Biography of Bertrand Chaffee


Chaffee, Bertrand, Concord, p. o. Springville, was born in the town of Concord, October 26, 1837. His father, Joel Chaffee, was born in Wallingford, Vt., and came to Erie county in 1818 with his parents, Charles and Folly Chaffee, and settled on the farm which is now owned by Mr. Chaffee and his brother. Joel Chaffee was married to Anna Moulton, daughter of Jonathan Moulton, at Spencer, Mass., in 1832; she died in September, 1882, and Joel Chaffee died March 14, 1883. Bertrand Chaffee was educated at the Springville Academy. Leaving the farm at the age of sixteen, he spent two years in Cayuga county clerking; in 1855 and 1856 he was employed by the Western Transportation Co. and American Express Co. in Buffalo as clerk, returning to the farm in the panic of 1857. In 1863 he engaged in the hardware business in Springville and carried on the largest hardware store in Erie county outside of the city of Buffalo for twelve years. In 1871 he bought a half interest in the Springville fiouring mills, and two years later he and his partner, C. J. Shuttleworth, bought the East Pike mills at East Pike, Wyoming county, the firm being Shuttleworth & Chaffee; after two years the firm dissolved, Mr. Chaffee retaining the Springville mills and conductiug both the hardware and milling business until 1875, when he disposed of the hardware branch and has since carried on the milling business, converting the mill from the old stone to the roller process and keeping up with all modern improvements in his business. Mr. Chaffee was married in 1871 to Jennie B. Richmond, daughter of George Richmond, who came from Vermont in 1813 and settled in the town of Sardinia. being one of the pioneers of that town and where he lived until his death in 1869. Mrs. Chaffee now owns the farm on which her father first settled. In 1878 Mr. Chaffee built and operated the Springville and Sardinia Railroad, running from Springville and connecting with the Buffalo, New York and Philadelphia Railroad at a place now called Chaffee, being named after him. He was president and general manager of the road for eight years, the enterprise being due entirely to his efforts. Mr. Chaffee is one of the representative men of his town and county. He served on the Board of Supervisors in 1870-71, and represented his district in the Legislature in 1875-76. He is ever ready to advance the interests of his town and his town's people. Among other business interests he has about 1,500 acres of land, which is devoted to dairying and raising Holstein cattle and trotting bred horses. He imported his cattle from North Holland, and has developed several fast trotters which made their mark in the grand circuit. He is to-day the largest milk producer in Erie county, having about 250 cows on his farms. His home is in the village of Springville, where he has spent most of his business life.

Our County and its people
A descriptive work on Erie County, New York
Edited by: Truman C. White
The Boston History Company, Publishes 1898


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