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101 Park Avenue

101 Park Avenue

101 Park Avenue
Brockport, NY 

History researched and written by Carol L. Hannan
© Copyright by Carol L. Hannan – May 2012 All rights reserved

Josiah B. and Mary A. Wheeler Randolph
Owners: circa 1860s to mid-1880s

Here is another old village home, whose original owner(s) are unknown. The home appeared on a Brockport map in 1852, but it wasn’t until about twenty years later, in 1861, that we can identify an owner of what was then, 21 Mechanic Street. Josiah B. Randolph, according to historian Eunice Chesnut, came to this area as a child and lived in Clarkson. We know that by the time he was twenty-two, he not only clerked for Joseph Seeley in his grocery store, but lived with the family, as well.

By the time Randolph moved to Brockport, he was the owner of a village grocery store. An 1864 Brockport Directory listed Randolph & Pease, grocers, on Main Street and an 1869 directory described the store as selling groceries, provisions, etc. at 36 Main Street. His business had survived a massive fire in 1863, which destroyed three blocks of businesses and continued until his death in 1884.

Josiah B. Randolph lays at rest in the Brockport Cemetery along with sons Charles, Fred and Howard, who died as an infant. Mary Randolph and son Walter are buried elsewhere, most likely where Walter lived, as she sold the house following her husband’s death. Exactly when the house was sold, given the lack of census
information, local directories and newspaper accounts is difficult to pin-point; and identifying the next owners with certainty, even more so until after the turn of the century.

James and Elmina Montgomery
Owners: circa 1902 to 1918

James, whose parents had been born in Scotland, moved to this area from Pennsylvania to farm the land. He retired to the village and bought a house; what is now, 20 - 22 Spring Street. The 1902 village map, which identifies property owners by name, shows his name extending from the Spring Street house to what was now identified as 101 Park Avenue. It wasn’t because his name was too long to write inside the property lines. James purchased this home for a reason. His daughter, Flora Ann, had become a widow and it was she, not her parents who lived in the Park Avenue house.

Flora Ann Montgomery Burnett
Owner: circa 1918 to 1926

Flora Ann married Thomas P. Burnett, son of area farmer DeWitt Clinton Burnett, and began married life on his father’s farm. In the late 1880s, Thomas gave up farming and apparently opened, possibly with his father-in-law, a village business named Montgomery & Burnett. What this store sold or how long it survived is unknown, as it was mentioned in existing village directories only once, in 1885.

Thomas Burnett died in 1912, at age 57, and was buried in the Brockport Cemetery. By 1918, Flora Ann lived on Park Avenue in the house that backed up to the Montgomery property on Spring Street. With her were her three children, Everett Montgomery, Julia E. and James Clinton Burnett. Census records tell us that Flora didn’t work outside the home. Julia was employed by the shoe factory just down the street and was then a store clerk. James worked in a hardware store. The boys left home to pursue their careers and Julia married, according to census data, but if she, too, left home it was not for long.

Julia Burnett married a man named John V. Montgomery; then sued him for divorce in 1924 according to a notice filed in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Was John related somehow to Flora’s family? Nothing more is known about John.

Julia E. Burnett Montgomery
Owner: mid-1920s to 1950

With both her parents deceased, the now divorced and childless Julia lived in the family home by herself or, according to the census, with a boarder. Her name appears in contemporary newspaper accounts, basically social notices of her visiting friends.

Little else is known of Julia, who had no outside interests that were noteworthy in the local press. Although she lived until 1966, Julia apparently sold the Park Avenue house by 1953. Although in life she had divorced herself from a Montgomery, she joined that family’s Lakeview Cemetery plot in death.

Albert Houston
Owner: 1950 to early 1960s

Albert Houston, a village businessman, lived in this house until the early 1960s. He owned a shop named “Houston’s” and one called “The Variety Shop,” which seems to have gone out of business in about a year’s time. He was named to an advisory committee for Lincoln Rochester Trust Company in 1957. Whether he remained in the village after selling this home is unknown.

Epilogue 2012
Robert and Virginia Drake Jubenville bought this house in the early 1960s and lived there until their deaths more than forty years later. Robert utilized the carriage house as a workshop and Virginia furnished the home with many period antiques. Ginny recounted to neighbors that the house at one time had been a store, although who owned the store is unknown, as more than one village merchant lived here. During the Jubenville’s ownership, the house was granted historical status by the Brockport Historical Preservation Committee.

Now owned by a private family, the house remains outwardly unchanged and well kept, a tribute to the successive caring families who have maintained it over so many years.

© Copyright by Carol L. Hannan - May 2012. All rights reserved.