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

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ings arid exemplified in his life the high principles
which it tries to inculcate into the lives of all its
members. He had been master of Mt. Moriah Lodge,
F and A M.. high priest of ^Vestern Sun Chapter. R.
a' M, eminent commander of Jamestown Commandery,
Knights Templar, and had been advanced to the thirty-
second degree in the mysteries of the order. He was
for many vears a member of the board of trustees of
the First Baptist Church, and gave freely of his time
and support. ,. .. *

Such men as Theodore D. Hanchett are an honor to
the communitv in which they live, and are sincerely
mourned and missed when they depart. They live to
bless and to build up, not to destroy and tear down,
and the citv of Jamestown is the better and the richer
because of'the years that he spent here.



FRANK L. KOLPIEN— The subject of this review
exemplifies in a remarkable degree not only the achieve-
ments of a man of great natural talent, but the wonder-
ful possibilities whereby a poor boy can attain distinc-
tion in the community in a short period of time. The
success of Frank L. Kolpien, known in the business
world of Dunkirk, N. Y., as the president and treasurer
of the O'Donnell Lumber Company, in all his undertak-
ings is so marked that his methods must be of interest
to the commercial world. He has always based his
business principles and actions upon strict adherence to
the rules that govern industry, economy and strict
integrity. His progressive spirit has made him a typical
American in every sense of the word, and he well
deserves mention in a work treating of the business
life and substantial development of Chautauqua county.



Frank L. Kolpien was born in Westfield, Chautau-
qua county, N. Y., Oct. 30, 1868, a son of Frank and
Dora (Lahl) Kolpien. He received a meagre education
in the district school near Forsyth station, and later
supplemented this with a one-year course at Westfield
Academy. He left school at the age of fourteen as he
was obliged to go to work. For the first six years after
leaving school he worked among the farms and vine-
yards in the townships of Westfield and Ripley, and then
started his apprenticeship to the carpenter's trade, work-
ing at this until 1892, when he formed a partnership in
contracting with Herman Hutchinson, this partnership
continuing for a period of three years, at the end of
which time he established himself in the same business
and until 1907 carried on a very successful contracting
business of his own, employing on an average thirty-five
men at a time, and besides building two hundred resi-
dences in Dunkirk during these twelve years, he received
contracts for the following buildings: Schools Nos. I,
2, 4, and 5; the temple for the Independent Order of
Odd Fellows; St. John's Lutheran church building;
Beacon light and keeper's building on the pier; St.
Hyacinth's Roman Catholic Church building; Weingort
Hardware Company's building; additions to the Dunkirk
Electric Light Plant; No. 4 Hose Fire House of the
local fire department. In 1907 he bought his present
business, the O'Donnell Lumber Company, of which he
is the president and treasurer. He employs thirty-four
people, has his own delivery equipment, and ships lumber
to Western New York, Western Pennsylvania, Eastern
Ohio, New York City, Washington, District of Colum-
bia, Cincinnati and Cleveland, Ohio. This business
which Mr. Kolpien has built up is of very great
value in the development of Dunkirk. A man of singu-
larly strong personality, he has exerted a deep influence
on his associates and subordinates, and, toward the
latter in particular, his conduct has ever been marked
by a degree of kindness and consideration which has
won for him their loyal support and hearty cooperation.
In politics Mr. Kolpien is a Republican, and has
served one term on the local Board of Health, but the
engrossing duties of his business take all his time and he
has never since consented to hold office. His church is
the Methodist Episcopal, and he has ever been an active
member working in its cause, at present serving on the
official board, and at the time of the erection of this
new edifice he was chairman of the building committee.
He affiliates with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows
and with the Masons, being a member of the Blue Lodge.
During the World War he did his share as a citizen,
giving of his time to serve on the various committees
for the Red Cross and the Liberty loans, and was also
a member of the Legal Advisory Board.

Mr. Kolpien married, Dec. 14, 1893, Alice Boiling.
Mr. and Mrs. Kolpien are the parents of three children:
I. Alton L., who, while attending the University of
Michigan, volunteered, April 17, 1917, and became
attached to the Michigan State Militia; he was later
taken into the United States navy and was transferred
to the aviation corps, subsequently becoming instructor
of small arm fire at Wakefield, Mass., Norfolk, Va.,
Baltimore, Md., and Pensacola, Fla., where he was com-
missioned ensign; he was then sent to Queenstown as
chief pilot, and served in this capacity until the end of



CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY



the war; he is still in the service, being on the inactive
list, but has returned to his studies at the universit>',
from which place he will graduate with the degree of
Doctor of i^ledicine in iqjj. 2. Esther, a teacher in
Long Island. 3. Alma, now attending a seminary at
Louisburg. W. \'a.,

Mr. Kolpien is in the best sense of the term a "self-
made man." He has made his way up the ladder of
success until he has become one of the most substantial
and influential citizens of the community, whose life
is inseparably identified with its general affairs. The
simple account of his life, however, and the various
activities engaged in. tell far more eloquently than any
formal praise of the remarkable powers possessed by
him. especially if it be remembered that his ardent,
enthusiastic nature will not permit his undertaking any-
thing which he is not prepared to do, any obligation
which he does not observe to the fullest. His labors
are great, but his powers are equal to their adequate
performance.



WILLIAM C. BRIGGS— Probably the greatest
compliment that can be paid a man is that he has made
himself a credit to his nation in the great commercial
world as well as a credit to the mercantile community
in which he lives. Public-spirited to the highest degree,
he is ever forw-ard in encouraging enterprises which
can in any way advance the interests of Jamestown and
Chautauqua county. Such a man is William C. Briggs,
who by his honorable exertions and moral attributes
gained for himself all that a man could desire, friends,
affluence and position. By the strength and force of
his own character he overcame obstacles which to others
less sanguine and optimistic would have seemed unsur-
mountable. His fertile mind wrought many measures
for the ultimate good of the State, and as selfishness
was never considered a fault of his, the citizens of the
county have felt and will continue to feel the results
of his untiring efforts for some time to come. He is
rigidly honest in all his dealings with the business world,
and in fact in all his relations in life, and through his
geniality and sociability he has acquired numerous
friends from all walks of life. In the estimation of
those who know him, his calling and his competent
manner in handling weighty affairs entitle his biography
the same place in the history of Chautauqua county as
that accorded those who have been eminent in the up-
building of Chautauqua county.

William C. Briggs who, for a number of years past,
was treasurer and general manager of the Chautauqua
Towel Mills, but who is now living temporarily retired
at his home at No. 404 East Fifth street, Jamestown, N.
Y., was born in the town of Ellington. June 5, 1866, a son
of Carey and Martha Ann (Staples) Briggs. Carey
Briggs. son 01 Erancis Briggs. was born in the State
of Massachusetts, and was an agrictdturist by trade.
He married ffirst) Diana Gould, and the children by
this union were: Clara D., who resides in Jamestown
with her sister, Mrs. Arthur C. Wade ; Frances, wirlow
of Arthur C. Wade; Caroline, wife of Jerry GifTord,
both of whr^m are deceased. Mr. Briggs married
f second; Martha Ann Staples, and they were the
parents of three children, as follows: Martha May, who
resides in Jamestown; Charles, who died in infancy;
and William C, sec forward.



William C. Briggs, whose name is the caption of this
article, obtained his early education in the public schools
of Ellington, and after graduating from the Ellington
school entered the high school of Jamestown, N. Y.,
being graduated from there with the class of 1888. Im-
mediately after leaving the Jamestown High School, he
began reading law in the offices of Cook, Fisher &
Wade. However, after reading law one year, Mr.
Briggs decided that he preferred a business life to a
professional one at the bar, and accordingly he formed
a partnership in 1S89 with Fred E. Hatch, under the
firm name of Hatch & Briggs, as druggists. Their
place of business was located upon Third street, James-
town, and there Mr. Briggs continued until 1902, when
he disposed of his interest in the business and joined
in organizing the Chautauqua Towel jMills. of James-
town. Arthur C. Wade, Mr. Briggs' brother-in-law, was
made president of the company, and Mr. Briggs was
elected to the office of treasurer. This position he held
until 1906, when he was elected general manager of the
company as well. Mr. Briggs continued to hold these
offices until 1919, when the business was sold out to a
new concern, and since that time he has lived retired.
Politically, Mr. Briggs is a staunch Republican, but
never could be induced to hold office, preferring to
devote his time and attention wholly to his home and
business affairs. In religious affiliations, Mr. Briggs is
a Methodist, and both he and his family are prominent
in the church of that denomination in Jamestown.

On June 23, 1892, Mr. Briggs was united in marriage
with Minnie Elizabeth Clement, who was born in
Centerville, Pa., Oct. 18, 1869, a daughter of Samuel and
Sarah (Thompson) Clement. !\Irs. Briggs received her
education in the Jamestown grammar and high schools,
graduating from the latter institution with the class
of 1888. Up to the time of her marriage, Mrs. Briggs
was a teacher of Physical Culture and Elocution at the
Jamestown High School. She was a prominent member
of the Mozart and Browning clubs, a member of the
Agnes Home Association, a member of the Methodist
Episcopal church, and the Clotho Society of that church.
Mrs. Briggs, who died at her home, Oct. I, 1919, was a
woman of amiability and great mental attainments. Her
true refinement and sweet personality raised for her
a host of friends, and her death was mourned by all
who knew her. She was a wise counsellor, sympathetic
in difficulties, remarkable in comprehending a situation,
reasonable and sound in her judgment. She was splen-
didly loyal and devoted to her church, and for many
years she was the leader in all its good work. She was
a woman of large benefactions; not only did she help
substantially in all the departments of the church work,
so that she was often called afl'ectionately the "good
angel" of the church, but her private charities were
large. Hundreds if not thousands will rise up and call
her blessed. She was a lady of the old school, full of
dignity, sweetness and gracious womanhood. She be-
lieved in the great revelations of the gospel with all her
heart and her life was an illustration of their teachings,
i^ler memory is an inspiration and a benediction to all
who knew her, and her death called forth many beauti-
fiill tributes, among which was one tendered by the Rev.
and Mrs. Horace G. Ogden, who said in part:

A flauRhtcr of Jamestown, Inheriting her best tradi-
tions, trained In hor schools, moving In her best circles,



BIOGRAPHICAL



337



an exemplar of all that is finest and highest in her
life, has been called away as in the twinkling of an
eye.

Possessed of a great love of the beautiful, she sought
and found it everywhere, in nature and in human life.
The birds and flowers, landscapes and skies, all con-
tributed constantly to her life, and from art and litera-
ture and aspiring friends she perennially drew, to build
more firm and true her own character. Slie was an
adventurer after truth, and all her years followed the
gleam, until it led her into the full-orbed Day.

This made her an ardent student. She pursued sys-
tematic courses of study and thus ripened into a
"woman of wide knowledge "with a rare insight into the
deeper realities of life. Robert Browning found in her
an ardent admirer and illuminating interpreter because
she brought to the study of his poems a spirit like his
own, earnest and sincere, and a ntind "whose research
and experience "was fitted to understand and appreciate
this poet of the inner life. And thus for her, life
lengthened and joy deepened.

Mrs. Briggs steadfastly adhered to that which was
good: she forever aspired; she had a keen sense of
moral values and "was ever quick to discern a lo"wer-
ing tendency in any movement of individual or com-
munity life. She was ethically sensitive: she knew
what she believed and why, and once convinced of the
right course was adamant in her adherence to it.

Because of these qualities, she was a real power in
the community: many who knew her only in the chance
occasional intercourse were conscious of her influence;
to those tew who were privileged to be her intimate
friends she gave herself without reserve, and to-day
they feel an irreparable loss in the removal of this
powerful and loved personality.

Mrs. Briggs had a beautiful consciousness of God.
and a vivid sense of His reality and abiding presence:
she was a devout worshiper, humble, sincere and un-
afraid. She was a gentle woman, high-minded, pure,
serene, considerate, thorough-going, a Christian in
whom there was no guile.

Finally, the beauty of her home life was so perfect
and sacred one may dare only to hint at it. "Twenty-
seven years, lovers" "was literally true for her and her
husband. A companionship so complete, a love and
understanding so deep, marked their life together,
that to him, who so long had this unspeakable happi-
ness, goes out not only sympathy in this great hour
of his loss, but congratulations that the great gift has
been his.

In Browning's "Pompilia" are found these lines
■which may be applied most fittingly to this rare and
beautiful character;

"Through such souls alone, God stooping, shows
sufficient of His light for us in the dark to rise by."

In closing this review of Mr. Briggs' life we may say
that in private life he is greatly beloved by all who
know him. Genial, whole souled and fond of a joke, his
manners are frank and kindly. His success in life
has in no way changed him, and this is a principal
reason for his popularity. He fought his way to his
present position, earnestly and manfully, thus becoming
one of the best examples of a self-made man of our
times, and has not forgotten the difficulties that beset
his way. This probaBly is the reason that a tale of dis-
tress always finds him with a willing ear and a heart
ready to alleviate suffering in all forms in which it is
in his power to do so. His clean cut face clearly deline-
ates his forcible character, and his contemporaries are
glad to honor him as one of the leading citizens of Chau-
tauqua county.



PAUL De LANEY — Still a young man as years
are counted in the commercial world. Paul De Laney is
the present executive head and general manager of The
Paul De Laney Company. Incorporated, an enterprise
created through his initiative and ability, and since its
foundation he has been the inspiring, guiding and con-
troUing head. His training was received in that great
school of commercial methods — the Chicago dressed
meat industry — fourteen years close adherence to which
perfectly fitted him to conduct the manufacture of food
Chau— 32



products which are prepared and sold under the trade-
mark, "American Maid," by The Paul De Laney Com-
pany, Incorporated, of Brocton, Chautauqua county,
N. Y.

Paul De Laney, son of Joseph R. and Sarah De Laney
(now deceased), was born in Princeton, Mo., May 2,
1877. He was educated in the grade and high schools
of Cameron, Mo., class of 1894. Later he was a student
in Atchinson, Kan., pursuing advanced courses, com-
pleting his education in the year 1900. In 1901 Mr.
De Laney commenced his business career with the
Cudahy Packing Company of Chicago, in the capacity of
salesman. He remained with that company fourteen
years, during which time he gained the perfect confi-
dence of the officials of the corporation, which confidence
was expressed by the constant increasing of his respon-
sibilities and position. In 191 5 he organized The Paul
De Laney Company. Incorporated, for the manufacture
of quality food products, establishing the plant at Broc-
ton. N. Y., in the heart of the Chautauqua county grape
belt. The corporation has developed into a very import-
ant one, its $2,000,000 capital being invested in a large,
modern factory plant, with the latest and best equip-
ment, where "American Maid" foods are prepared and
shipped to customers from coast to coast, including,
also export business. The offices of the company occupy
a separate building, and in the construction of both
office and factory full emphasis has been laid on the
features so essential to the rendering of efficient sen'ice,
viz., light, sanitation, modern equipment throughout;
also, a careful observance of all conditions that lead to
the general welfare of a people banded together to pro-
duce food products. Factory buildings are of steel, con-
crete and brick, their walls enclosing a floor space of
124,000 square feet. The value of the company's invest-
ment is shown by the amount of insurance carried^
$760,000. The average factory payroll of the company
numbers 240 men and women. The success of the enter-
prise, now (1920) in its fifth year, is due to its wise
management and the spirit of true cooperation with
which Mr. De Lanej' has inspired his associates.

In political faith Mr. De Laney is a Democrat. He
has taken little part in public affairs beyond exercising
the obligations of citizenship, having concentrated his
entire energies upon the fulfilment of his business
responsibilities. During the World War he was the
deeply interested, patriotic American, aiding in all the
activities of that period, the various "drives" receiving
his personal support and encouragement. He is inter-
ested in other forms of business activity, and has bank-
ing connections in Chautauqua county and in Buffalo.
In religious faith he is a Roman Catholic and a member
of the Knights of Columbus. His standing in the com-
munity is due not alone to his business prominence, but
for the public-spirited interest shown in regard to any
matter concerning the public welfare.

Mr. De Laney married, June 26, 1907, Elizabeth K.
Robbins. of Belfast, Me. Mr. and Mrs. De Laney are the
parents of five children — one son, Rhoderick, and four
daughters: Devonia, Mary and Lillian Ruth (triplets);
and Pauline. The family home is in Brocton, Chautau-
qua county.

Mr. De Laney has won his way to responsible position
through native ability, optimism, determination, and the



,s



CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY



application of sound business principles. The manner in
which he has solved his problems and risen to success
should prove both an example and an inspiration to the
young man who would have a part in twentieth centur>'
business life.



ERNEST JOHN BAILEY, one of the leading
residents of Brocton. Chautauqua county, N. Y., a
successful building contractor who has to his credit
many large contracts, has advanced far in material
wealth, and at the same time has held the sincere respect
of the people of the county who have known him under
all conditions. He has manifested commendable charac-
teristics, is a man of distinct business ability, and has
exhibited a praiseworthy public-spirit, and a practical
desire to help on the wellbeing of the community in
general, and the poor and needy in particular. In busi-
ness enterprise, he has been very successful, and has
many consequential associations ; he has for two decades
had a contracting business which has found employment
for a considerable number of men, has taken part in
the establishment and direction of other important man-
ufacturing concerns and is vice-president of the Brocton
Furniture Company.

Ernest T. Bailey was bom in Charlotte Center, Char-
lotte township. Chautauqua county, N. Y., Oct. 2", 1868,
the son of John J. and Barbara (Beha) Bailey, or
Ballay. as the family is known in France, wherein is
the original family seat. Ernest John Bailey is French
in both paternal and maternal antecedents, the paternal
line originating in Champagne, and his maternal ances-
tors being from Alsace-Lorraine, provinces of France.
Tl-.e patronymic, as originally spelled, was Ballay, and
the .-Kmerican progenitor of the branch of the Ballay
family to which Ernest John Bailey belongs was of that
name, and it is not clear why the name became changed
in spelling. It probably was wrongly written in real
estate deeds, to substantiate the title to which the heirs
took the .Americanized version of the French patronymic.
However that may be, the family in America has for
some generations been known by the name of Bailey.

Ernest John Bailey was born on a farm, and in due
time attended the district school nearest to his father's
farm, after passing through which he seems to have
commenced working at farming occupations quite early
in his teens. By such work he accumulated sufficient
means to carry him through business college, where he
gained the fundamentals of executive work which were
later of inestimable value to him in the management of
his own important enterprises. He perhaps had mapped
out his career well in advance, and knew the various
steps by which sound success would come. He apprenticed
himself to carpentry, serving an apprenticeship of five
years, and later for six years was a journeyman car-
penter, by which time he was thoroughly conversant
with most phases of building construction. By steadi-
ness of life, and by industrious continuance in work
during the years, he had by that time acquired some
financial means, sufficient at all events to induce him to
enter independently into business as a builder and con-
tractor. He had come to Brocton in 1803, and had
worked as a carpenter upon many contracts in that
place, so that he was comparatively well known in the
village wh'-n he started in conlrarting business for him-
self in \'/f}. iJuring the almost two decades to the



present, he has had very substantial success as a con-
tractor, and has to his credit the erection of many
important buildings. Many of the fine residences of
that section of Chautauqua county have been built by
him, and among the buildings of public institutions and
business corporations constructed by Mr. Bailey may be
listed the following, all of which do credit to his
thoroughness as a builder : The Brocton State Bank
building; the Ahira Memorial Library building, Broc-
ton ; the Crandall building, Brocton ; the Bailey building,
which is a very fine structure, and used mainly by Mr.
Bailey for his own business offices; the Norquist Metal
Door Company plant, at Jamestown, a huge building;
additions to the American Loco Works, and to the
Atlas Crucible Steel Company plant at Dunkirk; con-
struction work for the Buffalo and Lake Erie Traction
Company, including the car barns at Fredonia, and all
the stations with the exception of two between Buffalo
and Erie, Pa. ; the Court House at Mayville, Chautauqua
county; the Church of Christ at Chautauqua; the Chau-
tauqua High School; the Falconer High School; the
Jamestown Grammar School; the Sherman Library;
the .Armour Grape Juice Company headquarters at
Westfield, Chautauqua county; the gymnasium and
other additions to the Normal School at Fredonia ; some
of the building of the Redwing Grape Juice Company,
Fredonia ; warehouses of same company at Fredonia ;
the Memorial Hospital at Lilly Dale; the St. Hedwig
Roman Catholic Church at Dunkirk; and the plant of
the Brocton Furniture Company ; in addition Mr.
Bailey has also undertaken many important building
contracts outside Chautauqua county. He has during
the period given employment to an average of about



Online LibraryJohn Phillips DownsHistory of Chautauqua County, New York, and its people (Volume 3) → online text (page 6 of 101)