John Phillips Downs.

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

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Y., for several years, later moving to St. Elmo, III.,
where he purchased the St. Elmo "Banner," which he
edited until his death, which occurred at the age of
thirty-three. 2. Lena, who eventually became Mrs.
Scriven. 3. Newton, who is now a well known farmer
at Chautauqua. 4. Clarence, who entered the United
Brethren ministry, and has charge of a Pennsylvania
church. 5. Mabel, who died at the age of seven years.
6. Alton, also a farmer in Chautauqua county. 7. Ray-
mond, who graduated from Westfield High School and
the Jamestown Business College, and held a responsi-
ble position in Buffalo when taken with sickness which
caused his death at the age of twenty-six. 8. Roy F.,
who took to academic life, and is now a member of the
teaching staff at Cohnnbia L'niversity, New York City.

Ernest R. Dibble, as a boy attended the district
school of his native place, Portland, and after passing
through that school attended the high school at West-
field. He then went westward, for one year working
at the printing trnde in Illinois. Returning to Chau-
tauqua county, N. Y., he bought a farm of forty-seven



acres, which property he later sold to advantage.
Later, for two years, he rented a property at Portland,
giving up that place when he acquired an extensive
farm of Jason Bigelow, a place of more than 120 acres,
included in which was a five-acre grape vineyard. Ulti-
mately, Mr. Dibble purchased the Weaver estate at
Westfield, thereby acquiring a very good dairy and
fruit farm, eighty-three acres in extent. He has proved
himself to be an energetic, skillful farmer, and one who
is ever alert to adopt into his farming modern meth-
ods that have been proved successful in practice as well
as in theory. And he has given much of his time to
organization work among the agriculturists of the
county. He is a man of intellectual mind, and has the
confidence of his fellow agriculturists; he is a director
of the Dairymen's League, and has been an active
Granger for many years. In the work of the Farm
Bureau he has taken close interest, especially during
the time of the war, and has done much to make its
sphere of work effective in his district. He is on the
committee of that organization and during the war,
when it endeavored to further the object of the Depart-
ment of Agriculture and the Federal Government by en-
couraging the farmers of the county to look closely into
matters of production, so as to bring every possible
acre into cultivation, Mr. Dibble was very active.
Chautauqua county farmers as a whole did well in the
matter of prevention of waste and in increased produc-
tion during the years of national stress, and by such
efforts had due part in the national result which en-
abled the government to send abnormal supplies of
foodstuffs overseas to help nations allied to our own
through the trying time of famine and devastating war.
And such results are due in great measure to such
public-spirited and patriotic men as Mr. Dibble, who
unselfishly gave of their own time to effect an improve-
ment in the well being of their fellows. Mr. Dibble is a
good organizer: that may be inferred by his election by
his fellow agriculturists to a seat on the board of di-
rectors of the Dairymen's League, which has effected
great improvement in the condition of Chautauqua
county dairy farmers.

Fraternally. Mr. Dibble is an Odd Fellow. By re-
ligious conviction, the Dibble family belong to the
L^nited Brethren denomination, and a brother of Mr.
Ernest R. Dibble is in the ministry.

During the great World War, Mr. Dibble keenly
followed its progress, and more than once keenly felt
the desire to set aside his useful but somewhat prosaic
home work and take up arms for the great cause. That,
however, was not possible because of the selective draft,
which could not consider for military service men of
his age; however, in the dark days of 1918. when the
administration decided to extend the scope of the selec-
tive draft. Mr. Dibble readily registered with the
authorities of the federal body. He also registered for
war service in 1917, under the laws of the State of
New York. However, there was fortunately no need
of calling into military service men of his age. but in
many other ways he showed whole-hearted patriotism,
and loyally subscribed to the various funds raised by
the government and other organizations for the pur-
poses of the war. It is of interest to note, in connec-
tion with national service, that James Quilliam, an

uncle of Ernest R. Dibble, was one of the patriots of
the Civil War. and met his death on the field of battle.

On March 8. 1905. Mr. Dibble married Stella, daugh-
ter of Charles J. and Jennie (Smith) Merriam, of Port-
land, Chautauqua county, N. Y. To them have been
born two children: E. Carlton, a high school student;
Edith N., who also attends the Westfield school.

Ernest R. Dibble has, during the last two decades,
lived a useful, public-spirited and productixe life within
the county, and. has made very many friends throughout
the county, and especially in his home district.

ELLIS STEWART BUTTON— This branch of the
Button family in Chautau(jua county came from Gas-
port. Niagara county. X. Y., but since 1912 Ellis S.
Button has resided on his farm on Shady Side road, and
at his cottage and summer store at the lake side at
Beechwood. He has been successful both as a farmer
and as a merchant, his standing in his community being
of the highest. Ellis S. Button is a son of Arnold But-
ton, born in Clinton county. N. Y.. and his wife, Sabra
(Root) Button, born in Utica, N. Y.

Ellis S. Button was born in Gasport, Niagara county,
N. Y., Sept. 25, 1874, and there attended public school.
After coming to Chautauqua county he engaged in
farming, and in November. 191 1. bought a farm of 113
acres on Shady Side road in the town of Busti from
Daniel Sherman. On March i, 1912. he moved to his
purchase, but through the sale of building lots the
acreage of his farm has been reduced. He also has a
home on the lake at Beechwood. keeping a store open
there during the summer months. He is a Republican
in politics, a member of the Patrons of Husbandry, and
of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Mr. Button married. .April 14. 1898. in Gasport. N.
Y., Mary Ida Silsby. born May 16. 1869. daughter of
John D. and Alice (Kelton) Silsby. her father a min-
ister of the Orangeport Christian Church. John D.
Silsby was a veteran of the Civil War. enlisting at the
age of sixteen. He was shot throug'n the left lung
in battle and left for dead. The Confederates carried
him off the field and left him in a barn, and there he
laid for a week with little food and no medical atten-
tion. His father, who had been notified that his son
had been killed, came in search of the body, and when
about to give up in despair entered the barn and there
found the boy nearly ready to succumb. He was taken
home and nursed back to a life of usefulness and health,
becoming a farmer. Mr. and Mrs. Button are the
parents of three children: Frances, born Feb. 24. 1899;
Melicent Alice, born June 9. 1904: and John .\rnold,
born May 24, 1909.

ALBERT M. BURNETT, one of the leading farm-
ers of Chautauqua township, and one of the most re-
spected, comes of an old Vermont family which, through
his father, has had connection with Chautauqua county,
N. Y.. for almost three-quarters of a century, and his
own personal record, in industry and public-spirited-
ness. has been commendable. For more than thirty
years he has been one of the school trustees of his
township; and he has farmed extensive acreages of
Chautauqua county land for a longer period.



He was horn in the Burnett homestead, which is
within easy distance of his present home, in Chautauqua
township, Chautauqua county, N. Y., March 20, 1851,
the son of Martin D. Burnett, who had come into Chau-
tauqua county six years previously, and who was des-
tined to remain in the county for sixty-two of his ninety-
years 01 life. Martin D. Burnett was born in Vermont,
in 1S19. and died in Chautauqua township, Chautauqua
county, N. Y.. Xov. 22. 1907. He established the Bur-
nett homestead farm in Chautauqua county, in 1845,
when he came with his wife and four children and
settled in Chautauqua township. Altogether there were
eight children of the generation of the Burnett family
to which Albert M. belongs, six of whom still survive.
The children of Martin D. Burnett were: i. Lucy
Maria, born in Shaftsbury, Vt., April 10, 1840. 2.
Helen Sophia, born in Shaftsbury. \^t., Feb. 8, 1841. 3.
Andrew-, born in Shaftsbury. \'t., Dec. 8. 1842, died
March 18, 1S43. aged three months. 4. Catherine, born
in Shaftsbury. \'t.. Aug. 27, 1844. 5. Edward, born in
Chautauqua township, N. Y., June s, 1849, died Jan. i,
1870. 6. Albert M., regarding whose career more will
be written later. 7. Rosamer. born in Chautauqua
township, X. Y., April 25, 1856. 8. John, born in
Chautauqua township, N. Y., May 21, 1864. The Bur-
nett homestead farm, which is a w-ell-improved farm of
1S3 acres, has not yet been divided among the heirs of
Martin D. Burnett, but that fact does not very ma-
terially affect Albert M. Burnett who, early in man-
hood, became an independent farmer, and now owns an
agricultural property much larger than that owned by
his father.

Albert M. Burnett was educated in the district
school of Chautauqua township, later proceeding to
Mayville, and taking the high school course in that
place. After leaving school he assisted his father in
the cultivation of the home farm until he was thirty
years old, by which time he had married, and desired
to establish himself independently. He therefore, in
1881. purchased a farm of seventy-five acres near that
of his father, and that farm has been the nucleus of
his present large holding, for as he has prospered, and
as opportunity came, during the succeeding years, Al-
bert M. has added to his farming possessions until
he now has 275 acres, mostly rich land, in splendid
condition. Every improvement upon tlie farm has been
erected by or under the direction of Mr. Burnett, and
as his property now is. it is adequately supplied Vvith
outbuildings and conveniences.

Albert M. Burnett has demonstrated definite capabil-
ity as a farmer and in his general life has shown com-
mcndably strong characteristics. He has succeeded in
life by his own praiseworthy industry, steadiness and
well-directed enterprise. He is interested in all things
relating to farming, and has adopted upon his farm
many of the modern methods. He is an active member
of the local Grange, and politically is a Republican.
He has not, however, felt able to give much of his time
to political matters, of national scope, though he has
always been interested in matters pertaining to his
county and community. In educational matters, he has
long been active, and has held the position of schon]
trustee in his district for more than thirty years.

On Feb. 8, 1H78, Mr. Burnett married, in Chautau-

qua township. Chautauqua county, N, Y., Sarah Slay-
ton, of Ashville, N. Y. They have three children: i.
Edward Clyde, born May 7. 1883, was educated in the
district and Mayville High School, and has since taken
manfully to tasks upon his father's farm. 2. Leonard
Bird, born Nov. 30. 18S5, educated in district and high
schools, as was his elder brother, and eventually the
husband of Mary Van Cise: they have two children,
Albert Perry and Alice. 3. Albert Sprague, born April
8, i8Sg, received a high school education, and eventually
married Daisy Quilliam; they have two children. Ar-
lene and Marion.

Albert M. Burnett has had a good career of useful-
ness, and is well representative of the best standards
of Chautauqua county agriculturists. And his long
residence in Chautauqua township has brought him
many friends, who have admired his stable qualities. He
has been a man of responsibility and worthy life since
his early manhood.

JOHN ALFORD LARSON— Later than the year
iQoo. John A. Larson, now a prosperous farmer of the
town of Busti, Chautauqua county, N. Y., came to the
United States with his wife Margaret and four chil-
dren, the eldest, Oscar Adolph, then about eleven years
of age. That son, twelve years later, enlisted in the
United States navy during the war with Germany, and
for more than two years served under the flag of his
adopted country. The second son, Henry John, enlisted
and saw a year's service in the marines, he too con-
tributing "his bit" to his adopted country's defense.

John A. Larson was born in Sweden, June i, 1866,
was educated in good schools, and there spent nearly
forty years of his life engaged in farming. Upon arriv-
ing at the proper age he was called to the colors and
passed four years in the Swedish army. After coming
to the United States, he became a land owner of the
town of Busti, Chautauqua county, N. Y., and there
now resides. He is a member of the Swedish Lutheran
Church, and in politics a Republican.

Mr. Larson married, in Sweden, Dec. 30, i8gi, Mar-
garet Wesslen, born Oct. 26. 1871, daughter of Carl A.
and Catherine Helen (Olson) Wesslen. Mr. and Mrs.
Larson are the parents of eight children, the first four
born in Sweden, the last four in Chautauqua county,
N. Y. : I. Oscar Adolph, born Oct. 26, 1894, enlisted
in the United Slates navy, June 2, 1917, was in the serv-
ice at the United States Naval Station at Key West,
Fla., and elsewhere, until honorably discharged and
mustered out at Norfolk, Va.. Sept. 2. 1919. 2. Eva
Dorothy, horn Sept. 16. 1806. 3. Henry John, bom
April 30, 1898, entered the United States service, June
13, 1918, was sent to Camp Custer for training, served
with the marines and was honorably discharged in Bos-
ton, April, 1919. 4. Karin Charlotte, born May 9, kkx).
5. .Alford Roland, born Jan. 14, 1904. 6. Lillian Alvira,
born July i, 1906. 7. Ella Violet, born Aug. 18, 1908. 8.
Margaret Jane, born June 22, 191 1.

who devote their time and energies to agricultural pur-
suits anrl are meeting with success in their chosen occu-
pation is numbered John William Greenwood, who



owns a large farm in Kiantone township, Chautauqua
county, N. Y. He was born in Great Horton, England,
Nov. 8, 1865, a son of T. Holder and Sarah (Stanis-
torp) Greenwood, both natives of England.

John William Greenwood came to this country, July
10, 1886, and settled in Jamestown, N. Y. His educa-
tion was received in England, and after laying aside his
text books he accepted a position in a worsted mill.
Later he purchased land and engaged in farming, in
which occupation he still continues. Mr. Greenwood
affiliates with the Republican party, having been a
staunch supporter of its principles since he cast his first
presidential vote. He is also popular in social circles,
being a prominent and representative citizen as well as
a genial, pleasant companion.

On Dec. 24, 1888, in Jamestown, N. Y.. Mr. Green-
wood was united in marriage with Annie Withers, born
Oct. 27, 1867, a daughter of James and Sarah (Watson)
Withers. Mrs. Greenwood's father and mother were
both natives of England, her father having been born
Feb. 19, 1842, and her mother, Jan. 3, 1844. Mr. and
Mrs. Greenwood have four children, as follows : Henry
P., born May i, 1890; Fred, July 10, 1891 ; William,
Aug. I, 1894; Margaret Elizabeth, Sept. 17, IQ08.

GEORGE S. COWLES— "Hill Crest Farm," owned
since the year 1900 by George S. Cowles, is a well
located tract of 149 acres in Section 18, town of Har-
mony, Chautauqua county. Mr. Cowles is developing
"Hill Crest" as a high grade dairy farm, his herd of
twenty-five fine Holstein cattle all being registered, and at
the farm several pure blooded calves are giving promise
for the future. Mr. Cowles is a farmer bred and born,
and from youth has been familiar with the care and
handling of live stock. He is a son of Archibald W.
Cowles, born Oct. g, 1840, a farmer of North Har-
mony, and his wife, Martha Jane (Taylor) Cowles,
born Aug. 6, 1846, in Harmony, also the birthplace of
her husband.

George S. Cowles was born at Open Meadows, town
of Harmony, Chautauqua county, N. Y., July 21, 1870.
After completing public school study, he supplemented
the knowledge thus gained by a short course of study
at Cornell University, then began the business in which
he has since been engaged, dairy farming. In 1900 he
purchased his present farm, "Hill Crest," and devoted
the acres thereof to general farming and the upkeep of
his herd of Holsteins, one of the best in the county.
For ten years Mr. Cowles conducted a creamery very
successfully, but since 1903 has devoted himself entirely
to the management of his own dairy farm. He is a
Republican in politics, and has served his town as asses-
sor. He is a member of the Patrons of Husbandry,
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and of Ebenezer
Methodist Church.

Mr. Cowles married, Oct. 7, 1897, in Harmony, Emma
G. Blanchard, born in Harmony, daughter of Charles
and Helen (Flanders) Blanchard, her parents born in
Harmony. Mr. and Mrs. Cowles are the parents of six
children: Mary E., born Sept. 28, 1898; George H.,
born Aug. 30, 1902; Ivagene, born Dec. 30, 1903; Mil-
dred, born March 16, 1906; Dorothy H., born May 30,
1908; Ruth L., born June 30, 191 1.

FRANK C. MYERS — Among the prominent citizens
of Kennedy, Chautauqua county, N. Y., where he has
been engaged in agricultural operations for a number
of years, and taken an active part in public life, should
be mentioned Frank C. Myers, a native of the town of
Randolph, N. Y., born April 12, 1871, a son of William
C. and Mary (Carter) Myers, old and highly respected
residents of this place.

Frank C. Myers attended as a lad the public schools
of his native place and later the Chamberlain Institute,
from which he was graduated with the class of 1891.
Mr. Myers had already considerable training in general
farming methods under his father, who was a well
known agriculturist in the region, and in the year 1895
he became the possessor of a valuable farm property in
the neighborhood of Waterboro, which he has ever since
continued to operate with a high degree of success.
Here Mr. Myers raises various farm products and spe-
cializes in dairying, disposing of his produce in the
neighboring markets. In this way he has built up a
lucrative business, and is well known as one of the sub-
stantial citizens hereabouts at the present time. Mr.
Myers has also participated most actively in the general
life of the community, and has always been especially
interested in educational matters. He is a Republican
in politics, and has always staunchly supported his
party. He served as a member of the School Board at
Kennedy for fourteen years, has been a member of the
Election Board, has also been a justice of the peace for
a number of years, and has won a well deserved repu-
tation for the impartiality of his decisions. He is a
member of the Grange, and he attends the Methodist
church at Kennedy.

Frank C. Myers was united in marriage, Nov. 27,
1895, at Kennedy, N. Y., with Maud Cummings, a
daughter of Orrin A. and Mary J. (Taylor) Cummings.
Mr. Cummings is a veteran of the Civil War, in which
great conflict he served from the beginning to the end
with the 9th New York Cavalry, which participated in
many battles which made the company famous. Mr.
and Mrs. Myers are the parents of the following chil-
dren : I. Stuart, born Sept 5, 1896; attended the local
school of Kennedy, and Jamestown High School; dur-
ing the World War he was selected to go to the heavy
artillery camps at Columbia, S. C, where he was trained
for service abroad; while in the service he was pro-
moted to the rank of first sergeant, was retained by his
superior officers and assigned to commissary duty at
Camp Jackson, so continuing until July 25, igiQ. when
he was honorably discharged from the service of the
government; he is now (1921) connected with the for-
eign sales department of the Art Metal Company of
Jamestown. 2. Frances Elizabeth, born Dec. 19, 1901,
educated in the local school of Kennedy and James-
town High School.

JOHN EDGAR PIERPONT, a successful farmer
of Cassadaga, N. Y., was born at Rowe, Franklin
county, Mass., March ,^, 1850, the son of Chauncy and
Sarah (Burton) Pierpont. To Mr. and Mrs. Pierpont
were born five children: Joseph Watson, Georgina
Cato, Martha Ann, JMary Ann, and John Edgar, of fur-
ther mention.



John Edgar Pierviont was brought by his parents to
Charlotte when a baby. They traveled by boat on the
Erie canal, and were eight days making the journey
from Troy to Buffalo, then to Dunkirk, from which
latter place they drove to Charlotte. Here John E. re-
ceived his education, attending the district school, after
which he worked on his father's farm for several years,
and has always been engaged in this particular line of
industry. For the past twenty-five years he has been
actively engaged in the manufacture of refined cider,
boiled cider, apple jelly and vinegar. His factory is
situated in Cassadaga, on Railroad avenue, near tlie
lake. He takes an active interest in the affairs of Cas-
sadaga. where he has resided for many years, is a
trustee and steward of the Grange, and has held the
offices of town collector and assessor. Politically he is
a Republican: also president of the Board of Educa-
tion for several years.

Mr. Pierpont married Florence Todd, who died July
30. 1015. They were the parents of two children: Flor-
ence M.. a teacher: Jessie M., at home. The family at-
tend the Baptist church of Cassadr'.ga.

after a somewhat varied career that Mr. Keopka be-
came a resident of Sherman, but the years which have
since elapsed, though comparatively few in number, have
brought him a fair measure of success in his chosen
calling. He has long been known as one of the pros-
perous farmers of his community and as a citizen who
stands higli in public esteem. William Frederick Ke-
opka was born -Aug. 15, 1872. in the village of West-
field, Chautauqua county, N. V., and is a son of Fred-
erick and Friederike (Riefstahl) Keopka. Mr. Keopka
was a laborer and truck farmer; he is still living at the
old home, but his wife is now deceased.

William Frederick Keopka was educated in the pub-
lic schools of Westfield, and entered early upon the in-
depcnf!cnt work of life. For four years he served as
stationary engineer in a sawmill at Westfield, then be-
came switchman on the New York Central Railroad at
Westfield. .After retaining this position for nine
years, he changed his work, engaging in the meat
business at Westfield. X. Y., for eight years. Through-
out these changes he was prudent and economical, sav-
ing his earnings, and as the years went on accumulat-
ing sufficient capital to purchase his present farm. This
was in 1902. The estate comprises 165 acres and since
becoming possessor of it Mr. Keopka l)uilt a beau-
tiful residence on the side of the road opposite the old
one. which he now lives in, a tenant occupying the old
house. He has built large and commodious outhouses,
including chicken houses and workshops, and his live-
stock consists r.f five horses, twenty-five cattle, ten hogs
and twen;y-five sheep. He has improved 125 acres t.f
his farm and has the best timljcr land. In politics. Mr.
Keopka is a Democrat, but has never desired puhlir
office, finding his time fully occupied with the care of
his estate. I!c is a member of tin- Grange.

Mr. Keojjka married. N'ov. 20, tool, Emma fiie^ler,
Haut^hter of Frank W. and Frederica CNicman) Gies-
ler. Mr. and .Mrs. Keopka are the parents of the fol-
lowing children: Freida. attended the district mIiooI
and the Sherman High School, graduating from the

high school in June. 1920, and is now attending
Sherman training class; Frances, educated in the same
manner; Herman, attending the district school, and ren-
dering much assistance to his father, and Edna, also a
student in the district school.

With his fine estate, constantly increasing in value,
and his promising family, not to speak of his assured
position in the community, Mr. Keopka certainly has a
bright outlook upon life.

ALONZO J. MARTIN, respected farm owner in
Kiantone township, Chautauqua county, N. Y, has lived
the greater part of his life within the county, and has
had prominent part in public affairs. He has been su-
pervisor for many years, and for twenty-three years has
been entrusted with the administration of justice in

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