The Hometown History column is presented by the Fenton History Center and The Post-Journal. Each Friday, a distinct item from the Fenton History Center collections or archival special collections will be featured. Learn about your hometown history through parts of its past.
If one of the items featured brings back some memories or brings up a question, please contact the Fenton History Center at 664-6256 or firstname.lastname@example.org to share your memory or get an answer to your question.
Phineas Palmiter Jr. is another veteran of the War of 1812 buried in Lake View Cemetery. He is listed in "Young's History of Chautauqua County, New York" as a sergeant in Lieutenant Forbes Company, raised in Chautauqua County. He served from Dec. 20, 1813, to Feb. 3, 1814, including participating in the Battle of Buffalo. He later became a captain in the New York State Militia and went by that title until his death which occurred in August 1861. He was 71 years old and died of injuries received by a runaway horse in Pittsfield, Pa.
Pictured is Phineas Palmiter Jr., veteran of the War of 1812.
Pictured is Phineas Palmiter Jr.’s tombstone in Lake View Cemetery taken at a time it was still upright and readable.
His obituary claims that he came to Jamestown in 1811, but someone, probably Elial Todd Foote since he was the collector of the newspapers that were eventually microfilmed, handwrote in June 1813. He was for several years a justice of the peace and held other offices over the years.
In 1833, Capt. Palmiter took a census of Jamestown showing a total population of 1,290, an increase from 1828 when there were less than 450 people living in the village Jamestown. But what he was remembered for on his tombstone was "The first furniture manufacturer in Jamestown, N.Y."
He is the one who made a small cherry stand for James Prendergast. This cherry stand is the first piece of furniture made in Jamestown. Prendergast used this cherry stand, with one drawer, as a bank in the town during the early days of settlement. This first piece of furniture made in Jamestown is now part of the collection of the Fenton History Center.
The statement that was carved into the tombstone has been obliterated over time by the weather and acid rain on the soft marble tombstone. Thankfully someone at a much earlier time took a photograph of the tombstone so we have a record of what was carved on it. The raised letters of PHINEAS are still visible. Some of PALMITER can still be seen, but the dates and the rest is gone, and the tombstone is lying flat on the ground but unbroken.
Phineas Palmiter Sr., father of Phineas Palmiter Jr., came with other members of the Palmiter families to the town of Busti around 1813. He and other family members are buried in the Palmiter Cemetery on Cowing Road in the town of Busti. Phineas Sr. served in the Revolutionary War from both Rhode Island and Connecticut. He was born in 1762 and entered the service in 1778. His application for a pension for his service in the Revolutionary War recites the times and the companies in which he served. He also tells where he lived over the ensuing years until his last move was to Chautauqua County in 1813. But in the pension application, he continued to recite his service in the War of 1812. In 1812, he served as a substitute for Jabez Wilkinson in Captain Nathan Adams Company and was in service the greater part of the time at Ogdensburg, St. Lawrence County.
So from this we now know of a father and son who are both veterans of the War of 1812. The son is buried in Lake View Cemetery, and the father is buried in the Palmiter Cemetery in the town of Busti.
The purpose of the Fenton History Center is to gather and teach about southern Chautauqua County's history through artifacts, ephemeral and oral histories, and other pieces of the past.
Visit www.fentonhistorycenter.org for more information on upcoming events.
If you would like to donate to the collections or support the work of the Fenton History Center, call 664-6256 or visit the center at 67 Washington St., just south of the Washington Street Bridge.