PREFACE and KEY TO Dunkirk:
A Chronology and Index of Historical Facts
Compiled by Gladys A. Bush*
[The following preface, key, and chronology were written by Ms. Bush and are reproduced in her own words, with minor revisions. The chronology covers the years 1626-1628 and then 1800-1946.]
There are numerous sources of information about the city of Dunkirk, N.Y., including pamphlets, newspaper articles, chapters in Chautauqua County histories, maps, documents, and photographs. It is the purpose of this compilation to present in one chronological record as many as possible of the historical items which are known, and to index them in such a way that information will be readily available. Many business and industrial firms have not been included because of their short span of existence and the lack of reliable information about them. For the most part, names of individuals, other than the early settlers, have been omitted except as they occur in the professions or in the titles of companies and corporations. Some discrepancies were noted in the dates given in various sources, and certain facts cannot be placed in their proper sequence since the date of their occurrence is not known. This chronology is not be considered the final word on the history of Dunkirk, as new information may always be added.
Introductory material pertaining to the area in which Dunkirk is located consists of items starting with the date 1626, when a French missionary traveled through the region, and continuing to 1808, when the first purchases of land in the region were made. The city’s history is considered to start in 1809, when a settler built his log cabin in the harbor area. This compilation ends with the year 1946, when the people of Dunkirk participated in the program of assistance for Dunkerque, France, the city for which it was named in 1817.
*Gladys A. Bush was born in 1906, in Dunkirk, New York, and graduated from Case Western University in 1929. She took it upon herself to compile this chronology of Dunkirk. She was a life member of the Dunkirk Historical Society. She died in 2004 at the age of 97.
KEY: Following most of the entries, a notation will appear (such as “C”; that letter tells you as researcher in what publication Ms. Bush found that information.
C: The Centennial History of Chautauqua County. 2V .Jamestown. Chautauqua History Company. 1904, c1901.
D: Downs, John P., editor-in-chief. History of Chautauqua County. 3 v.Boston. American Historical Society. C1921.
DE: Dunkirk: An Encyclopedia of Useful Information . . . Edited and published by the Dunkirk Chamber of Commerce. Dunkirk. 1921. (pamphlet)
DS: Doty, Wiliam J., editor-in-chief. The Historic Annals of Southwestern New York. 5v. New York. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. C1940
E: Edson, Obed. History of Chautauqua County, New York. Boston. Fergusson. C1894.G: Child, Hamilton, comp Gazeteer and Business Directory of Chautauqua County, N.Y., for 1873-74. Syracuse. Journal Office. 1873. GB: Grape Belt Harbor Number:The City of Dunkirk, July, 1896. HD: Historical and Descriptive Review of Dunkirk, Chautauqua County, New York; compiled under the auspices of the Commercial Association of Dunkirk. Dunkirk. 1889. (pamphlet)
KD: Kirwin, W.H. Dunkirk and Fredonia Directory. Various dates.
M: Miscellaneous material; i.e., church bulletins, school yearbooks, etc. Various dates.
OC: Dunkirk Evening Observer. Centennial Edition, August 5, 1937.
OM: Miscellaneous material; ie, church bulletins, school yearbooks, etc. various dates.
OW: Dunkirk Evening Observer. Articles by Henry Wille, written in 1933, published in 1936.
PD: Polk, R.L. & Co. Polk’s Dunkirk-Fredonia Directory … Pittsburgh. C1925. W: Warren, Emory Force. History of Chautauqua County. Jamestown. Fletcher. 1846.
Y: Young, Andrew W. History of Chautauqua County, New York. . . Buffalo. Matthews & Warren. C 1876.