John Wilkes III, Chaffee, NY

This location is Private property.

John Wilkes III (1810 – 1875) was born in Litchfield NY on 19 March 1810 to John and Hannah (Boardt) Wilkes. His first wife was Abigail Colby (1810-1839). His second wife was Phoebe Tillinghast (1811-?). His children were Eliza Abigail Wilkes (born about 1832), John Wilkes IV (born about 1834), and Mary Wilkes (born about 1836). On 18 December 1842 he purchased from John Colby for $500 a 20-acre lot in Sardinia. It is described as the east half of Lot 10 in the 7th Township, 5th Range, bounded west by land of Thomas Holmes, north by the Cattaraugus Road, and south by land of Caleb Nichols. 

Although Lot 10 and Caleb Nichols may be seen in the Erie County atlas of 1866 shown here from, the Wilkes home is for some reason not labeled. The two homes of D. Rice and the home of C. Rice shown on the map must have been constructed on the Wilkes farm, according to the farm’s description above. The censuses for 1850, 1855, 1860 and 1870 find John and Phoebe Wilkes still in Sardinia. By 1875 they were in Chisago City MN where he died on 27 April 1875.

Wilkes’ name appeared in Arch Merrill’s The Underground, Freedom’s Road and Other Upstate Trails  (New York: American Book-Stratford, 1963), as follows: “Interior Erie County was dotted with [UGRR] stations. One was as far south as Rice Corners in the Town of Sardinia. It was run by farmer John Wilkes. His daughter, Mary Wilkes Furias, used to tell stories of the Underground to her grandniece, Mrs. Elwood G. Wagner of Arcade. . . . In later years her father told Mrs. Furias that he took slaves to the next Underground station, at Holland, where the operator was Abner Orr.” ollan


13470 Genesee Rd
Chaffee, NY 14030

Tag Municipality