894; educated in the district school of Ripley township,
and later a graduate of a business college; she is now
in commercial life, having a satisfactory position in Erie,
Pa. 4. Lillie, born Feb. 15, 1896; educated at the district
school. ;uk1 now at home. 5. Harvey, born April 13,
1897; erlncated similarly, and now at home assisting his
father in the management of the farm. 6 Bcrnice, born
.Aug. ]Ci. i8r;o; similarly educated, and now at home. 7.
,Mvin, born July 9, KX)5 ; still at school.

Mr. ;ind Mrs. Bronson have a worllty family, and
have .'I large numlier of sincere friends in the neighbor-
hood. They are very hospitable, and live the wholesome,
happy and comfortable life that comes by upright
.-ictions. honest toil, and conscientious dealings.



JOSEPH BREADS, well-to-do farmer, and repre-
sentative of the rcsiKinsible agriculturists of Chautau-
qua county, N. Y., has lived in the county since 1862,



BIOGRAPHICAL



429



and upon the farm he now owns, near Volusia, since
1S68. He comes of a pioneer family of Chautauqua
county, for when his father and his brothers came to
that section of the county in 1862 it was mainly uncul-
tivated land, and there is only one farmer now living
in the neigborhood of Volusia who was there when the
Breads brothers settled in the vicinity.

Joseph Breads was born on the family homestead in
Oneida county, N. Y., Aug. 19, 1845, the son of William
and Sarah (Sims) Breads. His father had a farming
property in Oneida county and there the family lived
until Joseph was fifteen years old, and in the district
schools of the neighborhood Joseph received his educa-
tion. About 1862, his father. William Breads, and his
brothers, Benjamin and Isaac, who were also farmers
in Oneida county, decided to remove with their families
to Chautauqua county. William Breads settled on a
large farm of 300 acres near the one now owned by his
son, Joseph, and Benjamin and Isaac settled near him.
In the spring of 1868, Joseph Breads, son of William
Breads, came to the farm he now lives on with his
father, and in 1870 bought 80 acres. Joseph Breads is a
skilled agriculturist, and has developed the land until
it is now a valuable property, the fifty-two years of his
cultivation of it having brought him substantial return,
both in material possessions and in the respect of his
neighbors. He has a twin brother who also has lived
in Chautauqua county most of his life, and has con-
ducted a general repair shop. And he has one sister,
Charlotte, who married and went to Australia, but he
has not heard from her for twenty years.

The Breads family are earnest Methodists, Joseph
Breads and his wife, Mary (Gossett) Breads, being
members of the Volusia Methodist Episcopal Church,
and good supporters thereof. Mr. Breads is a Repub-
lican in national politics, but has never held what
might strictly be called political office. He has always
been interested in the affairs of his own district, and
the neighboring community of Volusia, and has at
different times taken active part in its affairs ; he was
trustee of Public School No. 11, for some years; and
in the functioning of the Lombard Grange he has been
prominent; in fraternal and benevolent society move-
ments he has been interested, being a member of the
Westfield Blue Lodge of Masons and the Sherman, N.
Y., Encatnpment of the Independent Order of Odd
Fellows.

During the World War. he worthily did his part, both
in contributing substantially to the various patriotic
funds, and in the closer application to the matters of
production upon his farm, which increased production
of foodstuffs by American farmers had such an import-
ant bearing upon the final victory which came. It is
now a matter of history, and generally recognized, that
the war was not won only in France. Those who labored
in the home countries had almost as appreciable a part
as had the armies in the field ; certainly the question of
foodstuffs was at one time of such vital urgency that
but for the increased eft'ort of the patriotic and hard-
working American farmer the outlook for the cause of
America and her allies would have been desperate.
Therefore, to the individual American farmer, who
had his share in the effort, is due a recording of that
share.



Joseph Breads was married, April ig, 1871, to Mary
Gossett, of Sherman, N. Y., and they are now drawing
near to the golden anniversary of their wedding. Both
are highly esteemed in the neighborhood in which they
have lived for so many years. They have one child.
Flora. She received a good education, attending the dis-
trict school for the elementary grades, and then going
to Westfield to attend the high school at that place.
She eventually graduated, and some years later married
Henry Witt," a man of responsible position in industrial
life, being foreman in the tinners' department at the
American Locomotive Works at Dunkirk, N. Y. One
child, a daughter, Juva May, has been born to them.

Joseph Breads has lived an upright, industrious and
productive life, in which steadiness of purpose and in-
tegrity, both material and moral, have been marked
characteristics, and he has a definite place in the histori-
cal record of that section of Chautauqua county.



JOHN A. KLING— Mayville, N. Y., and Chautau-
qua county in general, seem to be regions where a
number of men of Swedish birth have elected to make
their homes. They have, upon coming to this country
from Sweden, established themselves here, and many
of them have successfully engaged in enterprises which
have not only benefited themselves, but the community-
at-large as well. John A. Kling, of this sketch, may be
mentioned as one of the successful men of foreign
birth to have settled here and a man whose integrity
and square business dealings have won for him a dis-
tinguished place in the esteem and regard of his fellow-
men.

John A. Kling was born in Sweden, July 31, 1868,
and is a son of .A.ndrew Peter and Marie Kling. The
elder Mr. Kling was a contractor and builder of high
standing. John A. Kling received his education in the
schools of his native land, and in 1885, at the age of
seventeen, came to America. Upon arriving here, he
worked as a cabinetmaker, obtaining a position in the
establishment of Breed & Johnson, in Jamestown. He
did considerable work in the large factories hereabouts,
gaining a considerable amount of experience. He
accepted a position in the employ of Cliarles Norquist.
where he remained for two seasons. Here his work
consisted of making roll top desks. He later accepted
a position as foreman of the cabinet department of
John Benson & Son. proprietors of the Chautauqua
Desk Company, with wdiom he remained two years, and
then went with the Cadwell Cabinet Company. In the
latter establishment he was the superintendent, laying
out the work and estimating the cost of production, two
very important posts. He remained with these people for
a period of seven years, during which time he learned
a great deal and at the same time saved a considerable
portion of his earnings, with a view to some day be-
coming independent. About 1901 he became superin-
tendent of the Randolph Furniture Company and re-
mained with these people for about ten years. At the
end of this time, having saved up enough money, he was
enabled to realize his long cherished ambition, and
began independently in business in a small way. organ-
izing a stock company at Mayville, N. Y., under the style
of the Chautauqua Cabinet Company, manufacturers 01
bedroom furniture. The officers of the concern are as



450



CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY



followj : John A. Kling. president and treasurer, Arvid
J. Kling, vice-president, and Mrs. T. A. Kling secretary
The concern was incorporated in April, ipii, with John
A. Kling as president and treasurer, Edwin Hitchcock,
vice-president, and Anton T. Anderson, secretary. These
four gentlemen were also directors of the corporation.
They obtained the building of the Chautauqua Spring
Bed & Lounge Company, a three-story structure. 75 x
00 feet, and installed all modern machinery. The concern
new employs lifty to sixty hands, and they ship their
product to all parts of the United States. During the
recent World War the plant was turned into a war man-
ufactory and made airplane parts, magazine containers,
and hospital trays, with great success. In addition to
tins enterprise, Mr. Kling is also actively interested in
the Brocton Furniture Company, of Brocton, N. Y.,
taking the management in 191 5, and is also secretary.

The Chautauqua Cabinet Company and the Brocton
Furniture Company employ approximately 150 hands,
with a combined output of over three-quarters of a
million dollars. Mr. Kling has been a representative
of the \"illage Board of Mayville for four years, and
i; a prominent member of the Republican party in this
region.

John A. Kling was united in marriage, Oct. I, "1800,
with Anna Augusta Anderson, a daughter of Andrew
.Anderson, a resident of Jamestown. To Mr. and Mrs.
Kling four children have been born, as follows : Arvid
J. ; Edith Augusta, who is deceased ; Holger, deceased ;
and Denold.



THE ALLEN FAMILY— More than a century has
elapsed since Elisha Allen, the first member of his
family to leave his Xew England home, journeyed west-
ward to Chautauqua county, N. Y. In all of the progress
and development of the early time and down to the
present. Aliens have figured in all important measures
or movements, and been identified with the county
through service in many fields. The paragraphs and
pages following contain extracts from a history of the
cent'.iry in Chautauqua county showing the lives and
deeds of four generations of this branch of the Allen
family.

The Xew England progenitor. Captain Allen, of
Princeton. Mass., while serving as sheriff there, was
murdered by a prisoner he was guarding. His widow
moved with her family to Wardsboro, Vt., and there
Elisha .Mien, son of Captain .Mien, spent his youth and
early manhood.

Elisha .Allen was born in Princeton. Mass., in 17.%,
and di'd in Jamestown. N. Y.. in 18.30. He married,
in early manhood, Juliette Holbrook, born in !^tnr-
bridge. Mass., in J-':/), her family later coming to Ch.'iu-
tauqi:a county. Elisha .Mien first came to Chautauqua
county in 1816, and in that year bought the properly
on which stood the Jamestown Mouse and the Giflford
House. He first came on a trading trip, and the same
year returned to his Xew England home. In 1817 he
cam" again with his wife and two sons. He was a man
'.f forreful character and t'orid business ability, and
v/isely he invested the capital brought by him from
Vermont. For many years he k'-pt the .Mien House,
and just south of Jamestown he owned a farm which
later becam<! the property of his eldest son, Augustus



Franklin .Allen. Elisha Allen, in addition to his hotel
and his farm, was a merchant, and operated Durham
boats on the lake and streams of Chautauqua. It was
Elisha Allen who built and operated the famous "horse-
boat" on Chautauqua Lake, described in this work, and
he had large lumbering interests. He prospered, and
when he passed away in 1830 he left a considerable
fortune for that period and place. The children of
Elisha and Juliette (Holbrook) Allen were: Augustus
Franklin, of whom further; and Dascum, born in 1815;
these two children were born in the East. Those born in
Jamestown were: Adaline, born in 1817, died in 1851;
Prudence Olivia, born in 1821, died in 1854; and Abner
Holbrook, born in 1823, died in 1849.

.Augustus Franklin Allen, son of Elisha and Juliette
(Holbrook) Allen, was born in 1813 aiid died in James-
town, N. Y., Jan. 20, 1875. He was seventeen years of
age when the death of his father, Elisha Allen, left
him, the eldest son, head of the family. He met his
responsibilities in a wonderful manner, and within a
year or two had with his brother Dascum formed a
mercantile and lumbering firm, which operated in Chau-
tauqua and Cattaraugus counties, N. Y., and Warren
county. Pa., very successfully until 1846. In 1848,
with Daniel Grandin, he formed the firm, Allen &
Grandin, woolen manufacturers, which operated until
1867, when it was succeeded by Allen, Preston & Com-
pany. Augustus F. and Dascum Allen had also exten-
sive real estate interests which continued mutual until
1865, when the brothers separated.

Colonel Allen was heartily in favor of bringing a
railroad to Jamestown and as early as 1851 he partici-
pated in the organization of the Erie & New York City
Railroad, which originally extended from the Little
Valley Creek to the Pennsylvania State line, and had
a capital of $750,000. The town of Ellicott and various
towns on the line of the road issued bonds, or in their
corporate capacity took stock in the road, as did many
private individuals. This company did considerable
grading on the line of the road, but failed as an organ-
ization, and was afterwards sold to the Atlantic & Great
Western Railway. It was mainly owing to Augustus F.
Allen's sagacity and good management that the greater
part of all the investments made by the different towns on
the line were saved to them in the transfer, and that the
line of the Atlantic S: Great Western Railway was
finally completed through Southern Chautauqua with
very little cost to its citizens. Mr. Allen was for many
years a director of the Atlantic & Great Western Rail-
way, and of all the men who interested themselves in
opening up this section of the country by proper rail-
road facilities, none devoted so much time and energy
to the project as Augustus F. Allen, who clearly recog-
nized the necessity of betler traveling and freight



Online LibraryJohn Phillips DownsHistory of Chautauqua County, New York, and its people (Volume 3) → online text (page 31 of 101)