A Prosperous Place, Under the Durlands Business Thrives - Their Connection with the Village In 1749, John Yelverton of Goshen bought from John Ensign forty-nine acres of ground upon which the old village of Chester is situated. In 1842, John Hopper Yelverton erected as a department store, the building now owned and occupied by J. Durland & Son. In the same year two general country stores were open in the building, one by Milton Hulse and Benjamin Thompson, the other by Anthony Ackley. In 1843 John H. Yelverton succeeded Milton Hulse, under the firm name of Yelverton & Thompson. Mr Hulse bought out the Ackley store, and with Henry Moore, ran the "Cash Store" until 1849, when Yelverton & Thompson took possession of the entire building. Upon the death of Mr Yelverton, in 1849, the business was reorganized under the firm name of Board, Thompson & Pierson, and continued until 1859, when Joseph Durland succeeded James J. Board in the firm, the name being changed to Pierson, Bell & Durland. In 1862 the firm was again reorganized under the name of J. & S. S. Durland and continued ten years, when S.S. Durland retired. In 1885 Frank joined his father, and since then, the firm has expanded to such an extent that the "Old Store" is now doing a larger business than ever before, the success being due to an excellent and up-to-date line of stock, courteous and just treatment of patrons, with great prices on high grade goods as low, if not lower, than can be obtained in larger markets. For over fifty years the old store has been a landmark, made picturesque by the heavy columns supporting the front of the building. These columns were lately removed, and a new front of plate glass, sixty feet in length now make the old building one of the most attractive department stores in this part of the state. These alterations make very conspicuous the architecture of the adjoining building, the first house erected in Chester in 1765, and, like structures built in those days, it is of Dutch design. As you enter the department store of J. Durland & Son you at once recognize the stability of the establishment. As the firm buys flour, sugar, canned goods, crockery, dry goods, carpets, wall paper, paints, oils, stationery, and other lines of general merchandise in large quantities, and for cash, the assortment and arrangement of stock is very attractive and the prices an inducement to buy. Joseph Durland, born in 1832, after forty-eight years of successful and most honorable business methods, has retired from labor, but is still very energetic in all ideas pertaining to business, or relating to the development of Chester, and surrounding country. Mr Durland was the first Republican supervisor from the town of Chester; assisted in creating the incorporated village of Chester, which includes Greycourt, and was one of the trustees; advocated the Union Free School system, and, in 1869, was elected clerk of the first Board of Education of Chester, which position he held for seven years. For twenty years he has been a director of the Chester National Bank, for two years president, at present vice president, and also a trustee of the savings banks at Warwick and Goshen. Since boyhood he has been closely identified in offical positions. At present he is an elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Chester, organized in 1798, and of which the Rev. H. McCready, Ph.D, is pastor. The Republican party of the county has frequently desired to honor Mr Durland, but he has always refused to allow his name to be used politically, preferring the quietude of home, church and business life, in which spheres he has always had the esteem, affection, and honor of his associates, elements representing true success in life. Frank Durland is a sharp, shrewd, successful merchant; pays strict attention to all details of the business and, being a man of strong executive abilities, has become interested in other industries, being treasurer of the O. & R. Electric Co., director of the Chester Telephone Co. , president of the Board of Trade, trustee of the Fire Department, president of the Board of Trustees of the Presbyterian Church, and an active member of Standard Lodge, No. 711, F. & A. M., Monroe. He is very popular and his friends hope he will consent to become a candidate for a county office in the near future.
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