Time and memory are precious and irreplaceable.
They are slipping away second by second. Before we know it, both are gone.

Fall 2013:  Construction begins on archival/storage room at WHO

Westville Historical Organization (WHO)

The WHO came into existence when a group of five townspeople met over concern that one of Westville's one-room schoolhouses was slated for demolition. Nobody wanted to see another historical building disappear from the town's landscape. Since that meeting in 2001 we have experienced great success. Because that group of five shared their concern with the town, the schoolhouse was not razed, and WHO has counted upwards of 200 members both near and far, from across America and in Canada - all interested in Westville's history, and its future.

Honoring the Past; Educating the Future

The Westville History Center - Our Building

We built the Westville History Center, home of the WHO, with private monetary donations, gifts of materials and labor, two small state grants, and the complete support of the Westville Town Board. In October 2006 we dedicated our new home in Westville Corners near the Trout River Road, and in the fall of 2010 WHO received a Permanent Charter from the New York State Board of Regents. Our artifacts and genealogies have grown steadily. We look forward to collecting, preserving and displaying Westville's history and records for present and future generations. See photographs of the construction 2004-2006.

Membership (top)

As of January 1, 2012, the WHO membership fee is $8 a year per person for the calendar year and is due in January. Mail your check to:

WHO Membership Chairman
3843 State Route 11
Malone, NY 12953-3725

A reminder to members who want to make a cash donation to WHO with their annual dues, and those who want to pay dues several years in advance, please make a note to us what the extra in your check is for so we can honor your wishes.

Meetings (top)

WHO regular meetings are held on the 4th Tuesday of each month, weather permitting, March through November, at 7 pm at the Westville History Center, 3510 State Route 37, Westville (Corners), NY. Minutes of the monthly meetings are available by request at info@westvillehistory.net.

WHO Books (top)

WHO offers special publications for those with an interest in Westville, Franklin County, NY. Those currently available are described in the sidebar (left).

Submit your request for books (along with your check) to Westville Historical Organization, P.O. Box 157, Constable, NY 12926-0157. Be sure to specify the book title, number of copies, and shipping address.

Genealogies, etc. (top)

We have collected quite a few interesting artifacts and records relating to the lives and the interesting times of Westville. Inside our history center you will find genealogies on the following families:

Armstrong McCabe
Anderson McCaffrey
Avery McGibbon (John)
Barney McGibbon - "Our Scottish Kin"
Broughton Premo
Chapman/Smith Reynolds
Chatland/Dibble/Taylor Rhoades
Chipmen/Russell/Whipple Robert-Robinson
Cushman Rousel-Rouselle-Russell
Cunningham Rowley
DeGowin Southworth
Dibble Stewart
Elliott Waggoner-Helm
Ellsworth Warner
Fleury-Premo White
Gibbs Wilson
Hoadley Wright
One genealogy collection includes surnames Bero / Chapman / Gore / Gralow / Heister / Jahnke / Lantry / Schullin / Smith / Southworth.

Our history center also houses the following research records. We are adding to these records whenever the opportunity arises:

Town of Westville tax assessment books (1892-1970) Town of Westville subdivision maps (1800s)
Gleaner extracts (Huntingdon, Quebec newspaper, 1895, 1903-1913) Frederick Seavers' "History of Franklin County"
Many Westville school district day books with student's names/teachers Rev. Ashbel Parmalee marriages at the First Congregational Church in Malone (1810-1862)
List of Westville Masonic Lodge members Some meeting minutes of the Westville Episcopal Methodist Church
Westville/West Constable Soldiers in the War of 1812 Donovan's "Fort Covington and Her Neighbors" (includes Westville)
Clyde Rabideau's "Obituaries of Franklin County" (1887-1958) Enrolled voters of the Town of Westville (1937)
Many dog license applications (1937) Civil War Records, Westville Soldiers
Franklin County Census (1800-1840) Westville Census (1855, 1860, 1875)
Westville Cemeteries: Briggs Street Cemetery, Riverside Cemetery, Pine Knoll Cemetery (also known as the Mann Cemetery), Coal Hill Cemetery

If you need our assistance, there is no charge to check our records for the existence of an individual. Beyond that, there is a $10 per (liberal) hour charge for research. Copies of photographs are charged as follows:

Black and White copy
Color copy

Two great resources for Westville and Franklin County are at your computer fingertips. If you haven't yet found Northern New York Historical Newspapers online, go there and find your ancestors in any of several publications going back as far as 1811. You can search Franklin county as well as Clinton, Essex, St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis, and Oswego counties. The Northern New York Library Network continues to add to their collection.

The other huge resource for Franklin County is the Northern New York Tombstone Transcription Project, which allows a researcher to search cemeteries by surname in Franklin, Clinton and Essex counties.

Contributions, Donations, and Gifts (top)

We ABSOLUTELY accept any photos, family genealogies, artifacts, or stories relating to Westville and its residents. If you can share copies of your photographs, we will scan them and return them in a timely fashion. Please contact us first so we know your contribution is on its way!

Open House (top)

Every year WHO sponsors an Open House with a theme. The 2013 Open House took place on Saturday, July 20 from 9 am to 5 pm at Westville History Center. The theme was "World War II - Honoring Westville's Veterans."

Christmas in July (top)

Winters can force you inside this far north, so we enjoy Christmas in July! The occasion falls on the 4th Tuesday in July. Each participant brings a favorite dish or dessert to share.

WHO Chronicle (in PDF format - download Adobe Reader if needed ) (top)

February 2009  |  February 2010  |  February 2011
February 2012  |  February 2013  |  February 2014

Westville History Center, 3510 State Route 37, Westville, NY 12937
(Home of the WHO) (top)

Map to WHO

Copyright © 2011 - Westville Historical Organization
Last updated
March 8, 2014


"Earliest Memories, Westville Center, New York," written by Clara Clark Wright, is full of recollections, insights, and historical accounts of the people, businesses, and events that shaped Westville in its early years. Printed in a larger format, it has 63 pages full of journal entries, photographs and town maps, and is available for $20.50 including tax ($23.50 if mailed).

The reprinting of the 1977 book "Mini Sketches of Westville" by the community's former one-room schoolhouse teacher, Ola Stockwell, is packed with accounts of residents, businesses and early Westville happenings. The book is available for $14 including tax ($17 if mailed).

The "Through the Ages Cookbook" is packed with more than 260 recipes submitted by local families, area cooks, and contributors from as far away as Indiana. The cookbook is available for $11 including tax, or $14 if mailed.