Tag Archives: Bicentennial Biographies

William Bemus – Bicentennial Biography No. 12

William Bemus was born in 1762 at Bemus Heights, Saratoga County. At the start of the Revolutionary War, he moved to Pittstown in Rensselaer County. In 1782 he wed Mary Prendergast, daughter of William and Mehitable Prendergast. Early in 1800, the Prendergasts and Bemus sold their property and made the decision to migrate to the west or to Canada. Continue reading

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William and Mehitable Prendergast – Bicentennial Biography No. 11

It can be said that no other family has had a more significant impact on the early settlement of the Chautauqua Lake Region than that of William Prendergast and his offspring. It’s fascinating, then, to consider that the Prendergast arrival may never have occurred, due to an event 40 years earlier. Continue reading

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Captain James Dunn – Bicentennial Biography No. 10

The first settler in the town of Portland was Capt. James Dunn, who came from near Meadville, Pa., in 1804, and located about 1,100 acres near the center of the town, not yet surveyed into lots. In 1805 he built a log cabin on lot 31, town five… Continue reading

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Hezekiah Barker – Bicentennial Biography No. 9

Hezekiah Barker, a native of Rhode Island, settled within the limits of the present village of Fredonia in the fall of 1806. The village common, in the center of the village, was a donation from him to the corporate village and bears his name. He built a gristmill in partnership with Richard Williams and traveled 80 miles to Pennsylvania with an ox team to get the grist stones… Continue reading

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Zattu Cushing – Bicentennial Biography No. 8

The first white man to settle in what is now Fredonia was Thomas McClintock. But the first to permanently settle on the waters of Canadaway Creek was Zattu Cushing, who came in 1805 from Oneida County.

A ship’s carpenter by trade, Cushing was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts and had worked in Boston and then in Oneida County. In 1798 Continue reading

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Edward Work – Bicentennial Biography No. 7

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… Continue reading

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