Thursday, December 22, 2011


This blog relates to an earlier one, "Sophronia" (November). I published the Horace Jones inquiry in the AHS newsletter and a member contacted me - being a descendant of Horace! Through this descendant I have learned there were, in fact, two Horace Jones living in the area and both had mothers named Sophronia, but these women were not the same person.

It seems unlikely nowadays, since "Horace" and "Sophronia" are odd names to us, but it is not an uncommon occurance in genealogical research. Families and ethnic groups or nationalities often use certain names over and over again, making it hard to follow the family lines.

Our "insider" was able to tell us that the two Horace's were not directly related. Horace W.B. Jones, son of Milon, served in the Civil War, as did his father. After coming home, Horace married Elizabeth Whitney, widow of Carlton Whitney. All three are buried in Arcade Rural Cemetery, Elizabeth in between Horace and Carlton.

Both Horace and Carlton died under clouded cricumstances. A local newspaper article from January 1900 printed that Horace fell off a bridge and into a freezing Cattaraugus Creek on January 24, 1900. Some say he was drunk and fell in, but those who knew him said he was a teetotaler and never drank a day in his life. Carlton's fate also had a watery end. He had enlisted for the Civil War on December 3, 1861, but died in Buffalo on April 9, 1862. His body was found floating in the canal; his head severed from his body. Carlton's information was found in the NYS Military Museum and Veteran Research Center's roster of Civil War infantry soldiers.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sophronia Mystery

The latest Mystery came in my e-mail inbox - and was posted as a comment to an earlier blog:
An individual is researching Horace Jones - starting with a photograph circa 1860s. Here are the questions that came up: "When I researched Horace Jones, I found that there were two living in China / Arcade, both born in 1840. I am wondering if you have any information as to whether the two families are linked in some way?
Horace W. Jones, born in 1840 to Levi and Sophoronia Jones, with brothers elisha, Farley, William Henry, Luther and Elliott.
Horace W. D. Jones, born in 1840 to Milon and Sophorna Jones, with sister Mary and family boarder Orissa Casey or Crary
Horace Jones was a surprisingly popular name, but I find it more remarkable that a small town would have two with such unusual names of their mothers."
Here at the Society, I looked into what information I could find and my results are:
I only have 3 obits in my file that relate to this inquiry.

1. Luther Jones, died in 1925 (no birthdate given in obit). He was stated as being the son of Levi and Sophronia Hatfield Jones.

2. Francis Marion Jones (May 23, 1860-April 28,1939), better known as Manie Jones, son of Levi and Sophronie Jones, "one of a large pioneer family of this section." He married Clara Bridenbaker in October 1885, they had two children, Plin and Hazel.

3. Horace Jones, 1840-Jan. 24, 1900. This one was not an official obit, but an article, titled "Horace Jones Killed." He fell from a bridge at night into the icy waters below. He was apparently intoxicated, which was very unusual for him, no one ever recalled seeing him intoxicated before. He was last seen at the post office at 6:30 p.m. and then seen staggering in the street. Ice had to be broken in Cattaraugus Creek in order to drag it to find his body. No mention of parentage and no wife's name given in the article.

What I would surmise is that there was only one marriage of Levi & Sophronia and that "Milon" was perhaps Levi's middle name, or his formal name - similar to how Francis Marion was shortened to "Manie." Sophronia's name ending in an "e" or an "a" in these newspaper accounts I would put down to typo issues.

If any readers have other informaton, please feel free to post it here. Thanks for reading and sending in inquiries!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Brazilian Balm Advertisement Text

The AHS is researching "Brazilian Balm" a proprietary medicine made by one B.F. Jackson and placed in bottles with "Brazilian Balm / B.F. Jackson & Co. / Arcade, N.Y." in raised lettering. Here is the text from a print advertisement circa early 1900s:
"A Rememdy Discovered That Greatly Mitigates Its Severity--Also Prevents All Dangerous After Effects.
     A rememdy has been discovered that makes measles so light that you hardly know the children are sick. This is Brazilian Balm. It keeps the fever down, makes the little ones comfortable and shortens the course by one half. It is the greatest blessing ever discovered. It has been used in thousands of casesand never lost a case in measles, chickenpox or scarlet fever. It is pleasing to take and the children like it. Give 5 drops every hour. If the throat is sore or swollen, warm some Balm and rub on often; also around the ears. It penetrates and kills the micrococci. If the ears are affected fill them with the warm Balm. It always prevents all after bad results as deasfness, chronic coughs, and constitutional weakness, which are the chief dangers in this disease. No other medicine is needed. Brazilian Balm being a complete rememdy in this disease. A 50c or $1.00 bottle will be sufficient in almost any case.
                                                          B.F. JACKSON & CO.
                                                                     Mfg. Chemists,
                                                                     Indianapolis, Ind."

We were confused by the "Indianapolis, Ind." on this advertisement as the bottle has the Arcade, N.Y. imprint. But we are confident this is the samemanufacturer.

Our research continues into B.F. Jackson - see the "History Detective" section of the Historical Society's website for more news -

Friday, April 22, 2011

Housekeeping Never had "Good Old Days"

       The Arcade Historical Society’s new exhibit, “Spring Cleaning,” displays housekeeping tools used in the early to mid-1900s – early vacuum cleaners, washboards, rug beaters, irons (made of iron), to name a few. These made housework a never ending, back breaking chore repeated on a daily basis.
       One of the vacuum cleaners in the exhibit seems more like a piece of exercise equipment - a plunger vacuum manually operated by pumping the wooden handles, sort of like a bellows. It was only usable on smooth floors and given the poor results for the effort exerted, we are fortunate that inventors kept at it to give us a better vacuum cleaner.
       Other interesting facts were found to display with the objects. Did you know that the first portable vacuum cleaner (1905) weighed in at 100 pounds? That doesn’t sound very portable to me. And the inventor of what ended up being Hoover vacuums never reaped those benefits. James Murray Spangler sold the patent for his vacuum cleaner to his wife’s cousin, William Henry Hoover. And, as we like to say, the rest is history.
       Come to the AHS and see what you missed if you were born after 1950. Those that remember these tools of torture, come by and share your stories with us at 331 West Main Street or enter your comments here on the blog. Hours at the Gibby House are Thursdays and Fridays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment.

- Sue Andrews,
AHS Operations Manager

Friday, March 11, 2011

1897 - A Very Fine Talking Machine

One of our reguar visitors at AHS was doing some microfilm research and came across this amusing news item:

Local news in the September 17, 1897 Arcade Herald: "James Teller has purchased a very fine talking machine." This was under the newspaper's Sandusky column. The talking machine was a device that played wax cylinder recordings. I did a google search and found a list of some of the popular songs of 1896-1897 from the Kansas City Talking Machine Company catalog:
Put Me Off At Buffalo
And The Parrot Said--
Pat Malone Forgot He Was Dead
Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight
Take Your Clothes and Go
On The Banks Of The Wabash, Far Away
What Do You Think of Hoolihan?
Take Back Your Gold
Mr. Johnson, Turn Me Loose
Just Tell Them You Saw Me
The Blow Near Killed Father

The only song I recognize - having survived the test of time - is "Hot Time In the Old Town Tonight".

- Sue Andrews
AHS Operations Manager

Thursday, February 17, 2011

"Mystery Solved"

In response to the AHS' first blog, an inquiry came in regarding a building - was the building still standing, and what is the address. Another reader commented and then I did some research as well. See the comments under  the 2009 blog post"Welcome to the Arcade Historical Society's Blog" to follow the query and the results.

We invite you to join the conversation with questions, or, by helping to provide answers. Consider this our own "wiki" site, if you will.

- Sue Andrews
Operations Manager at the Arcade Historical Society

Friday, February 11, 2011

Winterfest Weekend Feb. 12 & 13, 2011

It is 40 years since the Winterfest began in Arcade. Come see the 40th anniversary exhibit in the Village Boardroom on Church Street put together by the Arcade Historical Society. At the Gibby House, the AHS home,  Pioneer Central student artwork is on display for the month of February and for a Winterfest open house on Saturday, Feb. 12th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come on out to Western NY's original winter festival!