Town of Franklinville
  The Town of Franklinville Park Square

Learn lots more about Franklinville by following these links !


Early History
Death Records 1860-1894

Early Settlers
Joseph McClure
Pardon T Jewell
Marvin Older
Delos E Lyon
Curtis Brothers
Searl and Storrs
William McNall

Park Square and Fairs
The Story
The Trial
The Wedding
Franklinville Fair

Postal History
Post Office

Hotels and Inns
Globe Hotel
Hotel Lester
Bard Hotel
Brown Eagle Hotel

Businesses and Industry
Bartholomew's Pharmacy
West Park Square Drug Store
Quality Bakery
Cutlery Industry
Dairy Industry
Firehouse Liquors
Blount Plow

Churches and Buildings
Other Churches
Methodist Episcopal
Amusement Hall
The Miners Cabin

In the Public Trust
Fire Department
Mt Prospect Cemetery
Public Works


Return to Cattaraugus page

Return to Franklinville page

gardenbrick.gif (7956 bytes)



The circular piece of real estate, now referred to as Park Square,
was a gift of the Woodworths to the village in 1875. This act caused a
slight relocation of what was then known as the Farmersville Road (today
Pine Street) to accommodate the formation of the park as a circle.
Since the actual formation of the park in 1876, originally called
Central Park, this level piece of land has had its ups and downs, not to
mention frequently having been the center of controversy.

Too many trees were originally planted in the park. This appears to
have been one of the few cases in which the enthusiasm of Marvin Older
did not have a good result. In his eagerness to plant one of each
variety of tree native to the area he overdid it. This resulted in
overcrowding and in a very few years it became necessary to remove some
of the trees. For awhile the only beneficiaries of the park seemed to
be those who came to town with teams, for both hitching posts and
watering troughs for the animals were installed in the park. Otherwise
it shortly became a mudhold and a repository for various unwanted items,
An early issue of The Argus, then the local newspaper, printed
these interesting comments about the condition of the village park:

".....but there are several things essential both to the appearance
and growth of the village that have been badly neglected. Right in the
heart of the village there is a large space of ground, called in true
American style the 'Park' that for supreme ugliness of appearance
stands without a rival in western New York. Stones, mud, timber,
shanties, agricultural implements, chips, hay scales and pumps are
gathered together in such an indiscriminate mass that a stranger would
regard it as the general depository for the filth and refuse of the
village. The expenditure of the amount already raised with a little
judicious planning would effect a change in the 'Park'. It is a
conspicuous place and with no very great outlay could be rendered a
decided ornament to this village."

Now doesn't that paint a lovely picture of the then Central Park!!!

In the very early 1900s W. W. Waring, then village president,
became so upset about the conditions around the park that he actually
had his picture taken sitting by the park holding a fishing pole with
its line dropping into a pool of muddy water! Following that passive
pictorial protest, some improvements were made, including regrading and
filling, and, in 1903, the addition of cement sidewalks through it. (In
late October of 1995, both the north-south and the east-west sidewalks
were removed and the area grassed over.
A cast iron water fountain to be placed in the center of the park
was presented in 1903 by Mrs. Alecia Gordon in memory of her son,
George Gordon, who died just before his fiftieth birthday. At the same
time she also donated some seats for the rest and enjoyment of the
public in the park.

The fountain would stand in the center of Park Square for 43 years.
However, it only took three years for the park to become, once again, a
matter of concern for the village board:

On July 18, 1923 the then owner of the Chronicle Journal was moved
to write the following editorial:

"Twenty years ago this summer, the park in the center of the
village was graded and seeded, and walks were built through it. Up to
that time, for many years, it had been an eyesore. After it was
improved, and the same summer, Mrs. Alicia Gordon gave to the village a
fountain as a memorial for her deceased son, George Gordon.
The fountain was placed in the center of the park, where it still
remains. At the same time Mrs. Gordon purchased and gave to the village
seats for the park, and the village purchased some additional seats, and
up to last year these seats were placed in the park for the benefit of
the public. For two seasons now, there have been no seats and the only
use the public is permitted to make of the park is to walk through the
same on concrete walks. Why not use the seats and permit the people to
enjoy the shade during the hot weather?
Why do not the Board of Trustees have the seats placed in the park
where the public can use them, instead of turning them over to a
restaurant to use, as has been done?"

By 1946 the fountain had developed a deep, long crack from its base
up one side and began to be considered a hazard.

To read more of the Park Square story:

The Trial
The Wedding


Links Checked December 29th 2015 by W3C LinkChecker Page last modified: December 29th 2015