Sandstone Monument Marks Burial Site of Five English Quarrymen

Vol. 6, No. 4 

The use of Medina sandstone to craft headstones was rather limited in the nineteenth century. County Historian C. W. Lattin has speculated that the common use of the stone for curbing and paving blocks made the durable material undesirable for such a noble purpose. In Orleans County, sandstone within cemeteries is often observed in hitching posts, carriage steps, and monument foundations. However, the presence of sandstone monuments became common among immigrant quarry laborers. The stone represented the livelihood of the deceased individual. It was readily accessible, often affordable, and on other occasions, a quarry owner might gift a slab of stone for use in the case of an untimely death. This particular monument at Mt. Albion Cemetery represents a rather unusual occurrence. Five English quarrymen are buried on this lot with this large, beautiful sandstone monument erected to their memory by friends and fellow quarry laborers.  … Continue readingSandstone Monument Marks Burial Site of Five English Quarrymen

Remains of Medal of Honor Recipient Returned to Medina 71 Years Ago

Vol. 5, No. 26 Of the five Medal of Honor recipients from Orleans County, John E. Butts of Medina was the only county native who received the award posthumously for his heroic actions near Cape La Hague, France. The son of Jerry and Anna Hogan Butts, John was born August 4, 1922 at Medina, New York. As a young man, he attended the St. Mary’s parochial school, joined Boy Scout Troop 25, and played right guard for the Medina High School football team before enlisting with the New York National Guard on October 12, 1939. When Company F of the

Continue readingRemains of Medal of Honor Recipient Returned to Medina 71 Years Ago

Albion’s Meeting of the Ku Klux Klan

Vol. 4, No. 51 This photograph, taken September 7, 1925, shows the Western New York Province 8 Klonverse held at the Orleans County Fairgrounds on the western end of the Village of Albion. The term klonverse is likely foreign to most readers, as it should be, since the term was used to describe a convention of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Pulled from a collection of negatives within the Department of History, the photograph shows a number of robed men intermingled within the crowd at the conclusion of a parade through Albion. Papers throughout Western New York published

Continue readingAlbion’s Meeting of the Ku Klux Klan

Free Silver Candidate Attracted Attention at Knowlesville

Vol. 4, No. 43 Amidst the Gilded Age, American workers experience a spike in perceived prosperity as average wages rose above those in Europe and immigrants flooded into the United States. Yet, as the name suggests, the Gilded Age provided the outward appearance of growth and success while a run on currency, closing banks, and overextended industry led to a severe economic crisis extending from 1893 to 1897. The appointment of receivers for the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad on the advent of President Grover Cleveland’s inauguration indicated a serious and extended financial situation looming on the horizon. The issues facing

Continue readingFree Silver Candidate Attracted Attention at Knowlesville

Story of Rev. Dykal Highlights Accomplishments of Polish Americans

Vol. 4, No. 41 October is Polish American Heritage Month, first celebrated in 1981 by the Polish American Cultural Center in Philadelphia. It is an opportunity to call attention to the accomplishments of the roughly 9.5 million self-identified Polish Americans in the United States. In Orleans County, the Poles found employment in the local sandstone quarries scattered along the Erie Canal, just as countless other immigrant groups had in prior years. I was given this photograph of an unidentified priest several years ago and through a bit of luck was able to identify him as Rev. Leonard F. Dykal of

Continue readingStory of Rev. Dykal Highlights Accomplishments of Polish Americans