WELCOME TO THE
Pictured (l to r): Wally Bloomquist, Mrs. Broadhead (aka Joni Blackman), and Karen Livsey
Katie Geise cheerfully announced our very own, Joni Blackman, Director of the Fenton History Center. Joni was dressed up in historical garb and gave an excellent presentation on the Broadheads of Jamestown.
William Broadhead and the Broadhead Family Legacy
William Broadhead arrived in Jamestown in 1843. He was an eager, motivated young man of 24 years old. He was an experienced blacksmith but knew he wanted much more.
He established himself within a few years in business with Mr. Adam Cobb making sickles for cutting grass and hay. He also married his partner’s daughter, Lucy, in 1845.
Their family grew over the next 22 years; Sheldon in 1846, Harwood in 1848 (deceased in 1855), Almet in 1851, Mary in 1855, Stella Florine in 1859 and Mertie Minutia in 1867.
By the time the last child was born Broadhead owned and sold an axe factory and started a premier retail men’s clothing store. Sheldon was a partner at age 16.
In 1872 William, Lucy and daughter Mary traveled to his hometown of Thornton, Yorkshire, England. The depressed town he had left 30 years prior was a thriving city because of the region’s textile industry. He brought the same concept to Jamestown.
By December of 1873 Jamestown was making wool cloth at the Jamestown Alpaca Mill.
In 1875 Broadhead sold his half of the Alpaca Mill and started Broadhead & Sons Mill. By 1881 the mill employed 1000 people and sold $1,000,000 in goods across the country.
Over the next 35 years the family expanded into the Jamestown Street Railway Co. (Jamestown’s trolley system), steamboats lines on Chautauqua Lake, Chautauqua Traction Co (trolley’s on the west side of the Lake), J.W. & N.W. railroad line on the east side of the Lake, Lake View Rose Gardens in West Ellicott, the Broadview Estates land development project, Jamestown Light and Power Co. Celoron Park, Midway Park and Sylvan Park around the lake.
William died in 1910, sons Sheldon and Almet carried on expanding into many areas of business. All were involved on bank boards as well. The Broadheads were the high society in Jamestown.
The sons both died in 1925, just 3 months apart. Almet’s son William had the task of shutting down many of the enterprises. The trolley system morphed into the JARTS bus system.
The daughters were involved on the W.C.A. Board of Directors, the local and state Republican Party and the establishment of the Jamestown Chapter of the DAR.
The Broadhead mausoleum is gone, torn down due to disrepair in 1958. The monument is the headstone from the original monument.
Posted by Chris Anderson on Sep 29, 2016
(l to r) Lee Harkness, Kim Carlson, and Walt Pickut
Lee Harkness welcomed Kim Carlson, Business Development Manager for ROBO Enterprises, who gave a wonderful presentation on, “Drug Addiction in Jamestown: Problems and Solutions.”
Ms. Carlson spoke about the need for transitional housing in Chautauqua County. Many recovering drug addicts, when released from rehabilitation, don’t have a safe place to live with sobriety. Many often just go back to the same situation they came from and are often taken advantage of by dealers.
When Kim decided to speak to Rotary, she understood it would be a tough road. Her son, Alex Foulk, died of a heroin overdose in February of 2016. This coming October 4 would have been Alex’s 27th birthday. While the subject is still very raw for Kim, she shows great strength in talking about addictions and finding solutions to the problem.
Alex was a normal, healthy boy. He grew up with his sister, Aleida Foulk. As a native daughter, Kim taught her kids about the importance of living in Jamestown and being close to your roots. When Alex was 10 years old, he was diagnosed with ADHD. Alex was an avid athlete and played soccer, baseball, football, and hockey. He loved to compete. But, after a year of being on ADHD medicine and seeing what it was doing to Alex, Kim decided she was not going to continue the prescription. Alex struggled in school with his ADHD, and he was dyslexic. However, he found a way to get through school with his learning disability.
According to Kim, Alex was a normal kid, and he always participated in family events. Kim also mentioned that family gatherings were very open and honest, any subject that came up was not off the table. Kim and Alex talked openly about things. Kim wanted her son to know she was always willing to listen. Kim’s children, Alex and Aleida, grew up in a normal household.
After high school, Alex attended JCC. After a couple semesters, it was apparent that college was not in the cards for Alex. After working for the family business, Alex found a position at the Randolph Children’s Home assisting troubled youth. Alex was genuinely touched and moved by their plight. He did well there. Up until his death, he volunteered teaching/coaching hockey to children; he genuinely enjoyed time spent with them.
Early in February, before Alex passed away, Kim recounted a conversation with Alex about the dangers of heroin. Kim told Alex there were dangerous packets of fentanyl-laced heroin on the streets. Alex assured his mother he had never used heroin and never intended to use. He hated needles. Kim worried about Alex because in the past, he had a problem with an addiction to pain pills. Additionally, Kim is a recovering addict (pain pills and alcohol). You could understand her concern for her son.
On a late Friday morning in February on this year, Alex Foulk passed away. It was not until the afternoon when Kim called the coroner to ask what was the actual cause of death that she was blindsided with, “Alex’s death was the result of the heroin that was found in his body.” Alex had assured his Mom he was not taking heroin. He hated needles, but the pull of the drug was too much for Alex. Alex died smoking fentanyl-laced heroin. Alex’s addiction took his life. During the funeral, Kim and her family decided they needed to be honest about Alex’s life and death. Alex was a good friend to many people and he was a good kid. Heroin addiction affects the young and old. The rich and poor. Many people don’t know what a heroin addict looks like. Heroin addicts have no face.
After the shock of losing her son to heroin, Kim has dedicated her life to helping others with addiction; and ultimately, lobbying local decision-makers on building transitional housing. At this point in time, Chautauqua County does not have a safe place where people can come out of a rehab or jail to live among a secure environment with other recovering addicts so they can get the encouragement they desperately need.
Ultimately, in order to win this fight against addiction, it all starts with love and compassion. Kim is blessed by family/friends with a secure support system but many others are not who are going through losing a loved one to heroin. To that end, Kim’s group will be hosting an event called, “Alex 44: Celebrate the Life, the Smile.” The event begins at 2pm on Saturday, October 1 at the Northwest Ice Arena. The event consists of two back-to-back hockey games followed by a Red Carpet Ceremony honoring families who have lost loved ones to drugs or alcohol. There will also be speaking events from area folks in recovery living fulfilled lives. In addition, a basket raffle will be held in the lobby from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.
Most important, Kim reminded Rotary and the community at large that we need to have knowledge and conversations about drug addiction. We must remove the stigma associated with drug addiction and turn the tide. It all starts with a conversation and we as a community need to talk about things and be part of the solution!
For more information or to learn more, please visit alex44.org.
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