THE CANNONS & THE CANNON BROS. STORE
INFO TAKEN FROM “ALLEGANY & ITS PEOPLE 1896” AND ANDOVER NEWSPAPERS; PHOTOS ARE FROM THE ROBERT A. BAKER COLLECTION
Submitted by William A. Greene 2006
Patrick Cannon was born in County Leitrim, Ireland, on March 4, 1833. Losing his parents when very young, he came to America in 1849 and lived two years at East Hamburgh, N.Y., learned the tanner and curriers trade. He then worked for Aaron Rumsey in Buffalo, then in tanneries in Cleveland, Lockport, Medina, Rochester, Chicago and more, pursuing this vocation for 20 years. In 1855 he went to Almond and worked for the Richardson’s Shoe Manufacturing Co. (They also had a tannery in Andover, located on the north side of the railroad tracks at the foot of North Main and Hill Streets.)
He worked in Almond for 10 years and was foreman for 8 of those years. Finally in 1865 Patrick came to Andover and worked his trade a few years.
On September 30, 1866 Patrick married Mary Delaney and raised five children. They were William, Franklin, John E., James P. and Mary.
Then at some point in time (before 1877) he opened the “Erie Hotel” on North Main St., which catered to the railroad employees. It offered them food and drink and a place to stay while away from home.
In the latter part of December 1888 Patrick and his sons John and James purchased the dry good and grocery business of Mr. Frisbey and Mr. Porter. Mr. Frisbey joined in as a partner with a Mr. Cole and formed the company of “Cole & Frisbey” in 1873. Three years later he was running the business alone. At some point in time he took his son in-law on as a partner and it became “Frisbey & Porter”.
The building to this business still stands on the right hand corner of the now
In an 1894 Andover Newspaper the article was written: “ In reviewing our various business places, we have in the establishment successfully conducted by Misters Cannon & Sons, a notable example of a mercantile enterprise worthy of the highest emulation. Commencing business here some five years ago, the extensive trade that has been built up shows how the efforts of the firm have been appreciated by the people. Their success is all the more gratifying because it has been obtained by fair dealing and honorable competition. The store is in every respect a most desirable and advantageous place to deal. It is always filled with a large, well-bought and carefully selected stock of all kinds of general merchandise, dry goods, groceries, boots and shoes, hats, and caps, etc. This firm makes a specialty of boots and shoes, being sole agents for the famous Heywood fine shoes for men, the Waverly School Shoes and Snag Proof boots. It pays to deal here”.
On Sunday morning at about 11 o’clock, January 29, 1901, Mr. Patrick Cannon passed from this life at his home on the corner of Rt. 21 & Elm St. Andover was to mourn a prominent and worthy citizen. He was not only a businessman, he was also the first President of the village of Andover and was a 12-year member of the Board of Education. He was buried in the St. Johns Cemetery.
The business changed its name to Cannon Bros. and business was good. In May of 1917 they bought the out the A. M. Burrows Sons Department Store on the corners of Main St. and West Center Streets, and took over the store at once. Now the Cannon Brothers had a men’s and boy’s store and now a ladies store.
In the middle of July 1917 John E. Cannon was made cashier and a director of the Burrows National Bank and about that time he left the Cannon Brothers and the business became Cannons Department Store, owned and operated by James P. and his wife.
John would go on in the Burrows National Bank and in 1924 became its President and held that position until 1934 when the Burrows National Bank and the Andover State Bank merged. He then was made Chairman of the Board of the Andover National Bank. He later became member and past President of the Allegany County Bankers Association, was President of the Andover Free Library for 30 years, and was a former Postmaster of
Andover. He also was a very good singer.
John was born on June 25, 1868 and died on December 21, 1948. He was married twice. His first wife was Anna Dean who died on October 12, 1915; his second wife was Mae Knox Greene who was the first wife of Sidney Greene. She died on March 29, 1959; she is buried in Valley Brook beside her first husband. John and his first wife are buried in the Gate of Heaven Cemetery. Both cemeteries are in Andover.
James was born on June 22, 1871 and became one of Andover’s most prominent and esteemed businessmen. The store was his life. It had begun with his father and brother and now it was all his. He built
up a highly successful mercantile establishment, a reputation as a model merchant, a square dealer and a dependable, honest, upright citizen. For 45 years he served the Andover people at the same store.
In June of 1906 James P. was married to Miss Sara Riley. They had two children; Mary Elizabeth and Edward R. Cannon.
Mr. Cannon had always been a great backer of every movement for the advancement of Andover and the good of the Community. He always identified himself with every organized effort to better Andover. He loved Andover and her people. He was gentle, kind-hearted and a friend to all mankind. He was a member of the Blessed Sacrament church, Knights of Columbus, Elks, Chamber of Commerce, MacCabees, Woodmen and Wellsville Country Club.
James was a great lover of music. It was said that his music was his hobby. He was the organizer and leader of Cannon’s Orchestra, a musical organization that gained much credit for its technique. He was a skilled violinist, and was happy when directing his orchestra of almost 40 years. All of western New York loved the sweet melodies they played. Besides his work with his orchestra, he was possessed with a beautiful tenor voice and was one of the members of the Eutopia Club of many years ago.
On Friday morning June 29, 1934 Mr. James P. Cannon passed from this life after 63 years as an Andover resident. He was buried in the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Andover.
On September 24, 1934 a Mr. Philo K. Tuttle purchased the entire men’s and boy’s clothing and furnishing department, including men’s and boy’s shoes of the James P. Cannon Co. A partition was put in between the two stores. The Cannon Company continued the ladies store, carrying a full line of dry goods, ladies furnishings, ladies ready-to-wear and women’s and children’s shoes. Mr. Tuttle was a former Andover merchant and changed his store from a businessmen’s store to a workmen’s store.
James wife Sara Riley was born in Covert, N.Y. on June 17, 1878 and was the daughter of Edward and Mary Bryne Riley. She came to Andover at the age of 20 as an instructor in the Andover High School, a position, which she filled with marked proficiency until her marriage in 1906. She always maintained a deep interest in the school, serving for several years as a member of the Board of Education. She also was active in social, philanthropic and benevolent circles, a woman of culture and refinement, a kind neighbor, devoted mother and a true friend. James and Sara had two children; Mary Elizabeth and Edward P. Cannon. Sara Cannon took over the helm of the business from the time of her husband’s death until her own. Keeping up with its fine traditions and its loyal costumers.
Sara Riley Cannon died on Saturday February 5, 1938 at 1:30 P.M. at the Warsaw County Community Hospital in Warsaw, N.Y. following an illness of four months. Sara was buried by her husband in the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Andover.
On May 6, 1938 Cannon’s Dept. Store business was sold. For over 49 years the Cannons had supplied the Andover people with fine dress clothing and other merchandise. Now the store was known as “The Folsing Store”, owned by Helen and Emma Folsing. Gone were the store names of “P. Cannon’s”, then “P. Cannon & Son”, “P. Cannon & Son’s”, “P. Cannon Sons”, “Cannon Bros.”, “J. E. Cannon”, James P. Cannon” and “The J. P. Cannon Company.”
In 1946 John H. Cannon sold the double brick store and apartments upstairs to a Kenneth D. Bostwick from Corning, N.Y., which he opened as a clothing store.
Many other people tried to keep a store going at that location. Nobody else came close to the success that the Cannons had. Times had changed. Gone are the small town businesses that were the backbone to our nation. Now there are stores like K-Mart and Wal-Mart that have taken their places. There is no way a small business can compete.