Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Parkside’

russell

Map showing the locations of Russell, Fairfield and Greenfield Streets and Orchard Place.

Russell Street is a street in the Parkside neighborhood of Buffalo.  It runs for four blocks between Parkside Avenue and Greenfield Street.   Greenfield and Fairfield Street, as well as Orchard Place, were also named because of the Russell family.  You can explore the Parkside neighborhood at the Parkside Tour of Homes on Sunday, May 20th.  The tour starts this year at the corner of Russell Street and Parkside Avenue.  The tour runs from 11 am to 4:30 pm and you can get more information and buy tickets by clicking on this link.  All money raised goes to support the Parkside Community Association and all the good work they do in the neighborhood.

Russell Street is named after Washington Adams Russell II and his family.  His name is sometimes misprinted (including by myself on my blog post about Elam Jewett) as Washington Russell III.  A Russell relative currently living in New York City, the Great Grandson of Washington Adams Russell II, corrected me and provided some of the information provided below.  There were three Washington A. Russells.  The first two were Washington Adams, the third one’s middle name was Alfred.

Washington Adams Russell, the first, was born in 1799.  He built the oldest home in the Parkside area around 1841.  Mr. Russell was born in Middletown, Pennsylvania (near Harrisburg).  The Russells were a prominent family in Middletown, and Russell Street there was likely named after Washington Russell’s father, James Russell, who had served in the Revolutionary War.  James named his son after the first two presidents – Washington and Adams (the only two presidents at that time!)  Washington Adams Russell came to Buffalo with his father-in-law, Rudolph Barr (originally Bär or Baer), a Swiss brewer.  Mr. Barr had a brewery near Ferry and Main Street.  The Barr family operated Cold Spring Tavern there from 1826 until about 1849.  Mr. Russell bought 200-acres of land in what is now Parkside and built the first brick home in the Parkside area in 1841, at 2540 Main Street.  The house still stands and is now a church.

Washington Adams Russell had eight children.  His daughter Eliza was born in 1827 and married Barton Atkins, a Great Lakes ship captain.   The son, Washington Adams Russell II, was born in 1828.  Mr. Russell the elder died in August 1876 and is buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Buffalo map 1872 (1)_Page_1

Map depicting land owners. Washington Russell’s land is near the center of the photo.  His father-in-law, Henry Mochel’s land can be seen across Main Street to the northeast of the Russell Farm.    Source: 1872 Hopkins Atlas of Buffalo

Washington Russell II went to California in 1849.  He returned to Buffalo and married Mary Magdalena Mochel in 1867.  Mary Russell’s parents ran a tavern across Main Street, near what became Bennett High School.   Washington II and Mary had four children.  Their first-born son, Washington Alfred Russell (called Fred), was born in 1869. A second son, James, was born in 1877.  Daughters, Nellie and Lilian were born in 1872 and 1880 respectively.  The family lived in the Russell House on Main Street.

Washington Russell II, along with Elam Jewett and Dr. J. White, formed the Parkside Land Improvement Company in 1885.  The men began to develop and sell off the lots.   Russell Street was the cowpath the family’s cows would walk to drink from the spring in the Delaware Park Meadow.  Fairfield and Greenfield were the names of pastures on the Russell farm, near where the streets are today.  Orchard Place was the site of the family’s fruit orchard.   The streets were laid out in 1886 by the Parkside Land Company and dedicated to the city in 1889.  Olmstead had planned for Parkside to be comprised of large lots for quiet villas, the developers opted instead to decrease the size of many of the lots from 300 feet to 100-200 feet, in order to maximize profits by allowing more lots to be sold and more houses to be built.  As such, the neighborhood has Olmsted’s curving streets and building setbacks, but not the large lot sizes.  Russell Street was originally known as Russell Avenue, but at some point was changed to Street.

IMG_0133 (3)

Washington Adams Russell II strolling in front of his house (on the right of the photograph). His son’s more ornate Victorian era home at 2532 Main Street is behind him to the left of the photo. Both houses are still standing today. Photo from Robert Russell’s family collection

Washington Russell II. died in November 1904 and is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery.

James Russell, son of Washington of Parkside Land Improvement Company, was grandfather of Robert Russell who provided information for this post.  James was sometimes considered a black sheep of the family, because he married a Catholic girl.  Her father also ran a tavern.  James and his family lived at 39 Fairfield Street, which backed into the property at 2540 Main Street where his father lived.   James’ daughter Jean was born in 1908 and was part of the first graduating class of Bennett High School in 1926.  James’ son was James Washington Russell, and James Washington Russell’s son was Robert Russell.

Nellie and Lillian lived in the old house at 2540 Main Street.  Lillian had married Merritt Cook, but they had no children.  Robert Russell notes that in her old age, Lillian was stooped and had a screechy voice, so she fit “the old lady living in an old house is a witch” trope often perpetuated by neighborhood children.

highland lodge

Historic Image of the Highland Lodge on Main Street

Washington Alfred Russell (known as Fred) attended University of Rochester and University of Buffalo Law School.  He was a lawyer and 33rd degree Mason.  The Highland Lodge #835 is at 2456 Main Street.  The building was built by Green & Wicks Architects in 1905 and was used as the community center for Central Presbyterian Church for some time.  The lodge is still standing today.  Fred lived at 2532 Main Street, adjacent to his parents, his house can be seen in the photograph above.  The house is also still standing today.  Fred died in 1944 and is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery.

 

1928_Olympics_4x100m_relay

Henry Russell at the Olympics.    Source:  U&U 1928

Fred had a son named Henry Argue (called Hank).  Hank was born in 1904 and ran track at Cornell.  In the 1928 Olympics Trials, Hank placed third in the 100 meter at the finals.  in Amsterdam at the 1928 Olympics, Hank was eliminated in the semi-finals of the 100 meter, but he anchored the 4 by 100 relay, winning a gold medal and tying a world record.  He later left Buffalo to work for DuPont.  Hank died in 1986 in West Chester, Pennsylvania (near Philadelphia).

The Washington name continued thru the Russell family for another generation.  Robert Russell had an uncle, Washington Arthur Russell.  His son was named W Arthur Russell, as his mother couldn’t quite accept the Washington name.

Don’t forget to stop by the Tour of Homes on May 20th and impress all your friends with random facts about the Russell family while on the tour!  Tickets can be purchased here.  Very special thanks to Robert Russell for all of his insight and sharing of his family story.  Got a story to share about your family?  I’d love to hear them!

To learn about other streets – check out the street index here.

 

Sources:

  • Severance, Frank H, editor.  “Mr. Hodge’s Reminiscences”.  Buffalo Historical Society Publications.  Volume Twenty-Six.  Buffalo, New York, 1922.
  • Powell, S. R., Rushing the Growler:  A History of Brewing in Buffalo.  Apogee Design, 1996.
  • History of the Great Lakes.  Volume II.  J.H. Beers & Co, Chicago:  1899.
  • Parkside East Historic District.  National Register Nomination Form.  National Register:  90OR3175.  New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
  • Recollections of Robert Russell.  Spring 2018.
  • Cichon, Steve.  “Parkside After the War of 1812”.  blog.buffalostories.com/parkside-after-the-war-of-1812/
Advertisements

Read Full Post »

jewettJewett Parkway, Jewett Avenue, Elam Place and Willowlawn Street are streets in the Parkside Neighborhood of Buffalo (Jewett Avenue is located on the East Side of Main Street, just outside the Parkside Neighborhood).  The streets are all named after Elam Jewett.   Mr. Jewett started his career with a $35 loan from his father, turning that $35 into a great amount of wealth and prominence.

Elam Richardson Jewett was born in New Haven, Vermont in 1810.  His father was a farmer and was in the wool and cloth-dressing business.  At age seven, Elam began to work on the farm, attending school only during the coldest months of the year when no farm work was necessary.  At age 13, Elam quit school and decided to learn a trade.  He began as an apprentice to a publisher in Middlebury, Vermont, to learn printing.

At age 20, Mr. Jewett was a “first class printer”.  He decided to enter Montpelier Academy after completing his apprenticeship, because he knew the value of education in his field.  He only stayed at the Academy two months.  He then got a job with the publisher of the Vermont State Journal and the Middlebury Free Press.  In 1838, Mr. Jewett decided to take his chances out west.  With $35 borrowed from his father, he toured New York State and Ohio.  He decided to open a stationery and book store in Ohio City, across the river from Cleveland.  He quickly learned that Ohio City was suffering from the panic of 1837, and was not a good place for a business.  While planning to leave Ohio, he stopped in the office of a Cleveland newspaper, where he noticed an advertisement for the sale of the Buffalo Daily Journal, owned by the late Samuel Wilkeson.  Mr. Jewett came to Buffalo and arranged to buy and publish the newspaper.  At the time, its circulation was 600, which was large for its time.

00014.tif100The Daily Journal later merged with the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser.  Mr. Jewett remained in charge of the paper.  Mr. Jewett was known for publishing articles that did not side-step around sensitive opinions.  In 1847, Mr. Jewett wrote an article that upset a Polish midshipman of the U.S. Navy.  The man met Mr. Jewett in his office, drew a pistol and fired two shots at him.  The shots were low, and the bullets lodged in Mr. Jewett’s leather wallet, saving him from death.

In 1850, Mr. Jewett became manager of the New York State Register of Albany.  He managed his time between Buffalo and Albany while also establishing the printing and engraving firm that later became Matthews-Northrup Company. The company’s printing and engraving was deemed best in the country and the U.S. Patent Office in Washington DC contracted with the firm for all engraved reproductions of inventions.

During the 1850s, Mr. Jewett traveled through Europe with Millard Fillmore.  While in Europe, they were entertained by English nobility and Pope Pius IX.

In 1857, Mr. Jewett established a large envelope factory in Buffalo.  In 1862, he sold his newspaper, and two years later he retired from all business activities.  His nephew William Phelps Northrup took over at Matthews Northrup Company.  Mr. Jewett retired in 1864 and bought 400 acres of the Chapin farm.  He called his estate Willow Lawn.  The property was located on the west side of Main Street from around Amherst Street to Leroy Avenue, stretching back to Delaware Avenue. Approximately 200 acres of the farm are now part of the meadow in Delaware Park.  The land had been first settled by Daniel Chapin, who built a log cabin and developed a farm there in 1807.  During the War of 1812, a company of American Soldiers were stationed there.  When the British burned Buffalo, many of those men lost their lives defending that position.  Willow Lawn took its name from the large willow trees growing on the property.  Two of these willows marked the location of the buried soldiers in the meadow.

00013.tif100Mr. Jewett married Caroline Wheeler of his hometown in 1838.  None of their children lived long enough to enjoy Willow Lawn.   The mansion was located at 2364 Main Street and was considered to be one of the most beautiful of its day.  The property was described as a “model farm demonstrating to what perfection a country residence and farm can be”.  The first tomatoes raised in Buffalo were grown in Mr. Jewett’s gardens.  They were called “love apples” and were only used for decoration at the time, because tomatoes were believed to be poisonous.

Jewett Grave in Forest Lawn

Jewett Grave in Forest Lawn

In 1870, Mr. Jewett received two deer which he kept in a paddock in the meadow.  Some consider this the start of what eventually became the Buffalo Zoo in Delaware Park.  In 1885, Mr. Jewett started the Parkside Land Improvement Company along with Washington Russell III and Dr. J. White.  These three men owned most of the land in the Parkside neighborhood, which had been laid out by Frederick Law Olmsted.  The three men parceled off the land and sold the lots for development purposes.  Mr. Jewett donated a parcel from his estate, along with $10,000, to build the Church of the Good Shepherd, on Jewett Parkway.

Another Jewett, Sherman Skinner Jewett, was influential in the development of the Olmsted Parks, helping to bring Olmsted to Buffalo to tour possible sites. However, Sherman Jewett is not related to Elam Jewett.  Elam R. Jewett died in 1887 and is buried in Forest Lawn along with his wife.  Willow Lawn runs through what used to be the gardens of the Jewett farm.  The Commercial Advertiser ceased operations in 1890.  The willow tree that Mr. Jewett loved dearly only survived him by 14 years before falling during a gale storm in 1901.

willowlawn

Read about other streets in the Street Index.

 

Sources:

  1. “Four Streets Remind Buffalo of Elam Jewett, Publisher”.  Courier Express June 22 1941, sec 6 p 3.
  2. Smith, Henry Perry.  History of the City of Buffalo and Erie County.  D. Mason & Co Publishers:  Syracuse, NY:  1884.
  3. Pictorial Year-Book and Calendar for 1888.  Buffalo Express.
  4. Larned, Josephus Nelson.  A History of Buffalo:  Delineating the Evolution of the City.  The Progress of the Empire State Company.  New York:  1911.

Read Full Post »

Central Park Neighborhood shown in Red
Former Buffalo Cement Company land shown in Blue

Central Park is the name of a street, a plaza and a neighborhood in Buffalo.  The red outline on the map to the right depicts the Central Park Neighborhood, on the west side of Main Street.  On the east side of Main Street, the blue outline depicts the boundaries of the former Buffalo Cement Company.  A portion of the quarry still exists along East Amherst Street, adjacent to McCarthy Park.

Central Park Avenue is located along the south side of Central  Park Plaza, which is along the southern border of the blue line on the map.  Central Park Plaza was developed in the 1950s to provide an urban shopping destination.  At its peak, Central Park Plaza contained 45 stores including several major grocery stores, a day care facility, a charter school, Radio Shack, and various other stores.  During the 1980s, the plaza decline due to shifting populations and the rise of suburban shopping malls.   This past May, Central Park Plaza got a new owner and there is hope for the redevelopment of the surrounding neighborhood.

Central Park neighborhood was named by Lewis Jackson Bennett the Founder of the Buffalo Cement Company.  Mr. Bennett was born in Schenectady County NY in July 1933.  He began his life as a clerk in a grocery store in Fultonville, NY.   He was a collector of tolls on the Erie Canal at Fultonville for a  short while.  Bennett moved to Buffalo in 1866 after he obtained a contract to do repair work along the canal here.  He used the money he earned doing this work to buy land in North Buffalo to extract the limestone for use in a cement factory. He was responsible for all slips and basins in Buffalo and the area 17 miles east of the City.  Along with his father-in-law, Andrew Spaulding, he formed an independent contracting business for dredging.  They were given city, state and federal contracts throughout Western New York.  They supervised the building of the first iron bridges in the area.  Mr. Bennett than became interested in the manufacture of hydraulic cement.

In 1875, Mr. Bennet began to acquire land on the east and west sides of Main Street where the cement deposits were located.   (more…)

Read Full Post »

Nonprofit AF

Exploring the fun and frustrations of nonprofit work

Gather by Image

An anagram. And a reason to write... to Grieve... to Heal

Planners On Tour

People, places and planning around the world by bicycle.

Queen City Simmer

Cooking + Eating in Buffalo NY

Let's Go Ride a Bike

Adventures in city cycling

Currant Events*

Thoughts too big to tweet from @UpPastryPlate

Cooking Up The Pantry

Feeding a hungry family!