Tag Archives: Town of Ellington

Bicentennial Biographies No. 166 – 170

A collection of bicentennial biographies from Chautauqua County, N.Y. featuring Robert H. Jackson (Frewsburg and Jamestown), Herman Cooper (Fredonia), Nathan Brown (Ellington and Jamestown), Murray Norcross Shelton (Dunkirk) and Jehuu Caulcrick (Clymer/Findley lake). Originally broadcast on local radio stations Aug. 29 – Sept. 2, 2011.

No. 166 – Robert H. Jackson

Robert H. Jackson (1892 - 1954)

Robert Houghwout Jackson was born in Spring Creek, Pa. on Feb. 13, 1892. Five years later his family moved to Frewsburg.

From an early age Robert was recognized for his public speaking skills and even before finishing school, he was speaking before various clubs and organizations in Frewsburg and Jamestown. He graduated from Frewsburg High School in 1910 and spent a post-graduate year at Jamestown High School. He did not attend college, but apprenticed in a law office and attended Albany Law School for one year.

At the age of 21, Jackson took the New York State Bar exam and became a prominent trial lawyer in Jamestown. Over the next 20 years, he became a very successful lawyer in New York State and, through bar association activities, a rising young lawyer nationally.

In 1934, Jackson answered the call of President Franklin D. Roosevelt to serve as general counsel at the Internal Revenue Service. His decision to move to Washington, D.C. as a public servant was a fateful one, as it steered his life into becoming one of the most remarkable personal stories in American history. Continue reading

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Bicentennial Biographies No. 56 – 60

A collection of bicentennial biographies from Chautauqua County, N.Y. featuring Lucile M. Wright (Jamestown), Evelynn Crandall (Kennedy), Harriet “Pantsy” Walker (Fredonia), Hugh Bedient (Falconer), and Benjamin F. Goodrich (Ripley). Originally airing on local radio stations March 28 – April 1, 2011.

No. 56 – Lucile Wright

Lucile M. Wright (left). Photo courtesy of Jean Henry Mead

Lucile Miller Wright was born in 1900, in Beatrice, Neb. and grew up living on her family’s ranch in Billings, Mont. In 1922 she went on her first flight with General Billy Mitchell, who was a personal friend of her father, Henry A. Miller. The aviator took young Lucile for a spin in his X-5 Jenny and they flew over New York’s Long and Staten Islands. Mitchell also allowed her to hold the control stick while in flight. It was at this point that Lucile fell in love with flying.

Because she was a woman, Lucile had a difficult time getting into flight school. She bought her flight time but male instructors were unwilling to admit she was ready for her flight test, even though she received the same training as the men, including flight time and written exams. But with a persistent determination, the feisty redhead finally earned her pilots license in 1935. Continue reading

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Bicentennial Biographies No. 51 – 55

A collection of bicentennial biographies from Chautauqua County, featuring James Strang (Ellington), Ellen Yates Miller. (Jamestown), George Pullman (Brocton), Edith Ainge (Jamestown), and Gertrude Williams (Kennedy). Originally airing on local radio stations March 21 – March 25 2011.

No. 51 – James Strang


James Jesse Strang was born March 21, 1813, in, Cayuga County, N.Y., the son of Clement Strang and Abigail James Strang. In June 1836, James moved to Clear Creek in the Town of Ellington and began practicing law in nearby Randolph. In November of that same year, he married Mary Abigal Perce in Silver Creek. While living in Chautauqua County, Strang also served as owner and editor the Randolph Herald and as Ellington postmaster for five years. On Aug. 18, 1843, Strang and his wife loaded their belongings into a carriage and left their home in Clear Creek for Burlington, Wis. Continue reading

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Bicentennial Biographies No. 46 – 50

A collection of bicentennial biographies from Chautauqua County, featuring Bill Rexford (Conewango), Elnora Monroe Babcock (Dunkirk), Charles E. Goodell (Jamestown), George Carter (Silver Creek), and William Hart (Fredonia). Originally airing on local radio stations March 14 to March 18, 2011.

No. 46 – Bill Rexford

Bill Rexford (Photo courtesy of the Chautauqua Sports HOF)

Bill Rexford was born March 14, 1927 in Conewango Valley, N.Y., located in the Town of Ellington. As a young man, he made a name for himself driving stock cars in various races throughout the region, including the Penny Royal Speedway in Leon. After competing there for several years following a two year stint in the Navy, Rexford’s talents were recognized and he made the move to NASCAR in 1949, participating in three late season Grand National races.

In 1950, Rexford became the first of two Northern drivers to regularly race in the Grand National division. The other driver was his teammate, Lloyd Moore. That year, he won his first career NASCAR race at Canfield, Ohio. By the end of the same season, Rexford was involved in the race for the championship and ended up benefiting from the misfortunes of three other contenders, including the legendary Lee Petty, who had been stripped of over 800 points by NASCAR for racing in non-NASCAR Continue reading

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Major Samuel Sinclear – Bicentennial Biography No. 18

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.

Map provided by www.co.chautauqua.ny.us

Major Samuel Sinclear was born in New Hampshire in 1762 and joined the army when he was only 14, serving for four years.  While in service, he was present at the Battles of Bemis Heights, Monmouth and Valley Forge. He was discharged at the age of 18 and after spending time in Maine as a ship builder, he came to New York in 1788, where he lived in Utica and Cherry Valley.

In 1809, Sinclear purchased land from the Holland Land Company at the Batavia land office and started building a log cabin in what is today Sinclairville. The cabin was built at the intersection of two roads, one lead to Cherry Cheek, the other to Charlotte Center.

Other settlers soon came to the area, and Sinclear’s cabin came to serve as a dwelling for new settlers while they built their homes, a schoolhouse and a church. In the fall of 1810, Sinclear cut a wagon road from Fredonia to Sinclairville, the first opened into the central part of the county; and in October 1810, his family, which included his stepsons, Obed and John M. Edson, arrived.

During the summer of 1810, he erected a sawmill and in the fall a frame dwelling house which was for many years the village tavern. In 1811 he built a gristmill. In 1813 he was elected the first supervisor of Gerry, then comprising the present towns of Charlotte, Gerry, Cherry Creek, and Ellington, and continued as its supervisor for six years.

Sinclear died on February 8, 1827. It was not until after his death that Sinclairville assumed its name (with the alternate spelling).

Ref: Young’s History of Chautauqua County; History of Chautauqua County, New York and its people; Sinclairville’s History in Text and Pictures

View Complete List of Bicentennial Biographies and Audio

- J. Sample

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