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
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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The Franklinville Fair
About twenty acres of land on North Main
Street, some of which is
today occupied by the American Legion and Ischua Valley Estates, was
once the site of the Franklinville Fair. For thirty years, beginning in
1882, this was attended by thousands of people over the course of one
week each fall.
Governed by the officers of the Fair
Association, and complete with
huge tents, a race track, and a grandstand, this was "the event" to
attend for many, many years.
A wide range of offerings satified visitors
with diverse interests
..... from a Floral Hall to a race track. Livestock owners and poultry
raisers, both of which abounded in this area at that time, brought their
most prized efforts to be displayed at The Fair.
The Franklinville Fair also drew important
speakers. Among them was
Carrie Nation in 1904. Seven years before her death, at fifty eight
years of age, the fiery American born crusader for temperance was the
principal speaker at The Fair.
The Fair continued to be held until 1912.
There was an occurence
in 1894 which gave The Fair more notoriety than it had ever wanted, not
to mention the horror which temporarily settled over the entire
It had been widely advertised before The
Fair that there would be a
balloon ascension. Adding to the local interest was the fact that the
balloonist was the granddaughter of a Franklinville native, sixty six
year old Joseph Ransbury.
She was Beatrice Van Dressen, the daughter
Margaret Ransbury Van Dressen, and had been trained as a balloonist by
the famous Prof. Carl Myers at his balloon farm in Frankfort, N. Y. The
Van Dressen family was living in Frankfort at the time. When the
opportunity arose for Beatrice to make an ascension in her old home town
she welcomed it.
That year The Fair was held at a later date
than usual, in
October., The day of the accident was fair but cold and a chill wind
blew all day. About five o'clock Miss Van Dressen mounted the bar of
her trapeze, gave the word to cut loose, and rose into the air. At a
height of about one thousand feet she was seen to slide from the bar,
hang a moment by one hand and then ..... to the horror and disbelief of
the spectators below ..... her slight body fell into space .....
whirling and whirling until it was crushed against the rocks of
The leading mover in the establishment of The Fair Association
(formed in 1882) was Robert F. Woodworth. He was also the first
president of the Association. Mr. Woodworth was born in Aurelius,
Cayuga Co., N.Y. on January 15, 1832. He died in Franklinville at the
end of February, 1894.
Frank D. Kingsbury, a carpenter by trade,
worked on the first
buildings put up on the Franklinville Fair Grounds. The son of William
Betsy Kingsbury, he was born Sept. 25, 1849 at Black Creek, N. Y. On
New Year's Day of 1880 he married Miss Arlouine L. Smith of Rushford and
in 1882 they moved to Franklinville where Mr. Kingsbury eventually died
in April of 1902.
A photo of the 1908 Franklinville Fair
along with many other photos can
be viewed on the page of "Old Pictures".