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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patterns, and completed the greater part
of the work on the first Straight-Line
steam engine. His contributions to the
English paper, "Engineering," were also
continued, and were published under the
title of "Mechanical Refinements."

Professor Sweet was one of the fore-
most pioneers in college work in mechani-

N Y-Vol IV-20



cal lines, and for the six years commenc- ^now in general use in all such institu-

ing in 1873, was connected with Cornell
University. The manufacture and intro-
duction of the Whitworth surface plates
and straight-edges were largely due to
the Cornell shop under his management,
and the first standard measuring machine
made in this country was made and is
now stored in the Cornell shop. In speak-
ing of this John Richards testified that
;its method of correcting the error of the
screw is the only one known that is com-
mercially practicable. The equally im-
portant problem of neutralizing the effect
of wear was solved in an equally success-
ful way, but has not come so uniformly
into use. Professor Sweet was the pio-
neer in promoting this measuring ma-
chine, which he hoped to make the foun-
dation of a system of standard gauges,
and it was not until some years later
that his example in this was followed.
The first Gramme dynamo produced in
this country was also built in the Cornell
shop, and the second straight-line engine.
These, with other products of the shop,
were exhibited at the Centennial Expo-
sition. This straight-line engine, now so
well known throughout the world, em-
bodied what was then the novel combina-
tion — a balanced valve, a shifting eccen-
tric and a shaft governor. This has be-
come the accepted type of high-speed
engine, and the Centennial engine may
well be considered the first of the kind.
Professor Sweet accomplished all this
with the aid of his students, no other
labor being employed in the shop. He
worked under disadvantages, for up to
that time it was largely believed that edu-
cation was a matter of mental training
and discipline and he received compara-
tively little encouragement for the prac-
tical work he was doing along mechanical
lines. However, the value of his service
has stood the test of time, and methods
which he employed for construction are

tions. John Richards, in speaking of his
work in connection with Cornell, said in
a lecture before the students of Leland
Stanford University that "Professor
Sweet is one of the most successful
teachers of constructive engineering that
this or any other country can boast."

Not receiving the encouragement he
desired at Cornell University, however.
Professor Sweet resigned and returned to
Syracuse, where he continued his experi-
mentation with the original Straight-Line
Engine and, obtaining what appeared the
maximum of simplicity and perfection of
action in the governor, he commenced
the building of the engine, becoming
president and general manager of the
Straight-Line Engine Company, which
was organized for manufacturing pur-
poses. The business was established on
a small scale, but the value of the engine
has been demonstrated and recognized so
universally that its growth necessitated
the construction of new works, which
were erected according to plans made by
Professor Sweet in 1890. Many new
methods have been introduced since the
company was organized, and these, to-
gether with the style of manufacture and
other improvements, have been exten-
sively adopted by other engine builders.
The direct result of the superior skill and
ability of Professor Sweet is seen in an
improved system of steam distribution,
the value of which is universally acknowl-
edged. A number of new machines have
been constructed after his designs, includ-
ing a traversing machine which has be-
come standard. He has also invented
numberless devices for furthering the
construction of the engine and insuring
more perfect results. Mr. Sweet is con-
sidered an authority in all matters of this
kind, and inventors in Syracuse and else-
where have frequently sought his coun-
sel, which is freely and generously given.



Jle never makes a secret of the operations
of his factory, but freely invites all, and
has inscribed over the entrance "Visitors
Always Welcome." He has believed in in-
creasing his store of knowledge by study-
ing the works and results accomplished
by others, and his chief desire in life is
not the accumulation of wealth, but to
let others benefit by the results he has

Professor Sweet was one of the found-
ers of the American Society of Mechani-
cal Engineers, the Engine Builders' As-
sociation of the United States, the Tech-
nology Club, and the Metal Trades and
Founders' Association of Syracuse. The
American Society of Mechanical Engi-
neers has a membership of more than
three thousand of the leading mechanical
engineers of the country. Mr. Sweet was
its third president and is now one of the
sixteen honorary members, only seven
being from this country, and among
these are Carnegie, Edison and Westing-
house. He was the first president of the
Engine Builders' Association and the
Technology Club ; is a life member of the
Onondaga Historical Association ; was
one of the judges of the Chicago World's
Fair, and has been employed by the gov-
ernment as an expert. In 1913 Syracuse
University conferred upon Professor
Sweet the degree of Doctor of Engineer-
ing, an honor held by only eight people
in the United States. In December,
1914, he was given the John Fritz Medal
for scientific and engineering achieve-
ments. Eight of these medals have been
awarded, and among the recipients were
John Fritz, Lord Kelvin, Edison, West-
inghouse and Bell.

Professor Sweet married (first) in No-
vember, 1870, Caroline V. Hawthorne,
who died May 12, 1887. He married
(second) in 1889, Irene A. Clark, who
died August 24, 1914.

BENTLEY, Sardius Delancey,


Although brought up on a Chautauqua
county farm amid most pleasant sur-
roundings, Mr. Bentley's ambition from
youth was for the profession of law, an
ambition he achieved at the age of
twenty-nine years, when in 1872 he began
the study of law in Rochester. Admitted
in 1875, he at once began practice at
Rochester and from that time his career
has been one of signal success. His
career at the bar has been one of honor,
while his social, frank, genial nature has
won him a large circle of friends other
than those attracted by his legal attain-
ment. He has devoted himself closely to
his profession and has won a place in the
foremost ranks. This has been done by
careful, conscientious work in the pre-
paration of cases, a logical, strong and
dignified presentation and his constant
endeavor to leave no loophole in his de-
fense. A client who entrusts his case to
Mr. Bentley is assured that no eflfort will
be withheld to bring his case to success-
ful issue, and although the most intricate
cases have been committed to him, he
has met all demands and been success-
ful in a large majority of his cases. He
is a son of Alexander and Lavantia Mary
(Norton) Bentley, his father a farmer of
the towns of Busti and Ellicott, New
York. The father died in 1895.

Sardius D. Bentley was born at the
homestead in Busti, there passed his
youth and his early manhood save the
years spent in institute and university.
From the district public school he passed
in succession to Jamestown Academy,
Randolph Academy, now Chamberlain
Institute, and the University of Roches-
ter. He completed classical study at the
university and received his Bachelor's
degree, class of 1870. He then taught



school for two years, finally reaching the
road leading to the goal of his ambition
in 1872.

In that year he began the study of law
in Rochester, and at the October term of
court in 1875, after passing the required
examinations, he was admitted to the
Monroe county bar. Forty-one years
have since intervened and to-day he is
the seasoned veteran who has won his
laurels in many a legal conflict. Not
always has he been returned the victor,
but whether successful or not every bat-
tle has been fought with all the force of
his learning, skill and courage, and he
numbers his warmest friends among
those with whom he has most strongly
contended in legal encounters. During
his earlier years of practice he was asso-
ciated with William F. Cogswell as part-
ner, later and until 1893 as a member of
the firm of Cogswell, Bentley & Cogswell.
Since 1893 he has practiced alone, his
ofifice at No. 60 Trust Building. His
practice extends to all State and Federal
courts of the district, and since Decem-
ber, 1885, he has been authorized to prac-
tice in the United States Supreme Court.
He does not confine himself to any spe-
cial line, but with a broad and compre-
hensive knowledge of the law conducts a
general practice. He is a member of the
Rochester Bar Association and the New
York State Bar Association, highly re-
garded by his brethren of these bodies.
He is a member of the Masonic order
and of the college fraternities, Psi Up-
silon and Phi Beta Kappa.

HARGATHER, Rev. Mathias J.,


In 1878 Father Hargatherwas ordained
to the priesthood of the Roman Catholic
Church, his course of training for holy
orders having been long and all embrac-

ing. He was then a young man of
twenty-three years. In 1903, on the cele-
bration of his Silver Jubilee, as a gift
from the congregation of St. Michael's
Church, Rochester, of which he had then
been pastor seven years, a chime of thir-
teen bells was installed in the tower of
St. Michael's, along with a beautiful
tower clock and in the church a new
pipe organ was placed. Thirteen years
have since elapsed and the bells toll out
their message of invitation, the clock
marks the hours as they pass, and the
organ in solemn measure accompanies
the sacred offices which Father Har-
gather yet performs as pastor, after a
continuous service of twenty years. They
have been years of intellectual growth
and religious fervor for the devoted priest
and of quickened spiritual life and ma-
terial prosperity for the parish.

Father Hargather is the second perma-
nent pastor of St. Michael's, and it was
his third charge. He had eight years pre-
vious experience in charge of the churches
at Greece and Coldwater, and there dis-
played the sterling, priestly qualities and
the business ability which led to his ap-
pointment as pastor of St. Michael's to
succeed Rev. Fridolin Pascalar, the first
permanent pastor, whose ill health caused
him to retire. He had also organized and
placed upon a sound basis a new parish,
St. Francis Xavier. and there ministered
eight years. For twenty years he has
guided the destinies of St. Michael's, and
under his care every department of church
and parish work has prospered. Success-
ful in carrying through every plan and
improvement undertaken, one in particu-
lar stands as a worthy monument to his
zeal, St. Michael's school, one of the
largest and most modernly equipped
buildings in the city. He is universally
respected regardless of nationality or
creed, while his own people are devotedly



attached to him. He is a native son of
Rochester, and it is a matter of special
pleasure to him that it is his lot to min-
ister among those who have been his
friends from youth.

Mathias J. Hargather was born in
Rochester, New York, in 1855, and ob-
tained his early education in the parochial
school of SS. Peter and Paul. He next
attended the Academy of the Christian
Brothers, and after graduation began his
studies in divinity as from boyhood he
had been destined for the priesthood. His
early theological studies were pursued at
St. Francis de Sales College, Milwaukee,
and continued as St. Joseph's Provincial
Seminary, Troy, New York. After com-
pleting his studies he returned to Roches-
ter, and as a deacon accompanied Rt.
Rev. B. J. McOuaid on his first canonical
visitation of his diocese. During this
period he taught plain chant Latin and
German at St. Andrew's Seminary. He

school and hall and performed the service
which marks St. Francis Xavier's parish
as a monument to his zeal, energy and
devotion. In April, 1896, he succeeded
Rev. Fridolin Pascalar as pastor of St.
Michael's, in Rochester, a parish which he
has since continuously served with abund-
ant results. One of the interesting events
in his history as a priest was the cele-
bration of his Silver Jubilee, St. Michael's
and his brethren of the clergy uniting in
making it an occasion of great pleasure
to Father Hargather, and of permanent
benefit to the church. The celebration
terminated on the evening of September
29, 1903, where in beautiful St. Michael's
Church Bishop McQuaid preached an elo-
quent sermon, and Father Hargather cele-
brated solemn high mass, attended by one
hundred priests of the diocese and a large
congregation drawn from all parts of the
city. Soon the Silver Jubilee of his pas-
torate of St. Michael's will be further

was ordained a priest on St. Michael's cause for the rejoicing of his parish and

Day, September 29, 1878, and performed
his first office as assistant priest at St.
Patrick's Cathedral, and as chaplain to
St. Mary's Hospital and St. Mary's Or-
phan Boys' Asylum, also attending a mis-
sion at Naples, Ontario county. New
York. Early in the year 1880 he was
placed over the churches at Greece and
Coldwater, Monroe county. New York,
and there remained eight years. He there
performed a vast amount of labor and was
partictilarly efficient in the upbuilding of
good parochial schools, teaching for two
years in the little school at Greece.

In 1888 a new German parish was pro-
jected in the northeastern part of
Rochester, the choice of the Rt. Rev.
Bishop for organizer falling to Father
Hargather. He was sent out to what
was then known as the Wakelee Farm
and during the next eight years organized
St. Francis Xavier's parish, built a church.

great as will be the splendor and joy of
that occasion it will but faintly reflect the
love, reverence and admiration the parish
has for the good priest who has so faith-
fully served them.

TAYLOR, Zachary P.,

Lawyer, Edacator, Publisher.

A man of broad culture Mr. Taylor's
capacity has been fully tested in many
fields, and in his long and active life has
won success because he merited it, not
through fortuitous circumstance. By na-
ture he is genial and social, never too en-
grossed in his own work not to be inter-
ested in the afifairs and welfare of others.
Those who know him prize his friendship
and appreciate his sound judgment. He
has held to high ideals in his profession,
working ever along lines of progress,
recognizing the fact that advancement in



any field depends upon the ability to do
things well and as the years have pro-
gressed he has won substantial success.
As an author and publisher he has en-
riched the literature of his profession with
many volumes of citations and reports,
while as a lawyer he commands the re-
spect and esteem of not only his own bar
but of the thousands who know him
through his law publications. As an edu-
cator he held high rank, was principal of
the West and Central High Schools of
Cleveland, from 1876 to 1883, and as prin-
cipal of the Rochester Free Academy he
won reputation as one of the leading men
of that profession in his native State.
Since 1886, when he resigned that prin-
cipalship, he has devoted himself wholly
to the law as practitioner, author and
publisher. Now in the evening of life
he is actively "in the harness" and
bears his years most wonderfully. Length
of years is his heritage, however, both
his father and mother being in the
eighties and his grandmother in her
ninties ere they laid down the burdens
and joys of life. They were thrifty, sub-
stantial farming people, the family home
being at Clarendon, Oneida county,
New York, about two and a half miles
from Holley.

Zachary P. Taylor was born at Rome,
Oneida county. New York, February 28,
1846. At the age of four years he was
taken by his parents to their new home,
a farm at Clarendon. There he attended
the public schools and was his father's
assistant until attaining the age of sixteen
years. He then renounced farm life and
in pursuance of plans for an education en-
tered Brockport Collegiate Institute, later
known as Brockport State Normal School,
then under the principalship of Malcolm
J. McVicar. The young man applied him-
self diligently to completing two years'
work in Latin in one year in addition to

his regular course in Greek and other
studies. After leaving the institute he
taught four months at Sweden Center,
near Brockport, then for three months
served as teacher in the high school at
Fort Wayne, Indiana.

In the fall of 1865 he entered the Uni-
versity of Rochester and during two years
of his university course taught Latin and
Greek in the Rochester Collegiate Insti-
tute. He was graduated from the uni-
versity with the degree of A. B., class of
1869, and three years later received from
his alma mater the degree of A. M. After
graduation he spent two and a half years
as vice-principal of the Central High
School, Buffalo, New York, teaching the
classics in addition to his duties as vice-
principal. The following one and a half
years were spent at Central High School,
Cleveland, Ohio, in a similar position,
resigning to complete his law studies
begun in Buffalo under the direction of
Wadsworth White, of the Erie county
bar. He took a course at the law school
after resigning his position in Cleveland,
and after passing the required examina-
tion was admitted to the bar in 1872.

Mr. Taylor did not begin practice in his
native State but at the Indiana bar, locat-
ing at Fort Wayne where he was associ-
ated with Judge Joseph Breckenridge,
counsel for the Pennsylvania Railroad
Company in Indiana. He remained in
Fort Wayne two years, engaged in suc-
cessful practice, but his health failing he
returned to Cleveland, Ohio, and accepted
the offer of his old position in the Cleve-
land High School. Until 1883 he was
connected with the Cleveland schools, be-
coming well-known and highly regarded
as one of the ablest educators of the
State. While on a visit to Rochester,
New York, in July, 1883, he yielded to
the importunities of the trustees of the
Rochester Free Academy to accept the



position of principal of that institution
and from the fall term of 1883 until the
close of the school year in 1886 he ably
filled that position. In 1886 he was ad-
mitted to the Monroe county bar and has
steadily pursued his profession until the
present time (1916) practicing in all State
and Federal courts of the district. He is
a member of the local and state bar asso-
ciations, very popular with his brethren
and highly esteemed by all.

In 1890 Air. Taylor published "Cita-
tions of Hun" in fifty-three volumes of
the Supreme Court Reports ; in 1900
"Citations of the New York Miscellane-
ous Reports"; in 1901 "Citations of the
New York Court of Appeals Reports" ;
in 1902 the New York "Appellate Di-
vision Report" ; in 1904 "Analyzed Cita-
tions of New York Supplementary Re-
ports" ; in 1906 a new series of "Analyzed
Citations of the New York Court of
Appeals,"' also Supreme Court and mis-
cellaneous reports. Subsequently, Mr.
Taylor, at the request of New York
lawyers, published a general supplement
to the above mentioned, covering the
Common Law, Chancery, Surrogate, etc.
Reports, as well as the Civil, Criminal
and Penal Codes, and the Consolidated
Laws. Some idea of the magnitude of the
labor performed by Mr. Taylor as author
and publisher of these works may be
gained from the fact that they contain
over eight hundred and ten thousand cita-

Mr. Ta)lor married, December 29, 1875,
Effie, daughter of Hiram Davis, of
Rochester. They are the parents of four
children: Mortimer, died in 1892; Her-
bert R., married Laura Farwell, of Holley,
New York, in August. 1912; Helen D. ;
Marion, married Herbert H. Bohachek,
in November, 191 5. Mr. Taylor is a
member of the Alpha Delta Phi and the
Phi Beta Kappa fraternities, a member

of Valley Lodge, Free and Accepted Ma-
sons, a Progressive Republican in poli-
tics, and in religious faith a Methodist,
member of Asbury Methodist Episcopal

CONWAY, Thomas Franklin,

Lawyer, Liieutenant-Governor.

Thomas Franklin Conway is a native
of the State of New York, born May 4,
1862, at Chesterfield, Essex county, a son
of John and Mary (Collins) Conway.
His parents were natives of Ireland, came
to America when young, and settled in
the northern part of New York, where
the father was a successful farmer.
Thomas F. Conway was reared upon the
paternal farm, and in youth attended the
common school adjacent. Subsequently
he was a student at Keeseville Academy,
from which he was graduated in 1878,
and thereafter, for some time, engaged in
teaching. While thus occupied he de-
voted his vacations and spare time to the
study of law, and was admitted to the
bar in 1885. Immediately thereafter he
established himself in practice at Keese-
ville, and in 1890 removed to Plattsburgh,
New York, where, within a few years, he
became a member of the firm of Weeds,
Smith & Conway, which was formed to
take over the business of the noted firm
of Palmer, Weed, Kellogg & Smith,
which had been dissolved upon the eleva-
tion of Mr. Kellogg to the Supreme Court
Bencli. The firm therefore was launched
under the most favorable auspices, with
an established prestige, and its business
grew very rapidly, no small portion of its
advancement being due to the initiative
ability of the junior partner. As much of
its business came before the courts of
New York City, in 1899, the firm of
Smith, Conway & Weed was formed to
conduct business in that citv, and the



style of the Plattsburgh firm was changed
to Weeds, Conway & Cotter. Later the
New York firm became Conway & Weed,
with offices in Nassau street. Mr. Weed
retired from the firm in 191 2 and Mr.
Conway continued practice at the same
address and also his interest in the Platts-
burgh firm. Mr. Conway has been very
active before both State and Federal
courts, having been leading counsel in
many large cases. He was especially
prominent in the litigation growing out
of the New York Subway, and was most
successful in handling cases which in-
volved great sums of money.

At an early period in his life, Mr. Con-
way began to take an interest in political
movements, and cast his fortunes with the
Democratic party, in whose principles he
sincerely believes. For many years he
has been a leading speaker in national and
State campaigns, and was a delegate to
the National Democratic Convention held
in Chicago, in 1896, and that at Kansas
City, in 1900. In 1898 he accepted the
nomination of his party for attorney-gen-
eral of New York State, and again, in
1900, consented to be its candidate for
the same office. In 1908 his friends in
Northern New York urged very strongly
his nomination as the party candidate for
governor, and two years later, though not
a candidate, the State Convention placed
him in nomination for the office of lieu-
tenant-governor, to which he was tri-
umphantly elected in November, follow-
ing. He declined to be a candidate for re-
r.omination to the office of lieutenant-
governor owing to the demands of his
large law practice and his many impor-
tant business interests. On every occa-
sion when he was a candidate, the people
of his home locality rallied earnestly
and cordially to his support, a very high
compliment to his ability and standing,
and his strength was shown by his in-
creased vote over his fellow candidates.

He has never abandoned the interests of
the section in which he was born and
reared, and has done much in a private
way in aiding worthy young men who
sought to become established in the prac-
tice of law. This has assured to him the
loyalty and friendship of his home section
of the State, especially, and he has con-
tinued to enjoy the esteem and confidence
of his contemporaries in all quarters. He
continues to retain an interest in farming,
and is himself a practical agriculturist,
giving attention to his landed estate in
Northern New York. While Mr. Conway
has been showered with honors by his