Thursday, March 28, 2013

The location of Lay’s Tavern.  
By Douglas H. Shepard, 2013

Downs, p.414 says that Lay’s Tavern was a well-known place of entertainment near the Lake shore in what is now the city of Dunkirk in 1813, and was at one time plundered by the sailors and men from an English vessel. That is not true, although the error is understandable. In 1843 Samuel A. Brown lectured on local history. He noted that in 1813 the British rifled “Lay’s house, this side of Buffalo.” Later the goods were returned, put ashore at Dunkirk. E. F. Warren’s Sketches of 1846, pp.55-56 said that goods were “plundered from Lay tavern, long known as a house of entertainment near the lake shore, between Cattaraugus Creek and Buffalo.”
The  Centennial History,(1904) p 91 described it as “Lay’s Tavern near the lake shore in Erie County.” Downs, p.451, said “Lay’s Tavern west of Buffalo, near the lake” and, on p.414, that the tavern was in Dunkirk. (These were separate articles probably written by different people.) Apparently the fact that the British returned Lay’s goods at the convenient Dunkirk location led someone to assume that the tavern was there as well. Where exactly the tavern stood, is still not clear. Property deeds might answer the question.
Abner Williams in the War of 1812
By Douglas H. Shepard, 2012

            It was a frightening time in the little community of Canadaway when the War of 1812 broke out. Rumors of enemy action and Indian raids added to anxiety about all the other unknowns. However, a strong surge of patriotism soon began to balance out the fears. Young men —and old — joined the local militia unit, and there are many accounts of individuals rushing to repel incursions at the mouth of Canadaway Creek or marching to defend Buffalo from advancing troops.
            There was one exception to this pattern: Abner Williams. Somehow, Abner found himself not in the militia down by the Creek or marching east to Buffalo, but in Presqu’ Isle, today’s Erie PA, assigned as a Marine private to Oliver H. Perry’s flagship Lawrence. To understand how this came about and its consequences, we must first look into the history of the postal service — of all things — to glean some answers.
            When the earliest permanent settlers came to what is now Fredonia in 1805, mail delivery was not economically feasible considering the sparse population. At first, we were served by the Buffalo post office to which someone had to travel to pick up or send off any mail. However, by 1807 a route between Buffalo and Erie was established with the 90 mile trip being made once a week. The contract was awarded to John Metcalf who hired the first carrier, John Edward.
            It was not until the War of 1812 brought an increased sense of urgency that the Federal Government directed the Postmaster at Buffalo to establish an express mail route to Cleveland to run twice a week. It was that route for which Richard Williams became a subcontractor. Williams was one of our early settlers. He and Hezekiah Barker built the first grist and saw mills and, when Barker built his log home/inn by today’s Barker Common [1 Park Place] in 1808, Williams soon followed with a comparable home/inn at today’s 189 West Main Street. When he took on subcontracting the mail delivery in 1812, he did not himself make the run. Rather, he hired others to do that. One was his oldest son, Abner Williams, the other was Nathan Cleland who had come to Fredonia in 1811. “In the winter of 1812-13 Cleland carried the mail from this village [Canadaway/Fredonia] to Erie on alternate days, part of the time on horseback, except when there was snow on the ground, when he rode in a ‘jumper’ or ‘pung.’ This vehicle was made by taking two saplings, the small ends for thills, and to the large end attaching a rude box with pins [dowels] in the saplings, and cutting away the wood just forward of the box, so that they would bend, in the form of runners.
            “In February he carried Commodore Perry to Erie in his ‘jumper’ when that distinguished officer proceeded to construct his fleet at that place, with which he won the memorable victory on the 10th of September following. The Commodore was brought from Buffalo to this place in connection with Mr. Cleland from this place to Erie.” In other words, what The Fredonia Censor of 1 June 1870 was saying in paraphrasing a Cleland interview was that Richard Williams hired his eldest son Abner to carry the mail between Buffalo and Canadaway and Nathan Cleland to handle the Canadaway to Erie segment. Both boys were 17.
            If the Censor editor was quoting accurately, Cleland, then 75 years old, should have put the trip in which they carried Oliver Hazard Perry as taking place in March rather than February 1813. It is very clear from various contemporary records that Perry left Buffalo on the 25th or 26th of March and arrived at the Pennsylvania port on the 27th. However, the precise date of the journey is not so significant as the fact that it was Abner Williams who carried him on the first leg. We may well imagine the patriotic young man listening avidly to whatever the older one — Perry was all of 27 — had to tell him of his already substantial naval career and of the battles yet to come. It surely was an important factor in Abner’s decision as to where he would enlist soon after.
            There is only one other contemporary account of how Abner Williams became involved in the War, that by his younger sister Sophia Williams (later Mrs. William Harris). In a reminiscence published in The Fredonia Censor (25 June 1873) for an Old Settlers Reunion, Mrs. Harris wrote, “My oldest brother used to carry it [the mail] on horseback. He enlisted in Buffalo as a recruiting officer and a number of young men went to the war with him.” Either the newspaper mangled her original text or Mrs. Harris was relaying some family accounts that were misunderstood. Certainly Abner Williams was in Buffalo picking up or delivering mail often enough, but he did not enlist there. He enlisted at Erie, and he surely didn’t “enlist as a recruiting officer.” No service would take an 18-year old raw recruit and set him to recruiting others. The task would fall to some seasoned veteran who could glamorize the service and bully or cajole young men into signing up.
            Just such a man was Lieutenant John Brooks of the U. S. Marine Corps. Brooks and seven enlisted men were sent as a recruiting party from Washington DC early in April 1813. Gerard T. Altoff’s meticulously researched Oliver Hazard Perry and the Battle of Lake Erie describes how the team recruited at Frederick and Hagerstown MD and then in Pittsburgh and Waterford PA as they made their way to Erie. Unfortunately, all their efforts yielded but seven new recruits. However, as Altoff explains, (p.15), “Over the next eleven weeks [from 17 May 1813] Brooks canvassed nearby towns seeking volunteers. . . . By the time the squadron was ready to sail in August, the resourceful Brooks had managed to enlist at least 35 more men for his Marine detachment.” Among the 35 was Abner M. Williams of Canadaway, Chautauqua County, New York. His service record shows that he enlisted at Erie on 24 July 1813 “to serve five years in the Marine Corps of the UNITED STATES. . . .” (Someone had been very persuasive.) He signed in three places in the document and, on the reverse, endorsed the entry “Rec’d Erie 24 July 1813 of Lt. John Brooks Twenty Dollars as Bounty for the within Enlistment.”
            It would seem that between 17 May, when Brooks first arrived at Erie, and 24 July, Abner Williams responded to some call from within or without, presenting himself to take up — not the limited militia term — but the serious five year commitment the Marine Corps demanded. Perhaps the twenty dollar bounty, something like $200 in today’s dollars, made the difference, although it didn’t seem to work for his compatriots at home. “A number of young men went to the war with him,” Mrs. Harris stated, but none is evident in the muster rolls or the record of prize moneys awarded participants or their families after the battle. In Deep Water Sailors: Shallow Water Soldiers, Altoff has attempted to trace every person who manned — or was intended to man — the Lake Erie fleet in 1813, with particular attention to those who were soldiers, not sailors. With one, perhaps two, exceptions no other New Yorkers were involved.
            John P. Downs’ History of Chautauqua County, Vol. I, p.451, has an interesting although unfortunately unsourced account. “Chautauqua county furnished men for Perry’s fleet, just how many cannot now be told. Portland furnished one, Samuel Perry, a cousin of the Commodore, and as daring as the commodore himself. He was desperately wounded near the close of the battle. The next day, with four others, hopeless cases like himself, he was landed at the mouth of Chautauqua creek at the now village of Barcelona. He lingered until 1814, cared for by friends and a generous public, and died, and his remains are now resting somewhere near the lake with those of three of his companions, one only recovering, who wandered away to his home in some section of Western Pennsylvania. Pomfret furnished one, Abner Williams, eldest son of Richard Williams, an early settler; he was killed on the Lawrence early in the battle, and his body, with others, thrown in to the lake. Charlotte furnished one, a young man by the name of Gooderich, then in the employ of Major Sinclear. It is said that he greatly distinguished himself in the engagement and in due time returned.”
            In personal correspondence, G. T. Altoff suggested that Gooderich might be Josiah Goodrich who was issued a silver medal from the State of Pennsylvania. He later moved to and eventually died in Madison Township, Geauga County, Ohio. “The family history has him being born in Connecticut and enlisting at Erie.” However, “we have no record whatsoever of a Samuel Perry serving on board the American squadron. He shows up on neither the prize list nor the casualty list. . . . Still this does not mean that a Samuel Perry did not fight in the battle. Many names were omitted from Samuel Hambleton’s prize list. . . .”
            Thus we have one likely and one possible western New Yorker to add to the record. Were they recruited by Abner Williams as Mrs. Harris described it? The more likely one geographically is Samuel Perry of Portland NY. Dr. H. C. Taylor in his Historical Sketches of the Town of Portland, New York (p.317) refers to a Samuel Perry, in passing, as having married Fanny Barnes and fathering an “Oliver H. Perry” (named for his heroic relative?). Samuel Perry died in Portland in 1815, which does seem to fit with Downs account, although it seems odd that Taylor, who devotes some pages to the land battles, does not mention Samuel Perry or the Battle of Lake Erie.
            The other candidate, more geographically distant, is Josiah Goodrich. The early local historian Obed Edson gave an outline history of the Town of Charlotte printed in Celebration of the One Hundreth Anniversary of American Independence at Sinclairville, N.Y., July 4, 1876 in the collection of Donald L. Jordan, Historian for the Town of Charlotte and Village of Sinclairville. In this historical sketch, Edson states that “Goodrich, a young man in the employ of Maj. Sinclair, read at night the proclamation of Commodore Perry asking for assistance, and the next morning started from Sinclairville to join him; he enlisted, participated in the naval battle on Lake Erie, of the 10th of September, 1813, was distinguished for his gallant conduct, and was rewarded therefor. He returned afterwards to Sinclairville, with his hearing much impaired from his participation in the battle.”
            In the 1855 Census of Charlotte, Joseph Goodrich, 46, is recorded as having been born in Chenango County and having been resident in Chautauqua County 20 years. His wife, Nancy, was 53, born in Otsego county and resident 25 years. Their children were the twins Lephy P. and Tilphy, both 18. Unfortunately, the biographical details about Josiah Goodrich  — born Rocky Hill CT in 1785, married Harriet Moor 21 December 1814, had seven children in Ohio — seem to bear no relationship to our Joseph Goodrich. We must assume, then, that he too is among those missed from the record. However, since the early historical sketch describes him as reading “the proclamation of Commodore Perry asking for assistance,” and responding the next morning, we may accept that Mrs. Harris — or the editor — was in error about his being one of those recruited by Abner Williams.
            Later in her reminiscence, Mrs. Harris returned to the Battle of Lake Erie remembering “the day my brother [Elijah] brought the news of Perry’s battle and victory. We knew there had been a battle for we heard the report of the cannon, although so far away, and every man and woman was all anxiety to know the result.” It seems a little doubtful that the cannonade taking place some 250 miles away could have been heard over that great distance, although they obviously knew there had been a battle of some kind. “Mother had been busy all day with her work, she seemed to be in such a hurry. My aunt [Asenath Woodcock] said to her. ‘What makes you hurry so? You don’t stop for a moment.’ She answered, ‘I want to get through before the mail comes, for it may be I can’t work then.’ She seemed to have a presentiment of my brother’s death. Towards evening most of the neighboring men had collected on father’s platform [porch?] to be in time for the news. Soon my brother [Elijah] was seen coming and the news was spread. ‘The mail is coming’ was enough. Mother ran to the door as he rode up and said ‘Elijah, is Abner killed or wounded?’ He is not wounded, mother,’ was the reply, and he handed her a letter from Commodore Perry telling of his [Abner’s] bravery, his fighting after he was wounded, till finally he was cut in two by a cannon ball.”
            The general impression made by this sad account is that the battle noises had been heard that day, or perhaps the previous one, and neighbors gathered to learn the news. That would have been the late afternoon of September 10th or 11th, 1813. Again, a question arises. The Battle of Lake Erie concluded with the British surrendering in mid-afternoon of the 10th. Because of the need to immediately inform the army of the change in the balance of power on the lakes, as Altoff’s Oliver Hazard Perry, p.54, tells us “Perry hastily scribbled a note to William Henry Harrison.” That was the famous “We have met the enemy and they are ours” document. “A short time later Perry scribed a more eloquent, though less dramatic letter to Secretary of the Navy William Jones headed U.S.Brig Niagara off the Western Sister [island] Head of Lake Erie, Sept. 10th 1813 4 p.m.”
            After an exhausting ten hours, it is not likely that Perry was able, or had the casualty reports sufficiently in hand to begin writing a letter such as Mrs. Harris described: telling of Abner’s bravery, his continuing to fight, and how he died. Not if Perry was to write one for each of the 27 Americans killed in the engagement, much less for the 96 wounded. Let us say that it took another day or two, at a minimum, to gather together all the reports and then dictate, or write, a personal letter referring to the heroic actions of each individual. That would mean letters may have been ready to go out by the end of the day on the 12th (although, unfortunately, there is no record in Perry’s collected correspondence nor in government archives of any such letters being sent).  The standard time of delivery for the post between Buffalo and Erie was from Buffalo, Saturday noon, arriving at Erie on Monday at 6 p.m. From Erie it left on Tuesday at 6 a.m., arriving at Buffalo on Thursday at 12 noon. If a dispatch boat reached Erie in time and the mail left at 6 a.m. on the 13th, it should have arrived in Buffalo on Thursday 15 September where Elijah could have picked it up and raced for home that evening. (If the mail took its usual route, being brought to William’s “platform” from Erie, which would have been early in the day, then taken by Elijah to Buffalo, why wasn’t the letter just handed over in Fredonia? If it was the express mail, simply changing riders and transferring a sealed pouch might explain that.) Of course, this is all total speculation.
            We have no idea when, exactly, the written news reached the anxious group gathered outside 189 West Main Street or whether Mrs. Harris has conflated the simple news bulletin with a later formal letter of condolence. But one thing we do know with certainty. Despite any doubts that might be raised about some of the details in Mrs. Harris’ narrative so far, there can be no doubt about the authentic tone of the events she goes on to depict. “The scene that followed [Elijah’s news] I cannot attempt to describe. It was a house of mourning and rejoicing. My father and mother, hand in hand, walked through the house out the back door, through the garden into his peach orchard and sat down on a log. There they gave vent to their pent up grief. I followed them and stood by mother, and such a prayer as she prayed to her God that He would give them strength to bear up under that crushing blow I never heard before.”
            Although, as a notation in Abner’s enlistment document indicates, the $20.00 bounty was “Transferred to his father Richard Williams,” and in July 1814 Abner’s prize money of $214.89 was paid to his father, nothing could compensate for the death of their firstborn son. “My poor brother’s death broke his spirit and crushed his life’s prospects. He never recovered the shock of the irreparable loss; he lived on but an altered man.” On 20 September 1822 “death released him from his life’s labors and his lifeless clay was laid to rest in Fredonia’s burying ground,” Pioneer Cemetery, in a grave next to a simple family marker: Abner M. Williams Died Sept. 10, 1813 Aged 18 Yrs. —His life he gave to his Country, his body to the deep.
Fredonia and the War of 1812
By Douglas H. Shepard, 2012

            There are a number of exciting events during the War of 1812 which involved Fredonians. However, what is most interesting is the way in which accounts of those incidents were added to, embellished and sometimes combined as time passed.
            The incidents, in chronological order, were 1) the stationing of a company of militia at the mouth of Canadaway Creek; 2) the 4th of July 1812 celebration in Fredonia; 3) British depredations near Silver Creek around 23 September 1812; 4) attempted landing of British on 26 September 1812; 5) British raid at 18-Mile Creek and their return to Canadaway Creek; and 6) Salt boats pursued into Canadaway Creek.
            The first incident is a fairly simple one. In preparation for hostilities, a company of militia were stationed at Portland and another group of some 45 men at the mouth of Canadaway Creek. The move had two purposes, according to an 11 July 1812 letter written by William Peacock, Holland Land Co., sub-agent at Mayville, to his superior, Joseph Ellicott. One purpose was to calm the fears of the inhabitants and keep them from moving away. The other purpose was to interrupt the illicit trade going on between some local entrepreneurs and the British. Peacock reported that some Fredonia merchants were “unprincipled Characters.  Hale, Lovejoy &c., had 379 Barl [barrels] of Flour and a number of Barls of Pt [Pot] & Pearl Ash Stored in a Barn at the mouth of Canadaway Cr. . . . there were boats hovering about that place in order (as some of the Inhabitants believed) to take the property away in the night — on the morning of the 30th of June last, the guarding of the Flour &c became popular & patriotic [news of the declaration of war had just reached this area], and about 40 men volunteered their services to take Charge of the property in order to prevent Hale &c. to disposing of it to our Enemy, the British. . . . I understood yesterday [10 July 1812] that the property is still under guard.”
            In other words, from 30 June at least through 10 July 1812 a group of some 40 men stood guard at the mouth of Canadaway Creek. This account may cast some light on the oddly sly remark made by Levi Risley in an 1880 letter to the editor of the Censor: Arnold Russell and James Brigham “were in the battle at the  mouth of the creek when the British vessel, ‘Queen Charlotte,’ sent soldiers on shore to see why Mr. Ebenezer Johnson should have so large a barn.”
            The second event may actually be a part of the first. In The Fredonia Censor of 21 July 1858, a man signing himself “Pioneer,” wrote a long description of the 4th of July 1812 celebration he attended in Fredonia. After morning salutes, breakfast and a dance in the loft of Hezekiah Barker’s log cabin, about at today’s 1 Park Place, everyone repaired to Judge Zattu Cushing’s huge barn to listen to his oration scheduled for 11:00 a.m.
            The Judge was just finishing his opening remarks “when a messenger came up to the door, almost out of breath, and cried out, ‘The British are landing at the mouth of the creek! Every able bodied man turn out!’ The reader will be reminded that we had just commenced the scuffle with John Bull at that time, and this was the first alarm.”
            “The Judge stopped pronouncing his oration” and the men and older boys raced off. “After about fifteen minutes, order was restored, and the Judge finished his oration to the ladies and such boys as remained to hear.” After that the boys swam in the creek and played ball “while the old soldiers in knots and groups around the common, fought the Revolutionary battles over again.”
In 1864, O. W. Johnson wrote a memoir of Zattu Cushing, whom he had never known, which included an account of that 4th of July celebration. “In the midst of the oration the roar of artillery and muskets announced that a battle had commenced at the mouth of the creek.” This barrage of Johnson’s replaced the out-of-breath messenger. The men in the audience raced to the battle, and, said Johnson, “the orator was at the scene of danger as soon as any of the audience.” In his 1875 History, Andrew Young added that it was a salt boat that had taken refuge in Canadaway Creek that the British were after, that  is was Mrs. Cole who rode to Fredonia with the warning, and that “after her return, she was actively engaged in carrying food and drink to the little army,” the 40 man detachment. In 1960 Miss Crocker wrote an article, “Two Courageous Women,” in which she repeats Young’s version adding “Mrs. Cole further showed her great patriotism by melting her pewter, including her precious tea pot, into bullets, which were used as ammunition by one of her sons for the purpose of repelling the British while he and
the neighbors patrolled the area about the mouth of the Canadaway Creek.”
To return to “Pioneer’s” account, with the orator still at home, by evening a vigilance committee had set up a plan for sentry duty along the lakeshore. “The guard for each station was two men and two boys of the larger class. As it happened to fall to the lot of two men and another boy, with your humble chronicler, to stand guard on the night of the day above mentioned, we marched cheerfully, though very tired, about nine miles to our place of destination.”
            If we can combine these two, we have a preliminary group standing guard at the mouth of Canadaway Creek from at least as early as 30 June 1812. On 4 July 1812 an alarm is sounded and a messenger rides to Fredonia to round up more men. Following that, small groups of “sentries” are posted along the shore of Lake Erie which brings us to the next event. Dr. Jacob Burgess of Silver Creek wrote in a letter of 4 August 1812 that “we have met and elected officers and raised a company of volunteers.”  Around the 23rd of September 1812 the British landed 8 to 10 miles east of Silver Creek and plundered some three or four houses of pork, bedding, whiskey and clothing. They lay off shore for two or three days with a ship and three boats and “took one of our salt boats.” (Salt was a precious commodity on the frontier and there was more than one attempt at a raid to make off with a supply.)
            The next major engagement occurred late in June 1813. Some of the details are in Peacock’s annual report to Ellicott dated 2 July 1813. “They [the British] have committed depredations in several places upon the frontier settlements, mostly at, and near, to the 18 Mile Creek; they entered the Cattaraugus Creek but returned without effecting anything; then came into Canadaway Creek, with a Flag of truce, in order, as they said, to return the goods they had plundered from the Inhabitants at the 18 Mile Creek &c.” (Peacock believed they were actually just snooping around to find more goods.) “The Inhabitants living nigh there rallied and met them on the beach — fired one Gun, and shot one of the sailors through the calf of the leg. — While the Lieutenant was in conversation with Judge Cushing and others on the shore, seven of the Sailors gave his Majesty leg bail, took to the woods and left behind an old Negro & the Lieutenant to run the boat back. The deserters were apprehended the next day [and] carried to Erie.”
            In a letter of 24 June 1813, Olive H. Perry noted that on 23 June the ship Queen Charlotte and the brig Lady Prevost “were at anchor off Canadaway yesterday” and that three of the deserters sent to him at Erie had provided useful information about the disposition of the British fleet on the lake.
            In 1843 Samuel A. Brown gave a lecture on the history of Chautauqua County which included an account he had obtained from Leverett Barker himself about the June 1813 event. The British had rifled Lay’s Inn “this side of Buffalo,” but then agreed to return what had been taken. It was packed up and put on board the “British Queen” an armed vessel of some 10 or 12 guns and sent to Chadwick’s Bay. Under a flag of truce a Lieutenant and thirteen men brought the goods ashore with twelve of the thirteen immediately deserting. “Four of the citizens of Pomfret (from one of whom I received this information) went to Dunkirk and had an interview with the Lieutenant. While they were conversing, a party of militia, from the present town of Sheridan, repaired too near the spot and not knowing who they were, nor seeing the white flag, but seeing two British red coats, they fired.”
Which explains how the shooting occurred under a flag of truce.  That also explains why Cushing happened to be there, along with Leverett Barker and two  other delegates from Fredonia, although Downs, in his History of Chautauqua County (1921) claims that Cushing was already there because he had just filled his wagon with a load of salt and was about to drive the oxen home when the men with a flag of truce came ashore.
            The next event also involved salt. “Some boats loaded with salt started from Buffalo to go up the lake. A British armed schooner of 8 or 10 guns laying at Fort Erie, discovered them and gave chase. The boats for security, ran into Canadaway Creek, west of Dunkirk. A boat from the schooner, with 18 or 20 men were sent ashore to capture the salt boats. In the mean time, the militia, seeing the armed vessel approaching the shore, hastily repaired to the place where danger was apprehended. The sailors landed and while on shore were unceremoniously fired upon. Three of them fell, but were picked up by their comrades, and the whole party made for the ship with as much speed as possible. The schooner then commenced firing toward the place where the salt boats lay, and continued it for about an hour. Many of our citizens were afterwards led to the spot to gratify curiosity, to witness the trees and shore hit by the cannon balls. This vessel was afterwards taken by Perry, and the crew sent to Buffalo. They stated that three of their number were severely wounded in this encounter, but no one killed.”
            In his 1846 History, E. F. Warren, giving full credit to S. A. Brown, writes about the encounter, paraphrasing Brown’s account. However, when he gave a lecture on the same subject in April 1865 to the Fredonia Historical Society, he added to the salt boat episode that “Mrs. Cole, now deceased, who lived near, and had a plain view of the whole scene, asserted that she saw six of their number fall.”
            Later embellishments include that by William Risley, writing in 1871, about the salt boat raid. “This [the mouth of Canadaway Creek] was at that time the only place where small boats could enter and unload salt and other merchandise. It was supposed that the British were in want of salt, and a trial was to be made to get some. When the boat got near to the mouth of the creek, there being a sufficient number to guard the place concealed in the woods on the bank, our men all arose and fired towards the boat, which turned the enemy about, and they were soon out of reach. . . . At this time James Mullett and D. W. Douglass, who were clerks in this place, hearing that a boat was in sight, got one horse and both got on. In riding over the rough roads Douglass slipped off behind, and Mullett reported that he had ‘fallen in the service of his country.’”
            William Risley’s brother Levi went him one better in an 1880 letter about the old days. “[Arnold] Russell and [James] Brigham were in the battle at the mouth of the creek when the British vessel “Queen Charlotte,” sent soldiers on shore to see why Mr. Ebenezer Johnson should have so large a barn and they returned minus three men who deserted them and ran for the woods. This was the time D. W. Douglass used to say ‘that he fell in the cause of his country.’ While two (Douglass and Horace Spencer) were riding one horse and running him over the rough road of stumps and roots, the poor horse fell, and dumped them both into a mud hole.” Some of these differences are probably due to the fact that at the time of the salt boats episode William Risley was about 10 years old and Levi was 7. They had been living in Ohio for a few years, returning in May 1814, so what we may be hearing are second-hand accounts told years later. However, in this 200th anniversary year, we should express our appreciation for those who did their part in difficult times, whether embellished or not.

Wood Ashes and Whiskey
By Douglas H. Shepard, 2013

            The first settlers here contracted with the Holland Land Co. for land that was relatively cheap but that could only be had at the price of a great amount of labor. For example, take Hezekiah Barker, who arrived on his 360-acre lot in the fall of 1806. He and his family moved into the small log house built on the flats off today’s Water Street by the previous tenant, Thomas McClintock, who had built a log house in February 1804 and cleared a small amount of land by June, part of the requirements of contracting with the land company.
            So what the Barkers had in 1806 was a 360-acre farm with at least 300 acres of it completely covered by a dense forest. The timber could have been valuable if there were any way to get it to market, but the roads were too primitive and lake shipping too lacking. The answer to this dilemma was compression. By burning the felled trees and turning the ashes into potash or pearl ash, a profit could be expected even when it was transported to a market as far off as Montreal.
            The process was not one for the amateur, however. The ashes had to be processed at an ashery, of which there were, in time, several in the area. In an article in the Fredonia Censor of 28 January 1880 Levi Risley mentioned one which had been located at about 112 West Main Street. There was another one, run by James Mark, in whose honor the Barker Common fountains were donated. In operation by 1812-1813, it stood at the edge of Canadaway Creek on the north side of Main Street just west of the bridge.
            The ashery process involved burning hardwood to make ashes. These were put into a wooden vat, water poured over them and the resulting “soup” taken off and put in a large, heavy iron kettle or pot and cooked over a steady open fire until it was entirely dry. This pot ash was called black salts, and they could be sold or put into a large oven or kiln, heated to a high temperature to further refine the black salts into pearl ash, a more valuable product.
            This process of “compressing” acres of timber into a valuable, portable product was also true for another local commodity, grain or corn which could be harvested, fermented and distilled into whiskey. A large amount of grain resulted in a small but more valuable supply of alcohol. There was a correlation between the two efforts. As the original forest was cleared, more land lay open for planting and more grain was raised. Risley explained in an article in the Fredonia Censor of 9 April 1884, “It was impossible to transport it [grain] in wagons through the Cattaraugus swamp when it took three days of hard labor for a team to haul an empty wagon to Buffalo.”  In addition, “Chadwick’s Bay (today’s Dunkirk) had no landing place or wharf before 1816 or 1817, …. The Erie Canal was not finished until 1826 and no outlet was opened so that the surplus grain could be disposed of….”
The answer to this dilemma was the distillery. The first, according to Risley, in 1813 was on today’s 112 West Main Street lot and another near today’s Howard Street. All told, between 1813 and 1826 there were eight distilleries in Fredonia, plus one each in Laona, Milford (today’s Lamberton) and Dunkirk.
The consequences Risley described were predictable. “Some persons took whisky in exchange (as no money could be had) and took it home to drink at their fireside. Others took it out in drinks at the distillery. Whisky was a panacea for every ill. It was used when they worked; it was used when they played. It was used to warm them in cold weather; it was used to cool them in hot weather. It was offered to a neighbor when he called. It was drunk as an appetizer before breakfast. It was drunk to make a bed for their dinner. It was drunk at supper, and finally with all meals….It was drunk by most of the ministers of the gospel. It was drunk by the judges on the bench. . . .”
The inevitable outcome was a long series of temperance movements and groups such as the Pomfret Temperance Society  (1829), the Chautauqua County Temperance Society (1831), the Fredonia Temperance Society (1833), the Friends of Temperance (1834), the Female Moral Reform Society (1838), the Fredonia Total Abstinence Society (1842), and the Good Templars (1868), all culminating in 1874 in the formation of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.
It was the WCTU which opened a “public Parlor, Reading Room and Restaurant” as an alternative for young men to frequent instead of the hotel bars and taverns. And it was that effort which ultimately evolved into a public library, today’s Darwin R. Barker Library and Museum.
It is an interesting coincidence that attitudes about trees and about drinking began to alter at the same time. In 1808 Hezekiah Barker had the Common cleared of trees. All around, trees were taken down and burned to make room for homes, shops, and productive farm acreage. In 1818 the Abells paid to have the Common plowed and planted to wheat. However, by 1833 trees were being planted again on the Common, and by the 1840s residents were being encouraged to plant shade trees along their walkways. In April 1850 William Risley made a motion at the Village Board meeting that one day of each man’s required work on the roads be waived for each maple, elm, basswood and walnut tree set out on any street in the Village.
The end result of all these conflicting attitudes and movements is easy to see. There is our library and museum sitting companionably across the way from our beautiful, tree-shaded Common, the happy results of what had begun simply as wood ashes and whiskey.
A Brief History of Pioneer Cemetery
by Douglas Shepard, 2012

The first death in the new Canadaway community was that of six-year old Hannah Woodcock killed by a felled tree in the dense woods just south of today's Maple Ave. That was in October 1807.

Local tradition -- no doubt true -- has it that Hezekiah Barker offered a burial site at the far edge of his 259-acre farm. The precise site of Hannah's grave, unknown to us today, was chosen by Windsor Brigham. He and his family had only recently arrived here and were staying with the Richard Williams family, Hannah Woodcock's uncle and close neighbor.
There are nine recorded deaths in the community between that October 1807 and July 1810, but no indication that they were buried in the same place as she was. However, on July 21, 1810 Martha, wife of George Patterson, died and was buried there. Her grave can be located today. The same is true, in increasing numbers, with other burials and markers, as the years pass. By 1818, the Chautauque Gazette had begun, and in 1821 the New York [later Fredonia] Censor, both of which are helpful in recording deaths and places of burial.
It is in 1880, by law, that the Town of Pomfret began recording all births, marriages and deaths, with the Village following in 1885. From then on the record of place of burial is much easier to follow or to verify.
In 1909, E. A. Wilder surveyed and mapped the burial ground, indicating all the extant grave sites he could identify and giving each a distinctive number. A record of locations, names and dates was made, keyed to the map numbers, and an alphabetical index to that record was added. In the 1970s, Jack Blodgett made a new record of every stone and inscription" he could find and provided an index to his list. Combining the Wilder and Blodgett records provides a useful beginning for recording all retrievable burial locations in Pioneer Cemetery.
As far as the legal and geographical state of Pioneer Cemetery goes, that is a more complicated matter. When Hezekiah Barker permitted, or encouraged, Hannah Woodcock's burial on his farm in 1807, he still had some years to go before he could pay off his contract and actually own the land. That took place on 12 November 1812. The parcel deeded to him by the Holland Land Co. was a large one, 259 acres, and, no doubt by prior agreement, Barker sold the east part, 100 acres, to his son Barzillai on 5 December 1812.
Again, although no written record exists, there must have been some kind of understanding about the communal burial ground, on what was now Barzillai Barker's land, since at the very least four people had been buried there by 1812 and eight more by 1815.
The next reference that we have to the cemetery is a subscription paper of 24 May 1815 signed by 30 residents pledging to pay a specified amount to Leverett Barker and Mosely W. Abell for "the purchase of the Burying Ground on the East side of Canadaway Creek, on Lands belonging to Barzillai Barker and also for the purpose of clearing off the said Burying Ground and erecting a Suitable fence around the Same."
On 20 June 1815, less than a month later, a 1 1/2-acre lot was conveyed to Leverett Barker, Mosely W. Abell, Squire White, Jacob Houghton, and Charles Burritt, although no deed to that effect was ever recorded. This group, to whom the land was conveyed, does not seem to have been a committee of the Town Board. Of the five men, only Leverett Barker was on the Board, and that was as Secretary. Of course, all five were very prominent men in their own right, so it would seem they were representing the citizens of Pomfret in general. Indeed, the last sentence of the subscription they had circulated stipulated that the improvements to the burying ground were to be done "Under the Inspection and Direction of such person or persons as a Majority of the Citizens concerned shall deem expedient."
That may explain why there is no mention of the collection effort, the sale or of any subsequent actions in the Minutes of the Town's annual meetings either in April 1815, just before the subscription list was begun, or in April 1816, after the land had been transferred. In fact, there is no reference to the burial ground in the Town Minutes for the next 21 years. Luckily, items in the Fredonia Censor give occasional glimpses of activity. It would seem that once the cemetery ground was purchased and perhaps some initial clearing done, and a modest fence put up, interest slackened.
In June 1827, ten years later, the Censor remarked on the "terrible condition of the cemetery." All kinds of cattle were being permitted to roam free and there was "no fence to speak of." That led to another effort, another subscription, to put up a proper fence. The Censor of 16 January 1828 expected the work to be done by the first of May, but, on 20 February, the editor issued a warning that "Persons who have subscribed towards building a Fence around the burying ground...are cautioned against paying any part of the same to William Bond at least until he can show them the subscription paper." Nothing more is heard of the matter, and the fence apparently was built.
In the following year, 1829, the Village of Fredonia was incorporated, its bounds including the cemetery. However, no mention is made of it in the articles of incorporation nor in the Village Board Minutes for the first few years. The first reference in the Minutes is for 27 June 1832 when it is directed that B. Taylor be paid for repairs and a lock for the "gate of the burying ground." That suggests that the Village had assumed the responsibility for maintaining the cemetery.
Five years later, the Town Board issued its first statement on the matter, voting that the Supervisor and the Town Clerk-elect be authorized to look into "the condition of all the burying grounds in the Town of Pomfret and that they cause all such fence repairs and other improvements to be made." That must have included the old burying ground, as it was called, since in March 1840 they agreed to expend $100 "in fencing and enlarging the burying ground in Fredonia" and in March 1841 "resolved that the balance of Money now in Supervisors hands be expended in enlarging the burying ground in Fredonia."
At the annual election of the Village Board in April 1839, the Trustees were directed "to take charge of the hearse," and at the Board meeting of 3 April, Messrs. Ferris and Gillis were appointed as a committee to make arrangements in relation to the hearse. Although it is not clear who had owned the hearse, it looks as though some kind of working arrangement had been arrived at between Village and Town, because in March 1842, the Town went ahead with their plans, passing a resolution "that we raise the necessary amount, not exceeding fifty dollars, to fence the burying ground in Fredonia."
Enlargement of the burying ground was accomplished by the Town buying a small strip, north of the original lot, from Squire White and John Brigham. The deed, completed in November 1842, described the addition as beginning at the northeast corner of the burying ground "as it has heretofore been fenced and used." It is that purchase that added the triangular piece at the upper west end of the cemetery as well as a strip all the way along the top of the original lot.
Perhaps foreseeing the day when the original cemetery would be filled, the Village Board appointed a committee in April 1848 to find a new site for a Village burying ground, but they also charged the Committee with circulating a subscription "to improve the present one." Nothing seems to have come of a search for another site, but in April 1849 the original committee was enlarged, adding Buckland Gillett to the group, and stating that Bartholomew Staats was to be the corporation Sexton.
As a follow-up, the Committee, consisting of William Risley, R. Greene, and H. C. Frisbee, entered an elegantly worded notice in the Censor of 15 May 1849 that "Persons desirous of obtaining places for interment in the burying ground of this village, are requested to call upon Mr. B. Gillett, residing nearly opposite of the same [133 E. Main], that proper places may be designated for such purpose. Mr. B. Staats is the legally appointed Sexton."
This is the first clear indication of any agency in either Town or Village trying to regulate the allocation of grave sites. That suggests there was an agreement with the Town, by which the Town took care of the lot, while the Village handled the allocation of grave sites and the formalities of burial itself.
In November 1849 the Censor reported that "we are requested to state that Mr. James Killean will act as Sexton of the graveyard until the next annual corporation meeting. Application [for the position] may be made to Mr. Buckland Gillett, near the graveyard." Bartholomew Staats had moved to Gowanda at this time, leaving the position of Sexton vacant.
Although no comment on the matter can be found in the Minutes of Town Meetings just before or after, the Village Board Minutes of April 1851 state that "the Trustees are requested to take charge of the burying ground, appoint a Sexton, etc." As a consequence, at the 22 April meeting, the Village appointed James Killean as Sexton for the following year, directed that Mr. Payne was to have the Hearse, Pall, etc., and that Buckland Gillett "be requested to take charge and direct the control of the same."
That clearly put the Village in entire charge, but whatever the arrangement had been, there seems to have been a shift during the following year because by 2 February 1853, the Town Board resolved "that the publik burying grounds of the town of Pomfret be placed in the charge and custody of the Supervisor for the time being and that he is authorized and instructed to keep them in repair and fenced at the Expense of the town." This strongly suggests that the Town was taking over what it had previously allowed the Village to control.
Whether this was the cause of -- or otherwise connected with -- another call for a new cemetery is not clear, but in June 1853 formal plans were proposed to buy the forest land behind the old burying ground for a private cemetery. Although that effort failed, the second attempt a year later succeeded. The "Village Cemetery Association" was formed and, on July 15, 1854, the name The Forest Hill Cemetery was adopted.
That may have taken some of the pressure off the Town to be the only provider of burial space. By 1856, however, complaints began to be heard once again. In April an anonymous correspondent in the Censor pointed out that although daily one might see family and friends visiting the Old Burying Ground, one of Fredonia's naturally beautiful locations, how "painful must it be to them, to find it profanely occupied as a 'Cow Pasture,' and open 'Common.' Will not our public functionaries look to it?"
The Town Minutes contain no response to the problem. However, in May 1858, a Committee of the Village Board was formed "to confer with the Supervisor of the Town about making a wall and securing the bank on the line of Main St. and the old Burying Ground." In July, H. Smith was empowered by the Village to excavate along the burying ground on Main St. for a wall.
This could be no more significant than the Village shoring up the bank to protect its walkways, and the need to confer with the Town Supervisor seems to indicate clearly that the wall building would impinge on the Town's domain. There are no further references to the old burying ground in either the Village or the Town minutes for the next ten or so years.
During that period, an arrangement was worked out by which George Ryman, Sexton of the new cemetery, Forest Hill, acted as Sexton for the old burying ground as well. Nothing appears in the minutes of the Town nor of the Cemetery Association at the time. However, we do have Ryman's diary entries beginning in January 1867. (Ryman had been Sexton at Forest Hill Cemetery at least since 1859.)
At this point it would be best to summarize the physical layout of the burying ground as of 1867. The original acre and a half had been added to in 1842, giving us the long rectangular plot running off East Main St. with a triangular "ear" at the northwest corner. That configuration can be seen on the 1851 map, with an odd triangular piece marked out half-way up the west side that may be a private burial ground. The 1867 map has the same outline without the west- line indentation, and the 1881 map shows another strip added to the west side of the original lot.
More land seems to have been added since then to make the lot a complete rectangle. Because of the angle at which East Main St. runs at that point, the cemetery lot runs northwest off Main St. The gravesites, by and large, are oriented in the traditional due east-west line. That is, the headstones, where they remain in place, stand at the east end of the grave; the footstones, if any, at the west. Some very early graves -- and later ones associated with them -- run slightly more northeast-southwest, but they are no more than some 30 out of the 1600 and more.
The point here is that someone had a plan, a large design for how the grave sites should be aligned. Concrete cylinders with vitreous tops impressed with a number in each were buried with just the glass number plate showing. There are at least 545 such cylinders in regular order still extant throughout the main part of the cemetery but not in the separate sections running along the western edge that seem to have been private burial yards later added to the main cemetery.
When Ryman began recording his work as Sexton for the old burying ground, in January 1867, he did not use, nor did he ever refer to, those markers, so they had either not yet been placed, or their use had lapsed over the years, perhaps with the loss of records.
In February 1870 the Town Board initiated efforts to buy a strip of land from the Forest Hill Cemetery Association "lying north of the old burying the North line of the fair ground...." That apparently fell through. However, the Minutes of the Forest Hill Cemetery Association in July 1873 note that W. W. McKinstry and A. Hinckley were to be a Committee "to care for the old burying ground in behalf of the Town of Pomfret." Again in 1881 the subject was discussed. "After conferring about the old burying ground and hearing the act passed in 1870 and hearing that recent acts at the old grounds had been and were to our injury as a corporation, after hearing from our former committee to care for the old ground in behalf of the Town of Pomfret, and much deliberation, it was resolved W. W. McKinstry and R. P. Clement be our Committee to take charge of the old Cemetery under the authority of the act...and control it for our protection."
Ryman continued- acting as Sexton at the Town's cemetery until his death in 1894. Fifteen years later, the Town apparently had E. A. Wilder make a thorough map of the cemetery. The map is signed by Wilder and dated 9 August 1909, when the work was completed. However, no resolution directing Wilder to do the work is in the Minutes nor is any payment recorded.  
When he surveyed the cemetery, Wilder assigned a unique number to every grave site he could find and developed a ledger of the grave sites and an index to the personal names still legible on the stones. Obviously, since the Town owns and still uses that map and record, it must have been done for them, even though the Town Minutes don't mention it. Equally obviously, Wilder had no other records to go by because he seems to have depended entirely on the extant stones. He too ignores the glass-top markers, as did Ryman, which argues that it was indeed a scheme laid out before either of them began his work, that is, before 1867, and long enough before to have been forgotten or lost track of.
Because the glass markers are in the top part of the cemetery as well, which piece was added in 1842, we can date them to the twenty-some years after 1842, but allowing enough time for them to be forgotten or become not useful by 1867. Logically it would seem they were put in place when the Village was most involved, when Mr. Staats was Village Sexton, and when "persons desirous of obtaining places for interment" were to call upon Mr. Buckland Gillett so that "proper places may be designated."
It may well have been that when the Town reasserted its rights to the old burying ground in 1853 while the Village was looking forward to a brand new cemetery at Forest Hill, the old records were stored, perhaps at the home of the Sexton, and later forgotten, lost or destroyed.
What we are left with, then, are whatever legible stones remain, Ryman's "geographical" notes ("e.g.[Buried] Mr. Tibbs at foot of Henry Green's children"), and Wilder's map, and it is that map that calls for very careful scrutiny. Wilder seems to have surveyed the burying ground very carefully, which means he must have spent a good bit of time at his task. He began at the extreme right hand side, entering from East Main St. The gravesite he numbered 1 is that of Charles Robbins, "C.R." on his map. He worked his way up along the easterly line to number 8, then came back down to the Main St. end and picked up again with 9 (mislabeled "8" on the map) through 12. That covered a sequence of graves laid out at right angles to the eastern boundary.
Most of the rest are oriented east-west, as we have seen. These begin with number 13 and follow the same pattern of proceeding, in this case, due north to the end of a line then corning back down and working back up in the next row. Because the path from the East Main St. entrance makes a natural divider, he used that as his base, coming back down just to the path, then working northerly again assigning sequential numbers and marking initials on his map where the names were still legible.
Periodically he had to shift back to the earlier orientation when he reached some graves further up along that right-hand boundary. In addition, Wilder's map shows a large loop at the westerly end of the path which is not there now.
Because Wilder's numbering uses the straight road all the way from the entrance as a base line, but ignores the three legs of the loop, it may well be that the loop was a proposed extension of the path that was never actually laid out. In late September 1901, Mrs. Mary C. Spaulding wrote a letter, with a great deal of family history about the Crosbys in it, to her cousin Olive Risley Seward. She explained that when Simon Crosby, their great-great grandfather, died in 1836, their grandfather, Dr. Orris Crosby, was already out west which is why his father's grave did not receive a headstone. "When a new road was extended through the old cemetery it crossed the Crosby lot. Mother [Olive Caroline Crosby Smith] was notified by Uncle William Risley, and she sent money to pay the expense of having her mother's body placed in the Risley lot [Sally Patrick Crosby was moved to grave site #1498] at the same time, and they thought it best to have another superscription put on the stones [Wife of Orris Crosby, mother of Mrs. D. G. Smith, sister of Mrs. Wm. Risley] as all of the older members of the family would soon be gone. Mother furnished the money and Uncle William attended to it. She also furnished enough to have her Grandfather [Simon] Crosby's remains moved to the other side of his wife's grave if the new road encroached in the least upon the grave. For some reason this was not we nearly lost track of his grave; as the road ran across the head of it. I found it by getting down and examining the ground closely. The Revolutionary marker rescues it from oblivion but I am sorry it was not moved.
"When we found it had not been [moved] [it was too late] a new grave had just been made the other side of his wife." What Mrs. Spaulding is referring to are graves 935,936, and 937. Since William Risley died in 1883, the "new road" must have been put through earlier than that. Since, on February 1, 1880, the Town Board had resolved that "the sum of one hundred dollars ($100) be raised in the Town of Pomfret to expend on the Old Cemetery for a culvert at the entrance and a driveway for carriages...." in all likelihood 1880 is when the new road was laid out.
When Wilder had reached the last gravesite above the main path in the northwesterly corner, the "ear," he had reached to grave site number 1066. At that point, he returned to the East Main St. end of the burial ground, but below the dividing path, and continued with 1067 through 1537. He then moved to the sections that run along the westerly edge. He marked them off into three distinct units. The largest section, the one closest to East Main St. and just above where 112 E. Main St. stands, was the one he took up first.
That section, and the other two, have the grave sites all laid out parallel to East Main St. rather than being oriented east-west. Wilder picked up his numbering with 1538 closest to East Main St. and to the body of the cemetery, then worked straight up to the top of the large section, came back down to East Main St. and worked up again until he reached the upper limit of this section at the westerly edge.
There are two other sections, above this one. The larger of the two lies easterly, the smaller westerly. For these, Wilder started his numbering over again and in reverse order. Starting at the left hand side of the large parcel at the top with 1, he worked down to 11, picked up with 12 towards the top and came down to 17, then up again to 18 and down to 24. There is no 25, but at the top, in the middle, he has a prominent box with the number 26 in it. (There is another box at the bottom next to 24 that may have been meant for 25.)
Finally, Wilder took the smallest of the three westerly lots and again began with 1 in the upper left corner, marking off six grave sites in two parallel rows. Between them is a box he marked G. and in the extreme upper left another box marked F.
One thing is immediately clear. The lowest of the three westerly segments Wilder considered a continuing part of the main cemetery. However, the two smaller segments he numbered separately, handling each one as an independent unit with its own numbering system, and did not include any of the inscriptions in his roster and index, as though they did not belong with the other Old Burying Ground entries.
These must be what were the "private burying ground" references in the 1841 deed and in later ones. The 1841 reference was to the easterly line of a parcel which ran from the southwest corner of the burying ground on Main St. N.58°West 1.97 to the southeast corner of Pearson Crosby's family burying ground lot.
That private lot (Crosby's) was a square, 1.10 (72.6 feet) on each side. A deed of April 1868 begins in the northerly line of Main St. and runs easterly to the corner of the public burying ground lot, thence north 66 feet to John Miller's private burying ground lot then westerly 72 feet 8 inches to Miller's corner, then north again along the lines of Miller's Button's, Crosby's, etc. to Forbes, then easterly along Forbes to the cemetery then northerly again to the Fair Grounds. One of March 1880 follows a similar line, as does that of March 1893. All record that "ear" in the northwesterly corner.
The 1893 deed describes a line beginning on Main St. 73 feet southwest of the corner of the cemetery wall then running northwesterly along the lands of Harrison Parker, then the private burying grounds of Miller, Button, Crosby and Forbes, a total distance of 128 feet. Then, parallel to Main St., the line went northeasterly 33 feet, then turned northwesterly again and ran along the Matteson and Walworth private burying grounds 67 feet. It then continued another 44 feet westerly to the Forest Hill Cemetery line.
The Harrison Parker land is the "notch," 73 feet wide, where 112 East Main St. is today. The sequence of Miller, Button and Crosby grave sites runs north past the Forbes graves. The line then ran easterly parallel to Main St. 33 feet, that is, part way along the top of the Forbes enclosure, then north westerly again up to the underside of the "ear."
This configuration matches what Wilder drew in 1909.
Alvah H.Walker
By Douglas H. Shepard, 2013

            Alvah H. Walker was born in Foster RI on 15 February 1802 to Mr. and Mrs. John Walker. The family moved to Sheridan NY in 1805/1806. (When he attended the Old Settlers Reunion in June 1873, A. H. Walker remarked that of his three brothers, one was born in the town of Chautauqua, Genesee Co., one in Pomfret, Niagara Co., and one in Sheridan, Chautauqua Co., and all were born in the same house.)
            In 1821 Alvah Walker moved to Fredonia where he worked as a store clerk. By June 1827 he had become a partner with O. M’Cluer in the firm of M’Cluer & Walker. In May 1831 Walker joined D. Sackett to form Sackett & Walker at the corner of Main and Eagle streets, the building formerly occupied by M. D. & J. Harmon. In 1832 D. Sackett sold his interest to John Walker and the business was moved to “the new store” at the corner of Main and Water streets as A. H. Walker & Co., that is, 1 East Main Street.
            On 1 October 1834 Walker married Minerva, daughter of Dr. Noah Snow, and in June 1841 A. H. Walker & Co. added Stephen Snow as a partner in Walker, Snow & Co. That location in February 1853 was described as “two doors west of Cole & Barker shoe store.” A. H. Walker was elected to the State Senate in 1853. At the end of his term, in 1855, he and his family moved to Michigan. The 1854 map of the Village of Fredonia shows his home at today’s 141 West Main Street, later the home of Dr. Washburn. Walker died in Michigan in April 1891.