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103 State Street

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103 State Street
Brockport, N.Y. 

History written by Carol L. Hannan, May 2014 
Photo Credit and Produced by Pamela Ketchum
© Copyright by Carol L. Hannan – May 2014. All rights reserved.

Luther Gordon and family 
Owner/builder: early 1870s to 1923 

The Luther Gordon Lumber Company owned this land and presumably built this structure, as part of their business holdings, at least by the early 1870s. Located directly to the east of this likely office or perhaps office/home, was the main manufacturing plant of Gordon’s Brockport lumber company, which remained in the family for generations. Timber from their large forest stands in New York, Pennsylvania and Michigan were shipped to the plant, which was conveniently located by the bank of the Erie Canal. As time went by and canal transport was supplanted by railroads, a spur was built behind the homes on State Street to service the lumberyard’s needs. 

The lumber yard was reportedly comprised of a three-story steam powered mill building and a number of outbuildings, as well. Two large barns were located at the rear of this house lot and large buildings were also located directly across State Street.

Luther Gordon, who built multiple lumber yards and associated enterprises, such as the coal yard, planning and grist mill he also established in Holley, Orleans County, was a man held in high esteem by municipal leaders and employees alike. He built homes and supported public institutions, such as Brockport’s Collegiate Institute. His unfortunate death from typhoid pneumonia, while still in his fifties, was a loss not only to his immediate family but to his extended family in the many communities touched by the Gordon family. 

In addition to his lumber and varied business interests, Luther Gordon was a “President” (mayor) of the village and a founder of the First National Bank of Brockport. He was nominated as a member of Congress but was unsuccessful in the general election. He was also the inventor and successful manufacturer of the “Genesee plow.” 

The Gordon family burial plot is located in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Rochester, New York, the premier Victorian cemetery of Monroe County. The impressive central monument; entirely fitting in scale and grandeur for an eminent family; is surrounded by smaller, individual headstones. Generations of Gordon family members are buried there. 

Frank W. and Minnie M. Mowers Churchill 
Owners: 1923 to early 1930s 

Frank and Minnie Churchill bought this property from Gordon & Son in December of 1923. It was only then that it became a family home. Frank and Minnie lived in Brockport for less than ten years so their personal contributions to village life need to be considered in light of this. 

Frank Churchill, a native of Oneida County, New York, was a “machinist” in a canning factory before moving here. Brockport, of course, had a booming canning factory, the Quaker Made Company on Fair Street. It survived the “Great Depression,” and provided employment for many village residents and a reliable market for the produce grown by local farmers. 

Frank and Minnie had a large family of nine children: Frank Charles, Florence E., Ruth M. Churchill Northrup, Marion A. Churchill McArthur, Edna G. Churchill Kapella, Mable Edith Churchill McKee, George, George S. and Robert Lee Churchill. Edna, George “Chubby” and Robert Churchill remained village residents after the passing of their parents. 

Minnie was a member of the Brockport Methodist Episcopal Church and the Order of the Eastern Star. No information could be found about Frank Churchill’s interests. Because their families were from the Mohawk Valley and most of their lives were spent there in Oneida County, it shouldn’t be surprising that both Churchills, first Frank, and then a year later, Minnie would be laid to rest in their hometown at Glenwood Cemetery.

Epilogue 2014 

Following the ownership of the Churchill family, this home was owned by the Luther Homuth, a village gas station owner. It has since passed to at least two additional owners. While the outside of the home remains largely the same, the inside of the structure was completely rebuilt after a broken water line flooded the home.

© Copyright by Carol L. Hannan - May 2014. All rights reserved.