Goodyear, Titus, and Koons Avenue are three streets running between Walden and Broadway in the Emerson Neighborhood on the East Side of Buffalo.
The streets were named after Charles Waterhouse Goodyear, his brother Frank H. Goodyear, Judge Robert Titus, Edward Koons, and his brother Henry Koons. These men entered into a partnership to subdivide and develop the streets and much of the land surrounding these streets. This post is going to focus on the Goodyear brothers, entries for the Koons Brothers and Judge Titus will follow shortly.
Note: Buffalo’s Charles Goodyear is not the same Charles Goodyear that Goodyear tires are named after. Charles Goodyear of the tire fame invented vulcanized rubber around 1844 in Massachusetts.
Charles Waterhouse Goodyear was born in Cortland, New York in 1846. He attended school in Cortland, Wyoming, and East Aurora, New York. He came to Buffalo in 1868 to study law and was admitted to the bar in 1871. He joined Grover Cleveland’s firm of Cleveland, Bissell, and Sicard when Cleveland left to run for president in 1883.
In 1887, Charles gave up law to enter into business with his brother to form F. H. & C. W. Goodyear. Together, Charles and Frank expanded the railroad and merged it with the Buffalo and Susquehanna Railroad from Buffalo to Wellsville. They profited by using the railroad to ship lumber, rather than floating it down streams, as was the practice of the time.
Charles held the office of Trustee of the Buffalo Normal School, now known as Buffalo State College. He was also was one of the organizers of the Pan American Exposition and was President of the Buffalo Club. He was a close friend of President Grover Cleveland and Cleveland’s Secretary of State, Daniel Lamont. Charles and his wife were the first guests of President Cleveland at the White House.
Charles and his wife Ella lived in a mansion at 888 Delaware Avenue, which was built in 1903 and designed by Green & Wicks. Charles died in 1911 and is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery.
Following Charles’ death, Ella established the Charles W. Goodyear Fund at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Charles and Ella’s son Anson Goodyear later served on the board of the Albright Art Gallery (now the Albright-Knox). Anson was one of the board members who insisted that the gallery begin to acquire modern art, of which the museum is now well-known.
Ella lived in the Delaware Ave mansion until her death in 1940. At that time, the mansion was sold to the Blue Cross Corporation. The mansion was then sold to the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo in 1950 when it became Bishop McMahon High School. It was purchased in 1988 by Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo and was used as the Robert B. Adam Education Center. In 2005, Oracle Charter School purchased the building.
In 1960, the family donated $500,000 to the University at Buffalo in Ella Goodyear’s name. This money was used to build Goodyear Hall on South Campus. The building of Goodyear Hall was important to the development of UB towards becoming a residential college. Part of the UB2020 plan involves renovating Goodyear Hall and converting it from dormitory rooms into student apartments.
Frank Henry Goodyear was born in Groton, Tompkins County, New York on March 17, 1849. Shortly after he was born, the family moved to Holland, New York. He attended public and private schools and the East Aurora Academy. In 1871, he moved to Buffalo to engage in the coal and wood business. He later entered the lumber business and was one of the largest lumber manufacturers in the United States at the time. His firm manufactured over 150,000,000 feet of lumber yearly. In 1884, Frank built the Sinnemahoning Railroad, which connected to the WNY&P Railroad in Keating Summit, Pennsylvania. In 1887, he entered into business with his brother Charles.
Frank Goodyear built a mansion at 762 Delaware Avenue, at the northwest corner of Summer Street. Frank passed away in 1907 of Bright’s Disease shortly after moving into the mansion. Frank made many donations to Buffalo parks. Frank’s wife Josephine lived in the house until she died in 1915. Following Josephine’s death, the house was lived in by Frank and Josephine’s son, Frank Junior. The mansion was demolished in 1938 and is now the site of the parking lot for the Red Cross.
Don’t forget to check out the Street Index to learn about other streets.
- Our County and it’s People: A Descriptive Work on Erie County, New York. Edited by: Trumen C. White. The Boston History Company, Published 1898.
- Dunn, Edward. Buffalo’s Delaware Avenue: Mansions and Families. Canisius College Press, 2003.