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

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Online LibraryCharles E. (Charles Elliott) FitchEncyclopedia 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 text (page 20 of 58)
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Frank Addison Ward, son of Levi A.
and Harriet (Kemp) Ward, was born in
Rochester, New York, 1851. He prepared
at Satterlee Collegiate Institute of
Rochester, then entered Princeton Uni-
versity, whence he was graduated Bach-
elor of Arts, class of 1870. From 1870
until 1875 he was associated with his
father in the fire insurance business, then
became identified with the business of
which he is now the executive head. The
business founded by Henry A. Ward was
incorporated in 1890 as Ward's Natural
Science Establishment, Henry A. Ward,
president, Frank A. Ward, treasurer.
Upon the death of the president in 1906
Frank A. Ward succeeded him as direct-
ing head of a business whose value in the
promotion of knowledge is little under-
stood outside educational circles. The
mission of the establishment is to supply
colleges, museums and collectors in this
country and Europe with natural history
specimens of any kind or in any quantity
desired. This requires the establishment
to carry large and varied stocks and to
this end they are themselves large col-
lectors of rare and valuable specimens.
As president and treasurer of the estab-
lishment and in the collection, description
and classification of specimens, Mr.
Ward's time would seem to be fully
occupied, but he has been a director of
the Merchants' Bank for several years and
a director of the Rochester Trust & Safe
Deposit Company since its incorporation.

Like his honored father Mr. Ward is
keenly alive to his responsibilities as a
citizen and has devoted a generous por-



tion of his time to the public service of
his city. For twelve years he has served
as a member of Common Council and has
always been found among the supporters
of those measures and identified with
those movements tending to promote the
common good. He is a Republican in
politics, an Episcopalian in religious faith
and for nearly forty years has been a
vestryman of Christ Parish of which he is
now senior warden. He is a member of
the Chamber of Commerce and of the
Genesee Valley and Rochester Country

He married Mary H., daughter of Wil-
liam B. Douglas, of Rochester. Their
living children are : William Douglas, M.
D. ; Frank Hawley ; Charlotte, married
Commander Amon Bronson, of the
United States navy ; Emma, married Wil-
liam G. Woolfolk, of Chicago ; George
Merritt ; Marie, married Harold G. Bent-
ley, of Rochester; Cornelia; Dudley L.

RANDALL, James A.,

Accomplislied Architect.

It does not need the name of the artist
on a painting to determine who the artist
was and so it is with the really talented
architect. His work bears the imprint of
his genius and can everywhere be distin-
guished from that of others. So with the
pretentious buildings planned by Mr.
Randall. He has an original manner of
treating the different orders of architec-
ture and so designing a building that its
location, material and design all blend
into one complete and harmonious whole.
In fact the genius he displays in creating
buildings that harmonize with their sur-
roundings, the material of which they are
constructed and the purpose for which
they are intended, proves that he is an
architect and not a draughtman merely
or a drawer of tasteful designs.

Mr. Randall has had a wide experience

in designing and construction and it is
worthy of comment that the architect
under whom he studied and perfected his
art, thought so highly of his attainments
that for several years they were asso-
ciated in partnership as Kirby & Randall,
architects of Syracuse, New York.

James A. Randall was born at Syra-
cuse, December 21, 1861, son of Colonel
James Randall, a former contractor of
stone constructive work, and a noted
builder. He attended the public schools
of Syracuse, and after a course in high
school, in 1880 entered the office of James
H. Kirby, a leading architect of Syracuse,
as an apprentice. He completed a full
course of architectural instruction under
Mr. Kirby and in his studies went far
beyond the routine of office study, thor-
oughly mastering every collateral study
that would add to his mental and artistic
equipment. During the construction of
the West Shore railroad he made his
home in New York City, being a member
of the staff of that company in charge of
the architectural designing of its many
buildings of various kinds in all cities and
towns through which the road passed.
This gave him rich experience and so
established him in his profession that
commissions awaited him upon his return
to private designing.

After the completion of the West Shore
he returned to Syracuse and accepted the
offer of his old instructor, James H.
Kirby, to form a partnership. The firm
of Kirby & Randall was thus formed and
so continued for several years. Later the
partnership was dissolved and the firm of
Merrick & Randall formed that has
existed for the past twenty years.

There are many monuments standing
in Syracuse and vicinity to the skill and
genius of Mr. Randall, among the most
noteworthy the following perhaps, best
display his versatility and originality:
Carnegie Library, Syracuse ; Carnegie



Library, Solvay ; Sacred Heart Polish
Ciiurch, Syracuse ; the reconstructed
Church of the Assumption and Convent,
Syracuse; the Poultry Building, State
Fair Grounds ; Temple Theatre, Sj'ra-
cuse; residence of Bishop John Grimes,
Syracuse ; residence of Edwin F. Torrey,
Clinton, New York ; Syracuse Vocational
School, and Delaware School, Syracuse.

Mr. Randall is a man of strong public
spirit and aids with personal work and
influence in the management of many of
the institutions of his city. He is a mem-
ber of the board of managers of Newark
Asylum for Feeble Minded Women, also
is one of the managers of that great Syra-
cuse organization, the Citizens' Club, and
that true philanthropy, the Newsboys
Club. He is also a member of the
Chamber of Commerce, and Onondaga
Historical Society. Other clubs to which
Mr. Randall belongs other than the two
mentioned are the Century, Onondaga
Country, Bellevue Country, Technology,
and the order of Knights of Columbus.
He has ever been a devotee of sports of
the great "out-of-doors," with a particular
liking for tennis, holding with the late A.
D. Jenney the local double championship
for several years in succession.

BENTON, George Alden,

Lanryer, Jurist.

A justice of the Supreme Court of the
State of New York for many years. Judge
Benton reached that high judicial position
solely through genuine ability, strength
of character and fitness, the honor coming
from his fellow-citizens in recognition of
the sterling qualities that distinguish
him. Although born in Connecticut he is
a graduate of New York's two great uni-
versities, Cornell and Columbia, his
student years marked by a high order of
scholarship and honors conferred by his

class. His legal career has been a suc-
cession of honors bestowed by his fellow-
men, the first in recognition of the high
standing he attained during his first ten
years of legal practice, each succeeding
office filled clearly demonstrating his
fidelity to duty and ability to fulfill
greater trusts. As practitioner, district
attorney, surrogate, county judge and
Supreme Court Justice he has justified
the confidence reposed in him and the
legal records of his State teem with
evidences of his learning, wisdom and
judicial acumen. His opinions are always
clear, profound and logical, delivered in
as few words as the character of the case
under consideration will permit. His life
has been devoted to his profession and
every public honor that has come to him
has been of a legal character. This does
not argue that he is not interested in
other things that afifect the public welfare
— for he is — that interest having been
strongly displayed in the cause of educa-
tion, in fraternal affiliation, in political
activity and many other ways. His inter-
est in the Masonic order covers a period
of many years and in the Scottish Rite he
has attained that greatly coveted degree,
the thirty-third, one that is only bestowed
in recognition of distinguished service in
behalf of the order.

George Alden Benton was born in Tol-
land, Connecticut, May 7, 1848, son of
Azariah L. and Louisa (Alden) Benton.
On his mother's side he traces direct de-
scent from John Alden. His youth was
spent in acquiring a preparatory educa-
tion, followed by two years at Williams
College, 1867-68. He then entered Cornell
University, receiving from that institution
the degree of Bachelor of Arts, class of
1871, he also having been honored with
the presidency of his class. For one year
after leaving the university he taught
school, then entered Columbia Law



School, New York City, whence he was
graduated Bachelor of Laws, class of
1874. He at once began the practice of
law, locating in Rochester, New York,
where he formed a partnership with
Pomeroy P. Dickenson, an association
terminated in 1884 by the election of Mr.
Benton as district attorney of Monroe
county. From 1884 until 1890 he filled
that office with credit to himself and
benefit to the county, prosecuting vigor-
ously when justice so demanded, but ever
tempering justice with mercy. From
1890 until 1894 he was engaged in private
practice in Rochester, but in the latter
year was again called into the public serv-
ice through election to the office of sur-
rogate of Monroe county. He served as
surrogate until 1906, then was appointed
by Governor Higgins county judge of
Monroe county. He served on the county
bench until December 31, 1906, then took
his seat upon the Supreme Court bench,
having been elected a justice of the Su-
preme Court at the general State election
held the preceding November. His term
of office will expire December 31, 1918.
Although a lifelong Republican with
potent influence in party councils, he has
never sought the preferment and honor
received from his party. Quiet and rather
reserved in manner he has pursued the
even tenor of his way, doing each day's
work as it presented itself, growing
stronger as the years progressed, shirking
no responsibility, but meeting each new
demand made upon him by his fellowmen
as the call of duty not to be disregarded.
He is an honor to an honored profession,
and in return for each office conferred has
given the people the best of his learning,
wisdom, judgment and experience.

For many years Judge Benton has been
a member of the Masonic order and now
holds all degrees of both York and Scottish
Rites. He is a past master of Yonnondio

N Y-Vol IV— 9 I

Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons ; a
companion of Hamilton Chapter, Royal
Arch Masons; a sir knight of Monroe
Commandery, Knights Templar ; a noble
of Damascus Temple, Ancient Arabic
Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, and a
thirty-third degree Mason of Rochester
Consistory, Ancient and Accepted Scot-
tish Rite. He was president of the asso-
ciation that erected the Masonic Temple
in Rochester and has rendered the order
much distinguished service that has been
recognized officially by the bestowal upon
him of Masonry's highest degree, the
thirty-third, a degree that may not be
applied for, but is in reality conferred as
an honor that has been won. He is a
member of the Alumni associations of
Cornell and Columbia universities, and at
alumni reunions has been the orator of
the occasion. His fraternities are D. U.
and Phi Beta Kappa.

Judge Benton's home is at Spencerport,
Monroe county, New York, nine miles
from Rochester, that town also being the
home of the Farmers' Library, the oldest
of its kind in the State of New York.
That institution, once prosperous and use-
ful, having fallen into a state of coma,
was revived by Judge Benton and his
friends, and with his election to the presi-
dency the library is again an excellent
source of benefit to the community. This
is in line with the lifelong interest he has
taken in the cause of education and in
educational movements. In earlier days
he was a very effective campaign orator
and active party worker. During the
lifetime of the Lincoln Club of Rochester,
1880 to 1890, he was commander of that
club, once one of the strong factors in
arousing enthusiasm for the Republican

Judge Benton married, July 8, 1892,
Catherine S. Westerdick and has four
children : Ethel, George, Alice, Helen.



CLEVELAND, Merritt Andrus,

Civil Engineer.

There are many men who gain promi-
nence that makes them well known in
their own generation, but whose great-
ness does not outlive their own time. The
name of Merritt Andrus Cleveland, of

some time lived in Kingston, Canada. He
organized the firm of Hunter & Cleveland
in July, 1S74, establishing this for regular
contract work in connection with the con-
struction of railroads ; and completed the
Lake Ontario Shore railroad, and several
other contracts on the line of the railroad
between Oswego and Niagara Falls.
Brockport, New York, will, however, be a Three years later he organized the firm
familiar one in the annals of the State of of Hunter, Murray & Cleveland, and, hav-

New York as long as people are interested
in her history. He was the promoter of
much of the means of her present pros-
perity, for of what avail are large fac-
tories, fine crops, etc., if there are not
ample means of transportation. He was
also identified with many important enter-
prises in New York and Canada.

Merritt Andrus Cleveland, son of Phil-
ander Blodgett and Mercy (Richardson)
Cleveland, and grandson of Stephen Rich-
ardson, was born in East Houndsfield,
Jefferson county. New York, August 27,
1849, ^"

Online LibraryCharles E. (Charles Elliott) FitchEncyclopedia 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 text (page 20 of 58)