Florian George Spoden Sr.

Florian George Spoden, Sr.


Ellen and Florian had three children together, Florian George, Jr., John Franklin, and Harold Thies. After graduating from Fredonia High School, all three sons went on to graduate from the University of Michigan: George in Forestry, and John and Hal in Civil Engineering. All three served in the military during World War II. Ellen died in 1939 and Florian married Alice Deaderick in 1942.


Florian grew up on his father Frank Spoden’s farm in Fredonia, Chautauqua County, New York; an area which borders Lake Erie. Apprenticing under his father and completing the courses at the local public school were his only education.  However, his hard work not only helped him to provide well for his family, but molded him into a successful community leader. After marrying Ellen Elizabeth Thies in 1906, he purchased his first 12.5 acres, at just 25 years of age, and the couple established a home at 305 E. Main Street.

Eventually, Florian’s orchards and vineyards encompassed 75 acres. Always very civic-minded, Florian was elected to and served as the supervisor of the Town of Pomfret, adjacent to the village of Fredonia, for 26 years. He retired from that position in his 80th year. He was most proud of the fact that the town was debt-free during his tenure.



In addition to his duties as town supervisor, and his previous duties as president of the village of Fredonia, Florian served as board member, president, trustee, or committee member of as many as 17 different agricultural, religious, and community organizations, including 15 years as the president of the Pomfret, Chatauqua, and Erie Grape Growers Cooperative and 42 years as its director. He was also a member of the Board of Governors for the Student Christian Foundation of Fredonia College, a past director of the YMCA, a former committee chairman of the local Boy Scout Troop No. 12, a member of the Chautauqua County Historical Society, and a 12-year member of the Fredonia School Board.