Move West on West Main Street Move East on West Main Street R. H. Redfield house 1905: Judge Boutonís New Mansion
McKean County Miner  Thursday, July 6, 1905
Bouton Biography below

Move West on West Main Street Move East on West Main Street R. H. Redfield house
photo credit:  John G. Coleman Collection

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1905: Judge Boutonís New Mansion: McKean County Miner  Thursday, July 6, 1905

Monday morning a Miner reporter visited Hon. J. W. Boutonís elegant new mansion on West Main Street and was taken on a tour of inspection through the house by Messre. Wm. C. Parker and A. R. Black, the famous interior decorators of Warren. Right here it must be stated of these gentlemen that aside from their widely recognized artistic talents and executive skill in decorating they are genial and courteous men upon all occasions and have made many friends during their so journey in Smethport.

When one pauses to consider the deep thought, physical energy, mechanical accuracy and artistic excellence necessary in the construction and equipment of a building of this grade the subject loses its prosaicism and becomes a monument or brain- created work to considered like any other masterpiece - an epic wrought by expert minds and hands.

The structure is of brick and native white sandstone. The exterior, embellished with spacious porches, is of an Elizabethan design of architecture, the fluted round and square columns of the porches giving a reassuring air of permanence and solidity to the building. That the entire structure is the product of skilled labor is apparent at the first glance and from this preface goes on to a finished finale, until the beholder is convinced that here stands a creation of modern progress from the first stone in the ponderous foundation to the last deft touch of the artist. 

Mr. J. A. Olds, the well known contractor of Bradford had entire charge of the construction operations. 

On entering the mansion through the massive front door the visitor finds himself in a roomy vestibule, with a wainscoting of golden oak for a base surmounted with panels of leather in imitation of elephantís skin, with galloons and border in strikingly harmonious, hand-painted designs.

The reception hall at the foot of the main stairway is also wood finished in golden oak, with beam ceiling containing panels of delicately decorated burlap. The walls are done in Spanish tooled leather of a red background with green and gold tints.  Window seats and a quaint reproduction of an old-time settie invite a seating capacity of sixteen persons. These will be upholstered in Spanish leather of a blending shade of red. The floor is to be covered with five rugs the predominating colors being red and green. A finishing detail in the hall and in some of the rooms is the trimming with old metal effects. The hall is furnished with a cozy open fireplace, as are the library and dining room. 

The guest chamber is also located on the west side of the house. In regard to the wall paper design of this room an interesting incident is related: when Gen. Wodsworth of Genesee, N. Y., returned from one of his famous campaigns he brought from New Orleans two French soldiers, who had served as privates in his command.  They were employed as coachman and gardner. Soon afterward the General was having the interior of his house improved and the Frenchmen informed him that they had been decorators in their native land and wished to paint one of the rooms after a design of their own. This they did, and the General was so pleased with the design that he made a request in his will that the decorators of the room should never be changed, Birges, the great paper manufacturer, sent an artist to the house, who copied the design and it was reproduced as nearly as possible. The original design contained 17 colors and 14 of these were successfully copied by the greatest wallpaper press in the world. This design is used in the guest chamber and is such a perfect imitation of hand painted relief work that a close examination is necessary to define the difference. Panels in relief are faithfully shown with a beautiful floral border effect.

The hall on the second floor is done in an elegant finished and two bathrooms are conveniently located. 

The third floor contains three bedrooms and a bath, all prettily decorated, aside from Mr. Boutonís  den, which occupies the front of this floor. It is a large attractive room, the walls covered with warm, rich tones of Oriental tapestry and the ceiling finished in plain tint. The halls are plain ingrain with burlap bases.

The basement contains a laundry room furnished with stationary tubs, instantaneous heater and all modern conveniences. Also located here are several store rooms for provisions, fruits and vegetables, etc., and the boiler room containing the Gurney steam heating apparatus.

The plumbing throughout the building is of the best material and workmanship. Aside from gas fixtures of a superior grade the house is wired so that electricity can also be used. The light arrangement is controlled by switches in various parts of the house. By pushing a button is Judge Boutonís room the whole interior can be illuminated. The plumbing arrangements were liked after by H.H. Redfield of Smethport. Hyde & Murphy of Ridgway had charge of the interior wood work and the decorators. Parker & Black, who will soon have the house ready for occupancy, say the work from foundation to chimney tops is of the very best grade.

See the Bouton Mansion in the year 2001
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Judge Joseph William Bouton, youngest son of Enoch Edwin and Mary Lucinda (Crandall) Bouton, was born in Portville, Cattaragus County, New York, November 20, 1856.  His preparatory education was obtained in the public schools of Portville, New York, and Ceres.  Pennsylvania.
He was engaged in the hardware business about two years in Port Allegany, McKean county, Pennsylvania; then accepted a position as book keeper, which he held for five years.  He was also deputy clerk of court and Recorder of Deeds of McKean County, during which time he read law under the direction of Judge Thomas A. Morrison, an eminent lawyer, now one of the judges of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.  Mr. Bouton was admitted to the bar in 1885.  He began the practice of law in Smethport, and in October, 1887, became associated in the practice with J.N. Apple, the firm name being Apple & Bouton,.  Mr. Bouton attained a high position at the bar and on the bench.

In 1903 he was elected president judge of the Court of Common Pleas of McKean County for a term of ten years, expiring 1914.  Previous to his elevation to the bench Judge Bouton served a term as District Attorney of McKean County, providing a fearless but honorable prosecutor.  As a judge he has won the respect and loyal support of his brethren of the profession by his fairness and the justice of his decisions.  He is a member of county and state bar associations, is a Republican in politics and a member of the Episcopal Church.  His fraternal orders are:  McKean Lodge, No. 338.  Free and Accepted Masons, and Smethport Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star.

He married  February 3, 1878, Julia A. Eastman, born in Ceres, New York, August 21, 1860, daughter of Luther Eastman.  She was educated in the public schools, is a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, the Travelers Club and of the Episcopal Church.  Children of Judge Joseph William Bouton:  1. Victor  Burdette, of whom further.  2.  Edwin E., born in Smethport, Pennsylvania, August 10, 1895, now a student in Smethport high school.  3.  Helen A., born August 21, 1902.

Victor Burdette, eldest son of Judge Joseph William and Julia A. Bouton, was born in Port Allegany, Pennsylvania, December 14, 1879.  He was educated in the public schools of Smethport and was graduated from the high school, class of 1899.  He chose the profession of law, and after a year's study under the direction of his father entered Dickinson Law School, at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, whence he was graduated LL.B., class of 1903.  He at once began the practice of law in Smethport and for three years practiced with Fred D. Gallup as partner.  He is now located in the Grange Bank building, alone and well established in public favor.  For the past seven years he has been attorney for the Borough of Smethport and for the county of McKean for three years.  He is a Republican in politics, and a member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church.  His club is the Central of Smethport.

He married, April 20, 1902, Genevieve Gertrude Hussey, born April 6, 1880, in Keating township, McKean county, Pennsylvania.  She was educated in the public schools of Glen Hazel, Pennsylvania, was graduated from Bradford Business College in 1907, and is now deputy recorder of McKean county with office at the court house in Smethport.

Judge Bouton Veteran Jurist Died Suddenly
McKean County Democrat: Thursday December 27, 1934

The death of Hon. J. W. Bouton, 78, veteran former local jurist, who retired last January as President Judge of McKean county after 31 years of distinguished service, occurred with shocking suddenness at his home on West Main street, Smethport, at 11:45 o’clock last Friday morning.

The eminent citizen had been feeble for the past two months- not suffering any discomfort of illness, but rather a feeling of weakness. A week previous he had spent several days in the Kane Community Hospital for diagnosis and returned home to continue treatments.

He had been able to sit up for a period each day and shortly after 11 o’clock Friday morning complained of a slight attack, which apparently passed. Later he suffered another attack and called his children, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Bouton, to his bedside. The son drove to the office of Dr. Burg Chadwick and brought that physician to his father’s bedside, but the patient was beyond earthly aid and the end came peacefully a few minutes after the physician arrived.

Joseph William Bouton was born in Portville, N.Y., November 20, 1856, the son of Enoch Edwin and Mary Lucinda Bouton. His education was received in the public schools of Portville, N.Y. and Ceres, P.A, and in earl life he worked as a clerk in Port Allegany and Olean.

Like the immortal Lincoln, Judge Bouton’s younger life was one of work and struggle and, emulating the illustrious emancipator, he amplified his common school education by hard study in spare hours and became recognized for his scholarly attainments.

He became a law student in the office of Hon, Thomas A. Morrison in Smethport and subsequently passed the necessary examinations with credit and was admitted to the bar of McKean County. While a student of law, he served as a deputy clerk if the county courts.

Mr. Morrison later became Judge of McKean County and Mr. Bouton became associated with the late Attorney John N. Apple in Smethport in 1885 as junior partner. Later he opened his own law office and in the course of time admitted Attorney Fred D. Gallup as junior partner from college, the firm being known as Bouton & Gallup.
In the 1890s Judge Bouton was elected district attorney of McKean County, running as a Democrat. He served with distinction in that post and gained wide recognition for his work in disclosing a murder angle in a supposed suicide- a button torn frantically from a man’s overcoat, as indicated by shreds of cloth clinging to it, which was found near the body of the victim, built up a case which resulted in the arrest of the culprit and his final conviction for murder in a sensational, famous trial prosecuted by Mr. Bouton.

When Judge Morrison was elevated to the State Superior Court bench in 1902, Governor Pennypacker appointed Joseph Bouton to take his place as President Judge of McKean County.

His splendid work on the bench attracted immediate notice. He was elected for a ten-year term in 1903, reelected in 1913, and again, without opposition, in 1923, and was succeeded on the on the bench by President Judge Charles G. Hubbard last January, retiring on pension.

During his 31 years of distinguished service on the bench, Judge Bouton won a wide reputation for his ability. Particularly meritorious was the wisdom he displayed in his treatment of Juvenile cases and first offenders in criminal cases. He found that fatherly discussion with the culprit, patiently listening to the defendant’s story and a firm lecture, with sound advice, followed by a probation sentence, achieved better results than a jail sentence. Many useful, respected citizens today can thank Judge Bouton for giving them a chance.

A kindly, human man, Judge Bouton’s career as a struggling, ambitious young man, a lawyer and a jurist was on of strictest integrity, fairness, and wisdom. He was an illustrious life.

In early life, Judge Bouton was a Democrat and was elected district attorney on that party’s ticket, but during the Cleveland administration when the party was torn with fractional strife he affiliated with the Republican Party and was after a staunch supporter of Republican policies.
On his retirement from the bench, the Judge, even then in enfeebled health, refused to remain idle and opened a law office in the Ostrander building. He was at his desk daily up to a few weeks ago.

As a jurist, his services were in demand constantly to preside at terms of court in other cities knew judge Bouton well and respected his ability.
Aside from his career on the bench, Judge Bouton became a successful independent oil operator, developing a profitable lease up the Marvin Creek valley, a few miles from Smethport.

He always took an alert interest in Smethport civic affairs and was one of the organizers and first president of the Conopus Club.
His interests and talents were varied and many. In younger years he was a gifted singer and was a member of the vast choir of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. He was an ardent sportsman- a rifle shot and angler of skill.

In addition to being a long and active member of St. Luke’s Church, he was a member of McKean Lodge, No. 388, F. & A. M., of Smethport, and the local Conopus Club. He was a member of the State and County Bar Associations, and also of the Smethport Country Club.

Judge Bouton married Julia A. Eastman of Ceres, N.Y., on February 3, 1878. She was a noble helpmate and her death inn 1927 was a sad blow to the eminent jurist.
The fruits of this union were three children, all of whom survive: Hon. Victor B. Bouton of New Kensington, PA, former Member of Assembly and District Attorney of Westmoreland county; Edwin E. Bouton of Smethport, former treasurer of McKean county, and Helen, the wife of Donald Bovaird, of Bradford.

The deceased is also survived by the following grandchildren: Ned, William, and Robert Bouton of New Kensington, PA, and Eastman, Joan and Barbara Bouton at home.
Last January, following Judge Bouton’s retirement from the bench, he was honored by the Smethport Conopus Club at a testimonial dinner at the Colonial Hotel. A week later he was similarly honored by the county bar association at a dinner at the Hotel Emery in Bradford at which Richard J. Beamish, then Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth, was the principal speaker and paid deserved tribute to the guest of honor.

Funeral services were conducted at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Sunday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock, the Very Rev. Archdeacon W. E. Van Dyke, rector of the church, officiating. Very Rev. Mr. Van Dyke was assisted by Rev. Henry Sizer, rector of the Church of the Ascension, Bradford.

Pallbearers were: Attorney Claude W. Shattuck, Attorney Robert Apple, Louis Burdick, County Detective J. J. Allison, President E. A. Studholme of the Grange National Bank, and A. J. Hyatt, oil producer, all of Smethport.

The large concourse of mourning townspeople included many notables from other points; members of the McKean County Bar Association and McKean Lodge of Masons both attend in bodies

Burial was made in the family plot in Rose Hill Cemetery.

photo credit:  David Keppel   2001
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