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Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York published by Chapman Publishing Co., in 1895.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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CHAUNCEY N. MEEKS. Among the well known and influential citizens of Montour Falls, is the gentleman whose name introduces these paragraphs, and who is the senior member of the firm of Meeks Brothers, proprietors of the Phoenix Roller Mills, and dealers in flour, feed, bran, etc. His associate in business is Coral S. Meeks, a shrewd business man, who entered into partnership with him in 1885, and together they purchased the mill property from E. A. Dunham & Co. The plant is located in Havana, or what is now called Montour Falls.

The year following their purchase the brothers sustained a severe loss in the burning of their mill, but with characteristic energy they made preparations to erect another building, and in the winter of 1887-88 it was completed and ready for occupancy. This mill is a great improvement on the old structure, both as regards the building itself and the machinery used. It is fitted out with a full roller process, and all the latest milling machinery, and they are enabled to turn out the very best work in large quantities.

The father of our subject, Ira B. Meeks, a blacksmith by trade, followed this business for many years, but during his later life turned his attention to farming. He was born in Steuben County, this state, but for a great many years has been identified with the interests of this section, and now makes his home in this village, at the age of seventy-seven years. About 1849 he was married to Miss Jane Ann Smith, who departed this life in 1863. To this union there were born three children, of whom the original of this sketch was the eldest. His brother Charles B. is in the employ of the Shepherd & Sons Bridge Company at Havana; and Coral S. is the junior member of the firm of Meeks Brothers.

Chauncey N. Meeks was born November 15, 1851, at which time his father was living on a farm. He was therefore reared to farm pursuits, and before leaving the home place could perform any part of the work on the estate. His education was such as could be gained in the schools of the district, which he attended at such times as his services were not in demand on the farm. About fourteen years ago, however, he left home, and in order that he might fully learn the milling business, which he wished to follow, he entered the employ of E. A. Dunham & Co., of this place, and worked for them seven years. During that time he gained a full knowledge of the business, and, having an opportunity to purchase the plant, formed a partnership with his younger brother and bought the same. Their efforts have been attended with success since that time, although the fire was looked upon for a time as a great misfortune. Instead, it proved to be otherwise, for it was the means of their erecting a better building and supplying themselves with more perfect milling facilities. The brothers are both capable business men, and by their upright and honest methods are in command of a splendid trade, which they have built up by their own efforts.

In 1876 Mr. Meeks was united in marriage with Miss Mary E. Thomas, a native of the town of Catharine, this county, and the daughter of Edwin and Harriet Thomas. To them have been granted four children, namely: Eddie B., Floyd Irvin, Eva J. and Iva B. Mrs. Meeks is a lady of pleasing address, having those qualities of mind and heart which make her a good mother and kind friend.

Mr. Meeks has always affiliated with the Republican party in politics, and takes a decided interest in its successes. He is in no sense of the word an office-seeker, but at one time was persuaded to accept the position of Overseer of the Poor, filling the office acceptably for a period of three years. Fraternally he is an Odd Fellow of good standing, and meets with Havana Lodge No. 56. He is highly esteemed in this community, where his usefulness as a citizen has gained him many warm friends.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York published in 1895. 

View additional Schuyler County, New York family biographies here: Schuyler County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Schuyler County, New York here: Schuyler County, New York Map

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