Portville Boys' Band ~ 1926
The above photo of the Portville Boys’ Band was taken in July 31, 1926 in front of the Portville
City Building/Post Office. It was donated to PHPS many years ago by Aryleen M. Edel along
with the names of the boys and a program.
Front row left to right: Robert Husband (coronet), Deforest Chaffee (coronet), George Collins
(trumpet), Russell Case (coronet), Charles E. Edel (Bandmaster), Rupert Chaffee (alto), unknown
(coronet), Lester Manning (alto), Clement Edel (coronet) (Olean Band), Theron Edel (trumpet)
(Olean Band), Bill Dudley (behind DeForest Chaffee)(French horn), Myron Collins (left of Mr.
Edel), Charles Griffith (right of Mr. Edel), Robert Jacoby (sax)(P.O. Box), Charles Wenke
(trombone) (Olean Band), Harold Stout (bass horn), John Forney (drums) (Olean Band), Deforest
Newburg, Ted Fairchild (in front of bass horn), Howard Collins, Earl Parish (in front of clarinet),
Carl J. Anderson (in front of clarinet), Wendell Haines (far right), David Bridges (bass horn), Hugh
West, Howard Crittenden, James Fairchild (with glasses), Randall Hinman (clarinet), Laverne Hatch
(next to Carlton Crittenden at column).
The Community Boys Band of Portville was organized by Charles E. Edel who gave the members
of the band brass instrument instruction in a room on the second floor of the Portville City
Building in the years 1925 and 1926. Mrs. Bruce Fairchild and Mrs. Dr. Dudley headed a
committee to seek donations in the village for uniforms and instruments. Later a Portville High
School Band was organized.
The baritone and the band uniform worn by James W. Fairchild in the photo is in the Portville
Historical and Preservation Society collection. They were donated to Portville Central School by
a descendant of James Fairchild. For several years, the baritone was used by the Bent Brass
Classical Ensemble. It was recently retired and also given to the historical society. Recently, we
had an inquiry regarding the uniform and baritone from James W. Fairchild, Jr.
We think our readers will be interested in learning about a family that reaches far back into
James W. Fairchild, Sr.’s father, Bruce Tillotson Fairchild, was born in Belfast in 1870. His
grandfather, James H. Fairchild was born in 1841 and was a veteran of the Civil War (93rd
Regiment of the N. Y. Volunteer Infantry). He was also a member of the Portville G. A. R. Post.
He established a mill on the Yuba Dam Road. He is listed in the 1874 Gazetteer, along with his
brother William H., as manufacturers of shingles on the Yuba Dam Road. In 1880, he established
Portville Mills, a grist and shingle mill, at 24 Temple St. (where the Portville Baptist Church is
today). After the mill operations ceased to exist, the building became the Portville Broom Company
and later Swanson’s Lumber Company. James H. Fairchild and his son Bruce later purchased the
Hotton Mill that was located near the Pennsylvania Railroad Depot between Depot Street and
Lillibridge Road where there was a railroad siding. Later known as the Check-R-Board Feed Mill, it
was destroyed by fire in 1968.