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 2) online

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Online LibraryCharles E. (Charles Elliott) FitchEncyclopedia 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 2) → online text (page 5 of 54)
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came to Plymouth Rock.

Walter J. Green, son of Walter J. and
Sarah L. (Swartwout) Green, was born
at Hubbardsville, Madison county, New
York, December 17, 1874. He was edu-
cated in private schools of Utica, and
when school years were over he entered
business life in Utica, which has ever
since been his home. Inheriting wealth,
position and an honored name, his en-
trance into the business world was made
very easy but, once in, ability alone could
win him advancement and reputation. The
young man demonstrated that the genius
of grandfather and father had descended
to him and he has risen to high rank
as financier and business man. He was for
years a director of the Savage Arms Com-
pany, its vice-president, and directly con-
cerned in its management. The company
was built up until it became a strong
factor in its particular field. When the
world became engaged in war in 1914,
Mr. Green and his associates sold their
interests in the company to a syndicate
having large contracts with England, the
sale a most advantageous one.

Other business interests which Mr.
Green has acquired are principally finan-
cial, he being the present first vice-presi-
dent of the Utica City National Bank, an
office to which he was elected in 1918,
but for many years he has been a mem-
ber of the board of directors. He is presi-
dent of the Utica Investment Company,
one of the few companies of its kind or-
ganized under the banking laws of the
State of New York. He also is a director


of the Selznick Corporation, and of the
Robbins Amusement Company, owning
and controlling theatres in Utica, Syra-
cuse and Watertown, New York. He
ranks with the leaders in Utica's business
world and his ability as a financier is

Like his mother, Mr. Green is deeply
interested in the charities of his city, and
no good cause appeals to him in vain. In
memory of his daughter who died in
childhood, he furnished and equipped a
ward for little children in the House of
the Good Shepherd, and gave it her name.
For twenty years, 1901-1921, he was a
vestryman of Grace Protestant Episcopal
Church, and he is a member of different
organizations with varied aim and pur-
pose. He took a deep interest in the pro-
secution of the war between the United
States and Germany, turning over to the
government his large and handsome
yacht, that vessel rendering some excel-
lent service. He is a devotee of out-of-
doors recreation, yachting one of his fav-
orites. His summer home is built on an
island in the St. Lawrence river, opposite
Thousand Island Park, and there for
years he has spent his vacation periods.
His clubs are: The Fort Schuyler of
Utica ; Sadaquada Golf of New York
Mills ; Yahnundahsis Golf of New Hart-
ford ; and the Thousand Island Yacht
Club of Alexandria Bay, New York. He
is a member of the Utica Chamber of
Commerce, and helpful in the work of
that organization.

Mr. Green married, February 17, 1897,
Mary Stuart Lowery, daughter of Colonel
Joseph Stuart and Julia Celeste (Wood)
Lowery, her father an officer of the Civil
War and identified with Utica's com-
mercial interests. Mrs. Green died Sep-
tember 14, 1917, leaving three children:
Carlton G., born April 21, 1901, prepared
for college at Pomfret, Connecticut, and


the John Hun Tutoring School, Prince-
ton, New Jersey ; Rosemary and Dorothy,
both educated in the Misses Masters
School, Dobbs Ferry, New York. Mr.
Green married (second) April 27, 1918,
Beatrice K. Garby, of New York City.

GIBSON, Charles Dana,

Illustrator, Editor.

Pictorial art has made enormous strides
of advancement in the last few decades
in the United States, and our own art-
ists need no longer bow to the supremacy
of the European product, for they are
producing work that is acknowledged to
compare favorably with the best of the
modern school. Among the illustrators
Charles Dana Gibson may be credited
with being the pioneer founder of the
movement for a style of drawing which
has done much to brighten the pages of
our periodicals and books and which will
serve to preserve and reflect the atmos-
phere of our times for generations yet
to come. Many of his own drawings not
only tell a complete story in themselves,
but often catch phases of National
life and our daily existence in a manner
which no printed word could. Generally
these stories are told with but a few
lines — but the whole story is there. In
this respect he might fairly be termed
the "O. Henry" of the illustrators. In
fact, Mr. Gibson is the creator of a dis-
tinctive style which his imitators have
never been able to equal.

Charles Dana Gibson was born in Rox-
bury, Massachusetts, September 14, 1867,
the son of Charles DeWolf and Jose-
phine Elizabeth Gibson. He was educated
at Flushing, Long Island, and his early
art training was received at the Art Stu-
dents' League, New York, 1884-5. After
completing his studies there, he embark-
ed upon a career as an illustrator with


the usual amount of struggles and dis-
couragements of those who attempt to
gain a foothold in the fields of art. He
had made little headway and not a great
deal of recognition until after his mar-
riage, on November 7, 1895, to Irene
Langhorne, one of the beautiful women
of Richmond, Virginia. His wife is said to
have been the model for the "Gibson
Girl," the type of statuesque beauty
which he now began to draw and which
soon brought him fame and fortune. The
"Gibson Girl" became a rage and he was
besought by publishers of the humorous
weeklies, and even the most serious pub-
lications, as well as by book publishers
who wished him to illustrate their books.
This vogue lasted for many years, and
during that period no book or magazine
of that period was considered really smart
without a Gibson drawing. Mr. Gibson
also developed into an excellent cartoon-
ist. He has studied abroad, and attempt-
ed other mediums of art expression, but
he will always, perhaps, be best known
for his pen and ink drawings.

Mr. Gibson purchased a controlling in-
erest in the weekly humorous publication
"Life" (to which he had long been a con-
tributor) and took active charge of the
magazine on April 1, 1920. He has done
much to make it one of the most popu-
lar publications in its field. Mr. Gibson
is a member of the National Institute of
Arts and Letters, and his home and studio
is in New York. In addition to the illus-
ions in profusion which he has contri-
buted to magazines and books, he is the
author of the following: "Sketches in
London," "People of Dickens Drawing,"
1894; "The Education of Mr. Pipp," 1899;
"Sketches in Egypt," 1899; "The Ameri-
cans," 1900; "A Widow and Her
Friends," 1901 ; and "The Social Ladder,"


DE FOREST, George,


The root of the patronymic De Forest
is the Teutonic "Forst," pronounced by
the Dutch "Vorst" and Latinized "Forest-
us," which in its earlier usage meant a
hunting park. In France and in the
French Netherlands there sprang up near-
ly forty villages and hamlets variously
called Forest, La Forest and Le Forest,
named from their proximity to hunting
or pleasure parks. So, too, in the course
of the century many families styled them-
selves de Forest, de la Forest, or du For-
est, most of them landed gentry, but
others burghers or perhaps peasants. In
ancient days the "de" prefixed to a name
did not necessarily signify nobility, but
often topographical or geographical ori-
gin. Later "de" was reserved as appro-
priate to nobility alone. The name de
Forest is an ancient one in France, well
authenticated entries of the name being
found in the twelfth and thirteenth cen-
turies. There is a de Forest coat-of-arms
passed upon and granted by the general
commissioners of heraldries for the realm,
September 6, 1698, as follows :

Arms — Or a lion gules holding with both forepaws
a pennon of the same; coupled with azure three mart-
lets argent.

Gilles de Forest of Avesnes, France,
receiver of taxes 1494-1509, may have
been the ancestor, but whether he was
the father of Melchoir de Forest and an-
cestor of Isaac de Forest, the founder of
the family in New Amsterdam, is not
clear. Melchoir de Forest married Cath-
erine du Fosset of Mons, France, she also
of an armorial family. The line descends
through their son, Jean de Forest, who
married Anne Maillard. Jean de Forest
was the first Protestant in the family, and
the father of Jesse de Forest, who married
in Sedan, September 23, 1601, Marie de

Cloux, daughter of Nicaise du Cloux, a
merchant of Sedan. They were the par-
ents of Isaac de Forest, the American
ancestor, and grandparents of David de
Forest, Connecticut ancestor of George
De Forest, president of the Utica Steam
and Mohawk Valley Cotton Mills of Uti-
ca, New York, whose career is herein re-
viewed in connection with his most an-
cient and honorable ancestry, Huguenot
and Puritan.

The Connecticut branch of the De For-
est family, the branch to which George
De Forest, manufacturer of Utica, New
York belongs, was founded by David de
Forest, who settled at Stratford, Connec-
ticut in 1695. He was a son of Isaac and
Sara (du Trieux) de Forest, and grand-
son of Jesse and Marie (du Cloux) de
Forest, Walloons and founders of this
family. Isaac de Forest quit Amsterdam,
Holland. October 1, 1636, in the small
vessel "Rensselaerwick," and upon arrival
settled upon that broad fertile flat then
called Muscoota, later Harlem, and now
New York City. There "Isaac de Forest,
of Leyden, bachelor, was married to
Sarah du Trieux of New Amsterdam,
spinster." The bride was a daughter of
Phillippe and Jacqueline (Noiret) du
Trieux. In 1643 Isaac de Forest leased
his 100 acres on the Haarlem flat and
moved into the village of New Amster-
dam, where he opened a tobacco ware-
house in the Old Church, a deserted
building on what is now Pearl street. He
held civic honors but little is known of
his wealth further than that the records
show him to have been rich and poor at
different periods. His will was dated
June 4, 1672, and he died two years af-
terward ; his wife died November 9, 1692.
They were the parents of fourteen chil-
dren, seven of whom are named in his
will : Susanna, Johannes, Philip, Isaac,
Hendricus, Maria and David, the last



named, the third David in the family,
then a child of thirty-three months. Sus-
anna, the eldest, was the only married
child at the time of her father's death,
she the wife of Peter de Riemer.

(II) The branch of David de Forest, the
Stratford, Connecticut, branch was an
industrious, self-supporting family, up-
right and generally devout and austere.
The de Forests remained modest farmers
until the Revolution, that time of stress
and turmoil breaking up the settled,
home-making habits of the young men of
the family, and sending them out into the
world as mariners, shipowners and mer-
chants. David, the father, is thus entered
in the records: "Baptized: David, son of
Isaac de Forest and Sara Dutrieeux, Sep-
tember 7, 1669. Witnesses, Johannes Van
Brug and Susanna de Forest." The rec-
ords of the Congregational Church do not
furnish the date of his marriage to Mar-
tha Blagge, but in the church register
proper is this entry: "Covenanted and
were baptized August 7, '97, Mr. Deforest
and his wife Martha."

David de Forest was head of a family
of ten children, six sons and four daugh-
ters, the sons as follows : David born
1702; Samuel, born 1704; Isaac, born
1706; Edward, born 1708; Henry, born
1710; Benjamin, born 1716. His property
was divided among his children after his
death, April 20, 1724. An item in the in-
ventory of his estate was "two Dutch
Bibles" and "three English Bibles none
too many for a Hugenot family." The ten
children succeeded well above the aver-
age considering the opportunities of that
early time. Sixteen de Forests, all of
them grandsons of David of Stratford,
three of them first lieutenants, served
either in the Connecticut line or militia
during the Revolution. They were worthy
'ants of their ancient ancestor,
Melchoir de Forest, of Avesnes, and his

wife. Catherine du Fosset, of Mons,
France, and the_\- were true Huguenots in
descent, training and spirit.

(III) Samuel de Forest, son of David
de Forest, of Stratford. Connecticut, and
his wife Martha (Blagge) de Forest, was
born in 1704, married December 30, 1725,
Abigail Peat, and had children: Martha,
Mary, Joseph, Hepziba, Elizabeth, Sam-
uel ; Nehemiah, of further mention ; David
and Josiah.

(IV) Nehemiah de Forest, son of Sam-
uel and Abigail (Peat) de Forest, was
born January 24, 1743, and died in Easton,
Connecticut, December 9, 1801. He mar-
ried (first) December 20, 1769, Mary
Lockwood, who died October 17, 1790.
He married (second) August 28, 1793,
Eleanor Hickock. The children of Nehe-
miah and Mary (Lockwood) de Forest
were: Abby ; William, of further men-
tion ; Lockwood, Polly, Philo De Lau-
zum, and Betsey. Two children were
born to Nehemiah and Eleanor (Hickock)
de Forest : Charles, died young, and
Charles (2).

(V) William de Forest, son of Nehe-
miah de Forest and his first wife, Mary
(Lockwood) de Forest, was born June
13, 1773. He was twice married and had
children: Isaac, married Sarah Bertram;
Lockwood N. ; William, married Louisa
A. Bassett ; Marcus, of further mention ;
Mary Ann, married George St. John, of
Norwalk, Connecticut.

(VI) Marcus De Forest, for at about
the time of his birth this form came into
general use, son of William de Forest,
was born and lived in Woodbury, Con-
necticut, there engaging in mercantile
business all his adult life. He married
Laura C. Perkins, and they were the par-
ents of George De Forest.

(VII) George De Forest, son of Mar-
cus and Laura C. (Perkins) De Forest,
was born in Woodbury, Connecticut, in



1824, and there died in 1871. He was a
successful merchant of Woodbury all his
active life, as was his father, and was a
useful member of the Congregational
Church. He married Mary Ann Lindsley,
daughter of Harry J. Lindsley, of an old
Connecticut family.

(VIII) George De Forest, only child of
George and Mary Ann (Lindsley) De
Forest, was born in Woodbury, Connec-
ticut, July 15, 1854. He was educated in
public schools and Wesleyan Academy,
and began business life in his father's
mercantile house. In 1871 he engaged in
the dry goods business in New Haven,
continuing there for eight years. In 1879
he closed out his interests in Connecticut,
and moved to Oswego, New York, where
for five years he was a member of the
dry goods firm, Roy & De Forest. He
remained in Oswego until 1895, retiring
from merchandising to engage in the
manufacture of leather, being for six years
a member of the firm, Charles North &
Company, tanners and dealers in leather.
For three years during this period George
De Forest served the city of Oswego as
city chamberlain. This business experi-
ence beginning in youth developed a
strong, resourceful, energetic business
man, with great natural ability as
manager and executive. In 1895 he left
Oswego and centered his business in-
terests in Utica, New York, which city
has since been his home and the scene of
his activities as a manufacturer. In Utica
he made his introduction to the business
world through the office of assistant
treasurer of the Utica Steam Mills. Six
months later he was elected treasurer of
that corporation, continuing its capable,
financial head until 1901, when the Utica
Steam Mills was consolidated with the
Mohawk Valley Cotton Mills, the capital
stock being increased to $2,000,000. The
size and equipment of both plants were

practically doubled and the product of
both, formerly sheetings and shirtings,
was greatly varied, with a resultant in-
crease in volume of business. In 1906,
Mr. De Forest was elected president of
the corporation, the Utica Steam and
Mohawk Valley Cotton Mills, a position
he yet fills (January, 1922.)

The growth of the Company has been
extraordinary, as can be seen from the
increase in capital stock from two mil-
lions in 1901 to five millions in 1921, the
company now ranking as one of the most
successful textile manufacturing concerns
in the United States. With the corpora-
tion, Mr. De Forest has grown into prom-
inence among textile manufacturers and
executives. His natural ability has borne
the developing process, and responsibility
has brought out the sterling quality of
the man. Other interests claim him, not-
ably the Avalon Knit Wear Company.
He is director and vice-president of the
Oneida National Bank; director of the
Utica Trust Company ; member of the
National Association of Manufacturers,
the National Association of Cotton Manu-
facturers, and the Associated Employers.
His clubs are the Fort Schuyler, which
he has served as a governor; the Yahnun-
dahsis and Sadaquada Golf clubs. He
has served the Young Men's Christian As-
sociation as president, and is now a direc-
tor ; is a member of the Oneida County
Historical Society, and of Christ Reform-
ed Church.

Mr. De Forest married Sarah C. North,
of Oswego, New York, daughter of Hon.
Charles North, of Oswego.

This brief review of the eight American
generations of De Forests in direct line
from the founder to George De Forest,
of Utica, reveals a succession of strong
and able men, loyal to religion- and the
State, and the men who were able to bear
their part in the upbuilding of their com-



Online LibraryCharles E. (Charles Elliott) FitchEncyclopedia 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 2) → online text (page 5 of 54)