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Memorial history of Syracuse, N.Y., from its settlement to the present time online

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the lumber j'ard of Hraiilej- Cary, on the corner of Lock and Canal streets.
This he carried on alone for one year, when he formed a partnership with
11. A. Crane and J. M. Belden, under the style of Crane, Belden & Co.,
with an office in Water street, and branch yards in Oswego and Tonawanda.
Three years later Mr. Crane sold his interest to his partners, and the new
firm of Belden & McDowell removed their yard to Wilkinson street, its
present location. In the fall of r888 Mr. McDowell bought Mr. Belden's
interest and became the sole proprietor. He put a large planing- mill on
the premises and has given his energies chiefly to the wholesale trade. He
keeps a stock of from 5,000,000 to 10,000,000 feet on hand, and does the
largest lumber business between Albany and Buffalo, handling as high as
30,000,000 feet in a year, and giving employment to from thirty to fifty
men.

George G. Keuyon. — The firm of Kenyon & Shaw succeeded II. A.
Crane, who had conducted the lumber business several years on the north
side of the canal between Lock and Townsend streets. In 1880 Mr. Shaw
died and the firm became Kenyon & Stevens. Requiring more room they
secured the present location on the corner of Orange and Water streets.
Mr. Stevens died in 1887 and Mr. Kenyon has continued alone. He occu-
pies by ownership and rental 1,100 feet on the south side and 400 feet on
the north side of the canal, and employs thirt\- men. He came to Syracuse
from Fulton in 187 1.

The Bliss Box Company. — In the year 1869 Jonathan B. Bliss started
a planing mill on the corner of Catherine and Canal streets. Two years
later he began the manufacture of boxes, an industry that has attained large
proportions in Syracuse, and in which this establishment has occupied a
conspicuous position. Mr. Bliss was burned out and rebuilt three times,
each fire causing him heavy loss. In 1889 the Bliss Box Company was
organized and incorporated, with a capital of $100,000 and the following
officers: John K. Post, of Oswego, President; Henry H. Post, of Oswego,
Vice-President and Treasurer ; J. B. Bliss, Superintendent. The present
officers are George N. Burt, President ; George C. Hollister, of Rochester,
Vice President ; Clarence Dillenbeck, Secretary and Treasurer; John Ray-
mond, Superintendent. The number of workmen employed has increased
from five to seventy- five. The magnitude of this industry in the country
is almost startling. It is estimated that it has absorbed more than one-half
of the softwood lumber cut in the United States for a number of years past.
The Bliss factory alone cut io,000,000 feet in 1890.



644 Memorial History of Syracuse.

E. M. Klock. — In the year 1865 Mr. Klock opened a lumber yard on
the spot he now occupies, 191 2 West Fayette street. The next year he put
up a planing-mill ami in the fall of 1890 he began the manufacture of the
Merriman patent door. He handles annually 3,500,000 to 4,000,000 feet
of lumber, besides shingle.-,, lath, pickets, etc. Mr. Klock is prominent in
local politics, and has held the office of Alderman and other positions.

Thomas Merriam. — This establishment, like most others in the city,
commenced in a small way, and has grown to magnificent proportions.
Joseph Leeret commenced the manufacture of boxes, of various kinds, on
the corner of Washington and Orange streets, about 1854, and in a short
time his business increased so much that he was obliged to seek for larger
quarters. He then formed a partnership with Harvey Blaisdell, purchased
the corner of East Water and Almond streets, and erected a large factory,
which was increased in size occasionally as their business demanded. They
suffered twice by fire, one of which completely destroyed the whole struct-
ure, and in another they were severely crippled. They did an immense
business, in making cigar boxes and almost every variety of packing boxes;
at any rate every kind needed in the city. In 1876 Merriam & Gregory
rented a portion of their buildings and power, and commenced the manu-
facture of sash, doors, and blinds, which was continued till the spring of
1S89, when the partnership was dissolved, Mr. Gregory taking the hard-
ware store in North Salina street, and Mr. Merriam the factory. They had
done a large and successful business and Mr. Merriam felt warranted in
taking the whole establishment of Leeret & Blaisdell, and is continuing the
two factories under one head. He manufactures into sash, doors, blinds,
and boxes of every description 5,000,000 feet of lumber annually. The
soft lumber comes from Michigan and Canada, the hard wood from Ken-
tucky, and the cedar from Cuba. His engine is 175 horse-power, driving
100 different machines, and he produces about $175,000 of finished goods
annually. He employes about 125 men and boys.

Wilson & Robot ham. — In 1876 Messrs. Wilson & Wilbur bought of P. B.
Brayton the business located at 75 South West street, which had been
founded in 1864 by M. E. Carter, for the manufacture of extension tables
and table slides. In 1878 Robert Robotham purchased Mr. Wilbur's inter-
est and the present firm was formed. Their present factory at 715 to 723
West Fayette street was erected in 1882. lughteen men are employed by •
them and their goods are ordered from widely separated points — Australia,
South America, Cuba, Mexico, and the Pacific coast. The full capacity of
their works is tested to meet these demands. They keep no traveling sales-
men, the quality of their product being sufficient recommendation.

John Moore & Co. — The picture frame business of this firm was originated



ManufacturiiNg Industries. 645

by the firm of Sanford & l?on, in 1865. who were succeeded by John Moore
& Co. in 1879. Immediately on tiic transfer of the business to John Moore &
Co. the branch of contract woodwork and other hnes were added. Tlie mold-
ing branch of the business employs constantly i 50 hands, and goods are ship-
ped to all parts of the country in addition to a -general export trade. The con-
tract department employs in and out of the factory, at times, as high as 300
men and five traveling salesmen. This firm contracts principally for large
government buildings located throughout the United States. The factory is
located in James and Pearl streets. " The firm consists of John Moore and
Frank M. Moore.

Tlie Butler Maiuifactitriug Co. was incorporated in 1883 with a capital
of $12,000, which was increased tiiree years ago to $24,000. The first
officers were IJruce S. Aldrich, President; F. M. Bonta, Secretary and
Treasurer ; E. K. Butler, General Manager. The object of the company
was the manufacture of artistic furniture. Thirty men were employed at
first, but the growth of the industry has been such that now 100 men arc
on the pa}' roll. The premises, at No. 18 10 West Fayette street, have 66
feet front and extend back to the canal, on which is a frontage of 150 feet.
The main building is 150x40 feet, five stories hit;h, and another is 800x40
feet, four stories high. The present officers are E. K. Butler, President and
Treasurer; H. E. Wanamaker, Vice-President; William Nicholson, Secre-
tary. This establishment employs lOO hands, and turns out a product val-
ued at $450,000 annually.

February 9, 1S71, the firm of Carpenter, De Puy & Co. was organized,
they having bought the business formerly established by Carpenter &
Mosely, and for nearly eigiiteen years they carried on a general v.oodwork-
ing business. October i, 1889, they were succeeded by the present firm
of De Puy, Robinson & Co , composed of Schuyler P. De Puy, C. F". Robin-
son, and M. L. Abbott. The factory has employed on the average thirty
men for the last fifteen years, and turns out all kinds of carving, turning,
sawing, molding, etc., for the complete finish of interiors and exteriors of
dwellings, hotels, churches, stores, etc. They are located at 118 and 120
Mulberry street, where the business was first established.

The furniture manufacturing and woodworking business now conducted
by D. E. Hayden at 401-405 South Clinton street was established in March,
1870, by li. J- Crandall, and came into Mr. Hayden's possession and con-
trol August I, 1879. The works are in a large three-story brick building,
the machinery being operated by a 50-horse-power engine. Mr. Hayden
employs from fifteen to twenty-five men and has an investment of $15,000.
with a business amounting to $25,000 annual!}'. His capacity covers al-
most every kind of woodwork — sawing, turning, carving — and every variety



646 Memorial History of Syracuse.



of interior work. He makes a specialty of extension tables, couches, and
parlor and office furniture, most of which is manufactured to order. He also
enters largely into inside house finishing in soft and bard woods.

J. D. Coleman. — In the year i860 Mr. Coleman began the manufacture
of mclodeons in Salina street in the Washington Block. Soon afterward he
introduced the manufacture of cabinet organs and moved to James street,
the firm becoming Carpenter & Coleman, by the admission of Lyman and
Colvin Carpenter. In 1872 Christian Cook took an interest in the business
and the firm name was made Cook, Carpenter & Coleman, the factory be-
ino- removed to Gifford street. The manufacture of furniture was added to
the business, which was carried on to about ten years ago. Since that time
Mr. Coleman has been located in East Water street. No. 316, and is largely
engaged in the manufacture of desks and office and library furniture. He
employs ten men.

The Syracuse Molding Company. — This business was established in the
spring of 1885 by William H. Van Buskirk, John Burns, and John Folley.
They now employ twenty- five workmen, use 200,000 feet of lumber yearly,
and are doing a flourishing business. The members of the firm are all na-
tives of Syracuse. Mr. Van Buskirk spends a part of his time on the road
and sells their goods throughout the State.

Leslie Caldzvell. — Mr. Caldwell began business as a builder and con-
tractor in 1863, and he was soon obliged by its increase to establish a shop
with power, a planer, and other machinery for manufacturing woodwork
used in his building operations. He employs ten to fifteen men, and is
located at 143 Kennedy street.

H'eniy Schmeer. — In the year 1867 Schmeer & Listman began the man-
ufacture of paper boxes in the old Wieting Block, where they remained two
years, when they removed to Clinton street. In 1883 Mr. Schmeer .sold
his interest in the business to Mr. Listman and established a factory in
West Water street, making the same line of goods till 1889, when he moved
to the commodious quarters he now occupies at 106 to no Noxon street,
where he has $20,000 invested, and employs 105 hands. Mr. Schmeer is
the largest manufacturer of paper boxes in Syracuse.

William Crabtree is one of the leading contractors and builders of the
city, particularly in the line of stone work. He is a native of England, and
came to New York in 1870. He located in Syracuse two years later, and
worked at his trade until 1877, when the firm of Hughes & Crabtree was
formed ; it continued in existence two years, since which time Mr. Crab-
tree has carried on business alone. He purchased his present yard, corner
of Montgomery and Taylor streets, and has carried on a large business, fur-
nishing the stone for the Government Building, the County Clerk's office in



ManuI'ACtl'king Industries. 647



this city, the Court- 1 louse in Otsego county, several of the largest buildings
in Auburn, and is now enyaged on a contract for a private residence in
Cortland, costing $125,000, and is furnishing the stone for the Masonic
Home in Utica. He employs from fifty to seventy-five men.

Thomas Jackson, contractor and builder, located at the corner of Brown
and Decker streets, came to Syracuse from England in 1859, and learned
his trade in this city. He began business for himself in 1873. Among his
important contracts are the wood work on St. Paul's Church and on the
Leland Hotel, which burned down, and the new City Hall, whicii is in pro-
cess of construction, the latter contract involving $37,000. He employs
from twenty five to fiftj' men.

Richard Dawson is located at 108 Baker avenue, as a contractor and
builder. He came to Syracuse from Canada in 1865, and has been in active
business here for twenty-three years. Among the more important build-
ings constructed by Mr. Dawson may he mentioned the Kline Block, the
Crichton I'lats, and the Marsellus casket factory. He employs from twenty-
five to fifty men.

I'hilip Goettel is a Iniilder of considerable prominence, located at 308
Highland street. After service in the army he began his present business
in 1870, and now employs from five to fifty men. He was a member of
the 149th Regiment, Company B. He was wounded at Chancellorsville
by a piece of shell, and at Gettysburg was struck by a bullet in his arm
while ano'her passed through his knapsack. At Ringgold's Depot, in
the Lookout Mountain operations, he captured two rebel flags, and holds
a government medal for distinguished braverw At Savannah Mr. Goet-
tel, Jacob Klein, and Nicholas Seaver were the first men who entered the
navy yards. A rebel who asked Goettel who he was was told that he
was a policeman. The joke was swallowed, and the rebel look the three
men to breakfast. Goettel was also one of the 1 10 men who first took pos-
session of Savannah.

Charles Umbrecht, contractor anil builder at 214 Prospect avenue, was
also a soldier of three years' servicTe in the P'irst Engineers, which went out
from New York city to the siege of Charleston when Fort Sumter was re-
captured. His regiment was in active service, and closed its service before
Petersburg in the last year of the war. Mr. Umbrecht employs from fifteen
to fifty men.

In earlier pages of this work reference is made to the marble cutting shop
of Isaac Stanton, who was one of the early settlers of the place. Mr. Stan-
ton was one of the cholera victims of 1832, but was succeeded in his busi-
ness by his son, Isaac StaiUon, jr.. in 1826, the business being then located in
North Salina street. Isaac Stanton, jr., was one of the victims of the pow-



648 Memorial Histouv of Syracuse.

der explosion of 1841, and was succeeded in the business by his brother,
Sidney Stanton, who continued in North Salina street, and hiter in James
street, until the building of the West Shore Railroad. That company pur-
chased his yard and he removed to 1 19 Lock street, where his son, Sidney,
jr., still conducts the business founded by his uncle. At the time of his
death, in 1890, Sidney Stanton was one of the oldest native residents of
Syracuse ; he was born in Salina street in 1809.

John C. Esser came to Syracuse from New York city, and he is .said to
have been the first sculptor to carve our native stone. Among the many
pieces of sculpture which owe their beauty and symuietr)- to Mr. Esser's
skill may be mentioned the medallion of Judge James R. Laurence and a
portrait bust of the journalist Lewis H. Redfield, both from life, and both
of which grace their respective monuments at Oakwood Cemetery. The
W'hitlock monument in Oakwood and tlie Malloy monument in St.- Agnes
Cemetery are a couple of the numerous pieces of work of this kind which
Mr. Esser has so beautifully executed. His son has now an interest in the
business under the firm name of John C. Esser & Son, with their yard and
office at 920 South Salina street. They own a stone quarry at Jamesville,
from which they bring the supply for their own use and also for other build-
ers. They are now extensively engaged in carrying out building contracts
in marble, stone, and granite. The firm executes monumental work of a
high character, and employs fifteen men.

For more than twenty-five years Daniel J Francis has been prominently
identified with the marble and granite working business in Syracuse, and at
the present time the firm of Francis & Co. carries on the largest industry of
that kind in Central New York. The firm is now composed of Mr. Francis,
Thomas F. DeLany (who has been identified with the business since its
commencement, and was admitted to the firm in 1873), and Newell E.
Loomis, the latter of whom was admitted in 1885 ; their location is at 1 18 to
124 West Onondaga street. Their work has attained a high reputation
over a wide extent of territory, and they have exceptional advantages for
obtaining the various kinds of marble and granite which their trade de-
mands. They also conduct a large mantel, grate, and tile business, and are
agents for the Perth Amboy Terra- Cotta Company and other specialties.

C. Linehan came to Syracuse in 1854 and began marble working in
Wolf street in the following year, lie subsequently took a partner, N. C.
Hinsdale, and the firm removed to the Empire Block in Genesee street.
Mr. Linehan sold his interest to Hinsdale, who went out of business, and
Linehan opened an establishment in the Washington Block, in South Salina
street. He shortly afterward removed to the site of the Dixon House,
and in 1869 took his present location, 617 South Salina street. He employs
five men and works in marble and granite.



Manufacturing Industries. 649

E. C. Stearns &" Co. — The inception of this business had its origin in
about tlie year i860, when it was commenced by George N. Stearns, father
of Edward C. Stearns and Mrs. Avis S. Van W'agenen, two of the present
proprietors. Six j-ears later a small factory was erected in Cedar street.
Mr. Stearns had during this time devoted his energies chiefly to the manu-
facture of hollow augers. His business was a decided success from the
beginning, and continued to expand and improve from time to time to keep
pace with the ever increasing demands for his articles, which were accord-
ingly increased in number as necessity required. He carried on the con-
cern alone at this location till 1877, when owing to ill- health his son and
daughter, Edward C. Stearns and Mrs. A\'is S. Van Wagenen (then Mrs.
Avis Mead), purchased the business under the firm name of E. C. Stearns
& Co., by which it has ever since been known. Three years later they re-
moved the offices and plant to the old John A. Nichols gun works, on the
north side of James street near the corner of Lock, and about the same time
establislied a branch office in Chicago. The rapid growth of the businessi
caused by the addition of saw vises, parlor sliding door hangers, band set-
ters, spoke shaves, pointers, etc., to their list of maiuifacturcs, soon necessi-
tated anotlier removal to larger and more commodious quarters, and ac-
cordingly in 1882 the present extensive plant was erected at the foot of West
Adams street, corner of Oneida, in the Sixth ward. Since then new build-
uigs have been added each year, until it is now one of the most extensive
manufactories of hardware in the country, and is justly entitled to a leading
rank in the manufacturing industries of Syracuse. The firm now gives
employment to 350 men, and turns out among other specialties ten distinct
styles of patent sliding door hangers, a number of different kinds of pat-
ented locks, window and door screens, screen frames, hinges, vises, spoke
shaves and pointers, jack screws, lawn mowers, iron sinks, and stable fixt-
ures, etc. Of many of these goods and of others they are said to be the
largest manufacturers in the world, and prominent among these articles are
their parlor sliding door hangers, barn door hangers, barn door locks, door
and window screen frames, adjustable stove-pipe thimbles, adjustable screw
and door frame clamps, hollow augers, spoke shaves and pointers, cast-iron
stable hay racks and feed boxes, saw vises, bench drills, lawn mowers, mal-
lets, chisel handles, jack screws, etc. The plant now utilized in the manu-
facture of their various hardware specialties consists of the main building
252 X 60 feet and four stories high, the foundry and woodworking depart-
ment 250 X 220, two-story japanning building 43 x 25, pattern building 40 x
20, screen frame factory 104x60, and storehouse 31 X72 and others
aggregating 166x35. The buildings are all of brick, well lighted,
and conveniently arranged for manufacturing purposes. They are fitted



648 Memorial Histouy of Syracuse.

up with costly machinery, much of which has been designed and built by
the firm for their special use, and all tools and appliances used in the man-
ufacture of their various articles are the very best. The firm consists of
Edward C. Stearns, Mrs. Avis S. Van Wagenen, and Herbert E. Maslin.

Express Companies. — The express business owes its origin to William
F. Harnden, who began it in 1839. In 1841 his agent at Albany, Henry
Wells, organized with George Pomeroy and Crawford Livingston the firm
of Pomeroy & Co., which operated between Albany and Buffalo once a
week. Wells first carried his parcels in a carpet bag and paid his fare as a
passenger. Two years later Livingston, Wells & Pomeroy assumed con-
trol, and soon after Livingston, Wells & Co., who continued till 1S46, oper-
ating over the N. Y. C. R. R. Wells & Co. was then organized, and in
1849 Butterfield, Wasson & Co. began in opposition over the same road.
The ne.xt year these two firms and Livingston & Fargo (who had operated
west of Buffalo) consolidated as Wells, Butterfield & Co. and Livingston,
Fargo & Co.. but comprised a joint stock concern under the style of the
American Express Co., with Henry Wells as President and William G.
Fargo (a native of this county) as Secretary. In 1854 the United States
Express Co. was formed, but was immediately merged in the American,
which was re-organized in i860. The office in this city was first located
where the White Memorial Building now stands, and subsequently removed
to its present location in the Kline Block. Alfred Higgins, the company's
genial agent, assumed charge in 1857, and has since continued in that
capacity. When he was appointed the business was conducted b}- four
men and one horse; now thirty-four men and twenty-four horses are em-
ployed. The present United States Express Co. dates from 1854. The
next year it was operating over the D., L. and W. R. R., with Frederick
Hall agent at Syracuse. In 1872 the D., L. and W. Express Co. suc-
ceeded to the business over this line, and continued till 1886, when the
United States Express Co. regained control. Smith P. Snider has been
the efficient local manager for the two companies since 1872. Two or three
men and a horse were first employed, against twelve men and nine horses
at the present time. The National ICxpress Co. was organized in 1855, and
since the completion of the West Shore Railroad has operated over that
line. The present Syracuse agent is Edwin L. Gifford.

The three express companies in Syracuse transact yearly a money and
money order business aggregating hundreds of thousands of dollars, carry-
ing vast sums almost any distance with absolute safety and at reasonable
rates. Letters at one time formed the principal part of the express mes-
senger's parcels, and the carrying of these resulted in cheaper postage and
better postal facilities.



Manukactuking Industkiks. 649

Adam Nies came to Syracuse in 1 850 and opened a stonecutting yard
in 1866 in the firm of Graff & Nies, wiiich was dissolved in 1874, and Mr.
Nies has since remained alone. He works almost wholly in gray limestone.
At different times he has employed from ten to seventy-five hands. lie
supplied the stone work of some of the Cornell University buildings, one of
the Hinghamtoxi banks, and other large structures.

J. F. Pease Furnace Company. — This company was incorporated in April,
18S3, with a capital stock of $30,000 and the following officers: President,
Dennis M. Kennedy; Vice-President, John V . Pease; Secretary and Treas-
urer, \\ K. West. The company commenced doing business at 63 West
Water street. In 18S5 they moved to their present location in Willow
street, next to the Oswego Canal bridge, where their factory is still located.
In 1887 they built a foundry at the corner of Belden avenue and Sand
street, where their castings are now made by the Economy Foundry Com-
pany, to whom the foundry plant was rented by the J. F. Pease Furnace
Company. There are employed at the factory in Willow street from sixty
to eighty hands, with seven salesmen on the road ; ;;t the foundry are over
100 hands. In April, 1889, the late President, Dennis M. Kennedy, died, and
the present organization is as follows : President and Treasurer, P3. K.
West; Vice-President, John F. Pease; Secretary, Samuel Stephens ; Assist-
ant Treasurer, W. K. West; Assistant Secretary, E. C. Moses. This com-



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