Bicentennial Biographies is a not-for-profit radio project designed to raise awareness and increase interest in local history. It is brought to you as a public service by the Chautauqua County Historical Society throughout 2011 to celebrate the county’s 200th birthday. To learn more, visit www.McClurgMuseum.org or contact your local historical society.
Most people in Chautauqua County know where Falconer is, but the community just to the east of Jamestown didn’t always go by that name. It was originally called “Worksburg” after Edward Work, who purchased the land from the Holland Land Company in August 1807.
Work was born in Franklin County, Penn. in 1773. In early life he was a lawyer who settled in Meadville, Penn. about 1798. Work eventually formed a business partnership with Dr. Thomas Kennedy. In 1807, they purchased over 1,200 acres east of present day Jamestown, Falconer, and Levant.
Work soon moved to the new property and built a home of hewn logs and a year later, set up a milling operation to harvest timber from the virgin forests located throughout the region. A gristmill was then built in 1809. Both milling operations served as a key asset in the later development of southeastern Chautauqua County, including the building of the first lumber mill in what is present-day Jamestown. Edward Work sold most of his property and retired from business in 1840, but remained a resident of the area until his death in 1857.
– J. Sample