John Phillips Downs.

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

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up for their purposes, and later, in 188S, Mr. Nichols
purchased Mr. Babcock's interest and admitted his son,
Charles Melvin Nichols, as a partner. In 18S4. he re-
moved from Kennedy to Jamestown, where lie built
a handsome residence in which he continued to live
until his death. Sept. 6, 1912. Eight years before the
close of his life, he retired from active business to
enjoy the leisure which he had so well earned through
his long and active career. In addition to his home at
Jamestown, he also maintained a handsome summer
residence at Point La-Ni-Ta on the St. Lawrence river,
situated between Claj-ton and Cape X'incent. In poli-
tics. Mr. Nichols was a Republican and served for a
time as alderman in Jamestown, performing valuable
work for the communitv. In religion, he was a Metho-

Benjamin Nichols married. Nov. 10. 1856. at Kennedy,
N. Y.. Jane M. Taxlor, a native of Schroon Lake,
Essex county, N. Y., born March 28, 1841, a daughter
of Eli and Lucinda (Jencks) Taylor, old and highly
respected residents of that place. Mrs. Nichols was
twelve years of age when she accompanied her parents
to Chautauqua county, and made her home in the town
of Poland. She is a devoted member of the Methodist
Episcopal church and taught a Bible class in the Sun-
day school there for a number of years, as well as being
a staunch supporter of the missionary activities of the
church. Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Nichols were the
parents of the following children : i. Delia M., born
Feb. 8, 1S58, died Oct. 3, i')04; she was a woman of
unusual character and a delightfully cheerful dispositio^i
which rendered her popular with all who knew her;
she was also a talented musician, and for a number of
years held the post of organist at the Kennedy Metho-
dist Episcopal Church; she became the wife of Celestus
L. Wilcox. 2. Melvin C, who died at the age of four
years. 3. William S., who died in infancy. 4. Charles
.Melvin. mentioned below. S- Myrtle L., born May 12,
18//;. who became the wife, Nov. 20, 1901, of Charles E.
Brown; Mrs. Brown is a talented musician, and a
m'-mbcr of the .Methodist church. 6. Maud C, born Dec.
20, i8''i7. died Nov, 20. 1887. when less than twenty years
of aKe ; she became the wife of Salem Parker, to whom
^hf t«-jre one daughter, .Maud Allinc, born .\'ov. 20,
iW!/, who t>ecame the wife of Paul Rosencrantz. 7.
P';arl L.. born iJ'-c. [4, 1871 ; became the wife of h'rank-

lin H. Oaks, to whom she bore the following children :
Louis Benjamin, Jerald Z., Percy, Donald and Dudley.
(MID Charles Melvin Nichols, fourth child and
third son of Benjamin and Jane M. (Taylor) Nichols,
was born May iS. 1864. at Kennedy. Chautauqua county,
N. Y. .\s a lad he attended the local public schools,
where he received his education. Upon completing his
studies he secured a position, in 1883, in the office of
Nichols & Babcock, the firm at that time operating the
Jamestown Iron Works as a foundry and machine
shop, and of which his father was the head. When
Benjamin Nichols purchased the interest of his partner
in 1888, Charles Melvin Nichols was admitted as a
member of the firm and gradually assumed a larger
and larger share of its management. Finally, in 1904,
the elder Mr. Nichols retired and the son became the
entire owner of the enterprise. The concern was then
reorganized as the Jamestown Iron Works, founders
and machinists, with Mr. Nichols as superintendent and
general manager, an office which he continues to hold
at the present time. Associated with him are Mr. S. S.
Taylor, who is the practical machinist of the company,
and Emil Froding, the practical founder. The growth
of the Jamestown Iron Works may be seen in the fact
that in 1883 there were but thirteen people employed in
tlie work here, including the owners, wdiile at the pres-
ent time there are forty-tive exclusive of the officers.
They do a very large general founding business, mostly
in the immediate locality. The plant occupies a tract
of land containing some 22,000 square feet and the
floor space amounts to as much as 27,000. It is one
of the pioneer enterprises of its kind in Jamestown and,
although having operated under several different names,
has continued from the beginning to occupy the same
location. It was organized shortly after the close of the
Civil War, and at one time owned the rights in several
important patents which, however, it has since sold or
disposed of in other ways. Mr. Nichols also purchased
and reorganized, in 1910, the Jamestown Garage Com-
pany on Cherry street, and is now the treasurer and
secretary of that concern, which does the largest busi-
ness of its kind in the city at the present time. Mr.
Nichols has always interested himself actively in the
general life of the community, and was for eleven
years in the National Guard of New York, in which he
enlisted Sept. 20, 1887, as a member of the 13th Sepa-
rate Company. At the time of the outbreak of the
Spanish-;\merican War, he volunteered his services in
the cause of his country, but poor health made it
impossible for him to stand the hardships of camp life,
and he was compelled to return after a few weeks.
He is a prominent figure in the social and fraternal
circles of the city and especially so in the Masonic
order, in which he has attained the thirty-second de-
gree in Free Masonry. He is a member of Mt. Moriah
Lodge, No. 145, .^ncient Free and Accepted Masons;
Rising Sun Chapter, No. 57, Royal Arch Masons;

Council, Royal and Select Masters;

Comniandcry, Knights Templar; Tem-
ple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic
Shrine; and Buffalo Consistory, Sovereign Princes of
the Royal Secret. He served for eleven years as a
volunlciT finnian in Jamestown, .-ukI was a member of



Eagle Hose Company, N. 2. In politics, he is a Re-
publican, and in 1898 and 1899 represented the Third
Ward as an alderman, proving himself a capable and
disinterested public servant. In his religious belief he
is a Methodist.

Charles Melvin Nichols was united in marriage, June
10, 1895. in Jamestown, with Sadie (Sara) Sweet, a
native of Corry, Pa., born Aug. 27, 1871, a daughter of
Samuel and Regina Frances (Huber) Sweet. To Mr.
and Mrs. Nichols one child has been born, Charles
Malcolm, June 25, 1906, in Jamestown. The family
make their home at No. 108 Barrett street, and reside
in the summer at Clement Park, on the shores of Lake


Richard William and Harriet Sarah ( Houghton) Hep-
pell, was born in Greenpoint, Long Island. N. Y., Sept.
7, 1869. He was educated in the public schools, and
for many years has been a resident of the cit\' of Dun-
kirk, N. Y.. closely identified with its business and civic
life. He was appointed city clerk in 1910-11-12-13 and
again in 1920. He was president of the Municipal Civil
Service Board in 1918-19; director of Dunkirk's war
gardens during the World War ; member of the Legal
Advisory Board; member of the committee in charge
of Liberty Loan and Allied "drives," and served on the
examining board. In fact, Mr. Heppell was a most
valuable aide in all war activities, giving freely of
his time and ability to further his country's cause. In
public office he has served his city well, and holds the
respect of every man with whom he has business or
official dealings.

An ardent sportsman. Mr. Heppell. as a member of
the Northern Chautauqua Fish and Game Club, enjoys
its privileges, but is always mindful of the game regu-
lations and careful to observe the true rules of sport.
In this connection it is proper to mention that Mr.
Heppell was asked to prepare a chapter on Fish and
Game Conservation for this history of Chautauqua
county, the result being one of its most interesting fea-
tures of the work. He is a member of the Merchants'
Exchange and the Chamber of Commerce; director of
the Dunkirk jMasonic Association ; director of the Dun-
kirk Savings and Loan Association ; director and sec-
retary of the East End Building Association, Inc. ; sec-
retary of the Marsden Building Company. Inc. Mr.
Heppell's affiliations with the Masonic order are most
honorable. He is a past master of Irondequoit Lodge,
No. 301. Free and Accepted Masons; past district dep-
uty grand master of Chautauqua District; a companion
and past high priest of Dunkirk Chapter, No. 191, Royal
Arch Masons ; past thrice illustrious master of Dunkirk
Council. No. 25, Royal and Select Masters ; a sir knight
and past eminent commander of Dunkirk Commandery,
No. 40, Knights Templar; and a noble of Ismailia Tem-
ple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.
His club is the Dunkirk Masonic. He is a communicant
of St. John's Protestant Episcopal Church.

manufacture of pedestals, furniture ornaments, and
other wood working, finds employment for more than
thirty men, is a master of his line, a wood carver of
great skill, and a producer of furniture ornaments of
the highest grade.

He was born Feb. 25, 1885, received a graded and
high school education, and from the outset of his
business career has been connected with the manu-
facture of furniture. For many years he worked in
Michigan furnuure factories, and became very proficient
at his trade. He was a conscientious workman, always
alert, and withal intelligent, so that it was not long
before he possessed a thorough understanding of most
of the machines used in wood working. His attention
to the close study of the principles of his trade has stood
him in good stead, for he is now, while a young man,
directing a manufacturing business of not inconsiderable
volume, and with very good indication of future ex-
pansion, the high grade of his factory's product being
the surest indication of such future expansion. When
Mr. Schulze first started in independent business, it
was in partnership with a Mr. \'an Stee, under the
firm name of Schulze & Van Stee. This partnership
was dissolved in 1913, and Mr. Schulze immediately
organized the Jamestown Fancy Furniture Company,
which he has developed until it now finds employment
for a good number of skilled workmen, who have the
advantage of the most modern machinery, housed in a
modern factory building, 60x110, two stories in height,
erected by Mr. Schulze. Mr. Schulze is an appreciative
employer of labor, and by personal e.xample is able to
get quality as well as quantity out of his men. Mr.
Schulze gives almost the whole of his time to his busi-
ness. He is independent in politics, a Methodist by
religious conviction, and fraternally belongs to the
Knights of Pythias, and the Benevolent and Protective
Order of Elks, of the local unit of which organization
he is one of the leaders. His business associations bring
him into membership in the Manufacturers' Associa-
tion, and the Furniture Manufacturers' Association.

On July II, 1917, he was married, in Jamestown, to
Edna Madden, of a well known family of that place.

RUDOLPH W. SCHULZE, well regarded citizen
and manufacturer, of Jamestown, N. Y.. founder of
the Jamestown Fancy Furniture Company, which in the

GEORGE WILLIAM KERR, prosperous and re-
spected farmer in Ripley township. Chautauqua county,
N. Y., is the son of a patriot of worthy Civil War
record, and has himself proved to be a stalwart, useful
citizen, his actions being marked by a conscientious
desire to help forward the betterment of his class, and
by courageous advocacy of principles which he deems
to be good for the community. For many years he has
been an ardent Prohibitionist, and has not hesitated to
make known his views. And his interest in the plans
of the Chautauqua County Farm Bureau for the bet-
terment of agricultural conditions within the county
drew him into participation in the work; he has been a
committeeman of the bureau almost since its inception.

He was born in North East, Pa., May 9, 1865, the
son of David Edgar and Elizabeth (Smith) Kerr. Soon
after that event, the family removed to Michigan, where
for five years his father, David Edgar Kerr, farmed a
tract of comparatively wild land. After five years of
such occupation, however, the family returned to Penn-



sylvania. and two years later came into New York
State and Chautauqua county, the father acquiring a
farm of sixty-eight acres in Ripley township. It was
in the graded school of Ripley that the son, George
\V.. obtained the bulk of his academic education, after
wiiich he took to agricultural occupations upon his
father's farm, remaining near him almost until his
death. His father was a veteran of the Civil War.
having been a member of the famous Ninth New York
Cavalry. Company I. While scouting with his unit,
he was thrown from his horse and received injuries
wliich. to some extent, affected his after life. He event-
ually became blind, about twelve months before his
death, which occurred when he had reached his forty-
ninth year.

George \\'illiam Kerr has spent the main part of his
life in the Ripley district; apart from the few years
in Pennsylvania, and the five years in Michigan in
early life, and a period of four years spent in the oil
tields of Pennsylvania, after he had grown to manhood,
he has lived all his life in Ripley. After working in the
oil fields at Bradford. Pa., for four years, he returned
to Ripley, and bought the David Woister farm of
eighty-seven and one-half acres in Ripley township,
and that has since been his home. It is a good farm,
and since he took up its cultivation it has been very
appreciably improved, and in its present condition yields
a good return. It is devoted to fruit and general farm-
ing, and Mr. Kerr has introduced many modern methods
of farming into his operations.

He has always taken a keen interest in agriculture,
and for many years has been an active member of the
local grange, and has been ready to cooperate in all
movements that promise good for the agriculturists of
the county. He is a member of the Dairymen's League,
and undertook the duties of committeeman of the Chau-
tauqua County Farm Bureau, when that organization
come into being. During the recent war, he proved by
his practice upon his own farm that he desired to
cooperate with the purposes of the Farm Bureau, and
of the Federal Department of Agriculture in preventing
waste, and of bringing all possible acreage into cultiva-
tirin. In that way, he had part in the great work ac-
complished by the American farmers during the period
of stress, when upon the surplus foodstuffs depended
in great measure the success of the Allies in the war.
And he proved himself to be whole-heartedly patriotic
by his contributions to the various funds promoted by
the government and governmental agencies for the
extraordinary purposes of the war.

He is a man of strong characteristics; has been an
earnest church worker; and for very many years has
been an active Prohibitionist. By religious conviction,
he is a Baptist, member of the Baptist church of North
East, Pa., which he has steadily and consistently sup-
ported. .And in furtherance of Prohibition legislation.
he was a factor of some consequence in his district, and
wh'.th'-r the present war time prohibition legislation be-
comes a permanent measure or not, George William
K'.-rr will always be a staunch and capable advoralc of

George William and Josephine Kirr are the jjarenls
of two children: i. Hubert Frederick, who was edu-

cated locally, and eventually became an auto mechanic ;
he is at present prospering at that trade in North Caro-
lina. 2. John William, who went to Ripley schools, and
eventually married Viola Craley ; he is a candy manu-
facturer at Mayville, Chautauqua county.

George William Kerr has two sisters living: Mrs.
Edna Shaw, at North East. Pa., and Mrs. Mary Baker,
at Ripley. Chautauqua count}', N. Y.

By his productive agricultural effort, by his work in
connection with county organizations, and by his local
interest, George William Kerr has taken good part in
Chautauqua county life of the past few decades ; and
by his upright principle, adherence to a strict honorable
code of life, and business dealing he has gained the
respect of his neighbors and of the people in general
in his community. It is by such characteristics that
the county continues to advance, and by such stalwart
characteristics that the county was first won from the

buisness man of Brocton. Chautauqua county, N. Y.,
and a conspicuous figure in the general life of this place,
is a native of Pennsylvania, his birth having occurred
at the city of Bradford, in that State. March 26, 1863.
He is a son of Edmond O. and Rowena C. (Colgrove)
Osgood, old and highly respected residents of that
city and is the tenth of the eleven children born to his

Mr. Osgood was educated at the schools of Bradford
until fourteen years of age, and at Angelica, N. Y.,
studying at the high school for a number of years at
that place, and in 1882 (thirty-eight years ago) he and
his father engaged in the furniture and undertaking
business in Angelica, N. Y'.. where Edmond B. Osgood
remained for about five years. In the spring of 1892,
he removed to Brocton. where he has been thus occu-
pied ever since. During his association with his father
Mr. Osgood thoroughly learned his business, and is
now well known throughout the region and largely
patronized. Mr. Osgood has always been actively in-
terested in town and county afi^airs. and on Jan. 25,
1904, was appointed, by Governor Benjamin B. Odell,
coroner to fill a vacancy in that office left by his prede-
cessor. Charles Kinney, resigned. Since that time Mr.
Osgood has continuously occupied this office, having
been elected to it at each subsequent campaign. He is
a member of the local lodge, Knights of Pythias, and
is chief ranger of the Order of Foresters. He is a
Republican in politics, a Methodist in his religious be-
lief and attends the Methodist Episcopal church at

Edmond Benton Osgood was united in marriage, in
February, 181)2, at .Angelica, N. Y.. with Elizabeth Fox,
daughter of James and Ann (Harrison) Fox, natives of
iMigland, but later residents of Angelica, N. Y.. where
their daughter Elizabeth was born, Jan. i, 1863, and
a sister of W. H. Fox, the present postmaster of Broc-
ton, N. Y. Mr. and Mrs. Edmond Benton Osgood
have one daughter, Montrose C. born March 18, 1893,
wife f)f Julius Sherwood Dunham, of Brocton, N. Y., a
skclrh of whom follows; they are the parents of two
rhildrcn, Jane Helen ami Betty Louise Dunham.



nized as one of the most capable and successful of the
younger business men of Brocton, N. Y., and now the
head of the firm of Julius A. Dunham & Son, is a na-
tive of the town of Pleasantville, Pa., born May 23,
1885, a son of Julius A. and Helen (Moss) Dunham,
old and highly respected residents of Pleasantville and
later Brocton. N. Y. The elder Mr. Dunham was born
at Pleasantville. Sept. 21, 1829, and spent a considerable
portion of his life there. In 1891 he removed with his
family to Brocton, where he bought the mercantile
establishment of Moss & Phillips and conducted that
old business under the name of J. A. Dunham, which
later became J. A. Dunham & Son, taking in his son
above mentioned as partner. He remained thus occu-
pied up to the time of his death, March 19, 1916, a period
of twenty-five years, during which time he was a valued
citizen of Brocton and active in its general life. He
was a well known member of the Masonic order, which
he joined as a young man when he became affiliated
with Oil Creek Lodge, No. 303, at Titusville, Pa. .-\t
the time of his death he was a member of Lake Shore
Lodge, No. 851, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons,
of Brocton; Dunkirk Chapter, No. 191, Royal Arch
Masons ; Dunkirk Council, No. 25, Royal and Select
Masters ; Dunkirk Commandery, No. 40, Knights Tem-
plar; Buffalo Consiston,', Sovereign Princes of the
Royal Secret; and Ismailia Temple, Ancient Arabic
Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. During the Civil
War, Mr. Dunham joined the 121st Regiment, Penn-
sylvania Volunteer Infantry, and saw considerable active
service at the front until he was discharged on ac-
count of disability. In an obituary article appearing
in one of the local papers at the time of Mr. Dunham's
death, occurs the following passage in appreciation of
his character:

He was a public-spirited man, always giving his
time and means to every public Improvement that
in his opinion was for the benefit of the community in
which he lived, firmly believing- in the golden rule;
honest and upright in his dealings with mankind,
freely giving his council and means to those less for-
tunate than himself. « * *

In the death of Mr. Dunham. Erocton loses a citizen
who "was in every way "worthy of the confidence and
esteem in which he was held by the host of friends
"Who remain.

Julius A. Dunham married, Nov. 12, 1868, Helen
Moss, eldest daughter of Hon. Theodore S. Moss, and
among their children was Julius Sherwood, with whom
we are here chiefly concerned.

Julius Sherwood Dunham passed the first six years
of his life at his native town of Pleasantville. Pa., but
at that age was brought by his parents to Brocton, N. Y.,
where he began his education. He attended the public
schools of this place for a number of years, passing
through the grammar grades and high school, and after
completing his studies at the latter place entered East-
man's Business College at Poughkeepsie, N. Y., where
he took a commercial course. During this time, how-
ever, the young man's attention had been strongly en-
gaged by the idea of a professional career and with this
idea he entered the law department of the University
of Michigan in order to study his chosen subject. His
intention in this direction was frustrated, however, t>y
the illness of his mother, which caused him to return

home, and shortly after he was offered a place in the
business of his father. This was accepted by the young
man, who thus became associated with a business with
which he has remained ever since. Upon the death of
the elder Mr. Dunham he took entire charge and became
the sole owner, and since that time, under his capable
management, it has developed to its present large di-
mensions and become one of the large stores of its
kind in the region. In addition to his mercantile activ-
ity, Mr. Dunham has always been keenly interested in
agriculture, especially in the growing of grapes, and at
present owns and operates a fine vineyard of fifty acres
which he inherited from his grandfather, Hon. Theo-
dore S. Moss. He is also prominent in social and
fraternal circles here, and is a member of the Knights
of Pythias, the Farm Bureau and the Portland Grange.
He is especially prominent in Masonic circles, having
taken his thirty-second degree in Free Masonary, and
is affiliated with Lake Shore Lodge, .-Ancient Free and
.Accepted Masons, of Brocton, of which he is the
treasurer; Dunkirk Chapter, Royal .'Vrch Masons, of
Dunkirk; Dunkirk Council. Royal and Select Masters,
of Dunkirk ; Dunkirk Commandery, Knights Templar ;
Ismailia Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the
Mystic Shrine, of Buffalo ; and Buffalo Consistory,
Sovereign Princes of the Royal Secret. In religious
belief Mr. Dunham is an Episcopalian, attending the
church of that denomination at Brocton, and in politics,
a Republican.

Julius Sherwood Dunham was united in marriage,
Feb. 23, 1914, with Montrose C. Osgood, of Brocton,
a daughter of Edmond B. and Elizabeth (Fox) Osgood,
of Brocton. Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs.
Dunham, Jane Helen and Betty Louise.

MERLE SHEARMAN, who for the past fourteen
years has conducted a livery and feed business in
Jamestown, known as the Shearman Livery, is very well
known among agriculturists, and especially among lov-
ers of horses, in Chautauqua county, N. Y.

Merle Shearman was born in Chautauqua county, N.
Y., Feb. 7, 1868. in the family homestead at Busti, the
son of Winslow and Laura Shearman, both now de-
ceased. Winslow Shearman was a prosperous and
respected farmer at Busti, and to him and his wife
were born seven children. They were, in addition to
Merle: Jennie, deceased; Dora, who married Frank P.
Stoddard; Anna, who married William E. Dennison ;
Cynthia, deceased ; Byron W., who eventually was
business partner with Merle ; and Eric, who farms the
family property at Busti.

Merle Shearman received his elementary education
in the district school at Busti, and later attended the

Online LibraryJohn Phillips DownsHistory of Chautauqua County, New York, and its people (Volume 3) → online text (page 63 of 101)