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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nated by Charles Sumner, the statesman.

In addition to his valuable work for the
cause of abolition, William Clough Bloss
gave himself with equal enthusiasm to
the cause of temperance. His home on
East avenue was a hospital for the re-
pentant and struggling inebriate and there
the helping hand was extended in true
friendship, not alone to the slave of drink
but to the black slave fleeing to a haven
of refuge in Canada, for the Bloss home
was a station on the "underground rail-
road." His deeds are recorded in bronze



365



EXCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



upon a monument erected to his memory
in Brighton Cemetery. His death oc-
curred April i8, 1863.

Mr. Bloss married Mary Blossom, a
daughter of Captain Ezra Blossom, an
officer of the Revolution and an early set-
tler of Monroe county, New York. Cap-
tain Blossom at one time owned a tract
of land extending from the centre of the
village of Brighton to South Goodman
street in the city of Rochester.

Joseph Blossom Bloss, son of William
Clough and Mary (Blossom) Bloss, was
born in Rochester, New York, November
22, 1839. lie obtained his early education
in public school No. 14, Rochester, and
Clover Street Seminary, Brighton, begin-
ning his business life as errand boy in a
grocery store. From that time until his
retirement in 1896, Mr. Bloss was actively
and successfully engaged in commercial
life. He became a member of the firm of
G. C. Buell «& Company in 1868, a busi-
ness established in 1844, and for twenty-
eight years, until his retirement, was
prominently connected therewith and ac-
tive in its management. He was one of
the contributing factors to the commer-
cial greatness of his native city, and in
public afifairs has held with the ad-
vanced thinkers on questions of political
economy.

He followed in the footsteps of his hon-
ored father and affiliated with the Repub-
lican party, giving close and earnest study
to the questions and issues of the day.
His investigations have led him to the
adoption of some of the tenets of Social-
ism and few men have so intimate a
knowledge of the great sociological, eco-
nomic and political questions as he. His
views have been arrived at through deep
and careful study and he is ardent in
their support. In 1902 he came promi-
nently into the public eye by his resist-
ance of an unequal and exorbitant per-
sonal tax imposed by the city of Roches-



ter upon mortgages. This tax fell hardest
upon persons of small means, and feeling
keenly its injustice Mr. Bloss felt it his
duty to resist payment, his case being
made a test case of the legality of the
tax. It was carried to the Supreme Court
of the State of New York and a decision
rendered in favor of Mr. Bloss. The Leg-
islature of the State overthrew the de-
cision of the court by the passage of an
act, legalizing the tax, but leaving the
tax to be settled by a board of apportion-
ment, which was given power to remit all
or any part of the taxes imposed. Dur-
ing this long contest, Mr. Bloss refused
to obey the orders of the court, or to
answer any questions which might com-
mit him to the payment of a personal tax.
Although such action rendered him liable
to fine and imprisonment, he maintained
his position in spite of the legal penalties
which, however, were never enforced.
His action in this matter was rendered as
a public service and by his friends was
regarded as a valuable, public-spirited
action. Mr. Bloss, however, is an ardent
advocate of a national income tax and
was on the lecture platform advocating
that form of raising revenue even before
William Jennings Bryan made it a tenet
of his faith. He was the first man in this
country to advocate an income tax which
should bear equally upon every man and
woman of legal age in exact proportion
to their ability. In addition to his lectures
on the subject, he has contributed many
articles to the Metropolitan press favor-
ing such a tax, also the local and western
newspapers and to the foreign press.

Mr. Bloss was one of the originators of
the Labor Lyceum which inaugurated the
series of Sunday afternoon debates in the
Common Council chamber on subjects of
public policy, a series of debates which
awakened a deep interest. He was one of
the founders and first member of the
Political Equality Club, and by voice and



^'-



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



pen and by personal interest has aided the
cause of Equal Suffrage for many years.
He was a close friend of Susan B. An-
thony, the great suft'ragist, and her
trusted adviser. When the famous Eng-
lish militant suffragist leader, Emeline
Pankhurst, came to the United States,
Mr. Bloss arranged for her coming to
Rochester at his own expense, and later
gave Rochester an opportunity to see her.
And later, he also brought to this city E.
Sylvia Pankhurst, her daughter, this be-
ing their first visit to the United States.
In the battle for equal suft'rage in Eng-
land as well as in the United States he
has taken an active part, aiding by cor-
respondence and other valuable ways.
For eighteen years he has served as vice-
president of the Rochester Humane So-
ciety, has frequently addressed State and
National conventions of the society, and
has been unintermittent in his efforts to
promote and increase the usefulness of
this society for the prevention of all forms
of cruelty.

He is a member and ex-president of the
William Clough Bloss Society, composed
of one hundred male and female descend-
ants of early settlers of Brighton, Mon-
roe county. New York. The society holds
an annual meeting and banquet, the date
selected being January 19, the birthday
of William Clough Bloss, after whom the
society is named.

The finer talent possessed by Mr. Bloss
shows through every line of the poem of
which he is the author, "The Morning
Breath of June," a beautifully illustrated
poem, dedicated to the New York City
Fresh Air Fund, published by A. New-
man Lockwood in 1884. Since 1863 he
has been a member of the First Presby-
terian Church of Rochester and has ever
exerted his influence on the side of re-
form, progress and moral uplift. To his
study of men and economics, Mr. Bloss
adds the culture of travel and judicious



reading. In 1896 he made a tour of the
world, returning with enlarged visions
and broadened outlook. He is held in
high esteem as a business man, while his
genial personality and cultured mind have
gained him the friendship of a wide circle
of warm friends.

Mr. Bloss. married (first) in 1888, Mary
Glen Hooker, who died in 1890, daughter
of Henry E. Hooker, leaving an infant
daughter, Mary Glen Bloss, now Mrs.
Roger S. Vail, Highland Park, Illinois.
He married (second) Ella Welch, of Port
Hope, Canada. They are the parents of
three sons, William C, Joseph B. (2), and
Henry W. The family home is at No.
334 Oxford street.

A sister of Hon. William Clough Bloss,
Celestia Angenette Bloss, was the author
of a popular school text book, largely
used in the schools throughout the United
States, published in 1845. She was also
the principal of Clover Street Seminary,
a famous co-educational school of her day.



BAKER, Hugh Potter,

Master of Forestry, Doctor of Economics.

As dean of the New York State College
of Forestry at Syracuse University, Dr.
Baker has reached eminent position in a
profession to which too little importance
has been attached in this country. Through
the work of such men and the increasing
necessity for conserving our national re-
sources it is at last receiving at least part
of the consideration its importance de-
mands. Dr. Baker prepared thoroughly
for the practice of forestry in college, at
home and abroad, receiving his degree of
Master of Forestry from Yale University
and Doctor of Economics from the Uni-
versity of Munich, Germany. For ten
years he was continuously in the service
of the National Division of Forestry,
which later became the United States
Forest Service, his examinations and in-



367



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



vestigations covering the public lands in
different sections of the West. Since 1912
he has been dean of the New York State
College of Forestry at Syracuse Univer-
sity and is an authority deferred to by
forestry experts. He is a young man emi-
nent in a youthful profession, is thor-
oughly devoted to his chosen work and
filled with zeal and enthusiasm commen-
surate with the knowledge gained through
careful study and long experience in the
field. He is not a theorist, but is intense-
ly practical, advances no propositions not
established on proven demonstrated fact.

Dr. Baker is a descendant of Alexander
Baker, who arrived from England at Bos-
ton on the ship "Elizabeth and Ann" in
1635 with his wife Elizabeth. They lived
for a time at Gloucester, Massachusetts,
but later moved to Boston, where he died
in 1688. Alexander and Elizabeth Baker
married in 1632 and were the parents of
eleven children, the line of descent being
through Joshua, the sixth child.

Joshua Baker was born April 30, 1642,
died December 27, 1717. About 1670 he
moved to New London, Connecticut, and
about 1702 to Woodbury, Connecticut.
He married, September 13, 1674, Hannah,
widow of Tristam Minter, who bore him
nine children, of whom John was the
fourth.

John Baker was born December 24,
1681, and died in 1750. He was a resident
of Woodbury. The Christian name of his
first wife was Comfort, his second Sarah,
their surnames unknown. His daughter
Mary married, March 11, 1735, Joseph
Allen, and was the mother of Colonel
Ethan Allen of Revolutionary fame. The
line of descent continues through his
fourth son. Remember.

Remember Baker was born February
22, 171 1, at Woodbury, Connecticut, died
June I, 1737. He moved to Arlington,
Vermont, where he died aged twenty-six
years. His wife, Tamar (Warner) Baker,



was an aunt of Colonel Seth Warner, one
of the "Green Mountain Boys" of the
Revolution, who was so closely associ-
ated with other Warners and the Aliens
in Vermont early history. He left an
only son. Remember (2), who was born
shortly after his father's death.

Captain Remember (2) Baker was born
in Woodbury, Connecticut, in June, 1737,
and was killed by the Indians in August,
1775. As a mere boy he signalized him-
self in the Colonial wars, enlisted first on
September 11, 1755, and later in the Revo-
lutionary War commanded the little band
of Green Mountain Volunteers, which
captured Crown Point from the British
on May 12, 1775, two days after the cap-
ture of Ticonderoga by Colonel Allen,
and who finally met his death at the early
age of thirty-eight in a skirmish with the
Indians on Lake Champlaina few months
later in the same year. At the age of six-
teen he enlisted as a private in a company
of provincial troops designed for the in-
vasion of Canada. In 1757 his company
was stationed at Fort William Henry, at
the head of Lake George, and during that
year participated in the battles which re-
sulted disastrously to the provincial
troops. In 1758 he enlisted a second time
in the expedition of General Abercrombie
in his attempted invasion of Canada, and
was a non-commissioned officer in Colo-
nel Wooster's regiment, from Connecti-
cut. The command consisting of 9,000
provincials and 7,000 British regulars,
who moved in four divisions toward Ti-
conderoga. In front of the right center
division, a little band of one hundred men
under command of Major Putnam, ac-
companied by Lord Howe, advanced to
reconnoiter the movements of the enemy.
Young Baker was one of this party. They
were surprised by a party of five hundred
of the enemy. At the first exchange of
shots. Lord Howe fell mortally wounded,
Putnam and Baker and their brave men,



368



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



with the fury of tigers, cut their way
through the French ranks, charged them
in the rear, and being reinforced killed
three hundred of the enemy and captured
one hundred and forty-three prisoners.
"The intrepid courage of young Baker on
this occasion gained him much applause
in the army," but the renewed display of
his bravery two days later, during the
desperate fighting in the general engage-
ment which followed, gained him no less
honor. He received honorable mention
in the report of the general command-
ing. Remember Baker remained in the
service until the close of the year 1759.
The stirring events of this campaign gave
him some well-earned experience of
soldier life and that character for heroic
bravery which he never after belied. At
the close of 1759, he left the army and set-
led in Arlington, Vermont, Ethan and Ira
Allen, who had previously settled there,
were his cousins, their mother being a
sister of young Baker's father. He was
for a number of years associated with
Ethan Allen in the long and bitter con-
troversy over the title of the settlers of
Vermont to their land, held under a grant
from New Hampshire, a company of New
York speculators claiming the lands under
a grant procured by fraud from the King
of England. The settlers organized to
defend their homes. Ethan Allen was,
by common consent, chosen colonel and
Remember Baker was elected captain of
one of the five companies. He rendered
valuable service to the settlers and won
their respect and admiration for his cool-
ness, bravery and good judgment. A re-
ward was ofifered by the Governor of New
York for the capture of Ethan Allen, Re-
member Baker and two others, designated
"ring leaders." Baker was on March 22,
1772, captured by a band of New Yorkers,
very cruelly wounded, and was being
hurried away to Albany by his captors,



when Ethan Allen and a company of sel-
lers pursued them on horseback, released
Baker and returned him to his family.
Ethan Allen, in a letter written to the
New York authorities, gave a most
graphic account of this transaction (Vol-
ume I, "Vermont Historical Gazetteer,"
p. 124). The contest between the Ver-
mont settlers and the New York claim-
ants continued until it was suddenly
arrested by the more absorbing events
of the Revolution. Baker was one of the
first, on the opening of that great contest,
to enter the lists of the patriots. Two days
before the capture of Ticonderoga, a mes-
senger arrived at Colchester, where Baker
had made his home, from Ethan Allen,
with orders to Baker to come with his
company and cooperate with Captain
Warner in the capture of Crown Point.
Baker at once called his company to-
gether, went up the lake in boats, and on
his way met and captured two boats that
were escaping from Crown Point. He
hastened on and he and Warner appeared
before Crown Point at about the same
time. The garrison, having but few men,
surrendered. This was May 12, 1775, two
days after Ticonderoga was captured by
Ethan Allen. But the tragic end of
Baker's checkered life was now near at
hand. He had accompanied Allen to St.
Johns at the time he took possession of
that place, but soon returned to Crown
Point, where he remained in charge until
the arrival of Colonel Hinman's regiment.
General Montgomery assumed command
of the garrison and Captain Baker was
detailed by Montgomery, in August, 1775,
with a party of men, to go down the lake
and watch the movements of the enemy.
When he arrived about four miles south
of the Isle Aux Naix, it being in the
night, he landed in a bay and ran his boat
up a small creek to secrete it. Early in
the morning he passed around with his



N Y-



-24



369



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



men to a small point beyond his boat to
reconnoiter. He sat down upon the point
to sharpen his flint and just then he
noticed that some Indians had gotten pos-
session of his boat and were approaching
the point where he lay, on their way
north. He placed his men behind trees,
with orders not to fire until he did, and as
the Indians came near, he hailed them
and ordered them to return the boat or
he would fire upon them, but they re-
fused. He then took to a tree, raised his
musket, but the flint he had sharpened
hitched onto the pan and his firelock
missed. Instantly one of the savages
fired upon him, the shot took eftect in
his head and he instantly expired. The
Indians made their escape with the boat,
and Baker's men retreated to Crown
Point. After a short time the Indians re-
turned, plundered the body, cut off
Baker's head, raised it upon a pole and
carried it in triumph to St. Johns, where
the British ofticers, out of humanity,
bought it from the savages and buried it,
and also sent to the point and buried the
body. Nor did the wily savage who shot
Baker long survive his triumph, for in
October following he too was killed by
some American soldiers, and Baker's
powderhorn, with his name engraved
upon it, taken from him. The trophy was
presented by Captain Hutchins, into
whose possession it came, to Colonel
Seth Warner, Baker's old companion-in-
arms, to hand over to Baker's son, as a
token of rememberance of his brave and
esteemed father. His was the first death
of an inhabitant of Colchester, and the
first life sacrificed in the cause of the
Revolution in the northern military de-
partments. On July 9, 1909, a monument
was dedicated to Captain Remember
Baker and Colonel Seth Warner on Isle
La Motte by the patriotic women of Ver-
mont. The eventful life of Captain Baker



has been utilized by many writers of
historic fiction, notably "The Green
Mountain Boys," "The Green Mountain
Heroes," and others of a similar char-
acter. He married, April 3, 1760, Desire
Hurlbert, daughter of Consider and Pa-
tience (Hawley) Hurlbert. They were
the parents of an only child, Ozi.

Ozi Baker, who died in 1794-95, was a
civil engineer and a Revolutionary soldier.
He enlisted, March 31, 1778; was ser-
geant in Colonel Seth Warner's regiment
in 1780; was with General Anthony
Wayne on his western expedition against
the Indians; was one of the engineers
who supervised the erection of Fort
Wayne ; was at Niagara Falls a short
time prior to his death which occurred
while yet in the military service of his
country. His exploits when a lad of
twelve in the defense of his father against
an armed band of New Yorkers who were
seeking to kidnap him as previously nar-
rated, and the prominent part he took in
gathering the settlers for the rescue party
have been made the principal incidents in
a very entertaining historical novel, "With
Ethan Allen at Ticonderoga," by W. Bert
Foster, the name, however, changed and
the incidents much garbled. Ozi Baker
married (first) Lucy Hard, daughter of
Captain James and Hester (Booth) Hard,
her father reputed to have been a devoted
loyalist, well know in the early history of
Northern Vermont. He married (second)
Hetty Darling. Their eldest son. Re-
member Baker, served in the War of 1812
as a non-commissioned officer of cavalry,
later settled in Genesee county. Western
New York. The line of descent is through
Luther Alexander, second son of Ozi
Baker and his first wife, Lucy (Hard)
Baker.

Luther Alexander Baker was born at
St. Albans, Vermont, November 23, 1787,
died October 12, 1863. He served as a



370



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



soldier in the War of 1812, and in 1817
located with his brother Remember in
the Genesee Valley of Western New
York, then a wilderness. He married,
February 6, 1817, Mercy Stannard, born
at Georgia, Vermont, October 29, 1794,
died June 14, 1856, daughter of Joseph
Stannard, died August 30, 1826, a soldier
of the Revolution, and his wife, Phoebe
(Denison) Stannard, of Saybrook, Con-
necticut, who married in 1754, died Octo-
ber II, 1838, surviving her husband
twelve years after a married life of seven-
ty-two years. Luther A. and Mercy
(Stannard) Baker were the parents of
nine children, the youngest, Joseph Stan-
nard Baker, the next in direct line of de-
scent and father of Hugh Potter Baker.
Major Joseph Stannard Baker was born
March 21, 1838, at Stafford, Genesee
county. New York, died May 17, 1912, a
resident of St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin.
He was educated at Oberlin College and
Wisconsin University He was a veteran
of the Civil War, serving the entire four
years of that conflict, ranking as major
and for two years in command of the
First District of Columbia Cavalry, the
colonel of the regiment (who was his
cousin). General L. C. Baker, Chief of
the United States Detective Service, be-
ing on detached duty. For forty years
after the war Major Baker was engaged
in lumber and land business in Northern
Wisconsin, a capable, successful man of
affairs. Major Baker married (first)
September 21, 1868, Alice Potter, born at
Maple Ridge, New York, August 28, 1844,
died November 26, 1883, daughter of
James Addison Potter and his wife, Mary
Denio (Aitkin) Potter, granddaughter of
Ezra Stiles, president of Yale College.
He married (second) Mary L. Brown.
Major Baker by his first wife, Alice (Pot-
ter) Baker, had six sons: i. Ray Stan-
nard, a distinguished litterateur, editor



and author and for many years associate
editor of the "American Magazine," now
doing most of his writing under the name
of David Grayson. 2. Charles Fuller, a
famous scientist, entomologist and au-
thor, now teaching in the University of
the Philippines. 3. Harry Denio, a banker
and business man of St. Croix Falls, Wis-
consin. 4. Clarence Dwight, of Des
Moines, Iowa, deceased. 5. Hugh Potter,
of further mention. 6. James Fred, now
director of Forest Investigation in the
New York State College of Forestry at
Syracuse. Major Baker by his second wife,
Mary L. (Brown) Baker, had four chil-
dren: Winifred, Florence, Joseph Stan-
nard and Oscar Roland.

Hugh Potter Baker was born at St.
Croix Falls, Polk county, Wisconsin, Jan-
uary 2, 1878, fifth son of Major Joseph
Stannard Baker. After completing pub-
lic school courses of study, he taught for
two years in the North Woods of Wiscon-
sin, then spent a year, 1894-95, in study
at Macalester College, St. Paul, Min-
nesota. He is a graduate of the Michigan
Agricultural College, Lansing, Michigan,
B. S., 1901 ; Yale University, M. F. (Mas-
ter of Forestry), 1904; University of
Munich, Germany, D. Oec. (Doctor of
Economics), 1910.

In 1901, after completing his course at
the Michigan Agricultural College, Mr.
Baker entered the government service in
the Division of Forestry of the Depart-
ment of Agriculture, continuing in the
service for ten years, examining public
lands and carrying forward investigative
work for the service in Central Idaho,
Wyoming, Nebraska, New Mexico, Wash-
ington and Oregon. During that period
he pursued courses of special study at
Yale and Munich, and was Associate
Professor of Forestry at Iowa State Col-
lege, 1904-07, and Professor of Forestry,
Pennsylvania State College, 1907-12.



371



ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIOGRAPHY



Since 1912 he has been dean of the New
York State College of Forestry at Syra-
cuse University.

Dr. Baker is a member of the Board of
Geographic Names of the State of New
New York; fellow of the American As-
sociation for the Advancement of Sci-
ence ; fellow of the Royal Geographic
Society of England ; member of the
American Geographical Society, Geo-
graphical Society of Philadelphia, Geo-
graphiscen Gesellschaft in Munich, Ger-
many, American Civic Association, So-
ciety of American Foresters, American
Academy of Political and Social Science
and the Archaeological Institute of Amer-
ica. Through the patriotic service of his
ancestors, Captain Remember Baker and
others, he gained membership in the So-
ciety of Colonial Wars and in the Sons of
the American Revolution. His fraternity
is Phi Delta Theta, and he is a thirty-sec-
ond degree Mason of the Ancient Ac-
cepted Scottish Rite. His clubs are the
Yale and City of New York City, the Uni-
versity, and City of Syracuse. He is a
member of the Park Presbyterian Church
of Syracuse, and in political faith a Re-
publican by birth and inclination, but
Progressive in attitude though not in as-
sociation.

Dr. Baker married, December 27 1904,
at Saginaw, Michigan, Fleta Paddock,
born July 20, 1879, fourth child of Stephen
Tappan and Aurelia (Butler) Paddock, of
Three Oaks, Michigan. They are the
parents of three children : Carolyn, born
January i, 1906; Stephen Paddock, August
22, 1908; Clarence Potter, September 15,
1910.



HUBBELL, Walter Sage,

LavrjeT, Man of Affairs.

Now in the full prime of his splendid
powers, Mr. Hubbell from safe heights of
professional eminence can review a life of



great activity at the bar, in business, pub-
lic service and philanthropy, during which
personal gain has ever been subordinated