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
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
Click here for 1831-1868 Astor House Hotel
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
photo credit: David Keppel 2001
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