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History, mysteries, memories of Jones Livery Stable in Westfield

BeeLines

March 13, 2013
By Marybelle Beigh - Westfield Historian (westfieldhistorian@fairpoint.net) , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

It is amazing how the quest for answers to one "history mystery" leads to more fascinating stories to share.

While exchanging information on Greater Things About Westfield's Facebook page about J. Frank Shaw's Furniture Depot across from the mystery "Jones Hotel," it was noted the first response had been about the Jones Livery stables on Clinton Street. It appears the Jones who was proprietor of the Jones Hotel in 1874 was not related to the Jones family who operated Jones Livery in Westfield for about 50 years between 1880 and 1930. According to an advertisement in the same July 1874 Parhelion as an ad for J. Frank Shaw's business, there was a Livery and Exchange Stable in the rear of the Brewer Block, Westfield, operated by Billsborrow and Jones.

The C. Billsborrow house, located in 1881 at the southeast corner of Market and Clinton Streets, was the house where Horace C. Jones and his family lived and operated the Jones Brothers Livery Stables on Clinton Street between approximately 1890 and the 1920s. The 1900 U.S. Census for Westfield shows the Horace and Mattie Jones family, with sons Bert L. and Fred B., living on Clinton Street. Horace is identified as a Liveryman. In 1910, Horace is still listed as Liveryman, son Bert is manager of the Livery and son Fred is a bookkeeper.

Article Photos

Submitted photo
An old photo shows Jones Brothers Livery Stable when it was located on Clinton Street in Westfield.

Researching the Westfield Republican newspapers' ads between 1880 and 1900 provided some puzzling information based on the ads located for livery stables owned and/or operated by the Jones family. For instance, advertisements in the January and early February 1886 papers list "Jones Bros. Livery in the Rear of Brewer Block, Main Street - Sale and Boarding Stable connected - Good Rigs at all hours of day and night..." Then, starting Feb. 17, 1886, there are no more ads for the rear of Brewer Block stable, but ads begin for Jones and Woleben on Clinton. And a notice in the Dec. 16, 1885, Republican states "Wm. Howard has just completed a fine sign for Jones and Woleben's livery to be placed on Main Street, corner Market." In January of 1887, two different notices indicate the livery firm of Jones and Woleben has been changed to Jones Bros. Livery, as Horace C. Jones and John J. Jones have bought out Delos Woleben's share. John Jones later starts the Portage Inn in 1907-08, running it until 1919.

From November 1961 through July 1963, the Westfield Republican ran a series of articles about local historic structures called Westfield Past and Present written by Maureen Ross. The 19th article of the series printed on March 21, 1962, was about "The Horace C. Jones Livery Stable." Ross interviewed Horace Jones' son, Bert L. Jones, who was 78 years old in 1961 and living in Bemus Point. He was about 6 years old at the time of a fire on Elm Street which destroyed the Jones Livery Stable behind/near the Brewer Block and Episcopal church. He remembers the horses being saved and driven to Clinton Street.

There was a livery stable already there on Clinton, according to the 1867 Chautauqua County Atlas map of Westfield, which was then owned by A. R. Davis. The 1881 Atlas map has several missing or unfinished structure drawings, including the Episcopal Church, the unfinished livery stables and no livery stable on Clinton, just a vacant lot. Also, there is no evidence of the livery stable back of the buildings on Main Street near the Brewer Block and Episcopal Church on any of the Sanborn maps between 1886 and 1923.

Fact Box

The office of the Westfield Historian is located at 117 Union Street, in the small green building on the north side of driveway. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 to 11 a.m., or by appointment. The Westfield Historian phone number is 326-2457, and the email mail address is westfieldhistorian@fairpoint.net.

So, all of the above dates make it difficult to determine and locate any documentation for a fire destroying Jones Brothers Livery Stables in 1889 or 1890 when Bert Jones was about 6 years old.

Another odd discrepancy in dates involves when the livery stables on Clinton were enlarged. According to an 1887 newspaper article, Jones Brothers enlarged the livery stables by building an addition, but the Sanborn map of 1891 does not show it, while the 1896 map does. Often the maps were not completely updated for every building each time updates were drawn.

In January 1880, the Westfield Republican has a front page article, "Business Change - Messrs. Jones Brothers have bought out the Bilsborrow Livery." This is the livery located behind the Brewer Block. In 1889, Village Board of Trustees meetings include Horace C. Jones as a Trustee. And in July 1889 there is a personals item, "Little Freddie Jones fell down stairs in the Barn last Saturday and cut quite a gash in his head by striking on the tire of a carriage." Fred Jones, Horace's son, was treated by Dr. Seymour and was recovering well.

On all the Sanborn maps, the house at the southeast corner of Clinton and Market is labeled a dwelling and not at any time as a hotel, boarding house, inn or the like. The address of the house is 26 Clinton as late as 1912, but by 1923 includes part of the space of address 28 for the house, with a large yard between the house and the former livery, which has become a "garage" at addresses 30 and 32.

In the Westfield Past and Present article, Ross writes, "Like other livery stables, the automobile finally put the livery on Clinton Street out of business, and the stable housed an automobile agency for several years in the 1920s before being torn down about 1930."

From "Automobile Topics," digitalized by Google books, the Aug. 25 1915, page indicates the following: "Westfield, NY - The Jones Livery Barn, on Clinton Street, has been leased by C. R. Berger of Portland. He has the agency for Studebaker cars, and, after January 1, will open a garage and salesroom in this building."

 
 
 

 

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