Edward Work – Bicentennial Biography No. 7

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.

Edward Work - Founder of Worksburg, later renamed Falconer.

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.

Ref: Young’s History of Chautauqua County

– J. Sample

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5 Responses to Edward Work – Bicentennial Biography No. 7

  1. Jason says:

    That is why there is a ‘Work Street’ in Falconer. I never knew that. It would be fascinating to know the location of the early homesteads. Does that information exist?

    • Jim says:

      There might be more info pertaining to this at the Fenton History Center or either/both of the Jamestown or Falconer public libraries, Jason. There used to be a Chautauqua County map from 1856 showing Worksburg and Falconer (which is now Kennedy) posted on the wall of the Coffee Cup Restaurant on East 2nd Street. Other communities then were also known by different names; i.e., “Sinclearville” for Sinclairville, and another name for Gerry, which I believe might have been “Bascom’s Corners”, or something similar to that?

    • kathleen Ingrao says:

      I own The home in which, I believe was the home Edward Work built and lived in after his retirement. I have the last will and testament attached to the deed to my home . It is interesting and very cool. he named many of the streets after his friends, such as.. James st, mosher st, Allan st, Tiffany st.. etc. ( that is according to the will) also he was the founder of the first methodist church in Worksbrg( falconer) . According to the will the church was on his property to begin with, he eventually moved it to the middle of town. Edward Work also was co founder of the Methodist church in Lakeview av in Jamestown. I have alot of information on Edward work due to it being attached to the Deed to my house. It is very interesting reading.

  2. admin says:

    Jason, the 1854 maps Jim is referring to can be found here. Hi-Resolution and very detailed.


    -j. sample

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