John Phillips Downs.

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

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ography and Anthology of Niaraga Falls" (1919).

Mr. Dow married, Jan. 12, 1876, Eleanor Jones,
daughter of Elisha L. and Emily (Sibley) Jones. Mr.
and Mrs. Dow were the parents of four children: Al-
berta Gallatin, wife of Fletcher Goodwill ; Charles
Mason, Born Sept. 25, 1878, died Dec. 27, 1907, a gradu-
ate of Yale College and Harvard Law School ; Howard,
born Aug. 15, 1880, now vice-president of the Chautau-
qua County National Bank ; and Paul Livingston, born
March 15, 1884, died Sept. 9, 1884.

The estimation in which Mr. Dow was held among
men of learning is best attested by the fact that in 1914
Bethany College conferred upon him the degree of
Doctor of Laws, and a similar degree was conferred
by Niagara L'niversity in 1915. No man in the State
was more deeply interested in those things which count
for the advancement of the nation and the uplift of
society than he, as is attested by the numerous societies
and organizations of which he was a member and for
which he earnestly labored. In his home city he was
universally respected, and his passing in the full prime
of his splendid powers brought forth universal regret.
When conditions developed that gave assurance that the
end was near Mr. Dow, with the dignity and patience
that was always his, awaited the end with calm resigna-
tion, and with a full realization that his life's work was

The following extract is from the pen of Dr. James
Sullivan :

He touched life at more points than any other man
whom I have ever known intimately; he knew min-
utely more of the inward life of the people, not alone
of this locality, but of the country g-enerally. than
most of the philosophers. He instinctively knew, and
he had a delicate appreciation for. the finer side of
every person with whom he came in contact, and his
kindly, though often blunt, methods of bringing men
together and smoothing out the rough places has
served to preserve and perpetuate friendships which
otherwise would have drifted into animosities which
could not have failed to mar the life of the community.
Add to these splendid qualities that charity which
delights, not in ostentatious giving, but in daily doing;
which appreciates that men and women need encour-
agement in the development of character and an abid-
ing faith more than a fostering of their self-pity, and
we ha\'e a composite picture of the man.

noble character and fine mind. Mrs. Dow was a leader
in charitable and philanthropic movements in Chautau-
qua county, and for all time her name will be inscribed
among those real women of her State who gave them-



selves without reservation to the cause of humanity.
That she became so prominent a figure in the work of
the Woman's Chib was not through her wish, for her
heart was in another phase of woman's work, and her
everlasting monument is in the Agnes Home for Young
W omen and the Warner Home for the Aged, institu-
tions to which she devoted her splendid powers for many
yearj. Practically she gave her life to the cause of
charity, and spent her best efforts in that cause.

Mrs. Eleanor (Jones) Dow was born in Allegheny,
Pa.. Dec. 14. 1857. died at Jamestown, N. Y., Dec. 29,
lOJO, daughter of Elisha Livingstone and Emily (Sibley)
Jones, her father one of the pioneer lumbermen of the
Allegheny section. In 1870, Mr. Jones retired from
business, and with his family moved to Randolph, N. Y.,
then the home of his daughter's future husband, Charles
M. Dow. Mrs. Eleanor (Jones') Dow was a graduate
of Chamberlain Institute, Randolph, N. Y.. class of
1S75. -■^ portion of her course was devoted to voice
culture and expression, studies which were invaluable
to her in her later public activity in women's organiza-
tions. In 1876 she married, and in 1888 Jamestown be-
came her home.

In the city of Jamestown Mrs. Dow became well
known through her interest in charitable work and
other forms of woman's work, her popularity among
the women of Western Xew York leading to her elec-
tion in 1809 to the presidency of the Western New
York Federation of Women's Clubs. She held that
office two years, and during that period was a member
of the board of directors of the Xew York Federation,
succeeding to the presidency of that larger group of
women's clubs in 1902.

In 1902 Mrs. Dow wrote:

With federation comes not only a breadtfi of outlook,
of purpose, of as.sociation, of work, which means
growth, things supremely to be desired in the indi-
vidual club, but there is that which cannot be put into
cold words: a broader charity, a more tolerant spirit,
and a sweetness and strength of sympathy and coop-
eration among strong reserved women "widely sepa-
rated, yet standing together in a concerted movement
for the common good. If the club life means any-
thing, it means higher ideals for the individual and
It should tend toward simplicity, plain living and liigti

Mrs. Dow was also a member of the National Federa-
tion of Women's Clubs; member of Sorosis. New York
City; and in 1898 was a member of the Scribblers Club
of Buffalo. In Jamestown she founded and for seven-
teen years was president of the .\rt Club, and held
similar relation to the Mozart and Fortnightly clubs.
Her work for charitj' was both consistent and persistent,
and it was through her able Icadershif) and personal
effort that the .Xgncs Home for Young Women and the
Warner Home for the Aged, both Jamestown institu-
tions, were raised to their present plane of usefulness,
and placed upon a sound basis. The following rcsolu-
ti'ns express the feelings of Mrs. Dow's contempora-
ries in this her great life work:

'.S'lth a feeling of sadness and deep personal los'<,
w.:. the fllrietor.H of the Agnes Home, would record the
death of our beloved honorary president, Mrs. Kleanor
.( I;ow, which oenurred at her home In this city on
l>«:cember 2ft, lft20. Mr.". Dow was one of the founders
of ih*r .Vgnes Home anrl Its president from the organi-
zation until Hhe took up the active direction of the
Warrjer Home «lx years ago, at which time she was
rr.ii'le honorary president.

It wa« due 10 h< r energy and pi-rseveranee that both
the AgncH Home for Young Women and later the

■\Varner Home for the Aged became realities. Her
interest in young women and in the aged and infirm
led lier to be untiring in her efforts in behalf of these
institutions. Her optimism and marked ability in
organization and administration brought success where
many others might have failed. Her splendid faith
inspired her co-workers, and what she accomplished
will always be a monument to her broad vision and
spirit of helpfulness.

She needs no song that we can sing,
No public praise the world can bring.
For otlier lives have felt the cheer
Her deeds have shed for many a year.

Tributes to the inemory of Mrs. Charles M. Dow, by
the board of directors of the Agnes Association at a
meeting held Jan. 27 :

At this, the first meeting of our Board in the New
Year, before we look forward to all that may lie
before us. it is fitting that we should pause to look
liackward. even to the beginning of this work, recall-
ing the inspiration, the untiring effort of the one who
made it all possible.

The death of Mrs. Eleanor (Jones) Dow, our co-
worker and our friend, has severed a tie that has
bound us together for nearly sixteen years and to-day
we wisli to pay tribute to her memory, and to her
work. A loving tribute from saddened hearts.

Mrs. Dow was the first President of the Board of
the Agnes Home, and at the time of her death, its
Honorary President. The President of the Warner
Home, and the President of the Agnes Association.
For ten years, the trying formative years of the work
in the Agnes Home, she stood steadfastly at the helrn,
and when she relinquished the active control of this
Board to take up the more pressing and needed work
of establishing the Warner Home for the Aged, she
still retained her membership and interest in the
Agnes Home, and became its Honorary President.
Always ready and willing to advise and to assist.
Always happy in our achievement, the foundations of
which she had so successfully builded.

We who have been associated vyith Mrs. Dow in
these organizations will always remember that so
much that is good and beautiful and dear to our
hearts in the work in which we are privileged to have
a share but for her we might have missed.

Mrs. Dow traveled extensively at home and abroad,
her last voyage abroad being taken in the summer of
1020, with special reference to her health. She was not
benefited, and after her return to Jamestown her health
gradually failed, her condition being such that upon
the death of her husband, Dec. 17, 1920, it was deemed
best not to inform her of that sad event. During her
active years, the Dow home was a center of hospitality,
in which many persons of note were entertained, as well
as the many personal friends of both Mr, and Mrs.


The grim messenger of death has claimed another
member of our board. With the passing of the year,
our beloved president, Mrs. Eleanor J. Dow, was
called to her eternal rest.

Mrs. Dow's entire life has been given in service for
the uiillft and betterment of the standards of life.
She was interested in all of the institutions of James-
town, and actively identified with the work of many
of them at sometime or another; but, in the latter
years, her supreme efforts were In behalf of the Agnes
As.sofiation. She has been not only president of the
Agnes Association since its organization, but presi-
dent of both branches of the Association. After
bringing the Agnes Home to the point where it was
neaily self-sustaining, she resigned the chair; but
never r. Ilniiuished her efforts in its behalf.

It was through the efforts of Mrs. Dow and those of
lis donor, the late Mrs. Mary H. Warner, that the
Warner Home for the Aged was made possible. Mrs.
Dow was gifted with rare executive ability. We recall
the time, the thought and the energy that she gave to
the organization of this Home. To many of us. It
.seemed an impossible undertaking. Not so with Mrs.
I low. With her, to conceive a good thought was to
execute It, and giving unstlntlngly of h<'r time and
energv tlie work of organlzathm was soon accom- She was made Its first president, which office
she continued to hold until the time of her death. All



through the years of the Home's existence, she had
not only planned ways and means to carry on the
work, but, by reason of her faith, her courage and her
resourcefulness has been an inspiration and help to
her various committees at all times.

Not until stricken in health, while abroad this past
summer, did she relax her efforts for the furtherance
of this work which was so dear to her heart. For-
g'etting self entirely, she worked unceasingly toward
her goal which was to make the Warner Home for the
Aged self-sustaining.

The entire community recognized Mrs. Dow as a
most remarkable and estimable woman; but only those
■who worked with her intimately can know the keen,
sincere, earnest efforts she made for those less for-
tunate than herself. She gave ungrudgingly of her
time, her thought, her means and her energy for the
promotion of a worthy cause.

Although in years, her life was somewhat shorter
than that allowed mankind, yet, in point of service,
she was able to accomplish more than many who live
their alloted time.

This board can ill afford to lose so gifted a leader
as was Mrs. Dow; but. her spirit will continue with us.
"God buries the worker; but carries on the work."

Knowing and loving Mrs. Dow. we share with her
family the sorrow which this sad event occasions and
we extend to them our sincere sympathy in their

Large is the life that flows for others' sakes,
Expends its best, its noblest effort makes.
Devotion rounds the man and makes him whole;
Love is the measure of the human soul.


— On the twenty-ninth anniversary of his birth. March
4, 191 1, Martin R. Nelson, in partnership with Enoch
Lindstrom, established the Nelson & Lindstrom dry
goods store at No. no East Second street, Jamestown.
They started with an up-to-date stock of high quality
mark, and made it their special business to entirely
satisfy their customers. Mr. Nelson's long experience
in the dry goods business helped largely to make the
venture the great success it proved to be. This partner-
ship continued until May, 1914, when Martin R.
Nelson, in connection with his brother, Ernest L. Nel-
son, bought out IMr. Lindstrom's interest in the store,
and the lirm name was changed to the M. R. Nelson
Dry Goods Company. The new combination opened
another store at No. 627 East Second street, near
Winsor street, which they occupied until July i, 1920,
when they moved to their new and modern store at
No. 623 East Second street. This store, which might
be termed No. 2, is one of the finest and best stocked
shopping centers in Jamestown. Their original store
at No. 110 East Second street also is a very finely
stocked store, in the heart of the shopping district, and
in the ownership of these two places it can be truly
said that the Nelson brothers are among the leading
merchants of Jamestown. They make a specialty of
wash goods, white fabrics, fine linens, hosiery, under-
wear, sweaters and general dry goods. The business
is growing steadily each year, and larger quarters
will be needed from time to time as they have been in
the past. The firm is a member of the Board of Com-
merce, and the Dry Goods Men's Association, both of
Jamestown ; and of the National Dry Goods Association
of .America.

MARTIN R. NELSON— The saying, "when dreams
come true," might be applied to Martin R. Nelson, a
leading dry goods merchant of Jamestown. When a
small boy his favorite pastime was "playing store." and
as he grew older he began to have visions of the time

when as a man he would own a store of his own. The
dream of his youth has been realized by the grown man,
for he is now president and one of the proprietors of
the M. R. Nelson Dry Goods Company, of Jamestown,
and the ambition of his life is an accomplished fact.

Martin R. Nelson is a native of Sweden, his birth
occurring in Smoland, March 4, 1882. He was only ten
weeks old when his parents, Charles A. and Christina
Nelson, left Sweden for the United States. They landed
in New York City with their two children, Martin R.
and Esther, but did not remain there, starting at once
for Jamestown, N. Y. Here two more children were
born to them, Nanny and Ernest L, Charles A. Nelson
was with the Morgan Manufacturing Company many
years in Jamestown. He died Aug. 9, 1913, his widow
surviving him.

Martin R. Nelson was educated in the public and high
schools of Jamestown. When sixteen years of age he
began his business career, accepting the position of clerk
in the Boston Store, and his fidelity to duty and faith-
fulness in all that he undertook was rewarded by pro-
motion to the position of window dresser, for which he
was well qualified, and at the expiration of a few years
he had the entire charge of the first floor of the store,
the various departments in which he was stationed
giving him the best experience possible for his future
enterprise. Mr. Nelson was connected with the Boston
Store for a period of thirteen years.

On March 4, 191 1, on the twenty-ninth anniversary
of his birth, Mr. Nelson, in partnership with Enoch
Lindstrom, established the firm of Nelson & Lind-
strom, dry goods merchants, a sketch of which business
precedes this article. Mr. Nelson's long and varied
experience in the dry goods business was a prominent
factor in the growth and development of the enterprise,
which has assumed large proportions.

Martin R. Nelson married, in Jamestown, Sept. 15,
1903, Mabel Peterson, born in Jamestown, the daughter
of \\'illiam and Mary (Peterson) Peterson, who were
among the pioneer settlers (Swedish) of Jamestown.
Mr. Peterson, for many years, was with the Warner
Sawmill Company of this city. Mr. and Mrs. Peterson
are now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Nelson are the parents
of one son. Weldon M., born in Jamestown, July 13,
1907. yir. Nelson and his family are members of the
Swedish Lutheran Immanuel Church, he serving on the
board of trustees. He has taken great interest in
church work, being a member of the choir at one
time, and has served in various other capacities con-
nected with the church work.

This is a story of a remarkable romance of a young
business man, for Mr. Nelson had no more advantages
than any other employee who embarks as a clerk in a
retail business. It was his strict application to the
service of his employer, observation of the business
details and a strong desire to be a leader in the dry
goods world that led him to his present successful
business career. He stands high in the estimation of
the business men of the city, and is well regarded in
trade circles.

ERNEST L. NELSON— The success of any busi-
ness is due to concentration, study of business principles,
confidence, and faithful partnership, and in the M. R,



Xelson Dry Goods Company there is a complete exam-
ple of these foregoing qualities.

Ernest L. Kelson, secretary and treasurer of the
above-named company, for a number of years before
becoming connected with his brother was assistant sec-
retary and treasurer of the Crown Metal Construction
Company of Jamestown. Here he became well versed
in business methods, and feeling that he could better
apply his knowledge in an independent way, he re-
signed his position and joined his brother, in November,
1914. in the dry goods business. This undertaking, as
before mentioned, has proven a success, and the com-
bination can truly be termed one of confidence and
faithful partnership. Mr. Xelson has gone along with
his brother. Martin R.. in the building of this promising
mercantile business and likewise shares the distinction
of his brother as a leading merchant.

Ernest L. Xelson married, in Jamestown, Sept. 9,
1914, .\da Lundberg. bom in Sugar Grove, Pa., the
daughter of Peter and Matilda (Anderson) Lundberg,
who were early Swedish settlers of Sugar Grove. Mr.
and Mrs. Xelson are the parents of three children, as
follows: Rachael L.. born June 21, 1915; Ruth E., born
Oct. 14, 1918; and Helen, born Dec. 31, 1920.

Mr. Xelson, like his brother, Martin R., takes an
active part in church work, being treasurer of the Swe-
dish Lutheran Immanuel Church, a member of the choir,
and interested in other activities of the church.

was a very early resident of Ro.xbury, in the colony of
Massachusetts Bay, in Xew England (now included in
the city of Boston). The oldest records of that town
which have been brought down to modern times are
contained in a volume whose opening sentence says that
the book was bought in 1639 for the purpose of record-
ing various matters relating to the inhabitants. Its
earliest entries are not dated. One of these is a list of
the men who owned land and lived in the town, en-
titled "A note of the estates and persons of the In-
habitants of Rocksbury." Seventy men are enrolled;
they range from "Edward Pason," possessor of three
acres of ground, to "Mr. Thomas Dudley" with his 356
acres. "William Cheiney" is the fortieth name, with
twenty-four and one-half acres, showing that lie was
above the average in wealth. This list is on a page
where the year 1640 is given as the date of a preceding
entry; and 1642 is the date of the entry on the follow-
ing page. A number of circumstances indicate that the
list was written near the close of the year 1640. On
other pages of the old record book there are deeds of
land recorded, and in the bounds of two of these "the
land of Cheney" and "the meadow of Cheyney" are
mentioned; both were made in 1640. These records
demonstrate the fact that William Cheney was a land-
holder and resident of Ro.xbury before 1640. Ife and
his wife Margaret had seven children.

William (2) Cheney, son of William (i) and Mar-
garet Cheney, made his home in Mcdfield on lands
whif-h his father had acnuirefl in the early laying out
of the town, when it was a part of Dedham. He after-
ward resided in Dorchester. He died in ;68i, bef|ucath-
ing his propirty to his widow and her sons. Only two
of his children lived to maturity and had families.

William (3) Cheney, son of William (2) Cheney,

was born Aug. 3, 1666. He married Margaret ,

who died April i, 1740. She and her husband
were both members of the church. His name first ap-
pears on a list of persons taxed for the support of the
minister in INIendon, in October, 1695. The town voted,
March 5, 1705-06, to give him "liberty to leave some
land on Magor Miscock and take same and instead
neer to Seth Chapin's house, neer to the road leading
to Sherburne." He received another grant, April 13,
1706. He resided in that portion of Mendon which was
afterward incorporated into Milford, and carried on
his large farm amid the hardships and dangers of the
time. He died July i, 1753. He was a man of excel-
lent character and much esteemed by all who knew
him. In 1750 a member of the Milford church was dis-
ciplined for intoxication and for "casting vile reflec-
tions" at Mr. Cheney; and the pastor took occasion to
record his opinion of Mr. Cheney as an "honourable
and aged" man. Among his seven children was Wil-

William (4) Cheney, son of William (3) and Mar-
garet Cheney, was born Feb. 7, 1704. He married, at
Dorchester, May 20, 1726, Joanna, daughter of Nathaniel
and Sarah (Wales) Thayer, of Braintrce, born Aug. 18,
1706. She received a bequest from her father in 1752.
Mr. Cheney was a member of the church of Mendon
and one of those who were dismissed from that body
to form the Milford church in 1741 ; was clerk of the
Milford precinct from its organization until 1747. He
was a joiner and a farmer, a man of good faculties.
He died July 18, 1756. The seventh of his ten children
was Ebenezer.

Ebenezer Cheney, son of William (4) and Joanna
(Thayer) Cheney, was born in Mendon, July 10, bap-
tized July 19, 1741. He married (first) March 18, 1760,
Abigail Thompson, who died in Warwick, Jan. 16, 1776,
aged forty-one years. He married (second) (published
Oct. 18, 1776) Hannah Gould, who died Oct. 10, 1828,
aged seventy. He served in the French and Indian
War; enlisted from Mendon, April 27, 1760, in Captain
William Jones' company; was discharged Nov. 26, 1760,
after thirty weeks' service, roll dated at Boston, Feb.
25, 1760-61. He was a sergeant (Archives Vol. 97,
page 384). He was received in full communion in the
church of Milford (formerly part of Mendon), Aug.
30, 1767. After a few years he removed to Warwick,
where he was at one time a member of the Board of
Selectmen. The town of Warwick was divided in 1783,
and the portion in which the Cheneys and Goodells
resided was called Orange, and incorporated in 1810.
This fact accounts for some statements made else-
where. He remained in Orange and took rank as a
leading citizen, a town officer in several instances. He
and his wife sold, in 1798 and 1824, lands in Framing-
ham, which had belonged to her relatives by the name
of Learned. He died in Orange. Nov. 14, 1828. The
line traces through Ebenezer, Jr.

Ebenezer (2) Cheney, son of Ebenezer ( i ) and
Abigail (Thompson) Cheney, was horn in Mendon,
Sept. 7, 1 761. He married (first) Feb. 17, 1785, .^nna,
daughter of Seth and Silence (Cheney) Nelson, born
June 10, 1767; married (second) Anna Noyes of Mil-
ford. Ill- enlisted, .May 10, 1 777, in Harvey's company



of Well's regiment, and served two months and ten
days, serving at Ticonderoga, where his father had
camped eighteen years before. Again, as a boy "of
seventeen years, five feet and seven inches high," "hair
brown," he enlisted from Warwick in Proctor's com-
pany of Williams' regiment, April 5, 1779, for eight
months. He served a whole year, receiving his dis-
charge, April 15, 1780.

Ebenezer (2) Cheney lived for a time after the
Revolutionary War at Wardsboro, Windham county,
Vt., and in 1808 became a pioneer in the Chautauqua
county region of New York. He made three journeys
to Chautauqua, all of them on foot. On the first occa-
sion he was accompanied by his son. Nelson E. Cheney,
the journey being made for the purpose of locating a
tract of pine timber adjacent to water power so that

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