John Phillips Downs.

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

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During that term he was chairman of the Senate com-
mittee on forest, fish and game, and was also a member
of the committees on railroads, internal affairs, military
affairs, and Indian affairs. In 1910 he was reelected
to the State Senate, in that term serving on the com-
mittees on railroads, forest, fish, game, and commerce
and navigation, and during that term being appointed by
the lieutenant-governor to represent the Senate on the
New 'i'ork State Factory Commission.

Mr. Hamilton's able discharge of his duties in both
houses of the State Legislature was the platform upon
which he was elected to the Si.\ty-third Congress of the
L'niied States, representing the Forty-third district of
New '^'ork. In 1914 and 1916 he was reelected to Con-
gress, his second term witnessing the opening months
of the World War, his third the entrance of the United
States into that conflict. In all of the weighty matters
that came under the consideration of those congresses
his influence and his vote arc found on the side of pa-
triotism and right, and he worked tirelessly and effec-
tively throughout what are destined to lie historic times.
His committees were territories, postofficc, and Indian
affairs. In 1916 he was a delegate to the Republican
National Convention that nominated Justice Charles R.
Hughes for the presidency, and in the convention served
as a member of the committee on credentials.

In Ripley and Chautauqua county, his home, Mr.
Hamilton's connections are many, formed in all rela-
tions of life that call men together, social, religious,
civic and fraternal. He is a member of the Masonic
order and has been active locally in its work, and his
friends throuRhout the district are legion. Niigbborly,
carnr-st and sinrcre. he has s'-rverj his fellows faithfully
and well, saerificing time and personal interest in the



serving, gaining in the esteem and appreciation of his
constituency.

Mr. Hamilton married, in 1904, Bertha C. Lamberton,
of Franklin, Pa.



HUGH WILLIAM THOMPSON— Practically

every person in Chautauqua county, N. Y., is familiar
with the well known "Westfield Republican," but every-
one is not aware of the fact that it was the first Re-
publican newspaper in the United States. The present
owner, Hugh William Thompson, bought it May 15,
1889, from .Mfred E. Rose. Since its inception there
have been but four editors, the first being Martin C.
Rice, a remarkable man, who is ninety-five years old.
He is now a resident of Lawrence, Kan., and is widely
known there as a grand old gentleman of the old school,
possessed at his age of an unusual faculty and well
preserved. The second owner of the "Republican" was
F. A. Hall, of Westfield; the third owner was Alfred
E. Rose, of Lowell, Mass.; the present owner, Hugh
William Thompson.

The "Westfield Republican" is issued once a week,
the circulation is si.xteen hundred, and it is one of the
most popular sheets in that section of the State. Cur-
rent topics are, of course, the leading subjects in the
paper, but social notes and local affairs are eagerly
looked for in each issue by the interested public. As an
advertising medium it enjoys a degree of popularity not
held by any other weekly in the county. Job printing
of every description is a particular feature of the "Re-
publican" office, and all macliinery used is of modern
kind, the owner being a progressive man who believes
in keeping abreast of the times.

Hugh William Thompson was born in Westfield, N.
Y., Oct. 2, 1858, the son of Hugh William and Elizabeth
(McDowell) Thompson. The former was an Irish-
man, born in County Down, coming to the United
States in 1851. By trade he was a carpenter and con-
tractor, in business with his brother, John Thompson.
He and his wife were married in Westfield and to
them were born the following children : Jane, Hugh
William, of whom further; John F., and Eliza.

In his boyhood, Hugh William Thompson, Jr., at-
tended the graded schools of his native town, after
which he entered the office of the Mayville "Sentinel,"
a weekly newspaper, and began to learn the trade of a
printer. He remained there three years, leaving it to
take a position on the staff of a paper at Silver Creek.
This was once owned by Charles E. Brown, who after-
ward sold it to George E. Bailey, Hugh W. Thompson
leaving the office after being tlicre three years and a
half. I'"or a short time he was engaged in various pur-
suits until he finally bought the "Wcstlield Republican"
and has been its publisher ever since. Mr. Thompson
is a member of Summit Lodge, No. 219, Free and Ac-
cepted Masons; was a member of the Royal Arcanum
and Knights of Pythias. In the matter of politics, Mr.
Thompson is a Republican, as befits the owner of the
leading organ of that parly in the vicinity. He is inuch
interested in the political affairs of his town, and in
I'XJI was elected town clerk, an office which lie has been
re<-leitcd to every term since. In religion he is a



BIOGRAPHICAL



521



Presbyterian, having been an elder in the Westfield
church for some years, and is now a deacon of it.

In Westfield, Nov. 8, 1894, Hugh William Thompson
was married to Adele H. Hall, and they had one child,
Herbert F., born Jan. 9, 1896. Mrs. Adele H. (Hall)
Thompson died in Westfield, Jan. 15, 1896.

Herbert F. Thompson was educated in the grammar
and high schools of Westfield, Mt. Hermon School of
Massachusetts, and Hamilton College. During the
World War he enlisted, Aug. 3, 1917, at Erie, Pa., in
the Medical Corps of the army; then was transferred
to Fort Slocum, N. Y., remaining there only a week
when he was again transferred, going first to Fort
Oglethorpe, and a little later to Camp Gordon, both
in Georgia. After a short stay at this camp he was
sent to the embarkation station at Camp Upton, L. I.
On May 5, 1918, young Thompson and his companions
in arms arrived at Liverpool, England, and the follow-
ing day were sent to France, via Southampton. After
arriving there they saw active service from start to
finish, being engaged in the Somme offensive, his unit
being an infantry outfit. In the Argonne forest battles
his division, the 82nd, was in continual action from
Oct. 5 to Nov. 2, 1918, and before that they had taken
part in the St. Mihiel offensive from Sept. 12 to Sept.
16. Mr. Thompson's regiment was for some time sta-
tioned at the Toule sector, at Maubeuge, and at the
battle of the Meuse. After the signing of the armistice
they were ordered to return to the United States, ar-
riving here May 9, 1919, and going at once to Camp
Dix., N. J., from which station he was honorably dis-
charged. May 13, 1919, his rank at the close of the war
being that of sergeant. Since returning from the army,
he has been associated with his father on the "West-
field Republican," and is active in the management of
the paper. During the war, when the young men of
Westfield were "Over There," Mr. Thompson, Sr., kept
them supplied with free copies of the "Republican,"
which helped the boys "Over There" to feel somewhat
that they were "Over Here."



CHARLES C. HAAS — Among the most successful
builders and business men of Jamestown, Chautauqua
county, N. Y., should be mentioned Charles C. Haas,
general contractor, with offices, warehouses and yards
at the corner of Tenth and Monroe streets. Mr. Haas
is a native of Warren, Pa., bom Jan. 16, 1875, son of
Peter and Elizabeth (Dick) Haas, both now deceased,
the former having been a mason contractor at Warren
and Jamestown for many years.

The family removed to Jamestown, N. Y., when
Charles C. Haas was but three years of age, and he
received his education in Jamestown grammar and high
schools. He became employed in a local shoe factory,
and when sixteen years of age began to learn the trade
of mason. Upon completing his apprenticeship, he
followed his trade as a workman for about twelve
years. In 1903, when twenty-eight years of age, he
established himself in the contracting business on his
own account. From the outset Mr. Haas met with
notable success, and since that time has done some
of the largest construction work in this part of New
York State and in Northern Pennsylvania. His enter-
prise at this time is one of the largest of its kind in the



entire region, and has been developed entirely through
his own energies and intelligence. In the year 1903
he started with about ten employees, and some idea may
be gained of the growth of his business when it is
stated that at the present time he often employs as
many as two hundred men. Among the largest build-
ings erected by him in Chautauqua county should be
mentioned the Young Women's Christian Association
building, the Chautauqua School of Nursing, the East
Side School, the Euclid Avenue schools, the Fairmont
Avenue School, the New Wellman building, the Fur-
niture Exchange building, the largest structure in
Jamestown ; the Pilgrim Memorial Church, the Bank
of Jamestown, the Barrett building, the large ware-
houses of the D. H. Grandin grilling Company, the
Eagle Temple, and many handsome residences, in-
cluding the summer home of W. D. Packard, at Chau-
tauqua, associated with the great Packard Motor Car
Company. Still other construction done by him is
the West Side Fire Station, additions to the Acme
Woolen Mills, the building of the Automatic Registering
Machine Corporation, additions to the Chautauqua
Worsted Mills and the Ferncliffe Worsted Mills, the
Webber & Knapp factory, the Jamestown Boiler Works,
the Jamestown Bottling Works, additions to the Sher-
man Street Grammar School, the Straus block, the
High School heating plant, the Warner dam. a State
job; Jamestown Malleable Products Corporation build-
ing, and many other buildings, including storerooms,
etc., large and small, and the handsome residences of
S. M. Merriman, Charles C. Wilson, and P. F. Simon.
At Warren, Pa., he erected the Swedish Lutheran
church, the residences of William Knapp. James Clark
and others, and remodelled the Library Theatre build-
ing. At Olean, N. Y., he erected the Higgins Memorial
Hospital, and at Ridgway, Pa., the Young Men's
Christian Association building. Mr. Haas, through his
long and diligent service to the building trade, has
earned a reputation which places him in the front rank
of the builders of New York State. His construction
work on institutional, commercial and private buildings
truly makes him the dean of the building trade in Chau-
tauqua county.

Mr. Haas is affiliated with a number of prominent
organizations in this region, including various Masonic
bodies; the Elks; the Eagles; Knights of Pythias; the
Jamestown Board of Commerce; the Builders' Ex-
change, of which he is vice-president; the Rotary Club;
the Sportsmen's Club, of which he is treasurer ; the
United Spanish War Veterans, having served through-
out the Spanish-American War with Company E. 65th
Regiment, New York Volunteers ; the Buffalo Builders'
Exchange ; the National Contractors' Association ;
Jamestown Manufacturers' and Employers' Association,
and the Young Men's Christian .Association. In religious
belief, Mr. Haas is an Episcopalian and attends St.
Luke's Episcopal Church. He is a Republican in poli-
tics, but has not sought public office.

Charles C. Haas was united in marriage, June 29.
1903. in Jamestown, with Huldah G. Swanson, a daugh-
ter of John P. and .Anna S. Swanson, of Jamestown.
Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Haas, as fol-
lows: Iris Geneva, born March 18, 1904; Ruth Marion,
born March 18, 1908; Alice Marion, bom June 9. 1915;
Elizabeth, Virginia and Charles C, Jr., died in infancy.



CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY



EDWARD D. REAGAN— Amons the financiers of
Chautauqua county, X. V.. Mr. Reagran is a figftire of
prominence. fiUinsr the positions of vice-president of the
State Bank of Ma>Tille and the First National Bank
of Ripley, and cashier of the Xational Bank of West-
tield, and it can be truly said that he is one of the lead-
ers of the banking fraternit\- of Chautauqua county.

Edward D. Reagran was born Aug:. 25, 1S76, at
French Creek. X. Y., son of John and Julia Agnes
( Grady") Reagan. John Reagan was a well known agri-
culturist in the town of French Creek for many years
until his death, X^ov. 22. 1004. and his widow still retains
her residence there. Edward D. Reagan attended the dis-
trict schools of French Creek, afterwards entering the
Westfield High School and graduating in 1S05. He
then obtained a position as clerk in the X'ational Bank
of W'estfield. later becoming assistant cashier, and
served for eighteen years with this institution. He was
elected. Jan. i, 1013. to the position of cashier of the
State Bank of Mayville. which position he resigned.
Feb. I. 1020, to accept the cashiership of the National
Bank of Westfield. at which time he was elected vice-
president of the State Bank of Mayville, and on Feb.
28. 1920. he was elected vice-president of the First X'a-
tional Bank of Ripley. Mr. Reagan is a director of
the Xational Bank of Westfield. First Xational Bank
of Ripley, and the State Bank of Mayville. He is a
member of the Westfield Chamber of Commerce, hav-
ing been its treasurer since its organization. His polit-
ical connections are with the Democratic party, but he
has never sought public oflice. He is a member of St.
James' Roman Catholic Church of Westfield. He is
a member of the Royal Arcanum, having served the
order as collector for twelve years, the Knights of Co-
lumbus, and the Ancient Order of Hibernians, of which
he is a past president. He has achieved, in more than
one direction, substantial and honorable success, having
started in a modest way and arising to prominence in
his field of endeavor, being a fine type of the self-
made man. Mr. Reagan is identified with the social life
of Westfield. and is a golf enthusiast. He spends much
of his leisure time at his beautiful home on South
Portage street, Westfield, which is surrounded by well
appointed grounds.

Mr. Reagan married Frances Catherine Balizet,
daughter of Eugene Charles and Mary (Masson) Bali-
zet. of Meadville. Pa., the ceremony being performed
Feb. 6, 19 1 8.



JOSEPH ALBERT McGINNIES was born in the
Xorth of Ireland. Nov. 7. 1861. He came to America
with his mother in 1864, joining the husband and father,
William McGinnies. at Ripley. The parents. William
and Elizabeth f Lighthouse) McGinnies. made Ripley
their home until death claimed them many years later.
Joseph A. McGinnies has always remained loyal to his
adopted town, Ripley, and well he may be for it has
alway been loyal to him. It was here he was educated
in the local schools, it was here that he grew to man-
hood. v.h<rc he entered business, where he was niar-
ri'd. where he took an interest in politics, anrl v;here
he ha-, grown into one of the substantial citizens of the
tov.n and county.

While still in boyhood he entered the drug store of



Dr. Simon in the village of Ripley, became a pharmacist,
and eventually purchased the store in which he had
gained his business and professional experience. With
a clear insight into business and politics, he soon be-
came a recognized leader in the business and political
life of the community. While still on the sunny side of
thirty, he was nominated by the Democratic party of his
district for the office of member of Assembly, and
although the district was overwhelmingly Republican,
he ga\e his adversary a close run for the office. Later
he became a convert to the principles and policies of
the Republican party, and for twenty-five years has
been identified with this great political organization,
never swerving in his allegiance to the party and its
candidates.

He was first elected a member of the Chautauqua
County Board of Supervisors in l8g6 as a Democrat,
and continued year after year as the representative of
his town as a member of the Democratic party until
1905, when he became convinced that the Republican
party came nearer meeting his ideals of government
than any other, and he promptly announced his allegi-
ance to that party. The people of his town had elected
him supervisor regardless of his political faith, because
they had confidence in his ability and fidelity, and in
his desire to serve its interests, and his change in par-
tisanship made no difference with those who knew him
best, and he was elected the next year on the Republi-
can ticket. And when the Board of Supervisors con-
vened in 1906, he was elected clerk of that body, a
position he has held down to the present time. His
familiarity with the duties and obligations of the board,
and its relations to the towns of the county and the
State, gave him the position of leader of the board,
whose advice was asked and accepted by Republicans
and Democrats alike.

In addition to his duties as a druggist, and his
interest in politics, he acquired an interest in agricul-
ture and became a grape-growing farmer. In addition
to looking after his own small farm, he was made ad-
ministrator at one time and another of estates in the
grape belt and managed them as successfully as he did
his own business. As a grape grower he became
vitally interested in the marketing of his product, was
instrumental in the organization of the Chautauqua &
Erie Grape Growers' association, was for some years a
director in this organization, and for several years has
been the secretary-treasurer and manager of the asso-
ciation, having direct charge of marketing millions of
dollars' worth of grapes each year, to the great advan-
tage of the grape farmers of the region.

He was elected member of Assembly from the Sec-
ond Chautauqua District in 11)15, as the candidate of the
Republican party, and immediately took a place of influ-
ence in the Assembly at Albany. He has held that
position down to the present time, and is now recog-
nized as one of the leaders of that body, a man whose
judgment is trusted by his associates and whose knowl-
edge of State affairs is recognized in the Assembly and
in the various departments of the ,St;itc government,
lie has taken deep interest in tlie matter of assessment
.■md taxation, and is regarded as one of the best posted
men in the Legislature on these important subjects. In
the session of the Legislature for 1918 and lyig he was



BIOGRAPHICAL



523



made chairman of the special committee on war prep-
arations; he is also a member of the committee on
ways and means and on taxation, and has been a mem-
ber of several of the most important special committees
of the Legislature during the past five years. He was
elected chairman of ways and means committee at the
session of igai. He is a member and supporter of the
Presbyterian church of Ripley. He is a member of
the various Masonic bodies from the Blue Lodge up to
the Commandery, having filled the chairs of each order;
he has held the important post of deputy master for the
Fortieth Masonic District. He is a member of the
Odd Fellows, the Encampment, the Maccabees, and
the Eagles.

On Jan. 7, 1884, he was united in marriage with Anna
Brockway, a member of one of the old and influential
families of the town of Ripley. They are the parents of
one daughter, Clara Elizabeth, who was educated in the
Ripley schools and also at the University of Syracuse,
where she was graduated with the degree of Bachelor
of Arts. She was united in marriage, in 1919, to Park
J. Johnson, and they also reside in the town of Ripley.



LEN ROSS FRANCIS, postmaster and well known
citizen of Ripley, Chautauqua county, N. Y., is a native
of the town of Mina, in this county, born Dec. lO, 1S74.
the son of Elihu and Elnora (Ross) Francis. His
father was a contractor and builder at Mina and Ripley
for a number of years, and his mother, Elnora (Ross")
Francis, was a descendant of one of the earliest of
Chautauqua county families, and her father was a well
known lawyer in Mina.

Len R. Francis received a good education in the
graded and high schools of Ripley, finishing with a
course at Clarke's Business College at Erie, Pa. After
graduating, he entered the grape basket manufacturing
business at Ripley Crossing. He kept the plant in
operation for about five years, and conducted his farm
on which he cultivated grapes. Later he went into
grape growing more extensively, and managed Farrell's
vineyard for four years, after which he purchased a
good fruit and grape farm, giving his entire time to its
management. He has been actively interested in the
political affairs of his town, being a member of the
Democratic party. From 1912 to 1914, he was highway
commissioner of the town, resigning that appointment
when he became postmaster of Ripley in IQ14. From
1914 to the present, he has held this post, giving the
town efficient service. He is a member of the of^cial
board of Ripley Methodist Church, member of the local
Grange, and his fraternal organizations are the local
lodges of the Masons, Odd Fellows, and Eastern Star
societies.

Len Ross Francis was married, Dec. 10, 1903, at Rip-
ley, to Ada C. Bentley. They have one child, a son,
Ellsworth Ross.



Sun;" for two years connected with the Princeton Uni-
versity Press; and before coming to Chautauqua was
secretary of the publishing firm of Marshall Jones
Company, of Boston. He has for two years written the
"Watch Tower" of the "St. Nicholas Magazine." He
is author with Edgar O. Achorn of a novel, "The Un-
known Quantity," published in September, 1919; and
of "Vagrom Verses," published in 1915. During the
war he was a member of all the Liberty Loan commit-
tees at Princeton, and edited a weekly paper under the
title of "Bonds and Bullets." An historical pnem by Mr.
Teall took one of the prizes in the competition held in
connection with the two hundredth anniversary of the
founding of Newark, N. J.

Chautauqua Press issues the books and bulletins for
the home reading course, publishes the "Chautauquan
Daily" and the "Chautauquan Weekly;" has charge of
the editorial, secretarial and pedagogical conduct of the
Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle, and the
advertising and publicity work of the Institution in all
its branches. As an agency for publicity it publishes
and distributes the many Quarterlies, which include the
"Summer Program," the "Schools," "C. L. S. C," etc.
The increased number of readers of the "C. L. S. C." of
about twenty-five per cent, over the previous year,
involved the reprinting of one thousand sets of all the
books.



EDV/ARD N. TEALL has been since Jan. i, 1920,
the head of the Press Department of Chautauqua Insti-
tution and managing director of the Chautauqua Press.
He is a graduate of Princeton Universitj', class of 1902,
with the degree of A. B. and A. M.; for fourteen years
was a member of the editorial staflf of the "New York



PERRY ADDISON MASON is one of Chautau-
qua county's representative business men, who for more
than twenty years has been town clerk of Ripley, and
for a longer period has been a leading merchant of
that place. In addition he has operated a good sized
farm in the vicinity. The fact that he has been reelected
regularly to the office of clerk of the township testifies
to his stability and his community spirit. He is a
native of Ripley, born June 25, 1876, son of Clarence
and Florence (Perry) Mason, the former a farmer and
latterly a merchant. Clarence Mason died in October,
1897, but his widow still survives.

Perry Addison Mason received his education in the
schools of his native place, and for more than three
years after leaving school was a clerk in the Ripley
National Bank. His father, however, having on Jan.
I, 1897, purchased the merchandizing business in Ripley
of a Mr. Burrows, caused him to leave the bank and
join his father in business. They took over the store
he still conducts, and for twenty-one of the twenty-two
years of its operation it has been managed wholly by
him, for his father died in October, 1897, as previously
mentioned. Perry A. Mason is a man of commendable
industry, for in addition to the store business, and the
public duties, he has also maintained in successful and
skillful cultivation the farm he inherited from his
father. The Masons are Presbyterians by religious
conviction. Mr. Mason is a Republican in politics, and
has taken active part in political affairs in the section
of New York State in which he lives, and had he more
time to devote to such matters he would probably have
taken a more prominent part. He belongs to the Ma-
sonic order. Blue Lodge. Royal Arcanum, and Eastern
Star. Of the last-named, his wife is also an active
member.

On Jan. 12, 189S, Perry Addison Mason was married



Online LibraryJohn Phillips DownsHistory of Chautauqua County, New York, and its people (Volume 3) → online text (page 56 of 101)