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 38 of 58)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

in a fund which has reached very large
figures, available for the support of the
aged clergymen of the conference. Dr.
Munger was accorded the honor of elec-
tion as delegate to the quadrennial gen-
eral conference of his church in 1896 and
reserve delegate to that of 1904. From
1873 until 1880 he was a trustee of Gene-
see Wesleyan Seminary and of Syracuse
University from 1895 until his death.

He was a member of Dansville Lodge,
Free and Accepted Masons ; Ithaca Chap-
ter, Royal Arch Masons ; St. Augustine
Commandery, Knights Tem.plar, of
Ithaca. He was a member of the New
York State Historical Society, taking a
deep interest in the various bodies to
which he belonged. Seventy-two years
was the span of life allotted the devoted,
eloquent divine, years of greatest useful-
ness in the ministry and ended while still
"in the harness" as he would have wished.
He was actively interested in those ques-
tions tending to the moral uplift of the
communities in which he lived and could
always be counted upon for active sup-
port. The cause of temperance was very
dear to him, and outside of his strictly
ministerial work none other was so clear.
He was a loyal supporter of Francis
Murphy, that gifted Irishman whose
crusade against rum so stirred the nation,
and during that and other campaigns for
temperance he lectured in nearly all of
the Eastern and Middle States. He was
greatly in demand for such service and
proved a powerful advocate for the
cause.

Dr. Munger married, in 1863, Estelle
Hinman, daughter of Dr. George T. and
Irene (Benson) Hinman, of Havana, New
York, a descendant of Sergeant Edward
Hinman, an officer of the Royal Life
Guards of Charter I. Sergeant Hinman
came to America in 1650 and is the ances-
tor of all of the name in this country



244



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



claiming early Colonial descent. He was
a large land owner at Stratford, Con-
necticut, and the first title holder to the
old tide mill which stood between Strat-
ford and what is now Bridgeport. The
Hinman ancestry also includes Governor
John Webster, of Connecticut, and
Deputy-Governor Samuel Symonds, of
Massachusetts. Dr. and Mrs. Munger
were the parents of George Grover
Munger, of further mention, and James
DeWitt Munger, of St. Paul, Minnesota.
George Grover Munger was born Janu-
ary 29, 1865, at South Sodus, Wayne
county. New York, his father then being
pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church
at that place. His early education was
obtained in the schools of the different
charges his itinerant father filled, but he
was reared under the best home influences
and the instruction of his scholarly
father and accomplished mother counted
more in those formative days than school
instruction. At Auburn and at Ithaca he
had the benefit of the high school courses
and was fully prepared for college admis-
sion. He then entered Cornell Univer-
sity, specialized in history and political
economy and was graduated Bachelor of
Arts, class of '88. Choosing the profes-
sion of law he studied under the precep-
torship of F. L. Manning, of Waterloo,
New York, and in 1890 was admitted to
the bar. He chose Syracuse as a location,
was a partner with H. H. Bacon for one
year, but since 1892 has practiced alone.
While his practice is general in character
he specializes in the law of real estate
and of corporations, transacting a large
business in the State and Federal courts
of the district. In 1904 he was appointed
receiver for the Royal Templars of
Temperance, and has been called to fill
other positions of trust and respon-
sibility. He is devoted to his profession,
but has outside business interests and is



highly regarded as both a professional
and business roan. He is a member of the
various bar associations, and is interested
in those movements intended to make
communities better places in which to
live. His church affiliation is with th-
denomination whose ministry his honored
father graced, and he serves Centenary
Methodist Episcopal Church of Syracuse
as trustee. He is one of the stewards of
the Central New York Conference, a
member of the Permanent Fund Commis-
sion and holds other positions of the con-
ference open to a layman. He is a mem-
ber of Central City Lodge, Free and Ac-
cepted Masons ; Central City Chapter,
Royal Arch Masons ; Central City Com-
mandery. Knights Templar ; the Citizens'
and University clubs ; the New York
State Historical Society and American
Historical Association. In political faith
he is a Republican, but serves as a private
in the ranks, seeking no political office for
himself.

Mr. Munger married, September 26,
1894, Ada M. Bishop, of St. Paul, Minne-
sota. Their only son, George DeWitt
Munger, is a student at Syracuse Univer-
sity, class of 1919.



NOLTE, Adolph, Jr.,

Manufacturer, Inventor.

Nolte, a name well known among Ger-
many's higher classes, has been worthily
borne in Rochester by two generations of
the family, Adolph Nolte, senior and
junior, the former an adopted, the latter
a native son. The father was a noted
editor of a newspaper, the son has won
distinction in the mechanical world by
his inventive genius and skill. His inven-
tions cover a wide field, but his greatest
fame has been won in connection with the
Hydro-Press Company, of which he was
president. The most important of his



245



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



inventions is difficult to determine, for his
machine for grinding the edges of lenses
so that the milky surface is obtained, a
result that eliminates the shadows and
reflections of a bright surfaced edge, is
used to-day all over the world by manu-
facturers of optical and camera lenses.
To him is also credited the first positive
washing machine, Mr. Nolte perfecting
that invention at the age of eighteen
years while an employee of the Sprague
Laundry Company. His hydraulic press,
capable of renioving the two wheels from
the axle of a locomotive instantaneously,
was the first machine of its kind ever
built, and giant presses of fifteen thou-
sand tons strength are the fruit of his
mechanical genius and skill. Since 1908
his talents have been devoted to the serv-
ice of the Eastman Kodak Company in
experimental work and machine improve-
ment. These are his greatest successes
only. He is the inventor of many original
machines, has taken out many patents,
and is a member of the International
Congress of Inventors. Originality,
enterprise, determination and industry
have marked his business life, while cour-
tesy and kindliness show in his inter-
course with his fellow-men. He is
highly esteemed and holds a place in
public regard fairly won and worthily
filled.

Adolph Nolte, Sr., scion of an aristo-
cratic German house, was educated in a
manner befitting his station. He was one
of those bold spirits who, inspired by a
hatred of oppression and a love of liberty,
joined in the "Students' Rebellion" in
1841, and as a consequence was forced to
flee his native land. He tarried in France,
joined the French army, fought in Africa
with the French legions, and for gallantry
was raised to the rank of an officer. He
later came to the United States, locating
in Rochester, where within a year of his



arrival he was editor of the "Rochester
Beobachter," a paper that he founded and
printed in the German language. Its
name was later changed to the "Rochester
Abendpost," and for many years he con-
tinued its editor and publisher. When
war broke out between the States he
recruited Company C, Thirteenth Regi-
ment New York Volunteer Infantry, and
upon receiving a captain's commission he
led them to the front. The military
spirit was in his blood and he fought as
bravely for the Union as he had upon
Algerian battlefields under the French
flag, and was as ardent an apostle of
liberty for the slave as when, a student in
his native land, he raised the standard of
revolt against tyranny. His influence
among those of German birth in Roches-
ter was very great, and being thoroughly
imbued with American ideals he sought
to inspire his countrymen with the same
love and loyalty for their adopted coun-
try and its institutions. He was one of
the organizers of the Turn Verein, was a
trustee of the Soldiers' Home, and a man
held in highest respect in his adopted
city by all classes. He married Margaret,
daughter of John Sattler, a contractor of
masonry and builder of the piers for the
first iron bridge erected in Rochester.
Adolph Nolte, Sr., died in 1893, mourned
by a wide circle of loyal, loving friends.
His wife died in 1885, aged forty-eight
years.

Adolph Nolte, Jr., son of Adolph and
Margaret (Sattler) Nolte, was born in
Rochester, New York, July 11, 1866, and
has ever been a resident of his native
city. He attended public schools until
sixteen years of age, then became a
machinist's apprentice. He converted his
nights and days of vacation into hours of
study, machine designing, mechanical
drawings, mathematics, and technical
branches of his trade being his favorite



246





^



^



i^ (^yX^Z^




/f^jL,c^ J. ?uMaji,



Ct^s^



c^.



t-o>x^



/i, t^/s~.



ENC V'CLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



branches. He adopted the foreign method
of working in different shops, thus be-
coming familiar with all kinds of ma-
chines, how they were built and how they
were operated under varied conditions.
This, with his constant study, marked
natural inventive genius and constructive
ability, laid the foundation for his future
success as inventor and designer of ma-
chinery and executive and for his high
position in the mechanical world. In 1902
he entered the employ of the Schafifer
Manufacturing Company, beginning as a
machinist, that firm then employing but
four nien in the machine shop and doing
a limited business. He soon advanced to
the position of foreman, and within a year
and one-half after his entrance was made
superintendent of the plant, in charge of
a force of forty-two machinists. In 1906
John O. Brewster, president of the com-
pany, died, and Mr. Nolte, having become
a large stockholder, organized the Hydro-
Press Company with a capitalization of
$75,000, and bought out the Schaffer
Manufacturing Company, becoming vice-
president and manager of the new com-
pany. In 1908 he was elected president,
but shortly afterward disposed of his
interests in the company and accepted a
position with the Eastman Kodak Com-
pany which was more in accord with his
tastes, experimental work, designing of
new machinery, and improvements on
that in use. The work Mr. Nolte did with
the Schaffer and Hydro-Press companies
resulted in a vast advance in the construc-
tion of hydraulic presses. The power of
the hydraulic press was vastly increased
and the scope of its usefulness broadened.
He built presses capable of exerting a
pressure of fifteen thousand tons, and as
heretofore noted designed a press for the
removing of the two locomotive driving
wheels from their axle instantaneously,
the first of its kind ever built. Numerous



patents exist as the product of his brain,
many of them exceedingly valuable and
covering a wide field. His invention to
eliminate the shadows and reflections that
a bright surfaced edge throws into a lens
is exceedingly valuable, and his machine
for grinding the edges to produce a milky
surface was a result that lens makers had
sought for vainly for thirty years. The
introduction of his successful machine
was hailed with delight by lens makers
all over the world and found a ready sale.
So, too, his machine for burnishing post
cards was a great advance, raising both
the quality and the quantity of the work
produced.

Mr. Nolte is a member of the Inter-
national Congress of Inventors, the
Rochester Turn Verein, and the Knights
of Malta. In politics he is a Republican,
but takes little active part in public affairs.
He is one of the world's valued workers
and the results of his labors have added
to the sum of human achievement.
Hardly yet in the full prime of his powers,
there are many years of useful effort be-
fore him, and even greater results are to
be expected from his labors.

Mr. Nolte married, April 27, 1887, Eliza,
daughter of Adam Klein, of Rochester.
Children: Elmer, Adele, Gladys, wife of
Frank Stolte ; Mildred, and Lucille.



PELLETREAU, William S.,

Genealogist, Antiquarian.

The ancestors of this family were
Huguenots who fled from France on the
revocation of the Edict of Nantes. The
first in America were Jean Pelletreau and
his wife Magdalena ; their sons, Jean and
Elie (John and Elias) had for an ancestor
a physician to Admiral Coligu)-. The full
family line appears at length in "History
of Long Island," by Peter Ross, LL. D.,
Lewis Publishing Company, 1903.



247



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



From such ancestry is descended Wil-
liam S. Pelletreau, son of William S. and
Elizabeth (Welles) Pelletreau. He was
born in Southampton, Long Island, July
19, 1840. His early education was
obtained in the village school and at
Southampton Academy. He was addicted
to books from his early youth, and dis-
played more than ordinary proficiency in
language. In 1861 he was elected town
clerk of Southampton. The ancient
records (the oldest in the State, dating
back to 1639), were in a chaotic condition,
and all but entirely illegible. He accom-
plished the almost hopeless task of col-
lecting and arranging them in chron-
ological order and transcribing them, and
thus the oldest records of the oldest town
were rescued from oblivion. In 1873 by
vote of the town meeting, Mr. Pelletreau
was authorized to print them, and when
completed, the first work of the kind ever
printed on Long Island, the work
attracted most favorable attention. It
was favorably reviewed in historical
magazines and newspapers, and in recog-
nition of his labors Mr. Pelletreau re-
ceived from the University of the City of
New York the honorary degree of Master
of Arts. A second and a third volume
soon followed. Since then. Mr. Pelle-
treau's entire life has been devoted to
historical research. Among his many
works are narrative histories of Greene
county and Rockland county. New York ;
the genealogical portion of the "History
of Westchester County," "History of
Putnam County, New York ;" "Records of
Smithtown, Long Island;" "Early New
York Houses ;" "Early Long Island
Wills," and "History of Long Island."
Probably his most important works are
four volumes of "Abstracts of New York
Wills," prepared as part of the "Collec-
tions of the New York Historical So-
ciety," and which contain very carefully



prepared abstracts of all the wills and
documents contained in the first eighteen
books of wills in the New York surro-
gate's office, and are a mine of historical
and genealogical information. Mr. Pelle-
treau is a life member of the New York
Historical Society, and is connected with
the Huguenot Society of America.



BUCKLEY, William Arthur,

Contracting Builder.

It is a well-attested maxim that the
greatness of a State lies not in its ma-
chinery of government, nor even in its
institutions, but in the sterling qualities
of its individual citizens, in their capacity
for high and unselfish effort and their
devotion to the public good. Mr. Buckley
is one who has through many years been
an important factor in conserving the
public interests.

William Arthur Buckley was born in
Rochester, Monroe county. New York,
October 19, 1866, son of Thomas E. and
Mary E. (Dalton) Buckley, the former
named a prominent and successful mer-
chant of Rochester, actively engaged in
the picture business. St. Patrick's
Parochial School afforded William A.
Buckley the means of obtaining a prac-
tical education, which qualified him for an
active business career, which has been
devoted to the general building line, he
being a contractor of note and promi-
nence, many of the buildings in his native
city and vicinity standing as monuments
of his skill and ability in the line chosen
by him as his lifework. He is a self-
made man, possessed of more than ordi-
nary business acumen and is now in pos-
session of a handsome competence,
which has been acquired entirely through
his own well-directed efforts. The qual-
ities which have insured his success are
those easily cultivated, and his example



248



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



should serve to encourage and inspire
others to whom fate has not given wealth
in the beginning of a business career.
In politics he has always been a stalwart
Democrat, the principles of which party
he believes stands for the best govern-
ment of the people. He served as aldcj
man during the years 1908-09, represent-
ing the Fifteenth Ward, as a member of
the New York State Democratic Com-
mittee for 1912-13-14, and on March 2,
1914, was appointed postmaster of
Rochester, the duties of which important
office he is performing in an entirely
creditable manner. His religious affili-
ation is with Holy Apostles Roman Cath-
olic Church, and he is also actively con-
nected with the following organizations:
Knights of Columbus, Ancient Order of
Hibernians, Catholic Mutual Benefit As-
sociation, St. Joseph's Catholic Young
Men's Club, Improved Order of Red
Men, Benevolent and Protective Order of
Elks, and Woodmen of the World. Mr.
Buckley is unmarried.



SCHMEER, Henry,

Prominent Manufacturer.

Henry Schmeer, whose business as a
paper box manufacturer exceeds that of
any similar enterprise in Syracuse, was
born in that city on Christmas Day, 1845,
his parents being Philip and Sophia
(Thousand) Schmeer, both natives of
Germany, the father crossing the Atlantic
and becoming a resident of Syracuse in
1835, and was one of the pioneer salt
manufacturers there. He died in 1875,
having for about three years survived his
wife, who passed away in 1872. They
were the parents of thirteen children but
only two are now living, Henry and
Jacob.

Henry Schmeer attended the public
schools of Syracuse to his thirteenth



year, after which it became necessary for
him to start out in life on his own account
and he learned the trade of manufactur-
ing candy with a Mr. HoUiday, in whose
employ he continued for three years. On
the expiration of that period he took up
the business of manufacturing paper
boxes at a time when all work was done
by hand. He was in the employ of the
Trowbridge Box Company, managing
same, and thoroughly acquainted him-
f^eli with all branches of the business.
Because of some differences with the
Trowbridge Company, he left their em-
ployment and after the war he engaged
in the manufacture of paper boxes on his
own account, starting in a very small way
with a capital of only five dollars. He
admitted Mr. Philip Listman to a part-
nership in the year 1867 and they began
the manufacture of paper boxes in the
old Wieting Block, where they remained
for two years, when they removed to
South Clinton street, near Walton street.
For some time they continued together,
but in 1883 Mr. Schmeer sold out his
interest in the business to Mr. Listman
and established a plant of his own on
West Water street, making the same line
of goods there until 1889, when he re-
moved to No. 108 Noxen street, where he
occupied three floors of that building and
where he did an extensive business until
1894. Business grew so rapidly that he
was forced to look for larger quarters, so
he purchased the lot at No. 202-204 Noxen
street, just one block from his old place.
This lot extended through to Marnell
avenue. He built a four-story brick
building in the rear of this lot and began
an extensive business, employing about
sixty hands at that time. The firm name
was the Henry Schmeer Manufacturing
Company. In the year 1907 he was forced
to add another story, making it five
stories high. The business kept on grow-



249



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



ing until 1913, when he was compelled to the first grave in Woodlawn Cemetery,
build again. This time instead of adding Julia died in 1887 at the age of sixteen



more stories to the same building, he
extended three stories to Noxen street,
connecting with the old building. This
new edition is constructed of concrete and
brick reinforced with steel, equipped
throughout with the Grinell Automatic



years and six months. William N. was
married to Theresa Vischer in 1907 and
they have one daughter, Stella Florence
Schmeer, age eight years. Henry P.
Schmeer was united in marriage to
Bertha Herbrich in 1903, no children, his



Sprinkler System, making it as fire-proof wife died in 1914. George J. Schmeer was

married to Caroline Hack in 1898 and
they had one son, born 1915, who died in
infancy. Miss Stella Schmeer was mar-
ried, in 1914, to Mr. Stanley Kingsbury.
Character and ability will come to the
front anywhere, a truth which is manifest
in the life of Mr. Schmeer, starting out
for himself at the early age of thirteen
years he has gradually advanced until
to-day he occupies an enviable position in
industrial circles.



as possible. The building is ideal for
manufacturing purposes, getting light and
air from three sides, and has access from
two streets. It is one of the best manu-
facturing plants in the city ; has a floor
space of about thirty-five thousand square
feet and gives employment to over one
hundred hands. In the year 1910 the
business was incorporated under the laws
of the State of New York and from that
time has been going under the name of
Schmeer's Paper Box Company, Incor-
porated. The business is owned entirely
by Mr. Henry Schmeer and children, all
of whom have stock in same. The officers
are : President, Mr. Henry Schmeer ; vice-
president, Mr. George J. Schmeer; gen-
eral manager, Mr. Henry P. Schmeer;
secretary, Mr. William N. Schmeer ;
treasurer, Mr. Charles F. Schmeer. His
political allegiance is given to the Repub-
lican party, but he is not a politician in
the sense of ofifice seeking. He is a mem-
ber of the First English Lutheran Church,
with which he has been active for over a
quarter of a century. He is also identified
with the Citizens' Club, Angler's Club,



WINKWORTH, Edwin David,

Enterprising Citizen.

While the great Solvay Process Com-
pany is one of the wonders of the com-
mercial world in the magnitude of its
business, its proudest achievement is the
perfection of its organization and the
opportunity it olTers for men to develop
the peculiar talent they may possess.
When but a lad of sixteen years fresh
from high school, Mr. Winkworth entered
the employ of that company and for
twenty-three years he has known no



other. He is a son of John W. and Anna
South Bay Club House, De Forrest Ang- S. Winkworth, his father a veteran of the
ling Association and the Chamber of Com- Civil War, his service performed with the



merce.

In 1873 Mr. Schmeer was united in
marriage to Julia Meyers, of Syracuse,
and they had seven children, two daugh-
ters, Julia and Stella, and five sons,
George J., Henry P., William N., Robert,
and Charles F. Robert died in the year
1880 at the age of eight months, his was



Ninth Regiment New York Heavy Artil-
lery.

Edwin D. Winkworth was born at
Geddes, Onondaga county, New York.
January I, 1877, and was educated in
grammar and high schools. In 1893 he
entered the employ of the Solvay Process
Company and with that company and the



250




Ch.



'M^




ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



Semet Solvay Company has passed the
years which have since intervened. Dur-
ing those years he has served in various
capacities, now being assistant secretary
of the company and manager of the sales
department. Busy as his life has been
Mr. Winkworth has been active in com-
munity affairs and in social life. He is
president of the West End Citizens' Im-
provement Association, president of the
West End Citizens' Club, member of the
Citizens' and Rotary clubs of Syracuse,
Central City Lodge, Free and Accepted
Masons; Syracuse Lodge, No. 31, Be-
nevolent and Protective Order of Elks;
and of West Genesee Avenue Methodist
Episcopal Church. In political faith he
is a Republican.

Mr. Winkworth married in Syracuse,
August 30, 1905. Prudence Mary Brind-
ley, daughter of Joseph and Prudence
Brindley. They are the parents of three
children: Laura, born July 28, igo6; Ed-
ward, March 18, 1908; Eleanor, January
29, 1912.



MELDRAM, John Charles,
Attorney-at-I