By Douglas H. Shepard, 2013
Aaron Kellogg and his work in this region’s anti-slavery society were cited in Bates, Samuel P., History of Erie County, Warner Beers and Co., Chicago, Illinois, 1884. Kellogg was born in Clinton NY on 8 October1799 to Amos and Rachel (Porter) Kellogg, the third of eight children. His father died in 1806, but the family seems to have remained in Clinton. Aaron was still there when he married Eliza Dodge Shaw of Trenton NY on 12 February 1824. There is an Aaron Kellogg in Ellery NY in 1830, but that seems to be another man with a family of six, including four daughters. Aaron and Eliza had three children of record: Warren (b.1825), Sarah (1828), and Aaron William (1844). The 1840 Census finds the family in North East PA, a family of five including one boy and two girls, perhaps one a domestic. Aaron’s obituary reads in part that he was born in Clinton, Oneida Co. and “came to Erie, Pa.,” suggesting he moved directly to Erie from Clinton. There were a number of Kelloggs in North East at the time, which may explain the move.
Nelson’s Biographical Dictionary lists Aaron Kellogg as having a “general store,” although no specific date is given. Beginning in 1849 he was running the Franklin Paper Mill in North East, and he did so until his tenure expired. Aaron Kellogg was involved in Erie County politics fairly early. He was a founding member of the local Antislavery Society and his name is listed in the Abolitionist party slate in 1844, 1848, and 1852. There are other Kelloggs there involved in the anti-slavery movement, such as George Kellogg, who ran on the Abolitionist ticket in 1842, and Quaker Josiah Kellogg, whose home was a noted stop on the Underground Railroad.
In 1854 Aaron and his son Warren bought the Red Castle works, a woolen mill in Laona NY owned by Gorham and Fletcher. A large wing was added to the three-story building and a larger 17 foot overshot wheel was installed. The new enterprise was called the Willow Dale Mills. Aaron Kellogg died on 28 January 1859 and the mill was continued with Warren Kellogg in charge. In 1861 Willard McKinstry and his brother-in-law, A. P. Durlin, leased it, probably to insure a supply of newsprint for their Fredonia Censor. They had it until 1865 when it was “sold to W. D. [Warren D.] Kellogg and P. B. Alexander.” Eliza lived with her son Warren and his wife Mary until her death in 1891.