John Phillips Downs.

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

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On April I, 1918, at Buffalo, N. Y., Mr. Vandervoort
married Lucile Baker. They have one child, Sherman
B.. Jr.


Jamcitown, X. V., of which incorpnrritcd company Shir-
man B. V'andcr\-oort is president, and C. R. Vandcrvcjnrt
h sccretarj- and treasurer, was established in 1907 as a
co-f/artncrship under the name of the Hollow Stone Cnm-
p-any to mantilacture and sell cement blocks for buiUiing
pur[;'y^'-s. The partners were Walter Griggs and Sher-
man B. Vandervoort, and they operated a plant on Cel-
eron road, Jamestown. In 191 1 the plant was removed
to the Eric Freight House, on East Second street, and
in that year Mr. Vandervoort ac'iuircd the interest of
Mr. Origins. The conse'iucnt reconstruction of the firm
IrouKht many chant'fs ; the company took on corporate
existence, under the trading designation of the Vander-
voort Supply Comfany, and with an authorized capital

of $5,000. The manufacture of cement stone was dis-
continued, and the company aimed to considerably develop
its business in building supplies. In 1912 the company
again moved its plant and supplies, locating at Monroe
and Clinton streets and Isabelle avenue, and in 1915 added
coal to its line of trading. Since then the company has
purchased the L. F. Shcdd Estate, upon which is located
a large coal elevator, the only one in Jamestown, and with
their two >'ards the company now has the largest coal
yards in Western New York State. The Vandervoort
Supply Company has had satisfactory development, and
in 1916 its increased volume of trading caused its princi-
pals to increase its authorized capital from $5,000 to
$50,000, which may indicate the extent to which !Mr. Van-
dervoort has developed the business since the direction
of its affairs passed, mainly, into his hands.

EBBIE PIERSON SHORES— In the little village
of Irving, in the town of Hanover, in the extreme north-
eastern corner of Chautauqua county, E. Pierson Shores
was born, a son of Ebenezer Pierson Shores, his birth
occurring two months after his father's death, at Irving,
a little village on the railroad, and naturally the lad was
attracted to the tracks of the Lake Shore, and the con-
stant association implanted a desire to become a railroad
man, an ambition he realized ; at the time of his death
he was a freight conductor on the Lake Shore & Michi-
gan Southern railroad, meeting instant death while in
the discharge of his duties. He was a man highly
esteemed by all who knew him and held the perfect con-
fidence of the railroad officials under whom he served,
always ready, willing and e.xact in the performance of
every duty assigned him.

Ebenezer Pierson Shores was a shoemaker by trade,
and for several years was postmaster of Irving, Chau-
tauqua county, N. Y., where he died in .^pril, i8''6. He
married Anna Insley Mott, who was born in England,
and at the time of her marriage to Mr. Shores was the
widow of Thomas M. Mott. She died at the home of
her son, Ebbie P. Shores, in Lackawanna, N. Y., and is
buried in the cemetery at Hanover Center. The family
were attendants of the Protestant Episcopal church.

Ebbie Pierson Shores was born in Irving, town of
Hanover, Chautauqua county, N. Y., June 8, 1866, and
was instantly killed at Brocton, Chautauqua county, N.
Y., Aug. 19, 191S. His father's death antedated the birth
of his son by two months, and the absence of a providing
head of the family early threw responsibilities upon the
lad. At the age of fourteen he left public school to enter
the employ of the Lake Shore &. Michigan Southern rail-
load as water boy with a section gang. Later, he became
himself a section worker, and in course of time was made
a section foreman. On Aug. 4, 1890, having gone
through a course of preparatory study, he passed suc-
cessfully an examination in Buffalo, which qualified him
to act as railroad brakeman. He was a brnkcman on
the eastern division of the Lake Shore & Michigan
Southern for twelve years until Nov. 25, 1902, when he
was promoted to the position of freight conductor on
(he same division. For sixteen years he continued a con-
fluctor, with the exception of one year as passenger con-
ductor, always running freight trains.

Mr. Shores met his death at Brocton, N. Y., instantly
and without warning. His crew were making up his

\-^%V_)oc^ cy^ - ^v V) o^-</-^\!!^^r




train, and duty calling him he crossed the railroad track
just in time to be struck by a rapidly moving freight car,
which was being drilled into position in the train. He
was taken to his home in Silver Creek, and then laid at
rest in Glen wood Cemetery there. He was a member of
the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, and the Lake
Shore Mutual Association, an attendant of the Protestant
Episcopal church, and faithful to every duty as he saw it.
Air. Shores married, Sept. 26, 1893, Margaret E. Schnei-
der, daughter of John B. and Mary Ann (Zimmerman)
Schneider, of Syracuse, N. Y. Mr. and Mrs. Shores
were the parents of five children : Francella, married
Howard Armbruster, and resides in Dunkirk, N. Y. ;
Henrietta, married Stanley Boor, and resides at Silver
Creek; Harry; Ebbie John; and William N. Mr. Shores
was devoted to his family and was happiest in his home.
Mrs. Shores and the children are members of the Roman
Catholic church of Silver Creek.

AUGUST P. OLSON— This family name, origi-
nally Olsen, was changed to Olson by August P. Olson
after his coming to Jamestown, and so he always wrote
it. In later 3'ears his daughter, Ellen J., the talented
entertainer, reader, and impersonator of Shakespearian
roles, reverted to the original spelling, Olsen. August P.
Olson was for nearly half a century a resident of James-
town, N. Y., coming to that city a young man, thoroughly
skilled as a cabinet maker and worker in wood. About
1874 he entered Jamestown's business life as an exclusive
manufacturer of tables, and at the time of his death,
forty-five years later, was president of the Diamond
Furniture Company, and recognized as one of the able
business men of his city, and one who had materially
aided in its upbuilding. He was the son of Jens Olsen, a
farmer, located on the island of Bornholm, Denmark, at
the time of the birth of his son, August P. Many Danes
settled in Jamestown upon coming to this country and
there aided in creating a city of homes and manufactories.
Although upon first coming to the United States Mr.
Olson did not locate in Jamestown, he came a little later,
and from his coming until his death in 1919, made that
city his home and business headquarters. While he be-
came an intense and patriotic citizen, and served with all
the zeal of a native son, he never lost his interest in and
love for his native land.

August P. Olson was born on the island of Bornholm,
Denmark, Aug. 22, 1849, died in Jamestown, N. Y., Aug.
5, 1919. He obtained a good education in the Danish
schools, and learned the cabinet maker's trade, continuing
in Denmark until nineteen years of age. In 1868 he
came to the United States, locating in Titusville, Pa.,
where he was engaged at his trade until his coming to
Jamestown, where in 1874 he began business for himself
as a manufacturer of tables. His was the first exclusive
table manufactured in Jamestown, Mr. Olson's little plant
being located in the old Wood building that stood upon
the site of the later Warner building. Making tables of
a superior quality, the Olson tables quickly found a
place in the furniture market, and in 1878 Mr. Olson
found it advisable to admit a partner and enlarge the scope
of his business. He found the partner in the person of
John Love, also of Danish birth, and a man of fine
mechanical and business ability. The business was con-
ducted under the firm name of A. P. Olson & Company
tor many years, and through the good judgment, fore-

sight, and energy of the partners, was a success. The
slogan of the company was "best material and workman-
ship," and on that foundation a business was built that
has endured for nearly half a century, constantly increas-
ing in volume. The little plant was succeeded by a large
factory built at the corner of Taylor and Fillmore streets,
and when the business outgrew the resources of the two
men, the Diamond Furniture Company was incorporated,
but was controlled by Mr. Olson and Mr. Love. As a
corporation" the business has continued its prosperous
course, and although the strong arm of the founder has
been withdrawn, John Love, his able associate of forty
years standing, retains the office of vice-president,
although he has practically retired. But both men left
able sons, whom they trained in the business, Louis A.
Olson and Henry F. Love, the former being trained in
the selling department, the latter in the offices of the com-
pany, and both contributed largely to the success of the

Through their long business career as manufacturers,
Messrs. Olson and Love maintained the most cordial and
satisfactory relations with their employees, who, in turn,
were invariably loyal to the interests of their employers.
Each partner gave personal attention to the details of
his department and both being men of conservative nature
and inspired by a common interest, there was no friction
in the management, but the best of feeling always existed
between the two men. Early in the twentieth century,
Mr. Olson visited his old home in Denmark, and while
abroad informed himself as to the actual conditions in
foreign markets. He continued the active executive head
of the Diamond Furniture Companj- until his death.

Mr. Olson married, in Jamestown, Ida Johnson, born
in Gottenburg, Sweden, who died April 12, 1896, daugh-
ter of Jesse Johnson. They were the parents of three
children who, deprived of a mother's care when young,
found in their father a loving friend and tender, faithful
guardian. Children : i. Louis A., who, after finishing
his education, became a travelling salesman in the em-
ploy of the Diamond Furniture Company ; he now resides
in Detroit, Mich. 2. Ellen J., who was educated in the
Jamestown public schools, and the Curry School of Ex-
pression in Boston, and became a public reader and enter-
tainer, covering in her varied repertoire a wide range of
subjects from the light sketch or ballad to Browning
and Shakespeare. The principal numbers in her reper-
toirs are: "Julius Caesar;" "The Merchant of Venice;"
"Much Ado About Nothing;" Browning's "A Blot in the
'Scutcheon ;" and Lovell's "Ingomer." She impersonates
the leading characters in these plays, and every recital is
given from memory, entirely without the use of notes.
Miss Olson married, May 8, 1913, Alfred Holmes, born
in Copenhagen, Denmark, who came to Jamestown, N.
Y., in October, 190Q, and is an architect. They are the
parents of a son, Ernest L. Holmes. 3. Isabel
Olson, who is a graduate of the Jamestown (N. Y.) High
School, class of 1906, and was her father's housekeeper
up to the time of his death; she is now associated with
the Art Metal Construction Company and resides at the
old home, No. 63 Barrett avenue. Jamestown.

The Jamestown "Journal," at the time of the death of
Mr. Olson, said editorially:

Death has removed another Important flg-ure in the
development of the Industries of Jamestown, August
P. Olson, the head of the Diamond Furniture Company,



who has been honest and earnest in his eftorts for the
betterment of the conditions of the men in his employ,
and for the advancement of the best interests in
Jamestown as an industrial centre and a place of resi-
dence. The community has lost an earnest worker
and a good man in the passing- of A. P. Olson.

few names so well known in the medical profession,
especially among the younger and rising physicians, as
that of Dr. Henry Salem Edmunds, of Fredonia, Chau-
tauqua county, N. Y.. who has established himself in
the forefront of his profession in this region and has
won the respect and admiration alike of his professional
colleagues and the community-at-large.

Dr. Edmunds was born Feb. 8, 1883, on a farm at
Sheridan, N. Y., and is a son of Walter A. and Minnie
E. (Daniels) Edmunds, old and highly respected resi-
dents of Sherman, where the former is the owner of
the Sherman Steam Mills, one of the largest concerns of
its kind in the western part of the State. The Edmunds
family is an exceedingly ancient one, not only in this
countn- but in the Old World, the members of the
family being able to trace their descent back to the
time of William the Conqueror, their ancestor having
come over with that Monarch from Normandy to Eng-
land in the year 1066. A. D.

The elder Mr. Edmunds located at Sherman, N. Y.,
when his son was about nine years of age, the latter
having begun his elementary education at the public
schools of Sheridan. He continued his studies at the
similar institutions of Sherman and graduated from the
High School there in the class of 1902, having been
prepared for college. He had by that time determined
upon the medical profession as a career in life, and with
this end in view entered the medical department of the
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, from which he
v,-as graduated with the class of 1908, taking his meaical
degree. He then entered the hospital in connection
with the University of Michigan, where he served for a
time as interne, and later held the same position at the
Shcnango Valley Hospital at Newcastle, Pa. Upon
completing this period of apprenticeship, he returned to
his native region and began the practice of his pro-
fession at Sinclairville, Chautauqua county, where he
remained six years and made for himself an enviable
reputation. His next move was to Cassadaga, where
he practiced medicine until the entrance of America into
the World War. He volunteered his services in April,
1917. being one of the first physicians to do so, and
was commissioned on June 30, following. Dr. Edmunds
was then sent to Fort Benjamin Harrison, where he
s,tudic'] at the Officers' Training Camp for five weeks,
and was then ordered to Kelley Field, San Antonio,
Tex., the famous aviation camp. After remaining four
weeks there, he brought his squadron to Mincola, L.
I., where after remaining three weeks they embarked
for England. Here they were quartered at South-
hampton until their removal to France, the unit landing
at Havre in that country. From Havre they were sent
to Clermont, where Dr. Edmunds was apjiointcd sur-
geon to the Seventh Aviation Center, where he super-
intended the building of the Rase Hospital. He was
next ap7)ointed surgeon to the Officers' Training Camp
Hospital and for some time occupied the position of
chief surgeon at this post. From there he was sent to
Valbonnc, in the neighborhood of Lyons, where he was

connected with the Valbonne Hospital, and still later
was sent to Advance Depot No. i, in Isle-Sur-Tille.
At the latter place he superintended the construction of
a 1,000 bed hospital. He alsosawserviceonmanyoperating
teams and remained at this point until he himself became
a casual, having been gassed in March, 1918. He was
not, however, seriously injured on this occasion and was
soon at work again, but was once more gassed, Sept. 22,

1 918, this time with almost fatal results, and was sent
to Base Hospital No. 17, at Dijon, where he remained
from Sept. 22, to Oct. 3. On the latter date he was sent
to Base Hospital No. 20 at Beau Dessert, where he was
also a casual. By this time, however, he was back in
active duty and so great was the press of work that it
was necessary for him to operate and care for the
wounded in spite of his own hurt, the hospital being
crowded at that time with the injured from the front.
He had charge of two of the largest wards in the hos-
pital and remained actively employed there until he was
finally sent back to the United States as adjutant in
charge of 2,500 wounded men. He landed at Hoboken,
N. J., Dec. 17, 1918, and was sent to the Base Hospital
at Camp Merritt, where he did Evacuation Hospital
Work, in charge of the sending out of the wounded men
to their various State hospitals when they were able to
be moved, although still a casual himself. Dr. Edmunds
was then sent to the United States Army Hospital No.
:, as a casual, and received a thirty-day furlough, and
spent the inonth of Jan. 6 to Feb. 6, igig, at home. He
then reported back to Base Hospital No. i and was
honorably discharged from the army there on Feb. 15,

1919. He was sent, however, by the Federal Board
of Rehabilitation to New York City, where he remained
under observation until July 21, 1919. On Sept. i, 1919,
he came to Fredonia, and has here purchased a beauti-
ful house on Teinple street. He has once more resumed
practice and has already won wide recognition for
himself. Dr. Edmunds specializes in surgery, in which
his work at the front has given him such wide experi-
ence, and he is familiar with all the latest surgical
methods, many of which have been developed purely as
a result of that experience. Dr. Edmunds is a member
of the Methodist Episcopal church, and in politics is an
independent Republican. He is affiliated with a number
of important organizations here, fraternal and otherwise.
He is a member of the American Legion, composed of
the veterans of the Great War; Silivan Lodge, No. 303,
Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, of Sinclairville ;
Buffalo Chapter, Royal .'Xrch Masons; Council, Royal
and Select Masters; Commandery, Knights Templar;
Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic
Shrine; and Buffalo Consistory, Sovereign Princes of
the Royal Secret, and has taken his thirty-second degree
in Free Masonry. He is also a member of the Inde-
pendent Order of Odd Fellows, and holds the rank of
past noble grand of Cassadaga Lodge. Besides his
private practice. Dr. Edmunds holds the position of
medical examiner for the Mutual Life Insurance Com-
pany, the New York Life Insurance Company, the
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company of New York
City, the Prudential Life Insurance Company of New-
ark, the Order of Maccabees, the National Protective
League, the Northwestern Life Insurance Company,
and a number of beneficial companies in this region.

Dr. Edmunds married (first) Kathrine Francis, by









whom he had two children, Frances Helen and Mar-
garet. He married (second) Nov. 24, 1909, at Corry,
Pa., Mable A. Mead, a daughter of Dr. James and
Sada (Bushnell) Mead, old and highly respected resi-
dents of that place, where Dr. Mead died Dec. 13, 1918.
Two children have been born of this union, as follows :
Richard Mead and Dorothy.

"Free Press," the medium through which Harry B.
Thompson has made himself best acquainted with Chau-
tauquans, was founded by Edward L. Husted in Febru-
ary, 1891, Mr. Husted having previously founded the
Sinclairville "Spectator." Twelve years later the "Free
Press" passed under the control of Harry B. Thompson,
who has successfully guided its destinies as editor and
publisher for seventeen years, 1903-1920. Mr. Thompson
began his career in journalism with the opening of the
present century, his early experiences as a reporter being
a fitting preparation for the post he has ably filled. He
is a son of De Hart and Orlantha (Brown) Thompson,
his father formerly a well known merchant of Sinclair-
ville, N. Y.

Harry Brown Thompson was born in Sinclairville,
Chautauqua county, N. Y., March 23, 1874. He was edu-
cated in Sinclairville grade and high schools. Chamberlain
Academy, Randolph, N. Y., Alleghany College, Mead-
ville. Pa., and Erie Business College, Erie, Pa. He
was variously emploj'ed during his early manhood
years, but in 1900 entered upon his career as a journalist
as a reporter on the Randolph "Register," at Randolph,
N. Y. He spent three years as a reporter with the
"Register," then was for a time otherwise engaged,
but in 1903 became editor and publisher of the Forest-
ville "Free Press," a weekly publication foimded in 1891
and conducted by Edward L. Husted through its first
twelve years of life.

The "Free Press" under the editorial and business
management of Mr. Thompson has steadily grown in
circulation and influence, and circulates freely in the
four townships of Arkwright, Villenova, Sheridan and
Hanover, while in Forestville it is a welcome visitor
in three-fourths of the village homes. It is an eight
page newspaper, appearing every Friday from a well
equipped printing plant, which also includes a job print-
ing department. In politics the "Free Press" is Repub-
lican. The local reporters and assistants are Mrs. H.
B. Thompson and Helen R. Barnard.

Mr. Thompson is also the head of another prosperous
business, writing fire, life, liability, theft, auto and
tornado policies, known as the Forestville Insurance
Agency. This business was established in 1865 by S.
W. Reynolds and now represents such leading companies
as : The Hartford, Home. Aetna, Continental, Great
.A.merican, Globe; London, Liverpool and Globe, North
America, Phoenix, Franklin, Connecticut, Springfield
Fire and Marine, and the National Liberty. The busi-
ness of the agency has greatly increased under Mr.
Thompson's management and is the leading business of
its kind in that section of the county. He is also inter-
ested in the Commercial and Improvement Association
of Forestville, which he serves as secretary.

Mr. Thompson married, at Auburn, N. Y., April 30,
1901, Elnora A. Coe, daughter of George and Sarah
Ann (Mixer) Coe, of an old Steamburg, Cattaraugus
county, family.

JOSEPH NELSON— The business which Joseph
Nelson and his brother Robert founded in Dunkirk, N.
Y., in 1850, under the trade name, Joseph Nelson &
Company, wholesale jewelry and silverware dealers,
is notable as the oldest in its particular line of all firms
in the United States operating under a firm name.
Joseph Nelson, after his brother's resignation from the
firm, continued the business until his retirement late
in life. His three sons-in-law, Henry F. Vander Voort,
James Lyman van Buren and J. Franklin Gilbert, were
taken into the business by Mr. Nelson during later years.
Mr. Vander Voort resigned from the business before
Mr. Nelson's death and went to Buffalo to conduct a
similar business of his own. After Mr. Nelson's death
the two sons-in-law, Messrs. van Buren and Gilbert,
continued the business until their own death and since
that year, 1916, the name of this well known firm became
e.xtinct. This house operated all those years under the
same name, Joseph Nelson & Company. Joseph Nelson
built into warp and woof a name and reputation for the
house, and for himself a character beyond reproach.

Of ancient Scotch Covenanter blood, his Nelson fore-
bears fled from Scotland in the days of religious perse-
cution and settled in the North of Ireland, whence came
that famed Scotch-Irish people, so many of whom came
in early days to the American colonies. Joseph Nelson's
grandmother was a descendant of John Knox, Scotland's
great reformer. His parents were Joseph and Mary
Jane (Gilbert) Nelson, of Dromore, County Down,
and Banbridge, Ireland. Joseph Nelson, the father, was
a noted clock maker, his specialty the olden time "Grand-
father's clock," many of which were sent to the United
States. He was also a manufacturing jeweler, and
taught the business to his sons. His wife, Mary Jane
Gilbert, was the daughter of a divine of the Scotch
Covenanter church. Rev. .A.dam Gilbert, D. D., who
became a Presbyterian after the merger of the denomi-
nations. Joseph and Mary Jane (Gilbert) Nelson were
the parents of four children: Robert, Ann, Joseph and
Gilbert. Robert and Joseph came to the United States,
as did their sister Ann, this review following the career
of Joseph.

Joseph (2) Nelson was born in Dromore, County
Down, Ireland, Aug 7, 1832, died in Dunkirk, N. Y.,
June 28, 1909. He obtained a good education, and from
an early age was allowed to become familiar with the
details of his father's business, displaying marked
aptitude. After the death of Joseph and Mary Jane
(Gilbert) Nelson, their children, Robert, Ann, Joseph
and Gilbert, disposed of the jewelry business and all
other property pertaining to the estate and came
to the United States, arriving in Dunkirk, N. Y., May
4, 1850. The brothers at once established in business
along the same lines their father had so successfully

Online LibraryJohn Phillips DownsHistory of Chautauqua County, New York, and its people (Volume 3) → online text (page 8 of 101)