John Phillips Downs.

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

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McCartin. This property, which had originally been
owned by the Harrington family, had been greatly run
down and Mr. Oakes not only had to bring the land up
to a higher degree of cultivation, but also had to remodel
the house and farm buildings. Today, however, under
his expert direction, it has become one of the finest
places in the county and is now operated by him as a
dairy. Here he maintains twenty head of the finest Hol-
stein cattle, as well as four horses, which are required to
do the work of the place.

John Oakes was united in marriage, Dec. 19, 1900, at
Westfield, with Grace Franklin, a daughter of James and
Mary (Baker) Franklin, old and highly respected
residents of this place. To Mr. and Mrs. Oakes the
following children have been born : Ralph, a bridge
carpenter on the Nickelplate Railroad; Gerald, who is
employed as cook on the Nickelplate Railroad; Hugh, a
student in Westfield High School; Murray and Marion,
the latter two being students at the present time in the
local school.

Mr. Oakes has for a long time taken a lively interest
in the general aflfairs of the community. He is a mem-
ber of the Republican party, has held the office of county
committeeman for about six years and is now serving
his second term in that position. He is a member of the
local Grange and the Dairymen's League.



JOHN OAKES, one of the progressive and success-
ful farmers of Westfield, Chautauqua county, N. Y., is
a native of this place, his birth having occurred here
April I, 1852, a son of Reuben and Minnie (Cosgrove)
Oakes, old and highly respected residents here. The
elder Mr. Oakes was also a prominent farmer of West-
field, and he and his wife were the parents of the fol-



WALTER E. PERSONS, one of the prominent
farmers of Westfield, Chautauqua county, N. Y., and
a highly respected citizen of the community, is a mem-
ber of a family which has resided in this region for many
years and has always occupied a high place in the esteem
of their fellow-citizens. The farm upon which Mr. Per-
sons resides was purchased about 1818 by his grand-
father from John McMahon, who in turn secured it from
the Holland Land Company in 1801. Five generations
of the Persons family have resided here, including the
present Mr. Persons, his children and grandchildren. Mr.
Persons is a son of Orris and Melva (Shaw) Persons,
old and highly respected residents of this region, where
the former followed the occupation of farming during
his entire life.

Walter E. Persons was born on the old family home-
stead situated on the lake road in Westfield township,
Feb. 22, 1 85 1, and during his childhood was a pupil in
the local district schools. Later he attended the West-
field Academy in the village of Westfield, and upon com-



628



CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY



pleting his studies at the last named institution became
his father's assistant in the work on his farm. The oc-
cupation which he thus was introduced to has remained
his calling up to the present time, and he is now re-
garded as one of tlie most progressive and practical
agriculturists in the neighborhood. After assisting his
father for some time, Mr. Persons became the owner
of a twenty-five acre vineyard, which, however, he has
since reduced to eight acres, devoting the remaining
sixty-eight acres of tlie farm to dairy purposes, orchards
and general farming. He now maintains seventeen head
of Sne cattle and one hundred chickens, and makes use
of six horses in the farm work. .A.t one time he was
interested in the raising of pigs, of which he fed about
eighty, but has since given up this line. Mr. Persons is
well knowni in the community for the lively interest
which he takes in public affairs, and he has held a num-
ber of public offices in the gift of the township. He is
a Republican in politics and has always been devoted to
tlie interests of hi< party here. In his religious belief,
Mr. Persons is a Methodist and attends the Methodist
Episcopal church at Westfield.

Walter E. Persons was united in marriage, July 7,
1872, with Caroline Stockley, of Westfield, a daughter
of Charles and Betsy (ShofiF) Stockley, old and highly
respected residents of this place. Mr. and Mrs. Per-
sons are the parents of si.x children, as follows: I.
Minnie, who was educated in the Westfield public schools,
graduating from the high school here, and afterwards
took a course in music at the Crane Music Institute at
Potsdam, X. Y. ; she is now supervisor of musical in-
struction in the public schools of Olean, N. Y.
2. Charles, who was educated in the Westfield public
schools and graduated from the high school here with
the class of 1S94, followed by a course in Jamestown
Business College ; at an early age he became interested in
the subject of botany and studied it with much concen-
tration lor a number of years independently; he also
worked for a considerable period in the local greenhouses,
and thus gained a wide practical experience in his chosen
subject; Mr. Persons has made horticulture his profes-
sion and is now engaged in business as a landscape gar-
dener and tree specialist at Cincinnati. Ohio; he mar-
ried Pearl Bemis, a member of an old Chautauqua fam-
ily, and they are the parents of five children, as follows :
Dorothy, Howard, Barbara, Walter and Willis. 3. Jay,
who was educated in the grammar and high schools of
Westfield, and now owns and resides on the farm ad-
joining that of his father; he married Loula Morse, and
they are the parents of three children, as follows: Ruth,
Paul and Edward. 4. Grace, who was educated in the
grammar and high schools of Westfield, and became the
wife of Donald Shearer, to whom she bore one child,
Caroline Grace, died Jan. 25, 1920. 5. Harold, who was
educated in the public schools of Westfield, and, like his
brother Charles, made a special independent study of the
subject of botany and horticulture; he is now engaged in
business with th'- latter in Cincinnati ; he married .Anne
Tierny, of that city, by whom he has had two children,
as follows : Margaret and Robert. 6. Mary, who gradu-
ated from Weslfielrl High School atid later ctitcred the
Nurses' Training .School at Clifton .Springs Sanitarium;
.<ihc now resides at home v.ilh h<T parents.



OTTO PETERSON— .\mong the Swedes who first
came to Jamestown in July, 1850, was Otto Peterson,
who after more than half a century of life in his adopted
city was gathered to his fathers in 1903. But prior to
his coming or to the coming of any permanent Swede
settler to Jamestown two young Swedish women, Jo-
hanna Charlotta Johnson and Lisa Lena Anderson, came
to Jamestown during the inonth of August, 1848, and
they are Jamestown's first actual Swedish settlers. Lisa
Lena Anderson, born in Smaland, Sweden, July 30, 1833,
married Otto Peterson in 1 851, and together they spent
more than half a century of wedded life. Then in 1903
the strong arm of the husband was withdrawn, and now
(1920) the widow still survives, residing in Jamestown,
aged eighty-seven, her home. No. 296 Harrison street.
Johanna Charlotta Johnson, who came to Jamestown
with Lisa Lena Anderson in the summer of 1848, is also
living, her home in Falconer, she the widow of Frank
Peterson.

Otto Peterson was born in Wimmerby, Sweden, March
3, 1829, settled in Jamestown, N. Y., in 1850, and there
died Nov. 24, 1903. He was educated in Swedish schools
and spent the first nineteen years of his life in his native
land. After coming to the United States he settled in
Jamestown, N. Y., and in that section of Chautauqua
county silent his after life, a farmer and tanner. He was
a member of the Swedish Lutheran church, and in his
political faith a Democrat. Mr. Peterson was an honor-
able, industrious man, and reared his large family to
habits of industry and thrift. He was higlily esteemed
in his circle of friends, and passed away deeply regretted.

Mr. Peterson married, in Sugar Grove, Pa., June 28,
185 1, the Rev. O. G. Hcdstrom officiating, Lisa Lena
Anderson, born in Sweden, July 30, 1833, who survives
him, aged eighty-seven years, a daughter of Andrew An-
derson. Twelve children were born to Mr. and Mrs.
Otto Peterson, seven of whom are living. The children
are: Mary, born April 26, 1852, died Nov. 20, 1853;
Mary Ann, born Jan. 15, 1854; Emma, born May 30,
1856; Amelia Lena, born Feb. 18, 1858; Otto Frederic,
born May 25, i860, died Jan. 8, 1920; Ellen Christina,
born May 7, 1862; Matilda Jane, Isorn April 26, 1864;
Nils Albert, born May 15, 18C6, died April 15, 1868;
Florence Lilly, born June 28, 1868, died March 24, 1890;
Dora Dctta, born April 15, 1870, died Aug. 31, 1871 ;
Alvin Edward, born Feb. 26, 1873 ; Bertha Elizabeth,
born Aug. 14, 1876.

Mrs. Lisa Lena Peterson is one of the charter mem-
bers of the First Lutheran Church of Jainestown, and is
yet a loved and honored member of that congregation.
Her years, eighty-seven, do not prevent her from taking
a deep interest in the church of which she has been
a member since its organization, and at one of the great
special meetings held in the church during the summer
of 1920 she was an honored guest.



CHARLES MILO ROBBINS, respected and pros-
pcrious farmer of Gerry. Chautauqua county, N. Y.,
where he has lived throuj^htnit practically the whole of
his useftd life of sixty-five years, has been a justice of
the peace of that place for many years. He comes of an
old Colonial Vermont family, but his father came to
Chanlaui|ua county, N. Y., to live bifure he was born.



BIOGRAPHICAL



629



for he is a native of Gerry, born July 7, 1854. His par-
ents were Joel and Elizabeth (Matthews) Robbins, his
mother having been born in the city of Albany, N. Y.
Joel Robbins, father of Charles M. Robbins, was a
farmer, and had a property in the Gerry district. Charles
M. Robbins was reared on the Gerry farm, attending the
Gerry public school as a youth, and as a young man ap-
plying himself industriously to the accomplishment of
agricultural tasks upon his father's farm. Eventually
he became the head of a family, and the owner of a
good farming property, which he farmed to good profit.
He has always been of industrious disposition, and has
proved himself to be a good farmer, and in his associ-
ation with the people of the district, and the farmers
of the county in general, he has shown himself by his
actions to be a man of good honest purpose and of
earnest, unselfish disposition. He has always had more
than a passing interest in the general affairs of the com-
munity in which he has spent his entire life, and has
more than once shown how useful a member of the com-
munity he is. Throughout his life he has been willing
to take his share of the public responsibilities which fall
to unselfish workers in every community, and in the
administration of justice has proved himself to be a man
of honest, impartial, judicial mind. As a neighbor he is
kindly and helpful, and in his church support has been
substantial and consistent.

During the war recently ended his record was worthy ;
he subscribed unstintedly of his means to the several
loans and funds raised for the many purposes of the
nation, and upon this farm he did the part that so many
loyal American farmers did, he cooperated with the De-
partment of Agriculture, and the expressed wish of
President Wilson, in the great endeavor to secure from
American agricultural land such an increase in food-
stuffs that famishing Europe might be fed with our sur-
plus yield. The surprising result, which is now national
history, came through the self-denying endeavors of
American farmers of good heart and patriotic soul, who
during the years of stress held closely to their farms,
prevented waste and wherever possible tilled every acre.
It is a creditable page in national history, and should
have place in local individual histories, for it is only in
that way that loyal Americans who had part in the effort
can be given what is their due, individual recognition.

Mr. Robbins has been twice married; his first wife was
Nettie Dunham, who was born April 14, 1S68, to Jesse
and Harriet (Faser) Dunham. Charles Milo Robbins
and Nettie Dunham were married April 14, 1886, and
eventually three children were born to the marriage.
These children by name, and in the order of their coming,
are: Leva Viola, born Oct. 18, 1892; Clare Rolend, born
Feb. 4, 1898; Jesse Joel, born Sept. 13, 1899. Mrs. Nettie
(Dunham) Robbins died Sept. 24, 1899, and Mr. Robbins
remained a widower until Aug. 22, 1906, when he mar-
ried Nora May, daughter of Byron and Rosalind (Rob-
bins) Baldwin.

As a Christian, as a church and public worker, and as
a farmer, the record of Charles Milo Robbins is good,
and has brought him a world of respect in his own com-
munity. .

GRACE (MATTOCKS) SCHERMERHORN—

The honor of operating the most successful farms of
Chautauqua county, N. Y., is not by any means confined



to the male population of this region, there being many
capable farmers among the women also. One of these
is Mrs. Grace (Mattocks) Schermerhorn, of Kennedy,
Chautauqua county, N. Y., who was born in the town of
Ellington, N. Y., Aug. 27, 1878. Mrs. Schermerhorn is
a daughter of John B. and Augusta (Hotchkiss) Mat-
tocks, old and highly respected residents of that place,
where the former was also engaged in agricultural pur-
suits for many years. As a girl Mrs. Schermerhorn at-
tended the public schools of her native town, teaching
for a number of years in the common schools. Later, at
the death of her husband, she became the owner of her
present fine farming property near the village of Ken-
nedy, which she has quite ably managed for the past
fourteen years, keeping a small dairy and raising some
fine poultry. Mrs. Schermerhorn attends the Methodist
Episcopal church at Kennedy.

Mrs. Schermerhorn was united in marriage, March 18,
1903, with Frank S. Schermerhorn, a native of Herkimer
county, N. Y., where his birth occurred Dec. 3, 1862, a
sou of William and Susan (Foster) Schermerhorn. Mr.
Schermerhorn died Nov. i, 1906, leaving one child, Ruth
Augusta Schermerhorn, born June 15, 1905, who now
makes her home with her mother.



DANIEL SHAW, of Ripley, Chautauqua county,
N. Y., was for many years a conspicuous figure in the
agricultural life of the community, and was the owner
of a fine farm in this region, which he brought to a high
state of cultivation. Mr. Shaw is one of seven children
born to John and Mary (Casey) Shaw, of Jamestown, N.
Y. He was born in that city, Jan. 15, 1858. The Shaw
family originally resided at Randolph, N. Y., in the vil-
lage of Strambury. and removed from there to a farm
at Ripley.

The present Mr. Shaw received his education in the
public schools of Ripley, and during his spare time was
employed on his father's farm. Upon completing his
studies he purchased a farm of fifty acres for himself
which, however, he disposed of five years later. He then
bought the old Hitchcock homestead, consisting of ninety
acres of excellent farm land, and here made his home for
many years. He conducted his place as a dairy farm
and devoted three and a half acres to grapes, being very
successful in these operations. He remodeled the old
dwelling house situated there: also the barn and other
outbuildings, all of which were modern in all their
equipment. He is a member of the local Grange and
the Dairymen's League. In politics he is a Republican
and at present (1920) holds the office of school collector,
the responsible duties of which he has discharged with
great efficiency. He attends the Methodist Episcopal
church at Ripley.

Daniel Shaw was united in marriage, Nov. 22, 1907,
with Alice Palmer Sawin, widow of H. E. Sawin, and
a daughter of Isaac and Laura Ann Gay.



GEORGE WALTER SHEPARDSON, one of the

most progressive and successful farmers of Ellery town-
ship, Chautauqua county, N. Y., where he has been
engaged in agricultural operations (or nearly three
decades, is a native of the town of Gerry, N. Y., his birth
having occurred Jan. 19, 1861. He is a son of Walter



630



CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY



and Camilla (Partridge) Sherardson, the former a well
kno\\Ti farmer of Gerry township for many year^.

The childhood of George W Shepardso:i was passed
on the old family propertj-. where he -.vas taught ihe
rudiments of farming hy his lather. He also attended
the local common schools during the summer months and
it was at these institutions that he received his education.
Upon completing his studies, the you.ig man assisted
his father on the home place for several years, and in
iSt")!. came to EUery township, where he purchased his
present \-aluahIe property and began its cuh'vation. For
t venty-nine years ilr. Shepardson has L-ontinucd en the
same place and has during that time brought it to a very
high state of productivity and made it one of the mtjdel
farms of the neighborhood. He is an active member of
the Grange, and interests himself in th; development
of the agricultural resources of the region. In his re-
ligious belief, Mr. Shepardson is a Melliodist and at-
tends the church of that denomination at iZliery.

George Walter Shepardson was united in marriage,
March 12, 1800, at Gerry, N. Y., with Ermna Jenette
Johnson, a native of Eller>-, born Oct. ;, iSo;,. a daughter
of Benona and Maria (Miller) Johnson, the former a
fanner in this district. Four children have been born to
Mr. and Mrs. Shepardson, as follows: Pearl M., born
Tune 8, 1S99, died May 7, looi ; George Emerson, born
Feb. 3, 1901 : Lesley H.. born Aug. 31, 1O03 ; Earl B.,
born Sept. 17. 1906.



FRED E. SCHERMERHORN— .Among the farm-
ers whose activities have played so important a |iarl in
the development of Poland, Chautauqua county, X. Y.,
none is better known or more successful than Fred E.
Schermerhorn, who has been engaged actively in daity-
ing in this region for many years.

Mr. Schermerhorn was born in Herkimir county, N,
Y., July 29, 1866. As a lad he attended the iocal public
schools where he received his education. His advantages
in this line were somewhat meagre, but Mr. Schermer-
horn was one of those men who learns easily and natur-
ally in whatever environment they might find themselves,
and his education has really been more actually derived
from the great school of experience than from any lesser
institution. While not busy in his lessons he, as a lad,
assisted his father with the work upon the latter's place
and there gained the wide knowledge of agricultural
methods which he now applies with such success upon
his own account. It was in the year 1897 that Mr Scher-
merhorn came into the possession of his present property
and since that time he has with indefatigable industry
dtvelorK,-d it to the highest point of cultivation, so that
today it may justly be considered one of the model farms
of the ncightorhrxjd. Mr. Schermerhorn has not liy any
means confmed his activities, however, to his farming
interest, but has taken a prominent part in local iiublic
affairs and has served the community as a menfber of the
^rhrxA board here for several years. He has been a coiv

piruous fit'urc in social and fraternal circles here and is
affiliated with a niimber of important organizations, in-
cludini{ Kennedy Ij-xlge. No. 522, Independent Ordir -A
Odd Fellows, while both he and his wife are n-eni!)ers
of the Order of R'bekahs.



Fred E. Schermerhorn was united in marriage, I'jne
I, 1892, at Kennedy, N. Y., with Myra L. Hitchcock, a
native of that place, her birth occurring May iS, 1872,
a daughter of George W. and Sarah (Mattocks) Hitch-
cock, old and highly respected residents there. Mr. and
]Mrs. Schermerhorn are the parents of the following
children: Irene G., born Aug. 4, 1893, served as a nurse
in the Debarkation Hospital at Hampton, Va., ; Joseph
F., born Sept. 13, 1899, joined the United States Navy,
Nov. 8, 1917, and served until July 11, 1919, served as a
bomber in France, when he was honorably discharged ;
Winnifrcd, born Aug. 7, 1905; and Wilma M., born Oct.
6, 1909.



DELOS LODELL STAGE, who has been a re-
sponsible and successful farmer in Chautauqua county,
N. Y., and is well known and well respected in the neigh-
borhood of Sherman, that county, has had a busy life of
si.xty-six years, nearly the whole of which, with the
exception of his schooling years, have been spent in farm-
ing, approximately half a century.

He was born in Collins, Erie county, N. Y., Oct. 23,
1S53, the son of Henry and Martha Sophia (Crandall)
Stage. When he was still an infant, the family removed
to Wisconsin and in a small district school of that State
the boy received his first tuition. The education was not
of particularly high standard, and it cost him much
effort to obtain it, for his home was about five miles
from the school, and that distance it was necessary for
him to walk. However, the family eventually returned
East, and settled in New York State, where the boy was
able to finish his schooling in greater comfort. After
attending district school, he took to farming operations,
assisting neighbors in the cultivation and work of their
farms. With the exception of a short while spent in the
a.xe factory at Dunkirk and Gowanda, Delos L. Stage
has followed farming consistently and steadily since
he left school. Politically, Mr. Stage gives allegiance
to the Republican party, but beyond that he has not en-
tered into public affairs. He has, of course, always been
interested in local movements, and has ever been ready
to support any project he has considered to be worthy,
but he has never felt any inclination to enter into com-
petition for public office. Fraternally, he belongs to the
Maccabees, and by religious persuasion he is a Presby-
terian.

On Oct. 5, 1886, Mr. Stage married Lillie Curtis, of
Collins, Erie county, N. Y. They have children, as fol-
lows : I. Ella, who married Theodore Miskie, and is the
mother of two children, Ralph and Martha. 2. Clayton,
whose wife Edith died Oct. 11, 1918. 3. John, who mar-
ried Gladys Schutt ; they have two children, Winifred
and FIcnry. 4. Otto, at home. 5. Olive, resides with her
parents.

Delos Lodcl! Stage has had a commendable career of
useful activity within the county, and has a definite place
in this vohune. His labor has been all directed to produc-
tion, Iiis enterprise has been good, and his dealings have
lieen so conducted as to bring him the confidence of men.
He has sought to live honorably, and so has made many
sincere friends, who have liked him ftjr his stalwart
finalities and frank manner. During the World War
he manifested a fully patriotic spirit.



BIOGRAPHICAL



631



ALVIN STRUNK — Prominent among the many
successful farmers of EUicott township, Chautauqua
county, N. Y., one of the richest agricultural regions of
the country, is Alvin Strunk, a man whose entire success
has been due to his own efforts, his indefatigable indus-
try and intelligence. Mr. Strunk is a native of this
county, having been born in Ellicott township, Oct. 27,
1836, a son of William H. Strunk, one of the old farm-
ers of the region, and of Jane Ann (Van Vleck) Strunk,
his wife.

His childhood and early youth were passed on the old
family homestead, where he learned farming methods
in the great school of experience and under the capable
direction of his father, and attended the local public
schools. Later he became the owner of his present farm
property, which is located two and one-half miles north
of Jamestown, which he has kept in the highest state
of cultivation ever since and where he has met with
notable success in his operations. Mr. Strunk is a Re-
publican in politics, and was assessor in Ellicott township
for twenty-two years ; has always maintained a strong
and intelligent interest in the general situation and
given much attention to the issues of the time. He
is a member of Union Grange, Jamestown, N. Y., and
has been active in his membership in doing his share in
promoting the general agricultural welfare of the com-
munity of which he is so highly valued a member.

Alvin Strunk was united in marriage, April 2, 1864,
at Randolph, N. Y., with Maria Putnam, a native of
Chautauqua county, having been born in Stockton town-
ship, N. Y., where her birth occurred Sept. 24, 1843, a
daughter of Rev. Oren Putnam, born in Brookfield,
Madison county, N. Y., and Alvira (Scofield) Putnam,
of Saratoga county, N. Y., his wife. Mr. and Mrs.
Strunk are the parents of one child, Bert C, born June
8, 1867, who married Myrtie Brunson, Sept. i, 1892, who
was born at South Stockton, Chautauqua county, N. Y.,
Sept. 29, 1870. Bert C. Strunk has always lived on the



Online LibraryJohn Phillips DownsHistory of Chautauqua County, New York, and its people (Volume 3) → online text (page 85 of 101)