Charles E. (Charles Elliott) Fitch.

Encyclopedia of biography of New York, a life record of men and women whose sterling character and energy and industry have made them preëminent in their own and many other states (Volume 5) online

. (page 18 of 58)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Mr. Strong has devoted a portion of his
time, experience and ability to financial
institutions of his city, and for many
years has served as a director of the Alli-
ance Bank, the Monroe County Savings

N y-Vol IV-8 I

Bank, and the Security Trust Company,
and thus has borne his full share in aid-
ing the growth of his native city. He is
also deeply interested in the work of the
Brick Church (Presbyterian), is a trustee
of the Young Women's Christian Associ-
ation, a trustee of the Rochester Orphan
Asylum, and a firm friend of the Univer-
sity of Rochester.

Mr. Strong married (first) August 3,
1859, Helen P. Griffin, daughter of Robert
I. Griffin, of Niles, Michigan, who bore
him four children : Gertrude, widow of
Henry L. Achilles ; Herbert, died in in-
fancy ; Helen, wife of ex-Governor George
R. Carter, of Hawaii ; Henry G., of
Rochester. Mr. Strong married (second)
June 14, 1905, Hattie M. Lockwood, a
native of Connecticut, daughter of James
H. and Marie R. Corrin.


Xiavryer, Leader in Corporation Affairs.

Individual merit may claim a recogni-
tion in America that is accorded it in no
other country on the face of the globe.
The power of personality to conquer fate,
to utilize opportunities and to take ad-
vantage of possibilties to rise to higher
planes is acknowledged here, and the man
who depends upon his own ability, enter-
prise and honesty, and not upon the repu-
tation of his ancestors, is the man who
wins public honor and fame. William
Nottingham, whose extensive practice
places him among the leading lawyers of
the State of New York, has achieved that
success which is the natural result of
systematic effort, straightforward dealing
and resolute purpose. He has climbed
upon a ladder of his own building to
prominence and prosperity, and has
earned the well merited esteem and re-
spect of his fellow men. In the course
of his practice Mr. Nottingham has de-
voted much attention to corporation law.



and has not alone benefited the city of
Syracuse, but has organized many corpo-
rations which have been instrumental in
increasing the prosperity of the State.

The Nottingham family is of Dutch
descent, and came to this country at an
early date, several of its members taking
an active part in the Revolutionary War.
One of the three Nottingham brothers
who came to America at the commence-
ment of the eighteenth century settled
in New York, and another in Virginia.
The father of William Nottingham, Van
Vleck Nottingham, married Abigail Maria
(Williams) Nottingham, who was a de-
scendant of the Williams and Stark fami-
lies, both also prominent in the War of
the Revolution.

William Nottingham was born in De
Witt, Onondaga county. New York, No-
vember 2, 1853, and his early years, which
were spent on the farm, gave him the
splendid physique which has enabled him
to work with an incomparable vim and
energy. His early life was filled with toil
and hardships, but through it all rose
his fixed determination to acquire an edu-
cation and make his mark in life. In
order to acquire the earliest rudiments of
this education, he was obliged to rise
early and toil late, and thus obtained the
necessary time to devote to his studies.
He was obliged to walk to and fro, be-
tween De Witt and Syracuse, in order to
attend the public schools in the latter
city. For a number of years he lived
with the greatest economy, carefully put-
ting aside as much as possible of his
earnings, in order to accumulate a suffici-
ent sum to enable him to pursue his
studies in Syracuse University, from
which he was graduated in the class of
1876 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts.
Of a severely analytical turn of mind, he
had long planned to fit himself for the
legal profession, and in furtherance of
this plan, studied law in Syracuse from

October, 1876, to June, 1879, when he
was admitted to the bar in Buffalo, New
York. He at once, with his characteristic
energy, established himself in the prac-
tice of his profession in Syracuse, and has
been chiefly identified with that city since
that time. In 1881 the firm of Goodelle
& Nottingham was established, with Wil-
liam Nottingham as the junior partner,
and was continued under that style until
1900, increasing years continually adding
to its fame. The firm of Goodelle, Not-
tingham Brothers & Andrews was organ-
ized in 1900, and continued in force until
April, 1907, when William and Edwin
Nottingham left it and commenced inde-
pendent practice under the firm name of
Nottingham & Nottingham, which has
become widely known. While they are
engaged in general practice, they make a
specialty of corporation and banking law,
and have became known throughout the
Union. William Nottingham is acknowl-
edged by those competent to judge as be-
ing one of the most able corporation
counsels in the the United States. In
1 91 2 he was president of the New York
State Bar Association. He has displayed
wonderful powers of organization, nota-
bly in industrial and transportation lines.
Among the organizations which had their
first inception in his brain are : The Com-
mercial National Bank in 1891 ; the Syra-
cuse Trust Company, 1903; many indus-
trial and transportation companies, in-
cluding six interurban railway companies
and two large steamship companies, one
of which is the Great Lakes Steamship
Company, operating on the Great Lakes
and owning and controlling a large fleet
of vessels, Mr. Nottingham being vice-
president and the general counsel of this
company ; a vice-president and director
of the Syracuse Trust Company ; and a
director of the Commercial National
Bank. For many years he was a lecturer
on corporation law at the Law College of



Syracuse University, and was a trustee
of this institution until elected a member
of the Board of Regents of the University
of New York State. In more recent years
he was chosen a member of the executive
committee of The Trust Companies' As-
sociation of the State of New York. The
University of Syracuse conferred upon
him the degree of Master of Arts in 1877,
that of Doctor of Philosophy in 1878, the
degree of Doctor of Laws in 1903, and he
was president of the Syracuse University
Alumni Association in 1885-86. In politi-
cal matters Mr. Nottingham is a Repub-
lican, and while he is loyal to his party,
he has consistently refused nomination to
the numerous offices tendered him, and
which it is a foregone conclusion that he
would fill with honor and credit to him-
self and benefit to the community. He
holds the opinion that a man cannot serve
two masters, and therefore prefers to give
his undivided attention to his legal in-
terests. His religious affiliation is with
the First Methodist Church, to which he
gives generous support. Fraternally he
is a member of the Pilgrims' Club of New
York and London, Recess Club of New
York, Citizens' Club and Century Club
of Syracuse, the Delta Kappa Epsilon
and the Phi Beta Kappa.

Mr. Nottingham married, October 26,
1881, Eloise Holden, a daughter of Eras-
tus F. Holden, one of the organizers of
the firm of Holden Brothers, coal mer-
chants, later Holden & Sons. Mr. Holden
occupied a prominent place in the coal
trade, and had one of the largest concerns
in Central New York.


Antomobile Expert and Inventor.

John Wilkinson, the efficient chief engi-
neer in the automobile works of H. H.
Franklin Company and an inventor of
more than local note, was born February

II, 1868, in Syracuse, and is a representa-
tive of one of the oldest and best known
families of Onondaga county. His great-
grandfather in the paternal line was John
Wilkinson, who served as a soldier in the
Revolutionary War, and being captured
was incarcerated on the Jersey prison
ship which has figured largely on the
pages of history. He came to Skaneateles
in 1795 from Rhode Island and since that
date the family has been well-known in
Onondaga county, its representatives in
the succeeding generations taking an ac-
tive part in the substantial development
and upbuilding of this portion of the
State. John Wilkinson, the grandfather,
was born in Skaneateles, September 30,
1798, over a century ago. At one time
he was president of the old Syracuse &
Utica railroad, and also of the Michigan
Central Railroad Company. He gave to
Syracuse its name and was the first post-
master of the city. He donated to the
New York Central Railroad Company the
tract of land between Geddes and West
street and Fayette street and the Erie
canal for their shops and yard. As a pro-
motor of railroad interests and in various
other ways his life work proved of the
greatest value to the county and he may
well be numbered among its founders and
promotors, for he aided in laying broad
and deep the foundation upon which its
present prosperity and progress rests. J.
Forman Wilkinson, father of John Wil-
kinson, of this review, served as a soldier
in the Civil War with the One Hundred
and Forty-ninth Infantry. He married
Louisa Raynor, and to them were born
five children : Mrs. R. S. Bowen ; Theo-
dore K. Wilkinson ; Mrs. N. J. Black-
wood, whose husband is a member of the
navy with the rank of major; Forman
Wilkinson, and John Wilkinson, whose
name introduces this review.

John Wilkinson was educated in the
Syracuse High School and in Cornell



University, being graduated on the com-
pletion of the mechanical engineer's
course in 1899. He entered business life
as a machinist with R. C. Stearns &
Company of Syracuse, with whom he re-
mained for about three months, when he
engaged with Henry R. Worthington, of
Brooklyn, New York. He filled that
position for a year, after which he be-
came a draughtsman with the Solvay
Company, with which he continued for
four years. He was then a designer for
the Syracuse Cycle Company for about
four years, and during the succeeding
two years devoted his time largely to
experimenting with automobiles. Dur-
ing the past five years he has been chief
engineer with the H. H. Franklin Com-
pany in their automobile works and has
filled the position with great efficiency.
Mr. Wilkinson is the inventor of the
Franklin automobile and the promotor
and veteran builder of the same. He is
now one of the directors and owns a
large interest in the business.

On April 23, 1896, Mr. Wilkinson was
married to Edith Belden, who was born
September 24, 1869, and was the third
child of Mead and Gertrude (Woolston)
Belden. Her father was a brother of J. J.
and A. C. Belden. The sisters of the
family are: Mrs. Andrew S. White, a
resident of Syracuse, and Mrs. Henry
Wigglesworth, a resident of Garden City,
New York. Mrs. Wilkinson was edu-
cated in the Keeble School of Syracuse
and in Ogontz, Pennsylvania. By her
marriage she has become the mother of
two daughters and a son : Helen, born
April 5, 1897; Anne Belden. born Octo-
ber 9, 190D; and John Belden, February

13. 1905-

In politics Mr. Wilkinson is independ-
ent, casting his ballot without regard for
party tides. He belongs to the Unitarian
church, and is a member of the Psi Up-
silon, a college fraternity. He greatly

enjoys athletics and manly out-door
sports and belongs to a number of dif-
ferent clubs. He is regarded as a worthy
scion of his race and creditable represen-
tative of a prominent and honored pio-
neer family. As such he deserves men-
tion in this volume, while his personal
worth and his business acomplishments
also entitle him to recognition as one who
merits the esteem, respect and good will
of his fellow men.

ANDREWS, Charles,

Lianryer, Former Chief Justice.

Charles Andrews, late Chief Justice of
the New York State Court of Appeals,
and for many years a leading attorney of
Syracuse, was born May 2j, 1827, at New
York Mills, in the town of Whitestown,.
Oneida county, New York. After an at-
tendance upon the common schools near
his birthplace, he was a student at the
Oneida Conference Seminary, at Caze-
novia. New York. Determining to adopt
the profession of the law, he began his
studies with Sedgwick & Outwater, a
leading firm of Syracuse, and pursued his
studies with such diligence that he was
admitted to the bar in January, 1849, in
his twenty-second year. The city of
Syracuse was at that time a station of
considerable importance on the Erie
Canal, the chief means of transportation,
and was especially favored by commerce
as the junction point of the Oswego Canal
with the Erie. The city at that time
numbered several other able attorneys
among its inhabitants, and here he found
such competition as to spur him to his
best efforts. In 1851 he formed an asso-
ciation in the practice of law with Charles
B. Sedgwick, under the style of Sedgwick
& Andrews, and four years later Mr.
George M. Kennedy was admitted to the
firm, which now became Sedgwick, An-
drews & Kennedy. This firm handled



" c;^]


■1 iiiaiiiv ■■_>ui.-i..M. ■■
:o 3 nimher of