History of Parkside and Central Park

Elam R. Jewett/Willow Lawn
Buffalo NY

Photo source: History of the City of Buffalo and Erie County,"H. Perry Smith, editor. Syracuse: D. Mason & Co., 1884, Vol 2, p.328

Illustration source: Victorian Buffalo, by Cynthia Van Ness

Source: The Pictorial year-book and calendar for 1888. with Buffalo events in 1887, valuable statistics, etc. Reprinted by Cornell U.

Photo source: The Picture Book of Earlier Buffalo, Frank H. Severance, ed. Buffalo Historical Society Publications, Vol. 16, 1912

The story of Willow Lawn goes back to 1807, when Daniel Chapin came to Buffalo from East Bloomfield and settled on a farm which is now included in Parkside and Delaware Park. (Chapin's farm: most of the land from Granger's farm north to near the present South Campus of the State University of New York at Buffalo and south from Main Street to Elmwood Avenue).

Chapin lived in a log house, which was built, about 1820, by his son, Col. William W. Chapin.

Elam Jewett

Elam Jewett, who founded the first envelope manufacturing company west of New York City, published the Journal in 1838, merging it in 1839 with the Commercial Advertiser, retired and bought 400 acres of Chapin's farm land. He called his estate Willow Lawn. [Jewett was a close friend of President Fillmore. The two had traveled together in Europe in 1856.]

His land was between the Granger farm (at Oakwood), the Russell farm (at Russell Avenue), Main Street, and Elmwood Avenue, and included the present meadow in Delaware Park.

He was to become a key figure in the development of Parkside. Jewett is also noted as the person responsible for the realization of the Church of the Good Shepherd, located on the street which bears his name.

The name "Willow Lawn"

During Mr. Jewett's occupancy, the ample grounds were beautifully kept. A great willow, which gave name to the place, and stood not far from the front entrance, went down in a gale of 1901. A street now called Willow Lawn cuts through lands that were Mr. Jewett's garden.

Jewett married Caroline Wheeler [see below] in 1838. Both were natives of New Haven, Vermont

- History of the Parkside Area and Community (online Dec. 2021)  Pub. by the Parkside Community Association

Caroline Wheeler's mother, Polly Johnson, was the sister of Emma Johnson Tripp. 

Emma's son, Augustus Franklin Tripp, came to  Buffalo in part because of his cousin Caroline.  Augustus owned the original 786 Delaware Ave., and left it to his daughter Carolyn Jewett Tripp,  Mrs. Stephen Merrell Clement

See "Third Generation" in the Christopher Johnson Register Report.

- Research by Peter Clement

Page by Chuck LaChiusa
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