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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reaped so large profits from her copy-
rights, some of her books having attained
a sale of fifty thousand copies.

In commenting on this, the Brockport
"Republic" said :

Her success as an author is said by some to be
the result of her power of description ; others
assert it was her naturalness, her clear concise
English and the faculty to hold the reader's sym-
pathy from the beginning to the end ; others at-
tribute it to the fact that there was nothing in
her works but what was pure and elevating. We
who know her best, feel that all this has made
her the successful writer that she was.

Mrs. Holmes was deeply interested in
benevolent works in Brockport and in



those organizations which promote cul-
ture, charity and patriotism. She was
president of the Brockport Union Char-
itable Society and vice-regent of the
Daughters of the American Revolution.
She was indefatigable in the founding and
sustaining of a free reading room and did
everything in her power to promote
knowledge and culture among the young
people, of whom she was particularly
fond. She often talked to them concern-
ing art and foreign travel, on which sub-
jects she was well versed, she and her
husband having made various trips
abroad, visiting the noted art centers of
the Old World. As a hostess she was
charmingly gracious and hospitable, hav-
ing the ready tact that enabled her to
make all guests feel at home. Her be-
nevolence was also one of her strongly
marked characteristics. In early life she
made it her plan to give one-tenth of her
income to charity and this she did ever
afterward. St. Luke's Episcopal Church,
of which she was a member, is greatly in-
debted to her for its prosperous condition.
Her charitable work, however, was done
quietly and few people knew the great
amount of good she did. She cared not
for public recognition of her benevolence,
content in the consciousness of having
aided a fellow traveler on life's journey.
While she had thousands of admirers
throughout the country, in her home
town where she was best known she was
much loved by the people among whom
her daily life was passed.

The summer of 1907 was spent by Mr.
and Mrs. Holmes at Oak BlulYs, Martha's
Vineyard, and while on the return trip
Mrs. Holmes became ill. After improv-
ing to a slight degree she insisted on con-
tinuing the journey but lived for only a
brief period after she reached Brockport,
passing away on October 6, 1907. Per-
haps no better testimonial of the regard
in which she was held in Brockport can



166



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



be given than by quoting from a local
paper, which said :

During the many years of Mrs. Holmes' resi-
dence in Broclvport her influence for good has
been constant and unvarying, and every enter-
prise that made for the welfare of the village
received her most hearty sanction and support.
With charity toward all, with malice toward
none, she moved among us the very embodiment
of gracious kindness. And so, in thousands of
ways her death will prove an inestimable loss to
this community, and to-day nearly every house-
hold is shadowed by a personal grief. She went
to her death wearing the white rose of a blame-
less life. The world is the poorer for her going.



MATHEWS, John Alexander,

Scientist, Man of Affairs.

John Alexander Mathews, Sc. D., Ph.
D., is not a native son of New York but
was born in the old college town of
Washington, Pennsylvania, May 20, 1872.
His fatlier, William Johnston Mathews,
was a prosperous merchant who died in
1874, leaving a widow, Frances Sage
Pelletreau Mathews, and four young chil-
dren. Shortly afterward the family re-
moved to Wisconsin and for seven years
lived upon a farm. When the older chil-
dren were ready for college preparation,
they returned to Washington and John
A. attended public and high school, then
preparatory school and later entered
Washington and Jefiferson College, gradu-
ating with honors in 1893, with the de-
gree of B. Sc. He later received the de-
gree of M. Sc, and in 1902 received the
first award of the degree of Doctor of
Science, causa honoris, ever conferred by
his alma mater. During college days he
worked for various newspapers and upon
graduation thought seriously of continu-
ing newspaper work, .'\rmed with letters
of introduction he assailed every news-
paper office in Pittsburgh, but receiving
no encouragement and no job. A week
later he enrolled at Columbia University



as a student of chemistry. So successful
was he in this that he earned his M. A.
(1895) and Ph. D. (1898) in course and
was awarded first the University Fellow-
ship in Cheinistry (1897), and later re-
ceived a three-year appointment to the
"Barnard Fellowship for the Encourage-
ment of Scientific Research." It was un-
derstood that one year of this occupancy
should be spent studying abroad and Dr.
Matthews chose to work with Professor
Sir William Roberts-Austen, K. C. B., F.
R. S., at the Royal School of Mines, Lon-
don. Professor Roberts-Austen was chair-
man of the alloys research committee of
the Institution of Mechanical Engineers
and it was along the line of alloys research
that Dr. Matthews studied. While in Lon-
don in 1900-1901 Andrew Carnegie en-
dowed certain research scholarships in the
gift of the Iron and Steel Institute of Great
Britain. These were open to interna-
tional competition and the first three ap-
pointees included an Englishman, an Aus-
trian and an American — Dr. Mathews.
This award was made with the under-
standing that he should return to Colum-
bia University and take up special studies
in iron and steel under Professor Henry
M. Howe. A scholarship "going and com-
ing" was so much of a novelty that Hon.
Seth Low, then president of Columbia
University, referred to this unique record
at some length in his commencement ad-
dress in 1901 and one year later took
pleasure in announcing that the first "An-
drew Carnegie Gold Medal for Research"
had been awarded Dr. Mathews as a re-
sult of his work while holder of the Car-
negie Scholarship.

The work connected with this scholar-
ship directed Dr. Mathews' attention to
steel and in the course of his work he
secured permission to carry on some ex-
periments on a commercial scale at the
Sanderson Brothers Works, Syracuse,
New York. The acquaintances thus



167



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



formed led to the offer of a position with
that company upon the completion of his
investigations, so in September, 1902, he
came to Syracuse as metallurgist in
charge of research work for the Crucible
Steel Company of America of which the
Sanderson Works forms a part. Even
then he had not fully decided to give up
his wish for teaching. Several years at
Columbia had been spent as instructor in
chemistry and when he accepted a posi-
tion in an industrial plant it was with the
idea of securing some practical experi-
ence to better fit him for a professorship in
applied science. The fates, however, de-
cided otherwise and in less than two
years he had become assistant manager
of the Sanderson Works, and in 1908 he
went to the Halcomb Steel Company of
Syracuse as operating manager and gen-
eral superintendent. He later became a
director in the corporation and general
manager. In 1915 he succeeded Mr. H.
S. Wilkinson as president of the com-
pany and of the Syracuse Crucible Steel
Company, an affiliated interest.

Dr. Mathews is a member of many
technical societies, domestic and foreign,
and has been a frequent contributor to
their journals. He was a special con-
tributor on steel to the "Encyclopedia
Americana," second edition, and frequent-
ly lectures before learned societies. While
a recognized authority upon the science
of iron and steel he is also a successful
executive and manager. The companies
with which he has been associated enjoy
enviable reputations for the highest
grades of tool and alloy steels.

Aside from his business tie has given
freely of his time and talents to civic
affairs, philanthropy and charities. He
has never held or sought political office
but has had the rare distinction of ap-
pointment by Presidents McKinley,
Roosevelt and Taft to the Assay Com-
mission. At present he is president of the



Manufacturers' Association of Syracuse ;
first vice-president of the Chamber of
Commerce, a director of the First Na-
tional Bank and the Provident Loan As-
sociation. He was formerly a trustee of
the Hospital of the Good Shepherd and
has served on several commissions to in-
vestigate municipal problems, frequently
as chairman. His reports upon smoke
abatement, city pavings, municipal own-
ership of gas and electric plants, etc.,
have attracted much more than local at-
tention. In politics he has been a staunch
Republican and Protectionist ; in religion
a Presbyterian. He is a member of the
Engineers' and Chemists' clubs of New
York ; the University, Onondaga Golf
and County Club and the Bellevue Coun-
try Club of Syracuse. His chief diversion
has been the collection of old books of
metallurgical value and his library con-
tains many of the rarest books in exis-
tence on this subject, as for example :
copies of Biringuccio (1540), Agricola
(1563) and Gilbert (1600), beside many
others.

Dr. Mathews is of mixed ancestry. His
father was Scotch-Irish, the great-grand-
parents coming to America shortiy after
the Revolution. His mother was of
French Huguenot lineage, the first mem-
bers of the family coming to America in
1685. and for many generations lived at
Southampton. Long Island. In 1903 Dr.
Mathews married Florence Hosmer King,
of Columbus, Ohio, and they have two
children. Margaret King, born 1903, and
John Alexander, Jr., born 1908.



PERKINS, Robert Patterson,

Mannfactorer.

Mr. Perkins was born in December.
1861, in New York City, and is a descend-
ant of one of the oldest New England
families. Peter, being one of the twelve
Apostles, his name was a favorite one for



168



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



centuries among Christians. It assumed
the form of Pierre in France, whence it
found its way into England and there
took the diminutive form of Perkin. This
gradually and naturally became Perkins
and, in time, was bestowed upon or as-
sumed by one as a surname. Many of
the name were among the early settlers
of New England, and their descendants
have borne honorable part in the develop-
ment of modern civilization in the West-
ern Hemisphere. John Perkins, born 1590,
in Newent, Gloucestershire, England, set
sail from Bristol in the "Lyon," William
Pierce, master, on December i, 1630, with
his wife, Judith (Gater) Perkins, five
children, and about a dozen other com-
panions. They reached Nantasket, Feb-
ruary 5, 1631, and settled in Boston. He
was the first of that name to come to
New England, and was one of the twelve
who accompanied John Winthrop, Jr., to
settle in Ipswich, where he was made
freeman. May 18, 1631. On April 3. 1632,
"It was ordered" by the General Court,
"that noe pson wtsoever shall shoot att
fowle upon Pullen Poynte or Noddles
Ileland ; but that the sd places shalbe
reserved for John Perkins to take fowle
wth netts." Also, November 7, 1632,
John and three others were "appointed
by the Court to sett downe the bounds
betwixte Dorchester and Rocksbury."
He at once took a prominent stand among
the colonists, and in 1636 and for many
years afterward represented Ipswich in
the General High Court. In 1645 he was
appraiser, and signed the inventory of the
estate of Sarah Dillingham. In 1648 and
1652 he served on the grand jury, and in
March, 1650, "being above the age of
sixty he was freed from ordinary train-
ing by the Court." He made his will
(probate office. Salem, Massachusetts),
March 28, 1654, and died a few months
later, aged sixty-four. Thomas Perkins,
second son of John and Judith (Gater)



Perkins, born about 1616, in England,
came to America at the age of fifteen
years with his parents. He settled in
Ipswich, Massachusetts, where he owned
Sagamore Hill, an elevated tract one
hundred and seventy feet high. After
a few years he removed to Topsfield,
Massachusetts, where he was deacon,
selectman, and often on committees rep-
resenting the town and the church. A
farmer by occupation, he bought and sold
much land, and died May 7, 1686. He
married in Topsfield, about 1640, Phebe,
daughter of Zachary and Phebe Gould,
born in England, baptized September 20,
1620, at Hemel Hempstead. On her mar-
riage she received from her father a gift
of one hundred and fifty acres of land.
Her husband subsequently purchased the
tract of two hundred and twenty-seven
acres upon which he lived in the town of
Topsfield. Timothy Perkins, son of
Thomas and Phebe (Gould) Perkins, was
born June 6, 1661, in Topsfield, and re-
ceived by inheritance a portion of his
father's farm, upon which he lived, and
died December 18, 1751. His first wife,
Hannah, died November 14, 1690. She
was the mother of Jonathan Perkins, bap-
tized January 22, 1693, in Topsfield. died
June 2, 1749. He married at Salem, De-
cember II, 1722, Elizabeth Potter, born
April 23, 1695, in Ipswich, daughter of
John and Sarah (Kimball) Potter. They
were the parents of David Perkins, born
December 6, 1725, in Topsfield, died April
30, 1803. He married, March 10, 1752,
at Wenham, Massachusetts, Alary Fisk,
of that town, born March 9, 1729, daugh-
ter of Ebenezer and Elizabeth (Fuller)
Fisk, died October 19, 1777. Their son,
David (2) Perkins, born May 11, 1756, in
Topsfield, was baptized on the i6th of
the same month, and died July 27, 1827.
He married (intentions published in both
Topsfield and Beverly, November 2,
1783), Nabby Conant. of Beverly, born
169



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



February 25, 1756, died November 25,
1842, daughter of Lett and Abigail (Per-
kins) Conant. Benjamin Conant Perkins,
son of the above couple, was born Sep-
tember II, 1803, in Topsfield, and there
married, March 10, 1835, Lucy Peabody,
born August 24, 1812, in Topsfield,
daughter of Ebenezer and Mercy (Per-
kins) Peabody. They were the parents
of Charles Lawrence Perkins, who mar-
ried Elizabeth West Nevins.

Robert Patterson Perkins, son of
Charles Lawrence and Elizabeth W.
(Nevins) Perkins, was born in New York
City, and was educated in a private school
conducted by a Dr. Calerson, and at St.
Paul's Episcopal School, Concord, New
Hampshire, where he spent six years in
preparation for college. In 1879 he en-
tered Harvard University, from which he
was graduated A. B. in 1884. Having
determined to engage in business, he en-
tered the general offices of the Delaware,
Lackawanna & Western Railroad Com-
pany of New York, where he continued
one year, after which he was with H. C.
Thacker & Company, wool dealers, of
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, until 1892,
when he became secretary of the Fliggins
Carpet Company, continuing in that posi-
tion some four years, after which he was
vice-president of the company. In asso-
ciation with others he purchased this
business, of which he became president,
and continued two years until 1894, when
it became the Hartford Carpet Company,
a corporation of which he was president.
In 1914 this company purchased the Bige-
low-Lowell Carpet Company, and now
maintains factories at Thompsonville,
Connecticut, and Clinton and Lowell,
Massachusetts, and is one of the largest
establishments of the kind in the United
States. Mr. Perkins resides in New York
City, and is a communicant of the Prot-
estant Episcopal church. He is a mem-
ber of the Brook Club, of which he was



four years president, is a trustee of St.
Paul's School of Concord, New Hamp-
shire, and a friend of education and prog-
ress. Politically he acts with the Re-
publican party.



LEE, John Mallory,

Surgeon, Hospital Official.

Dr. John Mallory Lee, a native of this
State, was born in Cameron, Steuben
county, September 29, 1852, and he is
among the most prominent surgeons en-
gaged in practice in New York State. He
is descended from good old Revolution-
ary stock. His paternal great-grandfather
aided the colonies in their struggle for
independence, and members of his family
served in the late War of the Rebellion.
Dr. Lee's grandfather was one of the
early settlers of Steuben county, New
York, where he carried on farming for
many years, and there Dr. Lee's father,
Joseph R. Lee, spent his entire life. He
engaged in business as a contractor and
builder throughout the years of his man-
hood ; he also served as justice of the
peace, and was a deacon and chorister in
the Baptist church of South Pulteney.
In early life he married Sarah Wagener,
a daughter of Melchoir Wagener and a
granddaughter of David Wagener, who
was of German birth and a Quaker. He
removed from Pennsylvania to Yates
county. New York, at an early day and
became the owner of a large tract of land
on which Penn Yan was afterward laid
out. He was prominently identified with
the development and upbuilding of the
village, to which he gave its name, taken
from "Penn" and "Yankee." He contrib-
uted the site for the cemetery and was
the first white man to be buried there.
His oldest son, Melchoir, grandfather of
Dr. Lee, moved to Pulteney in 1811,
where he purchased a section of land and
developed extensive milling interests.



170




A^.^ki,£uanh-



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



During her girlhood days Mrs. Lee at-
tended the Franklin Academy at Pratts-
burg, New York, where she was gradu-
ated. She died in 1898, at the age of
ninety-three years, and long survived her
husband, who passed away in 1861. They
were people of prominence in the com-
munity where they made their home and
were highly respected.

Left fatherless at the early age of nine
years. Dr. Lee has practically made his
own way in the world and success is due
to his untiring efiforts. He attended the
schools of Pulteney, Steuben county ; the
Penn Yan Academy, and was also in-
structed by a college professor at Palo,
Michigan, where he was employed as
clerk in a drug store for three years.
Under his guidance Dr. Lee was fitted to
enter college and he graduated from the
University of Michigan in 1878 with the
degree of Doctor of Medicine. He opened
an office in Rochester in June, 1878, and
engaged in general practice for nine
years, but finally decided to devote his
attention to surgery and with this end in
view he took post-graduate work in the
Polyclinic of New York City in 1880 and
the Post-Graduate School of New York
in 1890, 1891, 1892 and 1894. He is to-
day numbered among the most eminent
surgeons of the State and has met with
remarkable success in his practice. He as-
sisted in founding the Rochester Homoeo-
pathic Hospital and its Training School
for Nurses and was vice-president of the
medical and surgical staff of the hospital
during the first ten years of its existence.
He has also been surgeon, surgeon-in-
chief and consulting surgeon at different
times. In 1897 he established a private
hospital at 179 Lake avenue and from the
start success has attended his efforts in
this direction.

Dr. Lee stands deservedly high in the
estimation of his fellow practitioners and
he has been called upon to serve in many



positions of honor and trust, such as pres-
ident of the Homoeopathic Medical Soci-
eties of Monroe County, of Western New
York and of the New York State Society.
He is a member of the Alpha Sigma fra-
ternity, Ann Arbor Chapter; president of
the Alumni Association of the Homoeo-
pathic Department of the University of
Michigan ; president of Rochester District
Alumni Association, University of Michi-
gan ; an honorary member of the Homoeo-
pathic Medical Society of the State of
Michigan ; and a member of the American
Institute of Homoeopathy. He was also
chairman of the legislative committee ap-
pointed by the State Homoeopathic Medi-
cal Society of New York, which commit-
tee secured the appropriation for the es-
tablishment of the Gowanda State Hos-
pital for the Insane, an institution which
has accommodations for about fourteen
hundred patients. Dr. Lee has been pres-
ident of the New York State Board of
Honifcopathic Medical Examiners and
the joint lioard composed of the three
recognized schools of medicine. He is an
associate alumnus of the New York
Homoeopathic Medical College and be-
longs to the Medical-Chirurgical Society
of Central New York, the Southern Tier
Medical Society, the Surgical and Gyne-
cological Association of the American In-
stitute of Homoeopathy, the National So-
ciety of Electrotherapeutists, the Roches-
ter Medical Association; consulting sur-
geon to the Gowanda State Hospital, the
Rochester Hahnemann Hospital and cen-
sor of the Cleveland Homoeopathic Medi-
cal College. He is a director of several
business corporations of Rochester ; direc-
tor of the Rochester Public Health Asso-
ciation ; director of the Children's Hos-
pital and the State Industrial School at
Industry, New York. For several years
Dr. Lee was associate editor of the "Phy-
sicians and Surgeons Investigator" and
was one of the corps of writers of the



171



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



"HomcEopathic Text-Book of Surgery."
His orig-inal research and investigation
have led to the preparation of many valu-
able papers and addresses which may be
found in the transactions of these soci-
eties and the magazines of his school.

Dr. Lee married (first) September 28,
1876, Idella Ives, a daughter of Dr.
Charles E. Ives, of Savannah, Wayne
county, New York. She died October 11,
1897, leaving two children : Maud, the
wife of A. Dix Bissell, Esq., of Pitts-
burgh, Pennsylvania, and Carrie Eliza-
beth. On June 20, 1899, Dr. Lee married
(second) Carrie M. Thomson, a daughter
of the late John Church Thomson, of Bat-
tle Creek, Michigan.

In religious faith Dr. Lee is a Baptist ;
he belongs to the Baptist Social Union,
the Lake Avenue Baptist Church, and is
chairman of its board of trustees. In his
fraternal relations he is connected with
Corinthian Temple Lodge, No. 805, Free
and Accepted Masons ; Hamilton Chap-
ter, No. 62, Royal Arch Masons ; Doric
Council, No. 19, Royal and Select Mas-
ters ; and Monroe Commandery. He has
attained the thirty-second degree in Scot-
tish Rite Masonry and is second lieuten-
ant commander of Rochester Consistory,
and past president of the Rochester Ma-
sonic Temple Association. He is also a
mern,ber of Damascus Temple, Ancient
Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic
Shrine; Lalla Rookh Grotto, No. 113, M.
O. V. P. E. R. ; and the Rochester Ma-
sonic Club. He belongs to the Genesee
Valley Club, the Oak Hill Country Club,
the Rochester Medical Club, and the
Rochester Chamber of Commerce, and by
his ballot supports the men and measures
of the Republican party. Although prom-
inent socially his time and attention are
almost wholly devoted to his profesii^nal
duties and he has that love for his wor;-:
which has been rewarded by success, so
that he ranks with the ablest representa



tives of the medical fraternity in the State
of New York.



GARVAN, Francis Patrick,

Liaipyer, Public Official.

Mr. Garvan is the child of Patrick and
Mary (Carroll) Garvan, natives of Ire-
land, who came to this country and set-
tled at East Hartford, Connecticut. Pat-
rick Garvan became an active and useful
citizen, represented his district in the
State Senate, and was one of the best
known paper manufacturers of the State.
He died in London in 1912.

Francis P. Garvan was born June 13,
1875, in East Hartford, and was educated
in the public schools, including the high
school of Hartford, Connecticut. He en-
tered Yale University, from which he was
graduated Bachelor of Arts in 1897, and
subsequently, for a time, attended the
Catholic University at Washington, D.
C. He took the lead in his classes and
was very active in college fraternities.
From the New York Law School he re-
ceived the degree of Bachelor of Laws,
and was admitted to the bar of New York
in 1899. For some time he was a clerk
in the law ofifice of James, Schell & Elkus,
and in 1901 was appointed assistant dis-
trict attorney of New York county under
District Attorney Jerome, continuing to
serve under that noted official for a period
of eight years. Mr. Garvan was in full
charge of the homicide cases and was
practically the chief of District Attorney
Jerome's staff. He was a very active
figure in the prosecution of many world-
famous cases, including the inurder trial
of Patrick, and of Molineaux and Harry
K. Thaw. He also prosecuted railroad
fraud cases and a large number of in-