John Phillips Downs.

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

. (page 9 of 101)
Online LibraryJohn Phillips DownsHistory of Chautauqua County, New York, and its people (Volume 3) → online text (page 9 of 101)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

followed in Ireland and for several years they prospered,
but as retailers only. They then decided to become
wholesale jewelry dealers and dissolved partnership,
Robert establishing in Toledo, Ohio, Joseph continuing
under the firm name, Joseph Nelson & Company. The
latter built up a strong business house, admitting later
his sons-in-law, Vander Voort, van Buren and Gilbert,
but he continued himself the active head of the business
up to the time of his death.

For more than half a century he was a pillar of
strength to the First Baptist Church of Dunkirk,
although he was reared in the Presbyterian faith of



his moiher. But he liberally supported all Christian
organizations and benevolences, and was most public-
spirited and progressive, supporting all forward move-
ments, civic and moral. He was devoted to his home
and family, belonging to neither club nor fraternity.
He was a man who won public confidence to an un-
usual degree, and when the time came to show him a
tinal mark of respect all business houses of the city
stood closed during the funeral hour.

Joseph Xelson married, in the town of Sheridan,
Chautauqua county. X. Y., June 29, 1858, Julia Ann
Bartholomew, bom in Sheridan, Dec. 12, 1S40, daughter
of Henry and Isabella (Patterson) Bartholomew, her
father of Xew England birth but from boyhood a resi-
dent of Chautauqua county. Joseph and Julia Ann
(Bartholomewl X'elson were the parents of four
daughters, as follows : I. Isabelle Bartholomew, married
John Franklin Gilbert, whom she survives (q. v.). 2.
Leah, married Henry \"ander Voort, and has three
children ; Hildegarde, Joseph Xelson, Henrj' Ferdinand
\ ander \"oort. 3. Julia, married James Lyman van
Buren. whom she survives (q. v.). 4. Josephine, died in
infancy. Mrs. Xelson, Mrs. Gilbert and Mrs. van
Buren continued their residence in Dunkirk after
widowhood. Mrs. Julia Ann (Bartholomew) N'elson
survives her husband, and resides at Dunkirk where she
is held in the highest esteem.

(The Bartholomew Line).

This surname was derived from the ancient Hebrew
or Syriac personal name Bartholmai, modified in Greek
and Roman spelling. Like the other names of Christ's
.■\postles. Bartholomew came into use as a baptismal
name in every Christian country even before the use
of surnames.

The Bartholomew family in England appears to date
back to the origin of the use of surnames. The ancient
coat-of-arms : Argent a chevron en.?railed between
three lions rampant sable. One branch of the family
bears this: Or three goats' heads erased sable. Crest:
.\ demi-goat argent gorged witli a chaplct of laurel vert.

John, Robert and Richard Bartholomew were living
about 1:50, in Warborough. Oxfordshire, England.
Robert and Richard were brothers, and from the fact
that John's son was an overseer of Richard's will it is
infercd that John was a brother also. They were land
owners, church wardens and men of consequence in the
community. They frequently used the term, "alias
Martyn," after Bartholomew, presumably having adopted
the name of a maternal ancestor, as was frequently the
case, to secure an inheritance. Oliver Cromwell's name
is K\v':n in early records alias Williams, his maternal
ancestors boing of the Williams family.

CI) John Bartholomew lived in Warborough. England.
He married there Alice Scuttor, who was probably his
second wife.

(U) John (2) Bartholomew, son of John (i) Bar-
tholomew, married in Warborough, Margaret Joyes.
He wa<i made overseer of his uncle Richard's estate in
1:77, His four sons apparently all settled in the neigh-
boring towns of Oxford and i'urford. Children : John,
baptized June 19, 1356. married Ales Vicarage; Row-
land, baptized Dec. 5, i;Or, died I.387; Richard, twin of
Rowland, buried in Burford, April 29, 1632; William,
of whom further.

(III) William Bartholomew, son of John (2) Bar-
tholomew, was baptized in Warborough, Feb. 7, 1567,
and buried May 6, 1634. He settled in Burford, where
he was a mercer, a dealer in silks and woolens. His will
was dated April 25, 1634. He married Friswide, daugh-
ter of William Metcalfe, mayor of New Woodstock, a
neighboring town. She was buried in Fulbrooke, Dec.
10, 1647. Children : Mary, married, June 28, 1620, Richard
Tidmarsh; John, inherited his father's estate and busi-
ness, and died Nov. 15, 1639; William, of whom further;
Henry, born 1606-07, died Nov. 22, 1692, in Salem,
Mass. ; Richard supposed to have died in London, or
on a return trip from London to Massachusetts ; Francis,
baptized in Burford, Feb. 13, 1613-14; Thomas, baptized
June 30, 1616; Abraham, died in Burford, March 22,
1646-47; Sarah, baptized .-^pril 14, 1623.

(IV) William (2) Bartholomew, son of William (i)
Bartholomew, was born in Burford, England, 1602-03.
He received a good education. He went to London,
and married Anne, sister of Robert Lord, afterward his
ne.xt neighbor in Ipswich, Mass. Before September,

1634, he had entertained the famous Anne Hutchinson
at his London home. On Sept. 18, 1634, he arrived in
Boston, Mass., in the ship, "Griffin," in the same com-
pany with Anne Hutchinson, Rev. John Lothrop and
others. He was admitted a freeman, March 4, 1634-35,
and at the same time was given permission to trade with
vessels at Ipswich, where he settled. He received
several grants of land there in 163S, and was deputy to
the General Court the same year, serving again in
1636-37-41-47-50. He was often on the jury, was com-
missioner, town clerk, assessor, selectman, treasurer of
tlie county, and often on important committees. He
removed to Boston about 1660, and in 1662 was overseer
of the mill of William Brown, of Boston. He is called
a merchant of Boston. He died in Charlestown, at the
home of Jacob Green, Jan. 18, 1680-81. His grave is
in the Phipps Street Cemetery, Charlestown, near that
of John Harvard, the founder of Harvard College. His
wife Anne died in Charlestown, Jan. 29, 1682-83, and
her gravestone is still standing. Children : Mary,
married (first) in Gloucester, Dec. 24, 1652, IMatthew
Whipple, (second) Jacob Greene; Joseph, born about

1635, resided in London, England, in 1693; William, of
further mention.

(V) Lieutenant William (3) Bartholomew, son of
William (2) Bartholomew, was born at Ipswich, 1640-41,
and died in the spring of 1697. He learned the trade of
carpenter, and settled first in Ro.xbury. He sold his
Roxbury land in 1676-77, and removed to Deerfield,
Mass., where he bought the home lot of Peter Wood-
ward. At the time of the raid of the Indians on Hat-
field, Sept. 19, 1677, he was there with his family. His
daughter Abigail, aged four, was among tlie captives
taken to Canada and was ransomed eight months later.
In 1679 he removed lo Branford, Conn., where he was
granted twenty acres of land, built a saw mill and kept
an ordinary inn. He was elected surveyor and fence
viewer. In 1687 the town of Woodstock requested him
to build a mill in their town and offered him a grant of
land. He was commissioned ensign of the new Rox-
bury crjmpaiiy, as Woodstock was then called, July 13,
168/), and in 1691 became lieutenant. In 1692 he was
the first deputy to the General Court from Woodstock.
He died in Woodstock, in 1697. He married, in Rox-

K'. -Y(



bury, Dec. 17, 1663, Mary Johnson, born April 24, 1642,
daughter of Captain Isaac and Elizabeth (Porter)
Johnson, granddaughter of John Johnson, who held
the title of "Surveyor of all ye King's armies in Amer-
ica." Her father was killed in the Narragansett fight,
Dec. 19, 1675, as he was leading his men over the
bridge (a fallen tree) into the enemy's fort. Children:
Isaac, born Nov. i, 1664, died Oct. 25, 1727; William,
born Oct. 16, 1666; Mary, born Oct. 26, 1668; Andrew,
of further mention; Abigail, bom Dec. 8, 1672, married
(first) Jan. 11, 1691-92, Joseph Frizzel, (second) 1709,
Samuel Paine, died 1732; Elizabeth, born March 15,
1674-75, married, Nov. 21, 1699, Edmund Chamberlain;
Benjamin, born about 1677; John, born about 1679;
Joseph, bom about 1682.

(VI) Andrew Bartholomew, son of Lieutenant
William (3) Bartholomew, was baptized Dec. 11, 1670,
in Roxbury. He managed his father's mills in Branford
after the latter's removal to Woodstock, and after his
father's death owned and operated them in company
with his brother Benjamin. On Jan. 11, 1711-12, the
property was divided and Andrew bought large quanti-
ties of land in Branford, Wallingford and adjoining
towns. He removed to Wallingford before 1729, and
continued there the remainder of his life. He was a
leading citizen, and often held positions of trust. He
was admitted to the church there in 17GI. He married
Hannah Frisbie, who died Feb. 2, 1741, daughter of
Samuel Frisbie, of Branford. Children : i. William,
born Feb. 2, 1699. 2. Susannah, bom Feb. 4, 1 701-02. 3.
Hannah, bom Aug. 17, 1704; married, Nov. 19, 1724,
Joseph Barker. 4. Samuel, born Sept. 12, 1706, died
1795- 5- Daniel, born Oct. 16, 1708, died Oct. 25, 1777.
6. Rebecca, born March 28, 1712; married, Oct. 19, 1732.
Peter Hall; died Oct. 3, 1791. 7. Rev. Andrew, bom
Nov. 7, 1714; graduated at Vale College, 1731 : was
settled minister at Harwinton, Conn., Oct. 4, 1738, and
continued as pastor thirty-five years. 8. Timothy, born
Feb. 28, 1716-17, died April 27, 1749. 9. Joseph, of
further mention. 10. John, born Feb. 8, 1723-24. 11.

(VII) Lieutenant Joseph Bartholomew, son of
Andrew and Hannah (Frisbie) Bartholomew, was bom
in Branford, Conn., May 6, 1721, and died in Walling-
ford, Conn., Oct. 27, 1781. He marched on the Lexing-
ton Alarm of April 19, 1775. and served eight days. His
commission of lieutenant from the General Court placed
him in command of all the men in town subject to
military duty. He married Jan. 13, 1741, Mary Sexton.
Children : Hannah, Andrew ; Joseph, died young ; Jona-
than ; and Joseph, of further mention.

(VIII) Joseph (2) Bartholomew, son of Lieutenant
Joseph (i) and Mary (Sexton) Bartholomew, was bom
in Wallingford, Conn., in 1748, and died .April, 1821.
His farm was on what was called "Whirlwind Hill,"
now known as East Farms, in Wallingford, a large part
being yet owned in the family. He married (first)
Martha Morse, who died about 1781 ; married (second)
about 1784, Damarius Hall, who died Nov. 6, T819.
Children, first three by first wife: Isaac, married Lydia
Curtiss; Levi Moss, married (first) Lucy Ives, (second)
Pamelia Potter; Joseph, of further mention; Samuel,
married (first) Sylvia Hood, (second) Hannah, widow
of Stoddard Neal; Ira. married Eunice Hall; Orrin,
married his second cousin, Emmeline Bartholomew.

(IX) Joseph (3) Bartholomew, son of Joseph (2)
Bartholomew, was born in Wallingford, Conn., settled
in New Vork State, first at Sheridan, where he was an
early settler. The tract of land he purchased was virgin
wilderness, but he erected a log cabin, cleared a farm
and prospered. He lived and labored there the remain-
der of his life. He married, March 18, 1804, Julia
Howd. Children: l. Eliza, married Harry H. Parker.
2. William, died aged nineteen years. 3. Polly, married
Harry Hall. 4. Sylvia Ann, married Ives Andrews. S-
Stephen Decatur, died young. 6. Almon, died aged
nine years. 7. Henry, of further mention. 8. Joseph,
a prominent dry goods merchant of Dunkirk; married
(first) Cornelia Horton, (secotid) Elizabeth Pearson.
9. Nelson, built and managed the Dunkirk Opera House ;
died unmarried. 10. William A., died unmarried. 11.
Stephen Decatur (2), married Julia E. Allen.

(X) Henry Bartholomew, eldest son and seventh
child of Joseph (3) and Julia (Howd) Bartholomew,
was born in Wallingford, Conn., June 7, 1818, and died
in Dunkirk, N. Y., Nov. 3, 1871. He came to Sheridan,
N. v., with his father, and for several years followed
farming. He then removed to Dunkirk, where he was
a successful manufacturer of boxes of various kinds.
In his later years he retired from business and returned
to Sheridan, residing on a farm of about 300 acres,
where his last years were spent, afterwards dying in
Dunkirk. He married Isabella Patterson, lxir:i in
Oneida county, N. Y., July 7, 1819, died 1854. Children:
A son dying in infancy, and three daughters, namely :
I. Julia Ann, married Joseph Nelson, (q. v.) 2. Mary,
married (first) Wilham A. Post, a captain in the Civil
War, killed while employed on the Erie railroad as
engineer; child, William A. (2) Post; she married
(second) Charles Van Wagner. 3. Helen Isabella,
married William L. Slater, of Dunkirk, now a resident
ot Jamestown.

Ohio, Mr. Gilbert spent his adult years in Dunkirk, N.
Y., where from the age of eighteen he was connected
with one of the sterling business houses of the city,
Joseph Nelson & Company. He was a grandson of Samuel
and Susannah Gilbert, of Cornwall, England, who came
to the United States, he in 1840, and his wife in 1843.

Henry Gilbert, son of Samuel and Susannah Gilbert,
learned the cabinetmaker's trade in Cornwall, England,
where he was born about 181 5. He came to the United
States in 1842, settling first in Ravenna, going thence
to Loudonville, Ashland county, Ohio. In Loudonville
he was councilman and member of the School Board,
and about 1850 there married Elizabeth Sprague, bom
in Loudonville, daughter of William Jasper and Rebecca
(Jones) Sprague. They were the parents of a large
family, their second child a son, John Franklin Gilbert,
whose career is herein reviewed.

John Franklin Gilbert was bom in Loudonville. Ohio.
June 30. 1854, and was there educated. At the age of
eighteen he located in Dunkirk, N. Y., where he secured
a position in the wholesale jewelry house of Joseph
Nelson & Company. He rose rapidly to a responsible
position with that house, and until his death was closely
identified with it, it being one of the oldest in Dunkirk
and for many years the only wholesale house in the
city. After his marriage in 1896 Mr. Gilbert was ad-




mined to a partnership, and from IQIO until his death in
1910 he was head of the firm. He was an excellent busi-
ness man. sterling in character, and universally liked
and esteemed. His life was a successful one, and his
years of manhood were years of usefulness. Mr. Gil-
ben was a member of the Masonic order, affiliated with
Dunkirk Lodge, No, ;D, Free and .\ccepted Masons;
Dunkirk Chapter, Xo. 25, Royal Arch Masons; Dunkirk
Council, Royal and Select Masters ; Dunkirk Com-
mandery, Xo. ~. Knights Templar; and Ismailia Temple,
.\ncient .\rabic Order Xobles of the Mystic Shrine.

Mr. Gilbert married, at Dunkirk, Oct. 15, 1896, Isabella
Bartholomew Xelson, eldest daughter of Joseph and
Julia -A.nn (Bartholomew') Xelson, of Dunkirk (q. v.).
Mr. Gilbert died in Dunkirk, July 2S. 1916, aged sixty-
two years and one month. Mrs. Gilbert survives her
husband. She is a member of the Church of Christ
(. Scientist ~>, having joined the Mother Church in Boston
in lOor, after experiencing a healing from a severe
nervous condition which had caused her great suffering
for years and baffled the best physicians of New York
and Paris. She was one of the organizers of the First
Church of Dunkirk; was for several years its First
Reader, and her example and influence has aided in
building up a strong church in Dunkirk.

career of James L. van Buren closed at the age of
forty-three years, they had been from boyhood years of
constant activity, and he had attained unusual business
prominence and was one of Dunkirk's substantial and
highly esteemed citizens. He was a son of James Henry-
van Buren, and a grandson of Henry Broadhead van
Buren, the last named a native of Pompey, N. V., who
in 1825 located in Dunkirk, Chautauqua county, N. Y.
James H. and Henry B. van Buren, young men, estab-
lished a mercantile business in 1826 or 27, and were long
well known general merchants of Dunkirk. In 1S27
they moved into the east store of a new brick block,
subsequently becoming interested in a line of boats
from Dunkirk. Henry B. van Buren was the first
insurance agent in the village, and there died, in 1872,
aged sixty-nine.

James Henry van Buren was born in Dunkirk in
18.31. and there spent his life, and died ."Xug. 9, 1889.
He was associated with his father in the insurance
business and later became general agent for one of the
leading Xew York companies, a position he held for
over a quarter of a century, being one of the oldest
general agents in the State. He was also general agent
for the Connecticut Fire Insurance Company of Hart-
ford, for the State of Xew York. A Presbyterian in
religion, he served the church in Dunkirk as an elder,
and in his political faith was a Republican.

Mr. van iJurcn married, in 1856, Lydia I'cechcr Cole-
man, born June 8, 18,37, 'I'd '^ct. 8, 1872, daughter of
Tnieman Rowley Coleman, born in Connecticut, later
a merchant of EllicMtville, in Cattaraugus county, treas-
urer of the county, i84''>-47; moved to Dunkirk in 1854,
and e<itabli>.h'd the Lake Shore Bank, of which he was
president until his death, Aug. 18, 1884. Mr. Coleman
married, at F.llicottville, April 21, i8,V, Sophia M.
I'cechcr, and their fourth child was Lydia Becchcr
0<l'-man, wile of James Henry van Buren. .She was a
meml^cr of the Kpiscopal church.

James Lyman van Buren was born in Dunkirk, N.
Y., April S, 1867, died at his home on Central avenue,
in his native city, Feb. 26, 1910, and was buried in Forest
Hill Cemetery, Fredonia. He was educated at Dunkirk
.-Vcademy, and at the age of nineteen began his business
career as a clerk in his father's insurance offices. In
18S8 he had so developed as an underwriter that he was
admitted to partnership, and when a year later his
father passed away the son succeeded him as head of the
business and largely increased the lines carried, repre-
senting at one time eighteen companies, life, fire, accident
and liability. Finally he withdrew from the insurance
field and became associated with his father-in-law, Joseph
Nelson, of Joseph Nelson & Company, wholesale jewelers,
i\Ir. van Buren developed strong qualities as a merchant,
and to his energy and ability the success of the company
was in a large measure due. After the death of Joseph
Nelson the business was continued by Mr. van Buren until
his own death in igio. He died in the prime of his splen-
did manhood, honored and respected by all who knew him.
As a mark of respect and a testimonial to the high
regard in which he was held by his fellowmen, the
business houses of Dunkirk were closed during the
hours of Ills funeral. He was a member of the Sons of
the American Revolution ; a director of the Board of
Trade, and of several other organizations of the city,
and a member of the Presbyterian church,

Mr. van Buren married, June II, 1890, Julia Nelson,
daughter of Joseph and Julia \. (Bartholomew) Nelson
(q. v.), Mr. and Mrs. van Buren were the parents of
si.x children : Josephine, married George R. Nixon, and
resides in Dunkirk; Nellie, married George Patterson
Crandall, of Westfield, N, Y. ; James Henry (2), a
merchant of Buffalo, N. Y. ; Joseph Nelson, engaged in
mercantile business in Buffalo, married Mary Mac Leod,
of Versailles, Ky, ; James Lyman, residing at home;
Robert, died aged two years.

The three sons served in the World War, James
Henry and Joseph N. in the Aviation Corps of the
United States army, and James Lyman in the navy.
Mrs. van Buren survives her husband and continues
her residence at the old home on Central avenue, Dun-
kirk, her aged mother, Mrs. Joseph Nelson, residing
with her.

SETH W. THOMPSON— In a review of his own
life and family written by himself and finished under
date of Jan. s, 1914, he thus concludes:

This simple tale I dedicate to my posterity on Janu-
.ary 5, 1014, my seventy-eijarlitli birtliday, and my wife
wlio is now liere by me joins witli me. Slie is now
sevent.y-flve years old and we are enjoying life and
our fatuities to a good degree tor people of our age.

May tlie Good Father who gives us our life and all
manifold blessings bless and keep you always. My
abiding faith and trust is that in the great and eternal
future we shall all In some mysterious and wonderful
w;iy which we cannot comprehend be united in another

Four years after writing the above, Mr. Thompson
was a!)le to comprehend that "mysterious and wonderful
way," and but a year later husband and wife were
united in another sphere. Three of their children are as
follows: John F. and Charles C. Thompson, of New
York City, and Mrs. Carrie T. West, of Jamestown, In
this review of the life of Mr. Thompson his own
account will be relied upon for the facts.



Seth W. Thompson was a son of John and Pamelia
(Bush) Thompson, who about 1833 settled on a farm of
fifty acres within half a mile of Ellington Center,
Chautauqua county, N. Y. The parents of JohnThomp-
son were born in Maine, but later lived in Madison
county, N. Y., where his father worked at the carpenter's
trade. Later he went West to work upon the Erie canal,
and never returned to his family, being stricken by a
fever which proved fatal. John Thompson, a boy of
eighteen when his father died, and his youngest brother
Seth aided their mother, and they were able to keep
the family together, John remaining single until thirty
years of age, then taking his mother and two unmarried
sisters into his home. He married Pamelia Bush, about
1827, and began married life on a little farm of forty
acres in Aladison county, N. Y., where they lived until
about 1834. when he sold his farm, and with his mother,
wife and three little daughters. $500 in cash, with his
household possessions loaded in a heavy wagon drawn
by a two-horse team, started West. Their journey of
perhaps 200 miles ended in the town of Ellington, Chau-
tauqua county, N. Y.. where John Thompson bought a
farm of fifty acres on which was a log house and stable.
The pine timber had been almost entirely taken from the
tract, but by hard work he removed the stumps and pine
tops from a small amount of land, and the following fall
was rewarded by a good crop. His wife, a tailoress,
aided with her needle, and in course of time a certain
degree of prosperity was attained. In speaking of his
boyhood and his parents, Mr. Thompson writes :

We always had comfortable clothing and an extra
suit for Sunday and church, which was always at-
tended, although we lived on a farm four and a half
miles from the church. They were always generous
to the poor, and no one ever went from their door
hungry, friend or stranger.

About 1840 the little farm was sold, and another of
150 acres was bought. Until 1851 the family, then con-
sisting of seven children, lived in the old log house, but
for several years had been getting lumber together, and
in 1851 a new frame house was finished. With this
house completed the hardships of pioneer days may be
said to have ended for the Thompson family, and the
fortunes of Seth W. Thompson will alone be followed.

Seth W. Thompson was born in the log cabin on
the home farm in Ellington, Chautauqua county, N. Y.,
in 1836, the fifth child of his parents. He was educated
in the district school, and in the winter of 1853-54 he
taught school in Ohio, four miles south of Madison, his
married sister, Frances Turney, engaging the school for
him. The next winter he taught the district school
west of the old farm in the town of Ellington, the
same school which he had attended when a small boy.
He taught in Chautauqua county each winter until that
of 1860-61, which was his last. His salary was from
$16 monthly the first winter to $26 the last winter,
and at all the schools except the last in the village of
Ellington, he boarded around. He was a successful
teacher, ever looking back upon the winters he taught
with great pleasure.

During my school days in the winter of 1S55-56, I
made the acquaintance of Miss Emma L. Pratt, a
sprightly, black-eyed girl, with whom I fell in love.
She also taught several terms of school, her last term
being in the Union School at Dunkirk. New York, On
October 2, 1S59, after nearly four years of pleasant

courtship, we were married. Our life has been a very
pleasant one and we have been unusually favored in
niany ways. We have no'w passed our forty-first anni-
versary (they were married fifty-nine years ere death
dissolved this happy marriage). We have been fairly
successful in business ventures, and wonderfully
blessed in our children who have always been and are

Online LibraryJohn Phillips DownsHistory of Chautauqua County, New York, and its people (Volume 3) → online text (page 9 of 101)