Biography Exercise

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After having read many of these mini biographies printed in books from different parts of the country on various members of my distant family, I thought I would give it a try and put one together in the same style for my grandfather. It turned into an interesting exercise in putting life facts in order.

Chester Davis West was a well-known citizen of Bradford township, McKean county, Pennsylvania. He lived his adult life in a house just a short distance from downtown Bradford in South Bradford. Mr. West was born on October 1, 1902 in Bradford, McKean county, Pennsylvania at 294 East Main Street, the son of George Arthur and Josephine S. (Davis) West, the former of whom was born in Pleasantville, Venango county, Pennsylvania, and the latter in Somerset, Somerset county, Pennsylvania. They were married and the fruit of their marriage had four sons and one daughter. They were; Shirley Mills, Gail A, Chester Davis, Josephine Davis and Charles B.

George Arthur was engaged as a machinist in Bradford, McKean county working in a number of machine shops in Bradford, including the Bovaird and Seyfang Manufacturing Co., the Blaisdell Machine Co., the Bovaird and Company, and the Clark Bros., Inc., the latter firm in Olean. George Arthur West died January 10, 1950 in Bradford, McKean county, Pennsylvania.

Mrs. Josephine S. (Davis) West was the daughter of William C. Davis, of Somerset, Somerset county, Pennsylvania, well known butcher and owner of Davis Meat Market that resided on Congress street, Bradford, Pennsylvania and Elizabeth S. (McKim) Davis of Jamestown, Mercer county, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Davis died on January 16, 1950 after taking ill at her husband’s funeral.

Chester Davis West, the subject of this sketch, was employed as a roustabout on oil leases in Bradford. He was also employed as Speer Electronics in the maintenance department and was actively involved with the Custer City Boy Scout troop.

On October 27, 1926, Chester Davis West was married to Thelma Mariah Oakley, born in Olean, New York, and the daughter of George Clair and Mary Elizabeth (Collins) Oakley, the former from Olean, New York and the latter from Marathon, Cortland County, New York. Mr. and Mrs. Oakley spent most of their lives in McKean county where they died in 1953 and 1951 respectively.

By this marriage Mr. West had four children, two of whom are living, James Chester, the eldest died at birth, Dale Oakley, who died February 8, 1989 in Bradford, Pennsylvania at the age of 60, Lawrence Gene and Joyce Elaine, both residents of Bradford, Pennsylvania.


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