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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they have one child — Francis Woodburn
Leary.



CHAPIN, Charles Terry,

Active in Community Affairs.

Few men in Rochester have a wider
acquaintance or are more popular in their
circle of acquaintances than Charles



Of the sixth American generation of
the family founded by Deacon Thomas
Chapin was Judge Moses Chapin, who
located in Rochester, New York, became
the third judge of Monroe county, serv-
ing from 1826 to 1831, following Elisha
B. Strong, 1821-23, and Ashley Sampson,
1823-26. He was admitted a member of
the Rochester bar about 1821 and was
one of the eminent men of his day.

His son, Charles Hall Chapin, was
born in Rochester, New York, January 6,
1830, and died in his native city, March
16, 1882, after a life of great activity and
usefulness. Early in his business career
he became business manager of the Kidd
Iron Works of Rochester, which for
several years were operated under the
firm name of Chapin & Terry. In 1877
he organized the Rochester Car Wheel
Works on the business established by
William Kidd, and was its directing head
until his death. That enterprise, estab-
lished by Charles Hall Chapin, was a very
successful one under the founder's guid-



Terry Chapin, president of the Chapin
Owen Conipany, and president of the ance and under his son, Charles T. Chapin,

became one of the most important indus-



Rochester Base Ball Club. As a buciuess
man of initiative and action, he has proved
a worthy successor of his honored father.
Charles Hall Chapin, one of the eminent
business men of his day, while his inter-
est in the manly sports and recreations
has resulted in the advancement of the
organizations particularly charged with
their maintenance as a means of public
enjoyment. By heredity Mr. Chapin is
entitled to rank with the worthiest of the
land, his American ancestor. Deacon



trial concerns of Rochester. Charles Hall
Chapin was also vice-president of the
Charlotte Iron Works and a trustee of the
Roberts Iron Works, Kingston, Canada.
He was equally prominent in financial
circles, being one of the organizers and
bulwarks of the private banking house of
Kidd & Chapin, founded in 1871. The
house continued as private bankers until
1875, then was merged with the Bank of
Rochester, Mr. Chapin becoming presi-



Samuel Chapin, coming with the Puri- dent of the consolidation and continuing



tans of 1635, the history of New England
being enriched through his deeds and
those of his descendants in founding
colony and commonwealth. Through
maternal line, the Chapin descent is
traced to Timothy Dwight, LL. D., an
early president of Yale College.



its executive head until his death. He
was a man of sound judgment and great
business ability, full of ready resource
and quick powers of decision. He led
the enterprises with which he was con-
nected to a condition of solid prosperity
and will long be remembered as one of



258



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



the strong men of his day and an im-
portant factor in Rochester's upbuihiing
as a commercial city.

He married, in 1854, Elizabeth, daugh-
ter of William Kidd, also one of Roches-
ter's early men of afifairs. Mr. and Mrs.
Charles Hall Chapin were the parents of
William Kidd ; Charles Terry, of further
mention ; Mary Ward, married William
E. Marcus; Edward Hall; Eleanor B.,
who died in 1881.

Charles Terry Chapin was born in
Rochester, New York, February 24, 1861.
After courses of study in private schools
he entered Rochester High School, there
continuing until 1877. He was sixteen
years of age when he first entered the
employ of the old Bank of Rochester, of
which his father was president, an insti-
tution which later flourished as the Ger-
man-American Bank and is now the Lin-
coln National Bank. Mr. Chapin was a
bookkeeper in the old bank until 1880,
and after arriving at man's estate and
gaining valuable business experience he
was elected secretary and treasurer of the
Rochester Car Wheel Works, founded by
his eminent father. Later he was elected
president of the corporation and so con-
tinued its executive head until 1905 when
it became an integral part of the National
Car Wheel Company. His active official
connection with the works then ceased,
but he continues to act as special repre-
sentative of the National Car Wheel
Company in matters of unusual import-
ance. He is president of the Chapin-
Owen Company. Incorporated, the Auto-
ist's and Sportsman's Shop, dealing in
everything for the autoist or the sports-
man, both at wholesale and retail, No.
380 Main Street East.

Ever a devotee of out-of-doors sports
he took a deep interest in the Flower City
Driving Club and for five years was its
president. He loves a good horse, is



especially fond of the light harness strain
and owned some of the finest and fastest,
his horse "Connor" having a track record
of 2.03 1-4 and his Dariel 2.00 1-4 had the
distinction of being the fastest pacing
mare in the world. Base ball is also one
of Mr. Chapin's fads in sport and as
owner and president of the Rochester
Base Ball Club he brought three pennants
to Rochester and gives to the patrons of
the game an opportunity to enjoy their
favorite game under most favorable con-
ditions.

Mr. Chapin has borne his full share of
civic responsibility, serving as police
comjnissioner for five years, 1896-1901,
and as park commissioner from Novem-
ber 6, 1902, to 191 5. He was an active
member of the old volunteer fire depart-
ment, serving as secretary of Alert Hose
Company from the time he joined in 1881
until elected president of the company
in 1883, filling the latter office four years.
He is now a member of the Exempt Fire-
men's Association. He was for one year
vice-president of the Rochester Chamber
of Commerce, later chairman of the com-
mittee on manufactures and promotion of
trade. He has borne an important part
in the efforts of the chamber to promote
Rochester's commercial welfare and as an
individual lends his aid to every worthy
enterprise. He is a life member of the
Rochester Athletic Club, belongs to the
Rochester Whist Club, Rochester Club,
Ad Club, Rotary Club, and is affiliated
as life member with the Benevolent and
Protective Order of Elks. His all round
activity in business, civic affairs and
sports has brought him an exceedingly
wide circle of acquaintances and from
whatever angle viewed Mr. Chapin is
recognized as one of the strong and valu-
able men of his city.

He married, September 5, 1882, Emily,
daughter of Colonel William Emerson.



259



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



Mrs. Chapin died May 24, 1885, leaving a
son, Charles Hall Chapin (2). He is a
graduate of Yale University, class of 1907,
now treasurer of Chapin-Ovven Company
(Incorporated). He has inherited his
father's love for out-of-door sports and
at Yale in his freshman year was catcher
of the inter-collegiate champion baseball
team and in 1906 was manager of the
Yale champion basket ball team. He and
his father are particularly congenial in
their athletic tastes and are associated in
the different Chapin enterprises.



MOSHER, Howard Townsend,

Educator, Lairyer, Lecturer.

The earliest traditions of the Mosher
family locate them in Alsace, France,
about the year 1580. Their home was in
the southern part of the province, near
Strassburg. The name is compounded of
two German words Mos and Herr, which
when combined means Mosslord or
"Lord of the Moss." This may be taken
to imply that the founder of the family
name was a man of prominence, and had
his residence on a mossy mound or hill.
After Alsace was annexed to France,
both the German and French languages
were in use. The French spelled the
name Mosier or Motier. In England the
German method of spelling the name
prevailed, Mosher. In religion the family
were Protestants, and with many others
fled to England to escape persecution.
It is supposed they went to England
under the leadership of Hugh Mosher
prior to the year 1600. They located in
Manchester, Chester and London. The
Manchester records show that five
Mosher brothers were engaged in busi-
ness in that city in 1616, partners and silk
weavers. They were : William, John,
Thomas, Stephen and George. The
American ancestor. Ensign Hugh Mosher,
was a son of Stephen Mosher.



Ensign Hugh Mosher, son of Stephen
Mosher, of Manchester, England, sailed
for America and reached Boston in 1636.
Another Hugh Mosher, son of Thomas
Mosher, settled in Maine. A third Hugh
Mosher, son of John Mosher, was promi-
nent in the East India Company, died
wealthy, without issue. It was his for-
tune that the Moshers of the United
States tried unsuccessfully to obtain in
recent years. Hugh Mosher, son of
Stephen Mosher, first settled in Salem,
Massachusetts, where he became a friend
of Roger Williams, pastor of the Salem
church, and was in full sympathy with
his religious views. When Williams was
banished from Massachusetts, in October,
1636, Mosher went with him to Rhode
Island, and shared his hardships and
sufferings. When Williams was in a
position to do so he repaid the devotion
of his friend with the permanent title to
a fifth part of the township of Westerly,
Rhode Island, August 4, 1676. In 1669
Hugh Mosher was appointed ensign of a
military company by the General Court,
and took part in King Philip's War, dur-
ing which war two of his sons were
killed. In 1674 he was ordained pastor
of the Baptist church in Dartmouth,
Massachusetts, but was always called by
his military title, Ensign Hugh Mosher.
He died in Newport, Rhode Island, 1694.
He married Lydia Maxon.

Descendants of Ensign Hugh Mosher
settled in New York State and are found
from Troy to Buffalo, men of prominence
in every field of life's activity they have
entered. Howard Townsend Mosher, of
Rochester, is a son of Jacob Simmons
Mosher. M. D., an eminent physician and
surgeon of Albany, New York, and dis-
tinguished in the medical service of his
State. Dr. Mosher was deputy health
officer of the port of New York. 1870-76.
was surgeon during the Civil War and



260




/uj'\



'6^1^







ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



surgeon-general upon the staff of Gov-
ernor HoiTman of New York State. He
married Emma Starr Montgomery, of
distinguished ancestry.

Howard Townsend Mosher, son of Dr.
Jacob S. and Emma S. (Montgomery)
Mosher and brother of Dr. Jesse Mont-
gomery Mosher, of Albany, New York,
was born at Albany, July 6, 1868. His
education, begun at Albany Boys Acad-
emy, was continued at Union College,
Schenectady, New York, whence he was
graduated Bachelor of Arts, class of
1890. He then went abroad and pursued
courses of study in Paris during the
years 1890-92. On his return to the
United States he was elected a member
of the faculty of Union College, instructor
in French in the modern language depart-
ment five years, 1892-97. He then pre-
pared for the practice of law, was admit-
ted to the Monroe county bar, in 1901,
and has been continuously in practice in
Rochester until the present year (1916).
From 1910 until 1914 he was lecturer on
citizenship in the University of Roches-
ter, and has attained high reputation as
educator, lawyer and lecturer. Mr.
Mosher is one of the leaders of the Demo-
cratic party in Western New York, and
has for many years taken an active part
in public affairs. He was the candidate
of his party for State Senator in 1902,
for surrogate of Monroe county in 1906;
chairman of the Democratic County Com-
mittee of Monroe county, 1908-10; candi-
date for mayor of Rochester in 191 1 and
in 1915: and a member of the New York
State Prison Reform Commission, 191 3-
15 ; and a member of the State Work-
man's Compensation Commission, 1914-
15. He is a member of Psi Upsilon fra-
ternity, Rochester Chamber of Com-
merce, Rochester Athletic Club, Univer-
sity Club of Rochester, and of the Prot-
estant Episcopal church.



Mr. Mosher married, in Rochester,
July 6, 1893, Mary Josephine, daughter of
William R. and Josephine (Coburn)
Seward, of a distinguished New York
family.



LEONARD, George Bement,

Financier, Man of Enterprise.

While yet in his teens Mr. Leonard
began his long and valuable life as a
banker, commencing as clerk. At the age
of twenty-five he was cashier, and after
thirty years of service in that position he
resigned and became president of the
Salt Springs National Bank of Syracuse.
He won for himself an honorable name
and high reputation as an able financier
and upon his record as a banker his fame
might securely rest. But that was only
one of his lines of business activity and
in a call of the roll of Syracuse enter-
prises it will be found that in many of
them he was one of the organizers, one
of the incorporators and one of the
officials. His dominating qualities and
the foundation stones of his success were
energy, force and discernment ; his busi-
ness instinct was keen, his judgment
sound and men were willing to follow
where he led. He was progressive and
far-seeing, yet possessed a caution that
protected him against visionary under-
takings. He was strong and self-reliant,
strict integrity marking his course
through life, a man who could be relied
upon in any relation and every emer-
gency.

George B. Leonard was a descendant
of James Leonard, who was of Lynn in

165 1, and of Taunton, Massachusetts, in

1652, and with his brother Henry estab-
lished the first forge in the Plymouth
colony. For a long time the Leonard
forge was the principal one in this coun-
try, and through several generations



261



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



Leonards were celebrated iron masters.
The brothers, James and Henry Leonard,
were sons of Thomas Leonard, who re-
mained in England. Descendants became
prominent in Colonial days as business
men and public officials, Revolutionary
records also bearing the name frequently.
John Cam.pfield, whose daughter, Susan,
married James Leonard, the grandfather
of George B. Leonard, was the aide-de-
camp to General Lafayette, and in 1825
was warmly greeted by Lafayette in
Morristown, New Jersey, at the time of
his last visit to America.

George Bement Leonard was born in
Syracuse, New York, June 25, 1838, died
June 7, 1914, son of John Alexander
Leonard, born July 7, 1806, died March
23, 1873, and his wife, Louisa Sloan,
daughter of Kellogg Bement and Mary
Ann (Gaylord) Sloan. He was educated
in the public schools of Syracuse, and
began his business career as clerk in a
local mercantile house. While yet a
minor he became a clerk in the Crouse
Bank, and was yet in his teens when he
transferred his services to the Bank of
Salina. Upon the organization of the
First National Bank of Syracuse in 1863,
Mr. Leonard was appointed its first
cashier and for thirty-four years filled that
responsible position most efficiently and
most honorably. In 1897 he resigned the
post he had filled for so many years,
having been called to the presidency of
the Salt Springs National Bank, a
merited recognition of his high standing
in the world of finance. During the years
that had elapsed since taking the cashier's
desk in the First National he had become
interested in many local and industrial
enterprises. He was identified with th-
building of the East Side railway con-
necting Syracuse with East Syracuse,
that road later being merged with the
Syracuse Rapid Transit system. He was



one of the incorporators of the Kemp &
Burpee Manufacturing Company and
served as its treasurer until the purchase
of the company by the John Deere Plow
Company of Moline, Illinois. He was
one of the incorporators of the Syracuse
Tube Company, and at the time that
company was absorbed by the National
Tube Company he was its largest
individual stockholder. He was a direc-
tor of the Great Lakes Steamship Com-
pany and in his honor the company
named one of its largest freight carriers
the "George B. Leonard." He had other
important business interests, the fore-
going being those only with which he
held prominent official relation.

In early life he became an active mem-
ber of Plymouth Congregational Church
of Syracuse, but in later life he became
a devout attendant and generous sup-
porter of the First Reformed Church of
the same city. He was a charter member
of the Citizens' Club, retaining his mem-
bership until his death, and was a member
of the Fortnightly Club for many years.
He was a Republican in politics, and in
1873-74-75 served as school commis-
sioner. During the Civil War Mr.
Leonard was an enlisted member of the
New York State militia.

George B. Leonard married, at Cuba,
Allegany county. New York, October 24,
1866, Elizabeth DeWitt Dimock, of
Cuba, daughter of Thomas Dimock, born
in New London, Connecticut, who died
during the early childhood of his daugh-
ter, and Elizabeth (Mandeville) Dimock,
his wife, a daughter of the Rev. Garret
Mandeville, who was the first settled
pastor in Ithaca, New York, in 1801.
Children of George B. and Elizabeth D.
Leonard : Anna Elizabeth ; Mary Louise,
died at Syracuse, July 15, 1899; Margaret
DeWitt; Thomas Dimock, now a real
estate dealer of New York City ; George



262



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



Alexander, member of the Hill-Leonard
Engineering & Construction Company,
now engaged in building the new Welland
Canal. Mrs. Elizabeth D. Leonard sur-
vives her husband and continues her
residence in Syracuse.



BECHTOLD, Charles B.,

Lawryer, Pnblic Official.

A member of the Rochester bar since
1902 Mr. Bechtold has won high standing,
and as a member of the law firm of Mc-
Inerney & Bechtold, No. 1003 Insurance
Building, transacts an important busi-
ness in all State and Federal courts of the
district. He has been equally prominent
in public affairs and as deputy and assist-
ant district attorney rendered efficient
service. His social, genial nature renders
him very popular in the many clubs and
secret orders of which he is a member,
his professional ability and pleasing per-
sonality forming a rare combination
which attracts and holds the regard of
men of worth. He is a son of Henry and
Caroline Bechtold, his father for many
years a business man of Rochester.

Charles B. Bechtold was born in
Rochester, New York, June 6, 1874. He
obtained a good preparatory education in
the public schools, the old Free Academy
and under a private tutor. He also is a
graduate of the Mechanics' Institute, and
in earlier life learned and followed the
trades of machinist and draughtsman.
For several years he was in the employ
of the BufTalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh
railroad in that capacity and was rated
a most satisfactory workman. But he
had an ambition for the law and resign-
ing his railroad position he began the
study of law under the direction of
Werner & Harris, eminent members of
the Rochester bar. After passing satis-



factorily all the tests imposed upon a
young lawyer he was admitted to the
Monroe county bar on July 11, 1902, hav-
ing also during his law studies served as
deputy clerk of the police court.

He at once began practice in Rochester
forming a partnership with John J. Mc-
Inerney under the firm name Mclnerney
& Bechtold. During his early practice he
was also clerk of the police court, and on
May I, 1904, accepted appointment to the
position of deputy assistant district attor-
ney for the county of Monroe, this neces-
sitating his retirement from the law firm
of Mclnerney & Bechtold. He served as
deputy assistant until January i, 1906,
then was appointed assistant district
attorney, an office he held until 1910.
During those years he conducted a line
of law work in connection with his old
preceptors, Werner & Harris, but upon
his retirement from the district attorney's
office he again renewed the partnership
with his former partner and has since
practiced as the junior of the firm of Mc-
lnerney & Bechtold. He is a member of
the Rochester Bar Association and held
in high esteem by his brethren of the
bench and bar. In early life he affiliated
with the Republican party and has ever
been an ardent supporter of the principles
of that party as well as a valuable worker
for party success. For several years he
represented the Twentieth Ward of
Rochester on the Republican General
Committee, and has been a frequent dele-
gate to State and district conventions and
is a member of several political societies.
He is a good campaigner, an eloquent
speaker whether pleading the cause of
client or candidate, and has the happy
faculty of delivering telling blows in a
most agreeable and happy manner. His
friends are legion and he is a strong
advocate for any cause he espouses. He



263



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



is a member of all of the various Masonic
bodies of Rochester, the Ancient Order
of Foresters and Sons of Veterans ; his
clubs the Masonic, the Rochester Whist,
Oak Hill, Yacht and Athletic.



HYDE, Salem,

Snterprising Citizen.

Salem Hyde, whose business history
has been marked by steady progress, is
junior partner of the firm of Neal &
Hyde, wholesale dry goods merchants of
Syracuse. He pays the strictest atten-
tion to his business, allowing no outside
interest to enter as a variable force and
his singleness of purpose guided by sound
judgment have placed him in the enviable
position which he to-day occupies in
commercial circles. A native of Victory,
Cayuga county. New York, he was born
June 22, 1846, of the marriage of Elisha
H. and Mary Ellen (Botsford) Hyde.
The family comes of English origin but
was founded in America in early Colonial
days, the great-grandfather living in Ox-
ford, Connecticut. From that place John
Salem Hyde, the grandfather, removed to
Scipio, New York, and subsequently to
Victory, Cayuga county, in the early part
of the nineteenth century. His business
interests were varied, as he was a phy-
sician, manufacturer and farmer. His son,
Elisha H. Hyde, was born at Victory,
and also followed the occupation of
farming. He removed from Cayuga
county to Oswego county, near Fulton,
and from thence twenty years later to the
town of Onondaga Valley, where he lived
for twenty years and died at the home
of a daughter living in Rochester, at the
age of nearly eighty-nine years, his birth
having occurred in 1820. His wife be-
longed to an old Vermont family and her
grandfather was one of the patriots of the
Revolutionary War, enlisting at Benning-



ton, Vermont, and participating in that
battle where the Green Mountain boys
under Colonel Ethan Allen won undying
fame. The maternal grandfather of Mrs.
Hyde was a Mr. Peck, also a resident of
Vermont and a participant in the Revo-
lutionary War with the Colonial army.

Salem Hyde pursued his education in
the district schools of Victory, New
York, and in the Red Creek Academy.
He entered business life as a clerk in a
country store at Wolcott, Wayne county,
where he remained for a year. He after-
ward spent two years in Red Creek, and
in the spring of 1864 came to Syracuse
where he began clerking for Price &
Wheeler on the site of the present
Edwards house. There he continued for
two years, or until 1866, when he entered
the employ of McCarthy & Sedgwick,
wholesale dry goods merchants, while
later he was with Neal, Baum & Com-
pany, wholesale dealers, as salesman. He
afterward engaged with Charles Chad-
wick & Company as manager of one of
their departments, and after the death of
their senior partner this firm consolidated
with that of Neal & Baum under the name
of Sperry, Neal & Hyde in 1879. Mr.
Hyde was enabled to become a member
of the firm as a result of his many years
experience. At Mr. Sperry's death in
1 89 1 the firm became Neal & Hyde. The
concern has grown very rapidly during
this time, enjoying a steady, healthful
development and their trade covers Penn-
sylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut and
Vermont, together with the immediate
surrounding territory. They employ a
large force in the house and a large corps
of salesmen on the road, doing a strictly
jobbing business. This has become one
of the leading wholesale houses of
Central New York and its success is
attributable in no small measure to the
labors, enterprise and careful manage-



264




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v/V//'/ - /. fU/'/'Urr



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



ment of Mr. Hyde. He is also a trustee until he is to-day with Mr. Neal equal

of the Onondaga County Savings Bank, owner of a business which pays tribute

and widely recognized as a prominent to his industry and his ability, and stands

factor in the commercial life of Syra- as a monument to his enterprise and cap-