John Phillips Downs.

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

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farm with his father ; is a Free and Accepted Mason ;
Royal Arch Mason ; Knights Templar of Jamestown, N.
Y. ; thirty-second degree Mason, and Mystic Shriner of
Buffalo, N. Y.


has lived as many years in any community as Mr. Wal-
ker has lived in Westfield, he is so thoroughly known
to his townsmen as to render it impossible for the biogra-
pher to give them any information regarding him. But
for that very reason the main facts of his career are
always interesting, for they show that he is one of the
men who count as Mr. Walker certainly does, both as
farmer and former public official. Edward William
Walker was born July 12, 1853, in Westfield township,
and is a son of Thomas and Charlotte (Garrett) Walker,
who came from England. Mr. Walker was a mason, or
bricklayer, and later became a farmer.

The education of Edward William Walker was re-
ceived in District School No. i, in Westfield, and his
first employment was assisting his father at the latter's
trade. Later he learned the trade and for some years
followed it. His father died at the age of seventy and
some years before his decease had become the owner of
two small farms. In 1902, Mr. Walker took up his abode
on his present farm of 60 87-100 acres and has materially

improved it. He has nine cows, four horses and seventy-
five chickens, and carries on a prosperous dairy and
general farming business. About 191 1 he engaged in the
bee industry and now has a thriving apiary of fourteen
stands. This last branch of industry was originated by
his son, who has the entire management of it. In the
sphere of politics, Mr. Walker is an independent voter,
always taking an active interest in community affairs and
holding himself in readiness to do his part toward their
improvement. For three terms he served as school trus-
tee. His wife belongs to the Grange and is a member
of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Mr. Walker married, March 16, 1884, Alice M., daugh-
ter of Martin and Mary C. (Blakeney) Knapp, and they
are the parents of the following children: Edward Wil-
liam; Horace: Zelda. married Clyde Frazier and had one
child, Harold, now deceased ; and Frances, graduated
from Fredonia Normal School and is now a teacher.

In a quiet, forceful, unobtrusive way, Mr. Walker has
done much toward the development and maintenance of
all that is best in his community, reaping his reward in
the gratitude and respect of his friends and neighbors.

FRANK WHEELOCK, who for many years has
been one of the most successful farmers at Kennedy,
Chautauqua county, N. Y., where he has been engaged in
the raising of Holstein cattle with a high degree of suc-
cess, is a son of Albert and Jane (Thatcher) Wheelock,
old and highly respected residents of Poland, where the
former was also engaged in agricultural operations.

Frank Wheelock was born Aug. 29, 1876, in the town
of Poland, N. Y., and for his education attended the
local public schools. During the summer months he as-
sisted his father in the work upon the latter's farm and
there gained a wide knowledge and experience in general
farming methods, which has stood him in good stead ever
since. In the year 1904 Mr. Wheelock purchased his
present farm in the neighborhood of Kennedy, and by
unwearied energy and industry has brought it to its
present high state of cultivation and productiveness. He
is now regarded as one of the most progressive and sci-
entific farmers in this region and raises Holstein cattle,
which he disposes of in the local markets. He has always
maintained a keen interest in public affairs, and is a
staunch supporter of Republican principles and policies,
his voice being influential in the councils of his party.
He is a member of the local Grange and has done much
in this capacity to advance the agricultural interests of the

Frank Wheelock was united in marriage, Oct. 29. 1002,
in the town of Poland, Chautauqua county, N. Y., with
Celia Sherman, a native of the town of Ellicott, born Jan.
I, 1874, a daughter of Albert and Annis (Williams)
Sherman, lifelong residents of Ellicott.

NELSA A. STONE, who has been prominent among
the agriculturists of Ellicott township, Chautauqua county,
N. Y., for many years and who is well and favorably
known throughout the entire community for his public
spirit, was born in Sweden, April 28, 1855. He is a son
of Charles and Johanna (Stow) Stone, the former a
farmer in his native land, where the son passed the early
years of his life and attended the local schools for his


education. At the same time he received practical in-
struction in fanning from his father, and when sixteen
years old. in the year 1S71, came to the United States.
The first four years of his residence in this country were
spent in the town of Ellery, N. V., but in 1S80 he went
to Salamanca, where he worked at the lumber business.
In 1SS5. knowing; of the great agricultural richness of the
soil in Chautauqua count>- and the opportunities it of-
fered to farmers, he came to this region and here devoted
himself permanently to that occupation. In the year 1914
he settled on his present farm in Ellicott township, since
which time he has been indefatigable in its cultivation
and has succeeded in bringing it to its present high state
of productiveness. He raises fine crops of various types
and disposes of them to advantage in the surrounding
markets, which are large and numerous in the locality.
Mr. Stone is a staunch Republican in politics, but his
personal superintendence of his farm has left him no
time and he has felt no inclination to take part in public
affairs. He has always displayed a public-spirited inter-
est in the welfare of the community, however, especially
in connection with its agricultural development, and is
a member of Union Grange of Jamestown. In his re-
ligious belief Mr. Stone is a Lutheran and attends the
church of that denomination.

Xelsa A. Stone was united in marriage, March 24,
1876, at Jamestown, K. Y., with Lucinda Saddler, a na-
tive of the town of Carroll, born June 20, 185 1, a daugh-
ter of William and Sarah (Furlow) Saddler, of that
place. Mr. and Mrs. Stone are the parents of two chil-
dren, as follows : Myrtie, born Oct. 27, 1877, married,
Sept. 9. 1S96, Raymond Schofield, of Ellery, to whom she
has borne one child, Beatrice ; Florelle, born June 10,
1894, married, Aug. 17, 1915, at Ellicott. Albert Van-
strom. to whom she has borne two children, Vivian and

FLEURY JAMES WOLCOTT, one of the most
successful of the younger farmers of Ellington, Chau-
tauqua county, N. Y., is a native of Poland, N. Y., born
Sept. I", 1892, a son of Charles Harvey and Eva Louise
(Ireland) Wolcott, old and highly respected residents of
Poland, where the former was engaged in farming for
many years.

Fleury James Wolcott passed his childhood on his
father's farm, where he was subject to those wholesome
influences of rural life from which have sprung so many
of the foremost citizens of this country. As a lad he
assisted his father with the work on the latter's place,
and during the winter months attended the local district
schools. Later he was sent to the Gerry High School at
Gerry, X. Y., from which he was graduated, after es-
tablishing an excellent record for scholarship and general
gvKl character, .'\fter comfileting his studies at the
Gerry Higli School, the young man devoted his entire
time towards assisting his father on his farm and there
gained a wide knowledge of agricultural methods gen-
erally. Later he purchased an excellent projjcrty near
Ellington, and since that time has devoted himself ex-
clusively to the cultivation of this place, which has
become under his careful superintendence one of the best
farms in the district. Mr. Wolcott finds a wide market
for the disposal of his produce among the local dealers
at Ellington and Jamestown, and does a thriving business

in these two places. Mr. Wolcott is also prominently as-
sociated with the Conewango National Bank of Ellington,
and is well known as one of the substantial citizens of the
region. Air. \\'olcott has always been a Republican in
politics, and takes a keen interest in local affairs. He
is a member of the local Grange at Ellington, and has
done much to promote the agricultural interests and de-
velopment of the place. In his religious belief he is a
Methodist and attends the church of that denomination
at Ellington.

Fleury James Wolcott was united in marriage, Sept.
14, 1916, with Ella Ida ^'asburg, a native of Elco, Pa.,
born Aug. 13, 1893, a daughter of William and Josephine
(West) Vasburg, old and respected residents of that

AXEL LEVIN — Among the many successful and
prosperous citizens of Chautauqua county, N. Y., of
Swedish birth or extraction, none more deserves mention
than Axel Levin who, besides conducting agricultural
interests in the neighborhood, has been conspicuous in
local public affairs for several years. Mr. Levin is a
son of Andrew and Martha (Olson) Levin, both natives
of Sweden, who came to this country in the year 1886,
the former finding employment as a roller in a Pitts-
burgh steel mill, a trade he had already learned in his
native land. The elder Mr. Levin is now retired from
active life and makes his home with his son, the Mr.
Levin of this sketch, at Busti.

Axel Levin was born Feb. 20, 1879, in Sweden, and be-
gan his education in that country, coming to the United
States with his parents in 1886. His father, having
secured an excellent position here, it was possible for the
youth to complete his studies as desired and this he did
by attending public schools and the McKeesport Business
College, Pa. Upon his graduation from this institution
he took up the same line of work as his father was en-
gaged in and worked in the steel mill at McKeesport,
Pa., for ten years ; also five years in retail furniture
business as salesman at McKeesport, Pa. He had always
felt a strong fondness for a rural life, however, and
believing that an excellent opportunity awaited an en-
terprising man in agricultural activities, he gave up his
position after saving up a considerable portion of his
earnings. This capital he promptly invested in a farm
in Busti township, his intention having been favorably
attracted by the great fertility and favorable farming
conditions of Chautauqua county, and here he has con-
tinued in the same line of work ever since. The con-
sistent and conscientious devotion of Mr. Levin to his
chosen occupation has borne good fruit and he is now the
owner of one of the finest and most productive farms in
the region. Mr. Levin's alert and progressive mind has
not rested content with winning success for himself in
his private enterprise, but has led him to take part in
the general life of the community of which he now is
a valued member, his ability and public spirit soon making
him ijrominent in its affairs. He has held for four years
the important offi<-e of supervisor of the township of
Busti, and during that period has rendered a high service
to his fellow-citizens I)y his efficient management of their
public business and won their universal regard. He is
also prominent in social and fraternal circles and is a
niembcr of Yonghiogheny Lodge, No. 583, Free and



Accepted Masons, of McKeesport, Pa., and of Busti
Grange. In religion he is a Congregationalist and at-
tends the Busti church of that denomination.

Axel Levin was united in marriage, July 9, 1902, at
Jamestown, with Hedvig HoUenius, who is a native of
Sweden, born April 3, 1884, a daughter of P. H. and
Sophy Hollenius, of that country. Mr. and Airs. Levin
are the parents of five children, as follows : Ralph O.,
born Nov. 17, 1903; Gertrude B., born April 8, 1906;
Carl, born Dec. 28, 1908 ; Earnest, born Sept. 20, 1913 ,
and Margaret, born July 31, 1916.

RALPH WARNER, a successful farmer of Broc-
ton, Chautauqua county, N. Y., is a native of this region,
his birth having occurred in Portland township, July 12,
1874. Mr. Warner is a son of Charles and Eleanor
(Vandervoort) Warner, old and highly respected resi-
dents of Portland township, where the former died Feb.
7, 1919. He is survived by his wife. The elder Mr.
Warner was born in Portland township on the old family
homestead, which is situated opposite the farm now oc-
cupied by his son, in the year 1842. He was a son of
one of the early settlers in this region who moved here
about 1835. He was not one of the original patentees,
but purchased his land in all probability from one of
these, the former owner having been Air. Dunn. The
Warners were an old family in Connecticut and could
trace their ancestry back before the Revolutionary War.
The great-grandfather of the present Mr. Warner was
Elijah Warner, a brother of General Seth Warner, of
Connecticut, and he could trace his ancestry back to a
family living at Hadden Hall in England at an early

Ralph Warner passed his childhood in his native place
and attended as a lad Public School No. 4. Later he
attended the grade schools at Brocton, and still later was
a student at the Westfield Union School, where he com-
pleted his education. Even as a child he was interested in
agriculture and assisted his father in the work upon the
latter's place. As soon as he had completed his studies
at the Westfield Union School, he devoted himself en-
tirely to this line of work, which he has continued unin-
terruptedly ever since. Mr. Warner purchased his
present farm in the year 1903, and continued also to own
an interest in the family homestead. He has been ex-
ceedingly successful in all his operations and disposes of
the produce of his farm in the local markets. Mr. War-
ner is a member of the local lodge, Independent Order of
Odd Fellows. In religious belief he is very liberal, and
has a firm faith in God and his Christ to save.

Ralph Warner was united in marriage, at Brocton,
Feb. 18, 1903, with Maude Weaver, of that place, a
daughter of T. C. and Elizabeth Weaver. They are the
parents of two children, Eleanor and Isabel Warner.

JOHN LAHL, well-to-do and well-regarded farmer
of Westfield, Chautauqua county, N. Y., where he has
lived practically all his life, and has proved himself to
be a helpful member of the community, was born in
Germany, June 28, 1862, but was only three years old
when he came, with his mother, to the United States.
The voyage was made on a sailing vessel, and under con-
ditions which made it quite venturesome. Accommoda-

tion was poor, and after nineteen weeks at sea, the voy-
agers were no doubt relieved when they sighted the coast
of America.

Soon after they had arrived in the United States, the
Lahl family took up residence in Chautauqua county, N.
Y., settling in Westfield township. It was in the graded
school of Westfield that the son, John, obtained his edu-
cation, and in due course grew to manhood. His father
died while he, John, was still in early manhood, and
during the life of his mother he remained near her. He
purchased the Rexford farm in Westfield in 1890; it
was a good farm of sixty-five acres, adapted to dairying
and sheep farming, and since it came into his possession
it has been very much improved, and as it is at present
it is a valuable up-to-date farm, he having remodeled the
house and barns, and effected many other improvements.
Like most of the enterprising agriculturists of that sec-
tion of Chautauqua county, he has apportioned some
portion of his land to the cultivation of grapes ; he has a
vineyard eight acres in extent, and in a good position,
so that he gets satisfactory yield ; and in his general
farming has proved that he is a man of enterprising,
energetic characteristics. He has always followed closely
all movements relative to Chautauqua county agriculture,
and has been a loyal member of the Westfield Grange
for many years. He also belongs to the Dairymen's
League, and to the Chautauqua County Farm Bureau,
and during the World War he cooperated patriotically
with the objects of that bureau, and with the national
Department of Agriculture, endeavoring to the best of
his ability to prevent waste upon his farm, and to bring
increased production.

Mr. Lahl has always manifested a markedly generous
disposition, and has been a very hospitable neighbor. He
is unmarried, but his sister, Mrs. Dora Kalpien, who is
the mother of five boys and one girl, and is now a widow,
lives with him. She is a good hostess, kind, generous,
entertaining. In community work, John Lahl has
tliroughout his life taken good part, having been at all
times ready to help, by personal service or monetary
contribution, to bring success to all worthy local projects
in which he has felt interested. He is a man of good,
conscientious Christian life, and for very many years
has attended the local Methodist church, which he has
steadily supported. Politically, he is a Republican, al-
though he has not shown any inclination to desire po-
litical office. In local political movements he has always
been much more interested than in national, and upon
some occasions has taken active part in local politics,
especially in school administration has he been interested ;
he has been school trustee for a number of years, and
also collector of school taxes.

He is a man of fine presence, and his commendable,
useful life and community interest have gained him a
worthy reputation in the neightorhood, and he has many
friends of long standing. He takes good place among the
worthy, productive residents of Chautauqua county.

ANDREW M. WARN, now manager of the Martin
estate in the town of Ellicott, Chautauqua county, N. Y.,
was born in Sweden, June 16. 1855, and there spent his
youth. Upon coming to the United States he located in
Jamestown, which has ever since been his home. During



the first month of street car operation in Jamestown he
drove one of the cars, and from 1876 until 1882 he was
a member of the Fenton Guards, that well known militar\-
company, having in its early days been an organization
whose pri\-ates and officers were all Swedes. Mr. Warn
was a member of the Jamestown police force for several
years, and was eligible to promotion to higher rank on
the force, but declined the ofiice. and later resigned to
engage in farming. He is now (.19-0) manager of the
Martin estate in the town of Ellicott. a position he has
held for fourteen years. He is a Republican in politics,
and a member of the Baptist church.

Mr. Warn married, in Detroit, Mich., March 20, 1879,
Harriet Wilson, born in Scotland, April 4. 1857, daugh-
ter of William and Harriet Wilson, both natives of Scot-
land. Mr. and Mrs. Warn are the parents of three
daughters: l. Alice Grace, born Jan. 12. 1S80; married
.•\llen Cass, and they are the parents of : Willard, Doro-
thy, Morris, ^fab€l, Ruth, and Allen Cass. 2. Pearl
Sunbeam, bom Jan. 7, 1885; married Charles Hagelin,
and they have two children : Harriet and Daniel. 3.
Ruth Naomi, born March 27. 1887; married George
Wescott, and they are the parents of Georgia and Carl

Sweden, born Jan. 22, 1877, a daughter of J. A. and
.Anna (Stone) Moline, of that country. Mrs. Hedin
came to the United States in the year 1893, when but
sixteen years of age, her parents remaining in their na-
tive land, where they still reside. To Mr. and Mrs.
Hedin three children have been born, as follows : Flor-
ence E., born Oct. 20, 1898; Griffith M., born July 23,
1000: and .\nna G., born April 30, 1906.

JOHN G. HEDIN, whose energy and intelligence
have made him one of the most respected citizens of
Ellery township, Chautauqua county, N. Y., and who.
is regarded by all as one of the most successful farmers
of the neighborhood, is a native of Sweden, born June 24,
1866. He is a son of Andrew Otto and Anna (Abra-
hamson) Hedin, also natives of Sweden, where for many
years he was engaged in agricultural operations. The
elder Mr. Hedin came to the United States in the month
of April, 1872, leaving his family in the old country
while he sought a home and support for them in the new.
Two years later, having established himself as a farmer
in this region of Chautauqua county. N. Y., he sent for
the remainder of the family, who then came across the
ocean to join him here.

John G. Hedin was but eight years of age when he
accompanied his mother to the New World in 1874, and
practically all of his education was received in the com-
mon schools of his adopted home, his natural alertness of
mind and intelligence, as well as his diligence at all tasks,
making him an apt student in spite of what was at first the
disadvantage of the unfamiliar tongue. During the vaca-
tion periods he spent his time in learning agricultural
mcthrxis, and eventually he engaged in that occupation on
his own account. It was in the year 1906 that he became
the owner of his present fine farm property, w-hich he
has ever since kept at the highest point of cultivation and
productivity, his industry meeting with the success that
it deserved. Nfr. Hedin has always been an active par-
ticipant in the general life of the commimity in which
he has elected to dwell, and he now occupies a high place
in the esteem and confidence of his fellow townsmen.
He is a Republican in politics, and a member of Bemus
Point I>-.dge. No. 585, Independent Order of Odd Fel-
lows, and of Union Grange, No. 244, Patrons of Hus-
bandry. In religious belief he is a Lutheran and attends
the church of that denomination.

John O. Hedin was united in marriage, Jan. 26, 1898,
at Jamestown, N. V., with Sclma Moline, a native of

VICTOR G. GUSTAFSON, one of the most pro-
gressive and successful among the younger farmers
of Falconer, N. Y., where he is now raising the highest
quality of products on a large scale, is a native of Swe-
den, his birth having occurred at the town of Skenninge,
March 22, 1851. Mr. Gustafson comes of good old farm-
ing stock, and is a son of Mr. and Mrs. L. Gustafson,
the former a man of standing in his native land, where he
was engaged in agricultural operations for many years.

Victor G. Gustafson passed his childhood and early
youth in Sweden, and there attended the local public
schools until he had completed the course of study to be
had there and graduated from the high school. Upon
reaching the age of twenty-seven years, he left his native
land and came to the United States, the tales of which
country had long fired his imagination and convinced him
of the great opportunities to be found here. Landing in
the port of Philadelphia, Pa., he came shortly after to
New York State and settled at Jamestown. He secured
positions in the several furniture works in that city, and
there made himself so useful to his employers by his
industry and intelligence that he was rapidly advanced in
position until he filled a responsible post in the large plant
and had gained a wide knowledge of the business of
manufacturing furniture. He remained for fourteen
years connected with that concern and then, having in
the meantime saved up a considerable proportion of his
earnings, found himself in a position to gratify a long
cherished ambition and become his own master. His
early life had confirmed in him a taste for rural life and
occupations that was probably inherited from his fore-
bears, and accordingly he purchased a fine farm in the
neighborhood of Falconer, N. Y., and removed his home
there. Since that time he has been engaged in farming
and has brought his place to the highest kind of cultiva-
tion so that it is already, under his capable management,
one of the finest farms in the neighborhood. Mr. Gus-
tafson met with a notable success in his enterprise from
the outset, and is now looked upon by his fellow-towns-
men as one of the cleverest agriculturists hereabout. He
has developed large markets for his products in this re-
gion, and does at the present time a very large and
remunerative business. Mr. Gustafson, although he has
never taken an active part in politics, nor had any am-
bition for public office, has always been keenly interested
in public (|uestions of the day, both local and national, and
has always discharged his duties as a citizen to the full.
In religious belief he is a Protestant and attends the
Swedish Mission Church at Jamestown, N. Y.

Yiitor G. Gustafson was united in marriage, Sept. 4,
18KO, at Jamestown, N. Y., with Jennie Olive Anderson,
born in Sweden, Feb. 27, 1865, a daughter of Frederick
and Mary (Johnson) Anderson. Mr. and Mrs. Gustaf-

Online LibraryJohn Phillips DownsHistory of Chautauqua County, New York, and its people (Volume 3) → online text (page 86 of 101)