The Portville Historical and Preservation Society
17 Maple Avenue
Portville, NY 14770
Portville, New York

The lovely watercolor
in our toolbar above is
a depiction of the office
at 17 Maple Avenue.  
The artist is Portville's
very own talent,
Marilyn Reynolds.

The Parish Families of Portville

A few weeks ago, we celebrated Ground Hogs Day and
marked another notable event - on February 7th - the
second anniversary of the passing of
Earl T. Parish.  
Although removed from Portville some years before his
and wife Jo's deaths, they were still remembered fondly
and missed by many a friend here.  Afterall, both Earl and
Jo were alive for almost a century each and most of their
time was spent in the Portville area!

There was a long succession of community contributors
in the Parish line and Earl was equally civic-minded.  He
was deeply interested in not only his family's heritage, but
as a founding member of Portville's historical society, he
wanted others to value the past as well.  Even today, as
you look around Portville's most familiar places, you will
see something that Earl held dear and strived daily to
improve - the church, the library, the cemetery, and the
bank, among others.  
Welcome to PHPS
This page was last updated on 02-22-10
Few members of our community have made as lasting an impact as Earl Parish but he was nearly at
the end of the Parish line.  To follow their family story, we have to go back to the beginning of
Portville's timeline to Earl's great grandfather, Smith Parish I.  The first generation in America, the
great-great grandfather to Smith Parish, dates back to late 1600's New England.

We have a large collection of Parish photographs, personal writings, and other documents to present
for you, beginning with a genealogy spanning 10 generations and a biography of the Honorable Smith
Parish, one of our earliest settlers.  Smith Parish's brother, Jared, was the father of another line of
the Parish family that leads to Portville's own Bob and Tim Fairbanks.  Their Aunt Vivian (Marsh),
who was a lifelong teacher until her retirement in 1974, lived almost as long as Earl, passing away
last August at age 95.  The Fairbanks' mother, Ione (Vivian's younger sister), lived until age 90.

This will be the first of a series of stories of a very old and prominent Portville family - that of
Parish Family

The Parish Family Tree
The History of Smith Parish I

Fraternal Organizations in Portville

Thanks to the many people that help the Portville Historical and Preservation Society acquire digital images of old photographs and others who identify faces with names, we are able to share these
long ago memories with you.  If you have ever wondered how people socialized in the "old days",
you can see a glimpse of some of the groups that made up a once strong social structure for
Portville.  We have lots more pictures to share but will start here and add more in the coming

The Fraternal Organizations of Portville

In Memorium - Colonel Charles O. Eshelman
October 17, 1925 - January 24, 2010

In January, the Portville Historical and Preservation Society lost our most generous friend and benefactor, Col. Charles Eshelman.  His passing was a very private one, just as his life has been these
past many years.  Charles had an undeniable passion for history and its preservation and through his
vision of preserving the Bedford Corners area, gifted the School house and Grange to the Historical
Society in 2001.

Now, with our work on the Bedford Corner School house project nearing completion, we are sad and
disappointed that Charles will not experience our accomplishments toward his dream.  We plan to honor
his memory in a future member newsletter but in the meantime, we present his obituary here and an old
Times Herald newspaper clipping describing a few of his vast academic and military accomplishments.  

Times Herald Obituary- 2010 and Times Herald Article -1958

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Earl T.
Josephine Powers Parish
1910 - 2005