Willard B. Jolls


A BELOVED CITIZEN - Dr. Willard B. Jolls,
who will be 90 years old in December,
has delivered 1,200 babies since he
started his practice in Orchard Park in 1895.
He no longer makes house calls.
Buffalo Courier-Express, Friday, Nov. 11, 1960

Founded by Quakers
Orchard Park Has Distinct Air
The Buffalo Courier-Express is compiling picture stories of all the incorporated villages in Erie County. The next will appear on Nov. 25.
By Margaret Fess

QUALITY - Orchard Park, founded by Quakers, has a distinctive quality all its own. Through conformity of architecture, mostly Colonial, good planning and good taste, the village is both dignified and picturesque.

Shortly after the turn of the 19th Century, a group of Quakers settled in what for years was known as East Hamburg. Among these early settlers was a man by the name of Elisha Freeman, who was born in Whitehall in Washington County.

Freeman, an expert cabinet-maker and carpenter, made himself a pair of snow shoes and walked from Washington County to the site of Orchard Park. Here among his Quaker brethren, he piled his trade until the heavy snows came. Then he walked back to Whitehall.

17 BEDROOMS - For nine years, Freeman made this trip on foot and, then, after his marriage in 1819, moved to Orchard Park permanently. The home he built for himself was substantial and contained 17 bedrooms in which he sheltered traveling Quakers, or those just moving to the community.

His snow shoes are still in the home of a descendent, Mrs. Mason H. Holmwood, Freeman Rd. A number of the buildings on the old Freeman homestead have been moved up to the road and remodeled into modern dwelling places.

The first Quaker meeting house was built in 1807 and another in 1820. The latter meeting house is still standing on E. Quaker Rd. and is being preserved by the Orchard Park Historical Society.

AUSTERE - The building remains as it was when first built, with an austere gray interior, featuring wooden benches with a partition to divide the men and women. Some meetings of the Society of Friends are still held in it and one portion is being used as an historical museum.

Orchard Park residents are proud of their Quaker tradition. In front of each public building is a white sign bearing the outline of a man's face which is topped by a Quaker hat. Underneath is the identification of the building.

All public buildings are similar in architectural design. They are built of red brick, have white trim, white cupolas and small-paned windows of the Colonial period. The Municipal Bldg. houses offices of both the Village and Town of Orchard Park.

PHYSICIAN - At the entrance is a portrait of one of the village's most beloved citizens, Dr. Willard B. Jolls, who lives next door and gave the community the land on which the Municipal Bldg. stands.

Dr. Jolls, who will be 90 years old in December, has delivered 1,200 babies in the section. Although he no longer makes house calls, he still treats a few of his old friends who drop into his office.

To one side of Dr. Jolls' portrait is a legend explaining why the Municipal Bldg. is neither a town or a village hall. The building, it is stated, is purely for office procedures which require concentration without too much disturbance or interference. Public use could cause disturbance, it is explained.

This structure was completed in 1950. In the Police Department, which is located in the rear, is a sign: "No loitering."

POLICE, FIRE - Since the Police Department was founded in 1936, William A. Martin has served as chief. The lieutenant is Eugene B. Woodard. The Department has 14 men and serves both the town and village with the town paying 70 per cent of the cost and village 30 per cent. It is under jurisdiction of the Village Board of Trustees.

The Volunteer Fire Department, of about 100 members, is a town organization, but also serves the village. Its chief is Richard Benning and the company owns four pieces of equipment.

The name Harry Yates is associated with civic generosity. Among Yates' contributions to the community is the gift of 40 acres of land which is used for park purposes. This includes lovely Green Lake.

Orchard Park is in a centralized school district and three of its buildings are in the village limits. One of these is the senior high school, an educational showplace of Western New York.

WATER - The village procures its water from two sources. In West Falls, which is five miles away, the village has a reservoir and filter plant. There is also a pumping station on Lake Ave. and water is purchased in bulk from the Erie County Water Authority.

Orchard Park has full coverage of sanitary sewer lines and its own disposal plant.

The village is known throughout this section as a cultural center and among its many organizations are the Orchard Park Symphony Orchestra and the Orchard Park Civic Music Assn.

The latter brings in top flight artists for local performances.

Orchard Park's churches are the Presbyterian, Nativity of Our Lord, Roman Catholic; St. John's Evangelical Lutheran, St. Mark's Episcopal and Baptist. The Baptist Church uses the Grange Hall for its services.

MAYOR TEACHES - Mayor George M. Wakeman, a resident of the community for 35 years, is an instructor in the junior high school. He has served as mayor for eight years and prior to that was a trustee for six years.

Mrs. Mildred C. Durcholz was named village clerk five years ago and three years ago added to her duties the posts of treasurer and tax collector.

Orchard Park is located 11 miles southeast of Buffalo and was incorporated in 1921. Its assessed valuation is $5,895,772 and the area is 836 acres. The population in the 1960 estimate was 3,275.