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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on. However, farm labors were not great-
ly to the taste of Mr. Brayton, and July
9, 1857, found him in Syracuse, whither
he had com.e in order to find more con-
genial employment. He opened a rail-
road ticket office as the agent of the Lake
Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad
Company, and several other lines, and in
1865 was joined in this enterprise by his
brother. Their unfailing courtesy and
unflagging interest in behalf of the travel-
ing public brought them a very large

Mr. Brayton had long cherished cer-
tain theories and ideas on farming gen-
erally and the breeding of cattle prin-
cipally, and in the meantime acquired a
farm of two hundred and fifty acres in
the town of DeWitt. In 1878 he estab-
lished this property as an experimental
farm, giving it close attention and con-
ducting it on a rather scientific plan, and
he achieved a success well known to his
neighbors in that vicinity at the time.
To this farm came the first students in
charge of Professor I. T. Roberts from
the nevvT established agricultural depart-
ment at Cornell University. Mr. Bray-
ton's methods had attracted considerable
attention ; consequently, there was a
great deal of interest when the univer-
sity recognized this experimental farm.
It might be added that this was chiefly

business. They succeeded particularly in due to the plans made by Mr. Brayton to
obtaining a large share of the western
travel. This agency was conducted suc-
cessfully for more than a quarter of a
century. When the New York Central,
Lake Shore & Michigan Southern de-
creased the number of emigrant trains,
as travel to the west diminished, the
receipts of Messrs. Brayton Brothers
suffered in proportion and Mr. Warren
C. Brayton accepted the position of dis-
trict passenger agent of the Lake Shore
& Michigan Southern railroad. He was
also affiliated with the passenger depart-
ment of the West Shore road, which was
then completed and had just gone into
operation. When the West Shore be-

improve the milk production of the
native cattle. Mr. Brayton contended
that the Holstoin cattle were the best
milch cows. This was not admitted at
the tim,e but has since been conceded.
Mr. Brayton was one of the promoters
of the Holstein-Friesian Breeders Asso-
ciation. Mr. Brayton was treasurer of
this association for a great many years
and is still a member and takes an active
interest in the work. About this time,
the farmers had a great deal of difficulty
in disposing of the milk. Mr. Brayton,
in conjunction with others, founded the
Onondaga County Milk Association, and
which was to be a great force in the

came a part of the New York Central profitable marketing of milk, the improv-
system, he became general agent for the ing of the quality and the establishing of
passenger department of the Delaware, standards.

Lackawanna & Western railroad, and
was instrumental in building up a large
passenger business for this railroad. His
previous connections with other lines

In 1878, Mr. Brayton, acting with
Austin B. Avery, Cyrus D. Avery, John
Weils and others, promoted the Onon-
datra Countv Fair. The idea was devel-

made him one of the best known men in oped while these gentlemen were return-
Central New York. nisr from the Fulton County Fair. They

N Y-Vol IV— IS



encountered considerable difficulty at
first, especially in financing the project,
and at one time it appeared as if the
project might fall through because of the
finances. Then Mr. Brayton became
treasurer and was actually responsible for

most important ever invented for agri-
cultural purposes. It affords a means of
rapidly restoring the richness to soil
which has become impoverished by the
constant production of crops. Thus,
through very fine ability, Mr. Brayton

the financing of the association that put achieved one of his greatest successes.

the idea through. The first fair was a
splendid success in spite of the many pre-
dictions that it would be a failure. The
success of the Onondaga County Fair
here made possible the bringing to Syra-
cuse of the State Fair as it is known to-

In 1902 Mr. Brayton was offered the
position of general manager of the Kemp
& Burpee Manufacturing Company. He
accepted it, and resigned his office with
the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western
railroad, a position which he had held
for a long time. In the meanwhile he
had retired from farming after achiev-
ing a splendid success. The Kemp &
Burpee Manufacturing Company was
estaljlished and incorporated in 1878 on a
small scale and commenced the manu-
facture of a fertilizer spreader, the first
implement of this kind ever put on the
market. This company had many re-
verses at first and considerable difficulty
in protecting their patents. Shortly after
Mr. Brayton assumed charge of this com-
pany's affairs, they began to prosper.

Kemp & Burpee Manufacturing Com-
pan)', together with its foundry and its
Canadian plant, finally became part of
Deere & Company, Moline, Illinois.

After the purchase of the Kemp &
Burpee Manufacturing Company and its
kindred interests by the "Deere" syndi-
cate, Mr. Brayton retired from active
business, giving some time, however, to
other corporations on whose board of
directors he was serving and devoted
himself to the Industrial Building which
he built in 1889. This was a six-story
building of improved construction and
made suitable for light manufacturing.
This building has housed a great many
industries in their infancy and at the
present time is occupied by several who
require all of the facilities of a large plant
but do not require as much room.

In lyio Mr. Brayton was impressed
with the need in Syracuse, New York, for
additional banking facilities. He, to-
gether with others, orgai/ized the City
Bank. Mr. Brayton was the first vice-
president and at the present time he is

He guided the company through some president of the institution. The success

particularly trying times and later on
through a very successful era. In the
meanwhile he became president of the
company ; put into effect his systematic
management and progressive methods,
and so increased the demand for the out-
put of the concern that the means of
supplying the demand were taxed to the
fullest extent. New factory buildings
were erected and also a large office build-
ing. It is the opinion of competent
farmers that this machine is one of the

of this bank from the start is well known.
It is seldom that a new banking institu-
tion attains so much success in such a
short time. It is not to be wondered at,
however, when one considers that a group
of men who have been successful in their
individual lines of business are behind an
undertaking of this kind. The City Bank
commenced with a capital of $200,000,
rapidly accumulating a surplus, and later
the capital stock was increased to half a
million. This amount, together with the


' ^ ■ c:y7-^L^e^c.^


surplus, gives Syracuse a bank with
assets of over three-quarters of a million
dollars. As president of this bank, Mr.
Brayton has given a great deal of time to
the working out of the success of its

In politics, Mr. Brayton has been a life-
long Republican, a force in the party, but
he has never held public office. He pre-
fers the quiet methods and is rarely found
in the activities of a political campaign
although his advice is sought and his
opinion carries a great deal of weight.
His religious membership is with the
May Memorial Unitarian Church, in
whose interest both he and his wife have
been most active and helpful workers.
Their beautiful home is at No. 509 West
Onondaga street, on grounds purchased
by Mr. Brayton in 1883.

Mr. Brayton married, February 15,
1865, Harriet Elizabeth Duncan, who
died June 17, 1914, after forty-nine years
of married life. Their children are :
Alice M., who passed away in 1875 ; Lieu-
tenant Clarence E., who died in the Span-
ish-American War; Mildred E., married
to Floyd R. Todd, of Moline, Illinois;
and Helen Josephine, married to Harry
F. Butler, of Buffalo, New York, now a
resident of Syracuse.

Mr. Brayton is filled with civic pride
for Syracuse ; has worked hard for its
success as a manufacturing center and is
keenly interested in its beauty and its
efficient city government. There are in
Syracuse to-day few men better known
and who enjoy a greater reputation for
judgment, foresight and integrity than
W'arren C. Brayton.

FRENCH, Edmund Leavenworth,

Chemist, Mannfacturer.

From various strains of New England
ancestry, Mr. French has derived the
qualities of perseverance, industry and

fine discrimination which have brought
to him success in the business world.
His American progenitor was Stephen
French, who was made a freeman. May
14, 1634, in Dorchester, Massachusetts,
was representative in 1638, and died in
July, 1679. His wife Mary died April 6,
1655. He had a second wife who died
in 1657. His son, Stephen French,
resided in Weymouth, Massachusetts,
where he married, January 19, 1660, Han-
nah W' hitman, born August 24, 1641,
daughter of Jonathan Whitman. Their
second son, Samuel French, was born
May 5, 1668, in Weymouth, and settled
in Stratford, now Bridgeport, Connec-
ticut, about 1694, becoming prominent as
a public officer, sergeant in the Colonial
militia, received in the church in March,
1698, and died in 1732. He married,
about 1696, Abigail, daughter of Richard
Hubbell, who came from Wales and re-
sided in New Haven and Fairfield, Con-
necticut. They were the parents of
Samuel (2) French, born about 1697,
who married Mary, daughter of Benja-
min and Rebecca (Phippeny) Sherman,
born February 24, 1697. Their son,
Samuel (3) French, born about 1717,
married, June 2, 1736, Elizabeth, daugh-
ter of Nehemiah Loring, and widow of
Samuel Clark. They were the parents
of Samuel (4) French, born March 9,
1739, in Stratford, settled in Amenia,
Dutchess county. New York, about 1773.
With his son, Samuel French, and a con-
siderable colony of Stratford people, he
was instrumental in establishing the
colony of Manchester in Vermont. They
were ardent churchmen and officers in
the Episcopal church, and although Ben-
nington and Manchester furnished many
intensely loyal men to the Revolution the
Frenches undoubtedly were reluctant to
show open hostility to the English cause
and church, as none of the line appears to



have served with the Revolutionary army.
Joshua French, son of Samuel (5) French,
left Vermont with his son. Rev. Mans-
field French, in 1836, and settled near Mt.
Vernon, Ohio. Rev. Mansfield French
was appointed hospital chaplain of United
States Volunteers, July 10, 1862 ; accepted
the appointment, July 29, 1862; was sta-
tioned at Beaufort, North Carolina, New
York City, and Washington, D. C, and
was honorably discharged on August 4.
1865. The records of the adjutant-gen-
eral's office at Washington also show that
he was again mustered into the United
States service, October 28, 1865, at Wash-
ington, as chaplain of the One Hundred
and Thirty-sixth Regiment, United States
Colored Infantry, and served on duty in
the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and
Abandoned Lands at New York City,
Charleston, South Carolina, and Wash-
ington, D. C, until honorably discharged
as chaplain, January i, 1868, on account
of his services being no longer required.
For the succeeding two months, however,
January i to February 29, 1868, he served
as civilian agent of the Bureau of
Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned
Lands in South Carolina. He left the
Episcopal church for the more liberal
Methodist church and became a circuit
rider, evangelist and educator, prominent
in the early history of Ohio. He was
interested in the founding of Kenyon
College, Marietta College and Wilber-
force College. Later, becoming an
ardent Abolitionist, he wrote and spoke
in that cause. He spent considerable
time in Washington and frequently
talked with President Lincoln, endeavor-
ing to convince him that he as President
was called of God to free the slaves. On
the paternal side Mr. French is descended
from Elijah Rose, a soldier of the Revo-
lution and member of Colonel Moseley's
regiment from Granville, Massachusetts.

On the maternal side Mr. French is de-
scended from many families notable in
Colonial history. Among these is the
Brewster family, the line going back to
Rev. Nathaniel Brewster, a graduate in
the first class of Harvard College, and,
according to family tradition, a grandson
of Elder William Brewster of the "May-
flower." Mr. French's mother was Eliza-
beth Hull Smith, a direct descendant of
Captain Isaac Smith, a Revolutionary
officer of Derby, Connecticut, whose son,
Isaac, Jr., at the age of sixteen years, with
his mother, Elizabeth Hull Smith, rend-
ered signal service in saving the stores
of the Continental army from the British.
His m.other was also directly descended
from the Revolutionary officer. Captain
Joseph Hull, grandfather of Commodore
Isaac Hull of the LTnited States frigate
"Constitution," and father of General
William Hull of the War of 1812. Mr.
French is descended from Captain Gideon
Leavenworth who, with his four sons,
served in the Revolution, the youngest
son, Edmund Leavenworth, great-great-
grandfather of Mr. French, and for whom
he is named, having entered the service
as his father's camp servant at the age
of eleven years. Mr. French is descended
on his mother's side from Colonel Ebe-
nezer Johnson, who served valiantly in
the Indian and Colonial wars ; from Roger
Ludlow, a Colonial lieutenant-governor
of Connecticut ; from Stephen Hopkins,
a "Mayflower" pilgrim ; from John Bron-
son, a soldier of the Pequot Indian War;
from Isaac Johnson, a Revolutionary
soldier of Derby, Connecticut; from Ser-
geant Edward Riggs. an officer in the
Pequot War, and father of Captain
Samuel Riggs, a Colonial officer; from
Abraham Bassett, a Revolutionary soldier
from. Derby, Connecticut ; from Obadiah
Wheeler, a lieutenant in the Colonial
forces at Milford, Connecticut; from


Thomas Clark, mate of the "Mayflower;"
from Ensign Martin W'inchell, of Wind-
sor, Connecticut, a Colonial and Revolu-
tionary soldier; and from Captain Wil-
liam French, founder of a separate family
of that name, who came to America in
the ship "Defence" in 1635 and settled at
Billerica, Massachusetts.

Edmund Leavenworth French was
born October 12, 1870, in New York City,
and was eight years of age when he re-
moved to Syracuse, where his home has
been down to the present time. He at-
tended the public schools of that city,
graduating from the high school in 1888,
and entered Syracuse University with
the class of 1892, becoming a member of
the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He
spent two years, 1891 to 1893, at the
Royal Schools of Mines, Freiberg, Saxony,
Germany, making a special study of the
metallurgy and chemistry of iron and
steel. On his return to Syracuse he took
the first employment offered, which was
in newspaper work, and spent four years
successively as a proofreader on the Syra-
cuse "Journal," reporter on the Syracuse
"Post," and telegraph editor and assist-
ant city editor of the Syracuse "Stand-
ard." He was also Syracuse correspond-
ent for the New York "Sun," and gave
promise of a brilliant career in journal-
ism. In 1897 an opportunity ottered to
engaged in the profession for which he
had fitted himself in study abroad, and
he became chemist for the Sanderson
Brothers Steel Company of Syracuse,
with which he continued for several
years. In 1902 he was made manager of
the experimental department of the
Crucible Steel Company of America, and
three years later became sales manager
of the same corporation, in its Syracuse
branch. The Sanderson Brothers Works
had become a part of the Crucible Steel
Company of America, and in 1908 Mr.

French was made manager of this estab-
lishment, becoming a director of the
Crucible Steel Company of America in
1915. Thus, in a period of eighteen
years, he rose from a comparatively sub-
ordinate position in the steel manufac-
ture to one of considerable prominence
and responsibility. He is interested in
other business interests in Syracuse, in-
cluding the Trust & Deposit Company of
Onondaga, of which he is a director ; is
president of the Orange Publishing Com-
pany and a director of the Railway Roller
Bearing Company of Syracuse. In 1914,
in recognition of his work in metallurgy,
he received from Syracuse University the
degree of Doctor of Science. For two
years, 1914 and 1915, he was a member of
the Iron and Steel Standards committee of
the Society of Automobile Engineers, and
has been actively identified with various
important advances in the art of steel
making, especially in connection with
special steels for automobile purposes.
Mr. French is identified with numerous
clubs and social organizations, including
the University Club, of Syracuse ; is vice-
president of the Technology Club of that
city ; director of the Onondaga Covmtry
Club ; trustee of Syracuse University, be-
ing secretary of the executive committee
of the board; a member of the Iron and
Steel Institute of Great Britain, and hon-
orary member of Phi Beta Kappa, Syra-
cuse. He is a member of the Sons of the
American Revolution ; of the Citizens'
Club of Syracuse ; Central City Lodge,
No. 305, Free and Accepted Masons;
Chamber of Commerce ; member of the
official board of the First Methodist
Episcopal Church of that city; Hunting
and Fishing Club of the Nine Lakes
(Northern Quebec), and a charter mem-
ber of the Billy Sunday Business Men's
Club of Syracuse. His greatest pleasure
and recreation are found in fishing, and



every summer he visits Canada to indulge
in his favorite sport. He is an expert fly
fisherman, and does not indulge in any
other form of this sport. He has a sum-
mer residence at Tully Lake Park, New

He married, September 23, 1896,
Frances Cooper Smith, of Oswego, and
they have children : Grace Mansfield,
born 1897; Helen Cooper, 1899; Frances
Elizabeth, 1900; Sarah Douglas, 1910;
Edmund Leavenworth, Jr., 191 2.

ESTABROOK, Henry Dodge,


Henry Dodge Estabrook brings to the
practice of his profession a judicial mind,
well cultivated, and with faculties inher-
ited from worthy ancestors, whose name
he has honored. The name of Estabrook
is an old one in this country, coming
from Middlesex county, England, to New
England, in 1660. Joseph Estabrook, the
founder of the family, entered Harvard
College immediately after his arrival in
New England, and graduated in 1664.
Soon afterward he was ordained as a
colleague of Rev. Edward Bulkeley, of
Concord, Massachusetts, whom he suc-
ceeded on the latter's death, in 1696. He
continued pastor until his death, Septem-
ber 16, 171 1. Such was his character as
a plain, remarkable and persuasive
preacher, and a kind friend of his flock,
that he was generally known as "The
Apostle." He refused invitations to pre-
side over churches in Boston and else-
where, his only outside service being
that of chaplain of the Massachusetts
Legislature. He married. May 20, 1668,
at Watertown, Mary, daughter of Cap-
tain Hugh Mason, the Indian fighter, and
his wife Esther. She was born December
18, 1640, and was the mother of six chil-
dren. The third son, Samuel Estabrook,

born June 7, 1764, in Concord, graduated
from Harvard College in 1696, was assist-
ant to his father, and was ordained first
pastor of the church at Canterbury, Con-
necticut. June 13, 171 1, and there served
until his death, June 26, 1727. In 1718
he preached the election sermon before
the Massachusetts Legislature. He mar-
ried, March 3, 1713, Rebecca Hobart
(same family as Hubbard), daughter of
Rev. Nehemiah and Sarah (Jackson)
Hobart, of Newton, Massachusetts,
granddaughter of Rev. Peter Hobart, of
Hingham. She survived him six months.
Their eldest child, Nehemiah Estabrook,
born April i, 1715, in Canterbury, owned
a farm near Mansfield Center, Connecti-
cut, where he was deacon of the church
and prominent in civil affairs. After 1770
he removed to Lebanon, New Hampshire.
He married (second) October 18, 1744,
Abigail, daughter of Deacon Experience
Porter. She died at Mansfield, December
7, 1770. Their second son. Experience
Estabrook, was born June 3, 1751, in
Mansfield, graduated from Dartmouth
College in 1776, and received the degree
of Doctor of Divinity. For several years
he labored as a Congregational clergy-
man in Western New York, and was sub-
sequently successively pastor at Thorn-
ton, Francestown and Meriden, New
Hampshire, and died at Bath, in that
State, in February, 1799. He married
Jedidah Willey, of a New Hampshire
family. Their eldest son, Seth Willey
Estabrook, born 1785, was a farmer and
miller in Alden, Erie county. New York,
where he died in 1840. He married, April
19, 1812, at Lebanon, New Hampshire,
Hannah, daughter of Moses and Hannah
(Alden) Hebard, a descendant of John
Alden of the "Mayflower." The town of
Alden in New York was named for Han-
nah Alden. The eldest son of Seth W.
Estabrook, Experience, was born April



30, 1813, in Lebanon, read law in Buffalo,
New York, and graduated from the law
school of Marshall College in 1839. In
1840 he began to practice law in Geneva,
Wisconsin, and he was a delegate to the
Second Constitutional Convention which
framed the organic law under which that
State was admitted to the Union in 1848.
In 185 1 he was a representative in the
State Legislature, and was Attorney-
General of the State in 1852. Soon after
he removed to the territory of Nebraska,
where he was United States District
Attorney from 1854 to 1859, and was a
leading lawyer of Omaha until his death.
He married, April 15, 1844, in the town
of Walworth, Walworth county, Wis-
consin, Caroline Augusta Maxwell,
daughter of Colonel James Maxwell, born
August 17, 1823, in Tioga, Pennsylvania.
Their daughter, Caroline Augusta Esta-
brook, became the wife of Robert C.
Clowry, long identified with the Western
Union Telegraph Company in Omaha,
later in Chicago, and finally president of
the company, with headquarters in New
York. The only son is the subject of the
following biography.

Henry Dodge Estabrook was born
October 23, 1854, in Alden, New York,
and was an infant when his parents
settled in Omaha, Nebraska. There he
was educated in the public schools, and
graduated from the law department of
Washington University in 1875. For
twenty-one years thereafter he engaged
in the practice of law at Omaha, and in
1896 removed to Chicago, where he con-
tinued in practice until 1902, as a member
of the firm of Lowden, Estabrook & Davis,
and then located in New York City, where
after serving for many years as solicitor
to the Western Union Telegraph Com-
pany he became a member of the law
firm of Noble, Estabrook & McHarg.

Mr. Estabrook is a member of the New
York State Bar Association, and the
American Bar Association, and is iden-
tified with numerous clubs, including the
Union League, Lawyers, Lotos, Metro-
politan, Republican, Automobile Club of
America, Ardle}' and Sleepy Hollow.
His affiliation with the Union League and
Republican clubs plainly indicates his
political association with the Republican
party. His home is in Tarrytown, New

He married, October 23, 1880, in
Omaha, Clara Campbell, and they have
a daughter, Blanche Deuel, born January
I, 1881, in Omaha, now the wife of Karl
G. Roebling, of Trenton, New Jersey.

RILL, Willard A.,

IiSLvryer, Public 0£Bcial.

A resident of Syracuse, New York,
from his sixth year, a product of her
public schools, a graduate from the law
school of her great university, prominent
in city politics and in fraternal life, Mr.
Rill has for his adopted city all the love
and devotion of a native son, for his
memory recalls no other home. He is of
French and German lineage, his French
ancestor a soldier under Napoleon the
Great, going down in defeat with his
beloved comniander at Waterloo.

Willard A. Rill was born in Cicero,
New York, June 17, 1874, son of Adrian
L. and Christine (Snavlin) Rill, the
former a school teacher, residents until
1880 of Oswego county. New York. In
that year the family located in Syracuse,
where the son completed a course in the
puljlic schools, finishing at the high