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

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18. 1016.

JAMES E. HANSON— The old proverb tells us
that "a rolling stone gathers no moss;" in many cases
this is true, but there arc exceptions to every rule, and
one of these is James E. Hanson. Before settling himself
in business, Mr. Hanson was interested in many difTcrcnl
occupations, almost always in the line of electrical appli-
ances, in various parts of the country, in each case gain-
ing fresh experiences which in the aggregate made up
a complete knowledge of the business which he finally
made his life work, that of general electrical work.

While the Hanson family was really of English birth,
the [larents of James E. Hanson came to this continent
in 1878, and lived for a time in Canada, eventually going
to Rhvle Island. At the present time James Hanson,
father of James E. Hanson, is living in Vonngstown,
Ohio. The r>on, James E. Hanson, was Uirn in luigland,

March 15, 1875, and was three years old when he arrived
in Canada. While very young he attended the schools in
the town where the family lived, but later, when they
went to Rhode Island, the boy obtained employment in a
cotton mill and worked there for some time. In 1888,
James HaTison, the father, went to live in Jamestown,
N. Y., and the son again attended school for a short
period, this time at the Central Branch School of James-
town. This was followed by employment in the Broad-
head Worsted Mills, he remaining there for a few
months, and then working at various odd employments
until finally he became much interested in electricity. In
1893, when seventeen years old, young Hanson went to
Saratoga Springs, N. Y., and entered the employ of the
Union Electric Railway, going later to Troy with the
Gilbert Car Works. Following this he obtained a posi-
tion with the New York Central Railroad in the lighting
and power department, gaining considerable practical ex-
perience thereby. Later Mr. Hanson went to Washing-
ton, D. C, and while there was in the employ of the
Glen Echo Electric Railway Company for a short time.
When he returned to Jamestown, N. Y., in 1805, he was
employed by J. C. Stearns & Company, contractors of
Buffalo, who had the contract for building St. Luke's
Protestant Episcopal Church. When this was finished
the young man went to Falconer, N. Y., with the Amer-
ican Manufacturing Company in their shipping depart-
ment. This not being in his line of work, he only re-
mained there a short time, when he returned to electri-
cal work, this time with Sooliday & Miner, they having
the contract to wire the city hall. After the conclusion
of this job, he worked for his father who was superin-
tendent of the municipal lighting plant, the son continu-
ing in the commercial department for two years. Again
the desire for a change sent the young man to Chicago to
enter the service of Richards & Meecham, electrical con-
tractors, where he gained still further experience in his
chosen pursuit.

It was in the latter part of 1897 that he returned to
Jamestown and formed a partnership with M. W.
Vaughan, as Hanson & Vaughan, on East Second street,
in a short time taking Mr, Vaughan's brother into the
business, the name being changed to Hanson & Vaughan
Brothers. Near the end of the first year, Mr. Hanson
withdrew from the firm to do electrical work for the
Gokey Electric Light Plant on several buildings then in
course of construction, among them being the Burnham
Brothers' building, the Sherman House (since destroyed
by fire), the Jamestown Brewery, and the residence of
.Samuel Briggs. After the completion of these contracts,
Mr. Hanson went into partnership with David Maloney,
the firm being Maloney & Han.son, this continuing for
three and a half years, then Mr. Maloney severed his con-
nection with the firm to enter the Home Telephone Com-
pany and Mr. Hanson continued the business alone for
two years. Then E. P. Barley joined with him, the part-
nership being known as the Hanson Electric Company,
electrical contractors and suppliers for the wholesale and
retail trade. This continued for a year. Then Mr. Han-
son carried on the business for several years, until 1913.
when Edwin W. Shier became his partner, continuing for
three years, since which time Mr. Hanson has conducted
the affairs of the Hanson Electric Company at No. 30
Main street. .Mr. Hanson began at the very bottom of

JO.M^ P.c.




his line of work, learning every detail in every form of
labor, and may now be considered a past master of elec-
trical construction. Mr. Hanson is much interested in
public affairs in Jamestown, being an active worker in
the Chamber of Commerce; he is a member of the local
lodge of Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and
of the beneficial order of Knights of Pythias. .At one
time he was a member of the Fire Department of James-

In Randolph, N. Y., Sept. i, 1903, Mr. Hanson married
Anna B. Murray. They have three children : James E.,
now at school : Paul M., at school ; William J. Mr.
Hanson is regarded among his associates as a "hustler"
in business, and as a man who thoroughly understands
the work he has in hand.

Dr. Johes took his degree at the Universal Chiropractic
College, that institution was located in Davenport. Iowa,
but it now has become an incorporated body of the State
of Pennsylvania, and is located at No. 1940 Fifth avenue,
Pittsburgh. This school of drugless therapy attracted his
interest, and since 1915 he has been its successful advo-
cate in Fredonia, his present seat of practice. Mrs. Jobes
is also a practitioner of the drugless methods in associa-
tion with her husband.

Alton D. Jobes, son of William and Caroline (Ayling)
Jobes, was born near the village of North East, Erie
county, Pa., Aug. 14, 1859. His father was a farmer of
that section at the time of the birth of his son, but soon
after moved to Lottsville, Pa., where he lived until the
time of his death, which occurred in the summer of 1865.

Alton D. Jobes attended the public schools in Lotts-
ville, also the South Lancaster Academy, in South Lan-
caster, Mass. During his youth and manhood, he was
variously employed, farming, lumbering, etc., and later
on was engaged as a jeweler, doing watch, clock, and
jewelr)' repairing in Conneautville, Pa., but finally en-
tered the Universal Chiropractic College of Davenport,
Iowa, whence he was graduated Doctor of Chiropractic.
He located in Fredonia in 1915, and is there well estab-
lished in practice. He is a member of the Seventh Day
Adventist church, and in politics is a Prohibitionist.

Dr. Jobes married, Dec. 30, 1885, Hattie V. Johnson,
of Fredonia. They are the parents of two children: i.
Lottie Evelyn (Jobes) Kaelin, of Takoma Park, Wash-
ington, D. C. ; was educated in the schools of Michigan,
and Mount Vernon Academy, Mount Vernon, Ohio, also
a graduate of the Jamestown Business College. Mrs.
Kaelin and her husband hold lucrative positions in the
Review & Herald Publishing Company, at Takoma Park,
Washington, D. C. 2. Vernon LeRoy Jobes, who was
educated in the public schools of Pennsylvania, and Cedar
Lake Academy, Cedar Lake, Mich. ; married Mary
Knapp, of Corydon, Pa., and has two children : Theo-
dore, and Ariel ; he is an expert machinist in garage
work, and is located in East Randolph, N. Y.

JOHN W. WITHERS, who comes of a worthy
British family, and has for so many years lived in
Chautauqua county, N. Y., in the Kiantone township of
which he has a well-improved farm, is a citizen of high
moral character and commendable traits in general, and
Chau— 30

is highly regarded in that section of the county. He
was born Jan. 29, 1869, in England, the son of James and
Sarah (Watson) Withers, the former at one time a
miller, but later a farmer, having in his later life fol-
lowed his natural inclination for agricultural pursuits.

John W. Withers was educated in Appleby, England,
and with his parents came to this country in 18S2. They
at first settled in Busti, but eventually John W. Withers
acquired a farm in Kiantone township, and there he has
lived for thirty years, during which time he has mani-
fested a comprehensive understanding of farming and a
marked interest in community affairs. He is a man of
upright character, and has definite and fixed convictions
upon many subjects, regarding which there has been
much elasticity of opinion among less conscientious men.
He has endeavored to live in strict accordance with his
reading of the Bible, and his general understanding of
right and wrong, good and bad. He is an ardent church-
man, a member of the local Presbyterian church ; in poli-
tics he is a resolute, outspoken Prohibitionist. Fra-
ternally he belongs to the Ancient Order of United

During the war, he was intensely interested in the
progress of national affairs, in fact, as a man of British
birth, he was interested in the struggle long before this
country entered into it, and he showed by his actions that
he was whole-heartedly patriotic. He subscribed as much
as he was able to the war funds, both to the loans and to
other funds which were for the purposes of the nation in
some phase of its war aims. As a loyal farmer, he
sought, to the limit of his ingenuity and energy, to co-
operate with the Department of Agriculture in a national
endeavor to bring into profitable bearing every acre of
agricultural land that was possible, and thus, by increas-
ing production and preventing waste, be able to send to
the impoverished allies of the nation foodstuffs that they
stood sorely in need of. The result of that national effort
by patriotic American farmers is of course well known
in the aggregate, and it has its proper place of honor in
the national historical records of the war period, and it is
generally well known to what an appreciable extent the
sending of foodstuffs by this country to Europe affected
the prospects of the combatants. But a proper recording
of the individual effort of every American farmer has
not been possible in the comprehensive national records,
and must be left to compilation of local history such as
this. Mr. Withers, as an earnest man of English birth,
probably felt the awfulness of the calamity which had
befallen his homeland long before this nation was drawn
into the struggle, and probably felt his own helplessness
even more keenly, so that when the opportunity did come
to aid in the good cause it must have been a relief to him,
and it is but proper that record should be made of his
share in the combined effort of nations, not only armies,
to hold back and finally defeat the domineering aims of a
cruel and unrighteous autocracy which sought to hold
sway over all the nations of the earth.

John W. Withers married, July 12, 1894, Jennie B.
Osborn, the marriage ceremony taking place in Busti,
Chautauqua county, N. Y. Mrs. Jennie B. (Osborn)
Withers was born in Warren county. N. Y., and was a
daughter of George F. and Roxana (Stultz) Osborn, her
father being of English birth, and her mother of Dutch.
Her father was a veteran of the American Civil War,



and belonged to a regimental unit which was sent in 1864
to the Federal capital at Washington, D. C, to garrison
it at a critical period, and tliere he was honorably dis-
charged at the termination 01 hostilities. Mr. and Mrs.
\\'ithers are the parents of one child, a daughter, Annie,
born Dec. u. uxv.

PARK L. STARR is a prominent and well known
fanner of the town of Gerry, where he was born and has
spent most of his active life. He comes from the pioneer
stock of Western New York, known for its activity and
rugged energ>-. His father and mother were both born
in the town, and both were descendants of the earliest
settlers, when Gerry was known as Little Vermont, a
designation that honored the State from w^hich many of
the early settlers came. Mr. Starr has taken an active
interest in the affairs of his town and county ever since
attaining his majority, and has successfully filled the
offices of assessor and of town and county supervisor,
being repeatedly elected to these positions by the votes
of his fellow-townsmen and women. His public service,
like his private service, has been performed for the good
of the community, in a painstaking way that has won for
him the confidence and respect of the people of his com-

Park L. Starr was born in the town of Gerry, May 7,
18' 6, the son of Henry and Mary T. (Fargo) Starr. He
spent his boyhood life upon the farm of his father, at-
tending the common schools of his neighborhood and
securing the foundations of an education which he has
built upon by practical observation, experience and a line
of reading that has kept him in touch with the affairs of
the day at home and abroad. His father, Henry Starr,
served the town of Gerry in the same capacity as the son
is now serving, in the office of supervisor, for many
years, and until the infirmities of age demanded rest and
retirement from public activities.

While engaged in business off the farm, the early train-
ing of Park L. Starr enabled him to take hold of the
farm and manage and develop it at the death of his
father, adding more modern equipment than the old time
farmers were accustomed to. During the recent war.
Park L. Starr did his full share with the farmers of the
State and Nation to tnect the requirements placed upon
agriculture by the government at Washington, and in the
interests of the people of the entire World. He also re-
sponded to every call for funds to prosecute the activities
of war, and he served as one of the great army of work-
ers behind the men in the trenches wherever opportunity
called and health and strength permitted. As a practical
farmer, Mr. Starr long ago became identified with the
work of the Patrons of Husbanrlry and is a member of
Gerry Grange.

Mr. Starr was united in marriage at East Aurora, Erie
rounly. \, Y., June 10, 1890, to Lillie Rose Monchow,
who was l»rn at Marilla, Erie county, N. Y., March i,
iHfif), the daughter of Herman Augustus and Melissa
I'h'cbe fStedman) Monchow. To Mr. and Mrs. Starr
hai fxren t>'jrn one son, Troy Scranton Starr, Sept. 10,
i'/<4. ;>t Marilla. Eric county, N. Y.; he is now a student
at Falfomr High School.

I'ark I,. .Starr r'prc'-nts the type of farmer and busi-
ness man who is safe and sane in the transaction of his

own business and that of the public ; the kind of citizen
that is at the foundation of honest Democratic govern-
ment, dependable in public service or the privacy of his
home. His public services have been recognized by his
continued election to public office. He is a Republican by
inheritance and by inclination, and at every State or Na-
tional election he has given the best service that he could
to the cause of the Republican party and its candidates.

FRANCIS E. HARRIS— Although his older broth-
ers, Oscar and Gilbert Harris, came earlier to Chautau-
qua county, N. Y., Francis E. Harris did not arrive
until 1852. He was a son of Jonathan and Lucy (Mil-
ler) Harris, and a grandson of John Harris, who served
as a private in the Revolutionary army when only a lad
of fourteen years. Jonathan and Lucy (Miller) Har-
ris were natives of Vermont, living in Halifax and Ben-
nington, that State, many years before coming to Chau-
tauqua county, N. Y. J'onathan Harris was a carpen-
ter and farmer in Vermont and later in New York.
They were the parents of seven children: I. Oscar, a
farmer in later years in Chautauqua county, N. Y.,
where he died. 2. Gilbert, a soldier of the Union
army, killed at the battle of the Wilderness. 3. Francis
E., of whom further. 4. Malinda, who is now (1921)
one hundred years old; lives at Ripley, N. Y., the
widow of Addison Burton. 5. Mandana, deceased, was
the wife of Lucius Correll, of Portland, N. Y. 6.
Maria, died in young life in Portland, N. Y. 7. Vic-
toria, deceased, was the wife of Joel Stratton, of Spar-
tensburg, Pa. Jonathan Harris married (second) Jane
Bruce, of Bennington, Vt., and they became the par-
ents of four children: Jennet, Reuben, Mary and Ed-
win. These four children were born in Vermont, and in
later life resided in various parts of this country and
Canada, where their death occurred.

Francis E. Harris was born in Marlboro, Vt., Nov.
29, 1830, died Aug. 12, 1890, at Iiis home in Ellicott,
Chautauqua county, N. Y. He obtained few educa-
tional advantages in his youth, a fact he deplored all his
later life, as at the age of eleven he was hired out to
the farmers of his neighborhood by his father and they
seemed to have no interest in the motherless lad save to
get all the work possible out of him. Later he learned
the carpenter's trade, and so rapidly did he advance
that at the age of seventeen he was a contractor of
building and an employer of men of his trade many
years his senior. In 1852, he came to Chautauqua, still
single, but four years later married Lydia H. Crandall,
and settled down to the life of a farmer. He had broth-
ers and sisters living in Chautauqua county when he
came, and it was that fact which inlhienced his coming.
l''rom 1S52 until 1856, he was employed as a carpenter
and builder, but the life of an agriculturist claimed him
:iflrr bis marriage, his farm being located in the town
of F.llicott. He was a man of splendid qualities, sound in
judgment, and sought by his neighbors for counsel and
advice. Honorable and upright, he was respected and
esteemed in life and deeply mourned in death.

h'rauris K. Harris married, in T856, Lydia Helen
fr:in'lall. born at Kinderbook-on-the-Hudson, Colum-
bia (oiipiiy. .v. v., but when four years of age was
Ijrougbt to Chautauqua comity, N. Y., by her parents,




Stephen and Christiana (Benjamin) Crandall. From
Albany the Crandalls, father, mother and nine chil-
dren, came West to Buffalo by boat on the Erie canal,
consuming about two weeks in the journey. Lydia H.
(Crandall) Harris was a true helpmeet, devoted to her
home and family, and from early life a member of the
Baptist church of Brocton, N. Y. She died Oct. 8, 1918,
in the village of Falconer, N. Y. Francis E. Harris
was a Universalist in his religious faith, and in poli-
tics a Republican. Mr. and Mrs. Francis E. Harris
were the parents of six children: Cora, Ida, Rollin
Arthur, Gilbert D., (see forward) ; Jennie May,
died in early childhood ; and Flory Belle. Flory
Belle prepared at Jamestown High School, en-
tered Cornell University, then after graduation spent
a year in post-graduate study, specializing in Romance
languages; she has taught in New York and New Jer-
sey cities, also two years in California, and is now a
teacher of Spanish and French in New York City; she
is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolu-
tion, and of the Unitarian church.

Cora Harris, a graduate of Fredonia State Normal
School, taught several years, and is the author of a
volume of child stories entitled "Half a Hundred
Stories." She is a Daughter of the American Revolu-
tion, and a member of the Unitarian church.

Ida Harris married Andrew J. Petersen, in 1892, and
died Aug. 15, 1919, leaving two children, Francis and

Rollin Arthur Harris, Ph. D., was born in Randolph,
N. Y., April 18, 1863. He received his early educa-
tion in the public schools and high school of James-
town, N. y. In 1881, he entered Cornell University,
receiving the degree of Ph. B. in 1885. He remained at
Cornell, taking up graduate work in mathematics and
physics. In 1886-87, he was a fellow in mathematics,
and in 1888 he received the degree of Ph. D. From
1889 to 1890, he was a fellow in mathematics at Clark
University, Worcester, Mass., where he pursued special
studies in mathematics and lectured on mathematical

Mr. Harris entered the Tidal Division of the United
States Coast and Geodetic Survey as computer in 1890,
through the United States Civil Service. After becom-
ing familiar with the work, he began the preparation
of a publication into which would be gathered the tidal
information scattered in various journals and memoirs
and in which the methods of tidal reduction and predic-
tion would be cotirdinated. Dr. Harris threw himself
into the work with enthusiasm. Because of his splen-
did training in mathematics and his ability, he was spe-
cially fitted for the work, and the result, as embodied
in the "Manual of Tides," which appeared in six parts
in various reports of the superintendent of the Coast
and Geodetic Survey, between the years 1884 and 1907.
has placed our country well at the front in that branch
of scientific enquiry. Taken as a whole the "Manual of
Tides" is a monumental work of some 1,200 quarto
pages of text and plate containing a large amount of
original contributions in a field cultivated by the most
brilliant mathematicians.

The "Manual of Tides" has received the recognition
it merited from scientists the world over, the eminent
French mathematician, Henri Poincare, in his "Meca-
nique Celeste," subjects the various tidal theories to

searching analysis and sums up by saying that "it ap-
pears probable that the final theory will have to borrow
from that of Harris a notable part of its essentia!
features." Dr. Harris published a number of articles in
"Science" and other scientific journals on mathematical
and tidal subjects. Mention should also be made of
"Arctic Tides," a monograph published by the Coast
and Geodetic Survey in 191 1, which is a classic of its

Personally, Dr. Harris was a man of modest bearing,
somewhat reticent, but possessed of a pleasing sense of
humor. He was an indefatigable worker with a high
conception of the obligations of the scientist. He was
a member of scientific societies, both local and national.
His loss will be felt by his friends and colleagues of
the Coast and Geodetic Survey, and by the many scien-
tific men, engineers and explorers in many parts of the
world, who brought their problems to him and received
the benefit of his wide knowledge in a peculiarly
abstruse branch of science. He died Jan, 20, 1918, of
heart disease, death coming suddenly. He married
Emily Doty, of Ellicott, Chautauqua county, N. Y.

Gilbert Dennison Harris was born at Jamestown, Oct.
2, 1864. He there graduated from high school, in 1882,
going thence to Cornell University, whence he was
graduated Ph. B., class of 18S6. He was connected as
assistant with the Arkansas Geological Survey, 1887-88;
United States Geological Survey, 1889-92; Texas Geo-
logical Survey, 1892-93; and during 1894 was engaged
in geological research in England and Northern
France. He was assistant professor of paleontology and
stratigraphic geology at Cornell University in 1894-
1909; professor of the same since 1909: director of the
Louisiana State Geological Survey, 1S99-1909; editor
and proprietor of bulletins of "American Paleontology,"
Vols. I to 6; editor and proprietor of "Palaeonto-
graphica Americana," Vol. i ; special geologist to the
Louisiana Sulphur Company, 1917; geologist to various
salt and oil companies. 1909; paleontologist to Pear-
son's Oil Company, of Trinidad, 1919; and is yet a
professor at Cornell. He has specially investigated for
economic purposes the oil, sulphur and salt fields, and
scientifically investigated the geology and paleontology
of the tertiary formations of the Southern States and
Central America. He is a member of de la Societie
Geologique de France since 1895; life fellow of the
Geological Society of America since 1899; member of
Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi. In politics he is a
Republican, and in his religious views liberal.

Mr. Harris married, Dec. 30, 1890, Clara Stoneman,
and they are the parents of: Rebecca, graduate of Cor-
nell, 1913, A. B., Phi Beta Kappa and other university

thirty years of active practice have so firmly intrenched
Dr. Sullivan in the confidence and affection of his fel-
low-citizens of Dunkirk and of many far beyond the
limits of his home town that the appearance of his
name will be instantly greeted with admiring and cor-
dial recognition. Distinguished in his profession. Dr.
Sullivan is also highly esteemed as a citizen, ranking
among the foremost in his community.

Jeremiah J. Sullivan was born Dec. i, 1862, in Byron,
Genesee county, N. Y., a son of Michael and Julia



(.Cashman") Sullivan, the former a small farmer who
worked for the railway. Jeremiah J, Sullivan attended
the public schools of his birthplace, passing thence to

Online LibraryJohn Phillips DownsHistory of Chautauqua County, New York, and its people (Volume 3) → online text (page 41 of 101)