Over Nunda's long history
many people have contributed to the growth and character of our
area. The purpose of this page is to built a "hall of fame"
of sorts - a list of the people who have played a role in our
You will find some people
who were "famous" in the State or Nation - others who
were "ordinary" people who were important part of Nunda.
You will find inventors, business leaders, writers, and just plain
folks. But they have something in common - they were Nunda's Notables
- individual who were important to the Nunda Area.
The list is in alphabetical
order. It consists of the person's name and why they were notable.
If we have additional information on them, there will be a link
to their page.
This is a great opportunity to add your ancestor to Nunda's "hall of fame" !
here for our guidelines and suggestions for submitting names.
Also see our
Portraits from Nunda's Past
on this "Nunda Notable"
| Came to Nunda as a contractor on the Genesee
Valley Canal in Nunda Area - with Utley Spencer helped to complete
the Deep Cut. Active businessman and builder - owned a livery,
managed a stage route through Nunda. Received contract to build
railroad at Keene NH. Also active in lumber business. His second
wife Priscilla Russell (half- sister of Andrew Russell) was active
in the Baptist Church and organized community fund raisers and
support for the soldiers in the Civil War. Suranus eventually
sold his business interests and "went west". Invested
heavily in Cleveland area railroads. Lost his fortune. (Hand
| Son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael FitzGerald
who became an engineer on the Colorado & North Western R.
R. He was killed in a avalanche in Colorado was he was 23. See obituaries for further information.
|(b. 1783- d. 1866) Became the first settler to
own land within the present boundaries of Nunda. Born in Connecticut,
married Polly Dana and brought her and two sons to the Keshequa
Valley on March 15, 1817. Story was he carried a bag of wheat
on his back to the closest mill (Dansville), returned the next
day. Mary Jemison was said to be a visitor and the family home.
Paine family continues in Nunda area to present day. (see Hand
|(b. 1875? - d 1893) Moved to Nunda from Minnesota
to teach school - lived with her Aunt in the village. Taught
at School #11, the"Coopersville School "(corner of
Creek and Cooperville Rd). On November 14, 1893 a fire broke
out in the attached woodshed and quickly spread into the schoolroom
where Miss Porter and her twenty students were working. With
the help of Melvin Chambers and his younger brother Harvey, they
got the most of the students out the window. Witnesses reported
that the teacher refused to leave the school building and went
into the smoke and flames to try to rescue Johnny Johnston, a
four year old who was visiting school that day with his sister.
Both Miss Porter and the Johnston Boy perished in the fire. (see
"Tragedy at Cooperville School" in Tom Cook's "Yesterday...Stories of Old Nunda."
| (b. 1830-d.1902) Artist and photographer
probably born in Oakland, and raised in Nunda. Taught penmanship
at Nunda Literary Institute, had a studio possibly on Church
Street. Married Delia Duryee . Left Nunda to open studio in New
York City - enlisted in Civil War. Became photographer - after
War became photographer for the Union Pacific. Took the famous
photo at Promontory Point Utah in May 1869 when the Transcontinental
Railroad was complete. See a photo
exhibit on Russell and view
some of his art work and read a short biography.
| Daughter of local missionary,
Rev Lyman Stilson, born in "Burmah", almost killed
by a Bengal Tiger when a baby. (see Hand p 474 ) Family returned
to Nunda, attended Nunda Literary Institute, attended Teachers
Institute in Nunda in 1860. Wrote "Nunda's First War Poem"
encouraging enlistments. Became first woman from Nunda to graduate
from college - Vassar class of 1869. Went on to teach in New
York City . Writer, poet, and State Exam Reader for the New York
Board of Regents. (see Hand.) You will find more about here on the Oakwood Folks and Family Page at www.nundaoakwoodcemetery.org.
can submit the name of any person who you think made a contribute
to the history of the Nunda area.
- They must be deceased.
- They must have lived at
some time in the Nunda Area (can include Portage and other surrounding
- Please give their names,
any dates you may have, and a short summary of why you think
they are notable. You can use the summaries above as a guide.
- Please cite your sources.
If they are from your family stories or your own memory, we will
put your name as the source.
- We reserve the right to
edit the material!
- Send email or mail it to Tom Cook. PO Box 177, Nunda NY 14517
- Thank You!