Learn lots more about Franklinville by
following these links !
Death Records 1860-1894
Pardon T Jewell
Delos E Lyon
Searl and Storrs
Park Square and Fairs
Hotels and Inns
Brown Eagle Hotel
Businesses and Industry
West Park Square Drug Store
Churches and Buildings
The Miners Cabin
In the Public Trust
Mt Prospect Cemetery
This information came from the files of Joie Wilson, formerly the Franklinville Town
Historian and the section editor for Franklinville on the Cattaraugus County website.
If you have information about Franklinville, or have a question,
contact Joie at [email protected]
Thanks, Joie !!
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In 1889, the era in which peddlers sold their goods with pushcarts,
three men began making knives in Naples, Ontario County, New York, and
selling them in that fashion. The men were Charles Brace, William
Ensworth and William Maudsley.
They apparently were successful in their early venture and the
business grew. For reasons totally unexplained to me by anything I have
researched, seven years later they moved the business to Cadiz, setting
themselves up in what had formerly been a sawmill. The water power
needed to run the grindstones was available from the nearby Ischua
By 1902 the company had moved to the north end of what is now
Empire Street, incorporating under the name and style of The Ontario
Knife Company. Electricity replaced water as a power source, and a new
building began to be constructed in 1901.
In 1905 Walter Burritt was running a cutlery factory in Allegany,
N. Y. In April of that year his father, Jacob L. Burritt came to
Franklinville from New York City where he had been associated with the
Eagle Pencil Co. Together he and his son bought out the interest of the
original stockholders and the two businesses in 1905 were combined into
one, still using the Ontario name. In 1908 the payroll listed one
Through the years the Ontario Knife Company contributed to the
culture of the community as well as to its economy over and above its
Early on they fielded a baseball team called the Rangers. Their
uniformed company band played for Saturday night band concerts in Park
Square which drew people from the surrounding area as well as from the
In 1909 the school, Ten Broeck Academy, hired a new principal. J.
A. Chrestensen came from Canton, Pa. to Franklinville. We mention this
because it will become important to us for another reason in a few more
By 1914 Walter Burritt was making transcontinental trips for the
Growth of the company continued. There is so much company history
interwoven with the history of Franklinville that it cannot be covered
In 1923 J. A. Chrestensen became the President of the Ontario Knife
Company; in 1952, when he retired, he was succeeded by his son Robert F.