Location: Chautauqua County NY

Biography of George Gorden Derby

George Gorden Derby is a comparatively young man but is old in the service of railroads. He began his career in Western Pennsylvania, where he was an employee and rose to large responsibilities with the Erie Railroad. About ten years ago he came West and had since been with the Santa Fe at different points and is now superintendent of the Oklahoma division, with headquarters at Arkansas City. Mr. Derby was born in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, January 14, 1876. His paternal ancestors were colonial settlers in Connecticut. His father, Lafayette Derby, was born in New York State in 1844, and is now living at Meadville, Pennsylvania, retired. When fifteen years of age his parents removed to Mercer County, Pennsylvania, and later to Crawford County, where Lafayette grew up and married. His first business experience was as a grocery merchant, but subsequently he entered the employ of the Erie Railroad when that was known as the Atlantic Great Western, and was continuously in its service for thirty years. He is a republican, and had served as a member of the school board and city council at Meadville, and in the Presbyterian Church was an elder for a long time and also treasurer. Lafayette Derby is a veteran of the Civil war, having enlisted in 1861 and becoming lieutenant of Company H, One Hundred Fiftieth Pennsylvania Infantry. He saw much hard...

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Biography of Major James M. Beardsley

The above named and beloved patriot was of that branch of the Beardsley family which trace their genealogy in America as far back as 1628. Major Beardsley was born October 30, 1833, at Ellington, Chautauqua County (near the reservation of the Six Nations), New York State; died at Rock Island, August 22, 1903. He came to his future home, this city, in the middle 50’s, while still in his teens, and, though young he was, his inordinate intellect, retentive mind and assiduity had enabled him to attain a thorough academic training. Being admitted to the bar, Mr. Beardsley soon won the highest laurels as a counsellor, orator and diplomat. Being blessed with a giant’s physic, and endued with a mind that was marvelous for its strength and resourcefulness; being an advocate of the abolition of slavery, he soon became one of the most potential factors in the West, in both public and private affairs. He assisted in organizing the first Company of Volunteers in Rock Island-Company D, of the Thirteenth Illinois Infantry – which first served in State duty, and was mustered into three years’ service in the regular ranks May 24, 1861. He. was commissioned First Lieutenant of Company D. The Regiment to which he belonged became known as “Freemont’s Greyhounds.” While acting as body guard to General Lyons, Major Beardsley was actively engaged in the stubbornly contested...

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Biography of James Neild

JAMES NEILD – The Neild family came from the North of England. Thomas Neild, a native of Halifax, Yorkshire, England, a stone cutter by trade, now living in Jamestown, New York, was born on February 9, 1854, and came to America in 1882, locating first at Albion, New York, where he procured work in his trade. He later moved to HoVey, New York, and in 1893 came to Holyoke, Massachusetts, and entered the mill of the American Thread Company, working there for four years. After this he returned for a time to England, but later came back to America and settled in Jamestown, New York, where he has since been engaged in mill work. Soon after his arrival in this country he became an American citizen, joined the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and became an active member of the Methodist Church. Thomas Neild was married to Anna Rowlinson who, like himself, was of English birth; a native of Windhill, England, born March 9, 1850, and died in 1892. There were five children of the marriage: Frank Rowlinson, born in England. Sarah, born in England. James, of whom further. Clara. Florence. Thomas Neild married a second time and there is one son, John, of the second marriage. James Neild, son of Thomas Neild, was born in Albion, New York, March 3, 1884, educated in the schools of Holley, New...

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Biography of Hon. Stukely Ellsworth

HON. STUKELY ELLSWORTH. – This eminent lawyer of our state was born at Stockton, Chautauqua county, New York, December 18, 1826. Among his distinguished ancestors were Oliver Ellsworth, the third chief justice of the supreme court of the United States; Mary Lyon, founder of Mount Holyoke Seminary, and Mary Franklin, a sister of Benjamin Franklin. Colonel E.E. Ellsworth is also supposed to have belonged to the same family. Mr. Ellsworth received his academical education in Chautauqua county, and graduated at Yale College in 1847. He studied law at Buffalo, New York, nearly three years, and was admitted to practice before the supreme court of the United States at Washington in 1855. He settled the same year at Eugene City, Oregon, feeling a greater attraction for building up a new state than in seeking high position in the older communities. He was married in 1856, at Salem, to Miss Mary Stevens, of Coldwater, Michigan, a daughter of General J.H. Stevens, now of North Powder, Oregon, who was also one of the first pioneers of the state. Mr. Ellsworth engaged steadily in the practice of his profession, giving but little attention to politics, although frequently urged by his friends to do so. His only candidacy for office at the hands of any political party during his residence in Oregon was for the office of judge of the supreme court of the...

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Smith Cemetery, Chautauqua County, New York

Transcription of Smith Cemetery located in Chautauqua County, New York between Stockton & Cassadaga, on the William Moore farm (1950’s – 1960’s). SMITH Ebenezer, Rev., d. 6 July 1821, ae. 89 yrs., 9 mos., 3 days. Grandfather. Jemima. Sister of Rev. Ebenezer Smith. Mariam. Sister of Rev. Ebenezer...

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Biography of William Henry Truesdale

William Henry, fourth son of Samuel and Charity (Cummings) Truesdale, was born near Rochester, New York, October 30, 1844. His elementary education was acquired in the district school and at private academies, and he then prepared for college in the Benedict Classical School in Rochester. He took the arts course in the University of Rochester, was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and two years later the degree of Master of Arts was conferred upon him. He then commenced the study of law and was admitted to the bar in 1869. He never practiced law but devoted himself to the profession of teaching. This he commenced in rural schools, and became the principal of Nunda Academy in 1870, holding the position until 1875. From 1875 to 1880 he was principal of the schools in Olean, New York, and then held a similar position in the high school at Jamestown, New York. During the time he held this latter position he also conducted a manufacturing business until 1885. The next five years were devoted to his duties as principal of the Mohawk high school, and in September, 1890, he came to Geneva, New York, as principal of the high school, and in May, 1891, was elected superintendent and principal, a position he is still filling with honor and dignity. In political matters he affiliates with the Republican party,...

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Weiland, Charles “Chuck” – Obituary

Baker City, Oregon Charles “Chuck” Weiland, 87, a longtime Baker City resident, died Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2001, at St. Elizabeth Health Services. A family memorial service will be held at a later date. Gray’s West & Co. is in charge of arrangements. Chuck was born Feb. 22, 1914, in Jamestown, New York, to Albert and Antoinette Weiland. He was raised and educated in Rochester, N.Y., with two older brothers. On April 23, 1938, he married Evelyn Bosse, his high school sweetheart. He was a purchasing agent and later manager of Fasco Industries, a company that manufactures a variety of vent systems and electric motors. All this time Chuck indulged his pleasures in the out-of-doors, especially fishing, which he enjoyed all over the country. Chuck retired early and he and Evelyn traveled all over the lower 48 states. He moved to the Baker City area in 1985 to be near his only daughter, Joyce McKie, after his wife died Chuck made friends easily and became an Elk and a Mason. He spent most of his time with his nose in a book and a dog at his feet. His favorite chair gave him a good, close view of the deer that were always hanging around his yard. He had a lifetime passion for automobiles, especially sports cars. At times he owned two or three at once. In the Baker City...

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Biography of Hon. Levant F. Thompson

HON. LEVANT F. THOMPSON. – There are but few lives of the pioneer settlers of the many communities upon the Pacific slope which illustrate in a greater degree than does that of the subject of this sketch the varied experiences of those who lay the bases of future commonwealths; the motives under-lying action; the vicissitudes which mold and alter resolution; and the patient waiting for the reward of following sagacious and far-seeing judgment in the adoption of location. Here is a man who was comparatively denied the education of the schools; who has assimilated practical knowledge as he struggles with life, and profits by what is passing around him; who makes no claim to pre-eminent ability, intellectually or physically; who assumes no superiority because of gifts or advantages; but who, with only proper self-reliance, simply, steadily obeys the dictates of intuitive good judgment so aptly described in our Western unabridged language as “horse sense.” yet Mr. Thompson is a state-builder, the impress of his life being plainly stamped upon the embryo settlements of Pierce county and the State of Washington; and his works will live after him. Perhaps “he builded wiser than he knew'” for he did not seem ambitious for public recognition, and never sought public honors nor offices. When he did serve the public, it was he who was sought. He was unpretentious, unassuming. Indeed, his innate...

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Biographical Sketch of D. A. Rice

D. A. Rice, station agent, telegraph operator and grain-dealer, Oakland; born in Chautauqua Co., N. Y., April 4, 1847, where he lived until 9 years of age, when he removed with his parents to Pickaway Co., Ohio, where he commenced the study of telegraphy, living there three years; then to New Lexington, where he lived two years, the last year, having charge of the telegraph office at that place; he lived in Ohio and engaged in telegraphing until 1870, when he removed to Illinois and located at Effingham, where he was engaged at telegraphing for a short time, when he changed to another station and was employed by that line for three years; he then removed to Ohio, where he was engaged in telegraphing until 1876, when he came to Oakland and took charge of this office, which he has since operated. He was married July 12, 1868, to Alice J. Hughes; she was born in Hamilton Co., Ohio, Jan. 6, 1852; they have two children now living by this union-Eva, born Dec. 9, 1870, and Wilber, born Jan. 6,...

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Biographical Sketch of Isaac Vail

Isaac Vail, proprietor of livery, feed and sale stable, Charleston; was born in Dutchess Co., N. Y., Nov. 29, 1833; in 1839, his father removed with his family to Chautauqua Co., N. Y., and after residing there ten years, to Erie Co., Penn., thence the next year to Steuben Co., Ind., and, in 1851, to Coles Co.; his father located 800 acres of Government land in Hickory Tp., four miles north of Charleston, at a cost of $700. Three years later he removed to Livingston Co., where he is a prominent farmer. Mr. Vail left home in 1852, driving an ox-team across the plains to Oregon, and spent three years in that State and California. He returned in 1855, and, the following year, erected a mill in Livingston Co., which he ran till the breaking-out of the rebellion. In August, 1862, he enlisted in the 129th I. V. as Sergeant in Co. E; he was with Sherman from Chattanooga to Atlanta. and on the famous march to the sea, and up through the Carolinas and Virginia to Washington, participating in all the battles of his regiment. He returned in 1865, and the same year located in Charleston, and ran a planing-mill for two years. He then sold out and went to farming, and, in 186S, built his livery-stable, and engaged in his present business. He was a member of...

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Biography of Captain Thomas Jonathan Jeffords

Captain Thomas Jonathan Jeffords was born in Chautauqua County, New York, in 1832. He laid out the road from Leavenworth, Kansas, to Denver, in 1858. In the fall of 1859 he came to Taos, New Mexico, and wintered in Taos. The following spring he went into the San Juan Mountains to prospect and mine. In 1862 he carried dispatches from Fort Thorn to General Carleton at Tucson. At that time, he was on the payroll of the United States Government as a scout, and piloted the advance companies of the California Column into New Mexico, to old Fort Thorn near the Rio Grande near Las Cruces. He is said to have taken part in the battle of Val Verde and the other engagements which resulted in the expulsion of the Confederates from New Mexico. In 1867 Captain Jeffords made the personal acquaintance of Cochise, who had been very active against all Americans and Mexicans. Of this meeting, Captain Jeffords said: “He had killed twenty-one men to my knowledge, fourteen of whom were in my employ. I made up my mind that I wanted to see him. I located one of his Indians and a camp where he came personally. In the meantime, I had acquired a smattering knowledge of the Indian language, having been an Indian trader under a commission from Mr. Parker, Secretary of the Interior. Having been...

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Biography of C.N. Bentley

C.N. Bentley, whose home is on section 21, Harlem township, is one of the venerable figures of the pioneer gatherings of Stephenson county. It indeed has few if any residents whose settlement antedates his own. He knows what it means to open up a new country to civilization, and he is now living in the peace and comfort that follows a long and useful career. Eldred Bentley, the grandfather of the subject of this article, was born in Rhode Island, but spent the greater part of his life in Rensselaer county, New York, and died in Chautauqua county of that state in 1851, at the age of ninety-three. His wife, Nata, was an own sister of that Ethan Allen, who linked his name with fame beyond divorce in the capture of the fort at Ticonderoga at the opening of the Revolutionary struggle. Eldred Bentley, Jr., the father of C. N. Bentley, was born in Rensselaer county in 1793, and died in Chautauqua county in 1843. Mr. Bentley was born in Berkshire county, Massachusetts, July 24th, 1826, and of his brothers and sisters mention is briefly made. John lives in Winnebago county, and Eldred at Ellington, Chautauqua county, New York. Louisa married Norman Carr, and died in Ellington in 1891. Jemima married Mr. Jeffords, and died in Pennsylvania in 1896. Sarah died at Ellington while still a young girl, and...

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