Myrtle Lewis Wilmot, local artist and philanthropist

Myrtle Lewis Wilmot was the daughter of Middleport residents and inventor Elgie J. Lewis and his wife, May Bathrick Lewis. Born in 1888, she attended Middleport High School from where she graduated in 1904 and then went on to study music at the Julliard School of Music in New York City. She and her husband, Arthur M. Wilmot lived most of their married life here on Terry Street and were active members of the Universalist Church and many other civic organizations. In a newspaper article from 1972, Mrs. Wilmot was quoted that she took up painting when a local art class needed new members. She had never had any formal training but often admired scenes, thinking they might make a good picture. She would spend More Info »

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Chauncey Norman, founder of NORCO

Chauncey Norman, a long time resident of Middleport, started his own business after working at the Niagara Sprayer for 37 years.  NORCO Machine and Sheet Metal Corporation was started in 1957 with four employees in a building on Kelly Avenue after Niagara Chemical Division closed out its machine shop. Mr. Norman, Harold Austin and James Arnold formed their own firm and became known for their work in metal fabrication, arc welding and machine work.  In 1961 the business moved from Kelly Avenue to a former Niagara Chemical Division building on Maple Avenue at the foot of Cemetery Street and added six additional employes. Chauncey Norman retired in 1971 and passed away in 1993. Photo courtesy of Bill Arnold.

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Levi Cole , business man and murderer

The name Levi Cole was associated with a log house/tavern in the early days of our history. Mr. Cole moved his business to the corner of what is now Main and State Street when he heard of the planned building of the canal.  He also became known as being responsible for the first documented homicide in our community. After a heated bar room brawl in his establishment which then  spread to the street outside, Mr. Cole struck one of the men with a club killing  him and seriously wounding  another.  He was protected by some local residents until the law could take him away and he was sent to the State Prison for a short time. The attached photo is of an invitation to Mr. More Info »

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Dr. Kent Williams, Middleport family doctor

The August 17, 1975 edition of the Niagara Gazette shared with its readers the details of “Dr. Kent D. Williams Day” as the Middleport community prepared to say farewell to a beloved resident.  After 39 years of “healing bodies and soothing minds”, Dr. Williams and his wife Emily were getting ready to retire to Florida due to health reasons. He was a general practitioner who loved his work and practiced both day and night, at his office or in the patient’s home for $8 per call. Almost every long time Middleport resident has warm and loving memories of this dedicated family doctor.  His daughter, Susan Williams Brown, kindly has donated her father’s items back to the Village of Middleport and they can be seen on More Info »

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Help solve a mystery

Recently a resident from Middleport brought a picture to this office asking for some help with identification.The picture was found behind another when it was taken apart for framing and has no identifying information such as a date or name of the artist. It looks almost like the head was added to a prepared drawing of a child. The owner wonders if maybe an itinerant artist prepared the main portion of the picture and then added the head when requested by the parents of the child.  Maybe someone has something similar in their possession and might be able to help with information about the artist.  We’d love to hear from anyone who can give us some information.

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Belva stamp anniversary

On June 18, 1986, the United States Postal Service officially released the Belva Ann Lockwood stamp as part of their Great American Series.  Born on October 24, 1830, this Royalton resident went on to become an admired public figure and a very influential woman of the century.  The Lockwood Bill gave female attorneys the right to pursue their cases in courts.  She also became the first female nominated by a political party to the office of President of the United States, first in 1884 and again in 1888.      

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First woman doctor in Middleport

Dr. Helen M. Robertson was the wife of village entrepreneur H.A. Robertson, and the first female doctor in the village.  She was a graduate of  Chicago’s Hahneman Medical College which she entered at the age of 50 and graduated in 1889 with honors.  Her family home at 33 State Street was the site of her medical practice where she worked for 35 years until shortly before her death.    

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