Moses King.

The men of New York: a collection of biographies and portraits of citizens of the Empire State prominent in business, professional, social, and political life during the last decade of the nineteenth century (Volume 1) online

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such as one gets in the practical si hool of life, while
earning one's own living.


Like many country boys who purpose entering the
professions, Mr. Ottaway's first resource on gradua-
tion was teaching school. He followed this occupa-
tion for some time, meanwhile preparing for the law.
Later he prosecuted his studies in the office of
William Russell at Westfield, and finally, in 1S7!>,
was admitted to the liar. Mr. Ottaway's career
since then has been that of a successful lawyer. At
first he was a member of the firm of Russell, Dick-
erman & Ottaway, as junior partner. Subse-
quently this firm dissolved, and Mr. Ottaway for a
time practiced alone. He is now the senior partner
in the firm of Ottaway & Munson of Westfield.

The law often proves a stepping-stone to politics,
and so it was in Mr. Ottaway's case. He was always
an active Republican, quick at making friends, ener
getic ; and by a natural course of events he was
nominated, in 1883, for district attorney
of Chautauqua county. He was elected,
and served from 1884 to 1.SX7 with
credit to himself and the county. After
his administration of this office he retired
to the care of his large and growing gen-
eral practice. Mr. Ottaway has been
engaged in many important trials, and is
one of the best-known members of the
bar in Chautauqua county. He has served
for several years as attorney for the board
of supervisors of the county.

One of the leading characteristics of
Mr. Ottaway's career is the interest he
has taken in matters pertaining to the
welfare of Westfield and its institutions.
He has always been active in village
affairs. He served for many years as one
of the vestrymen of St. Peter's Episcopal
Church of Westfield. He is a Mason.

Arthur B, Ottawav mis born at Jlfiiia,
Chautauqua county, N. Y., Mav 8, 1S~>4 :
was educated in the district schools, and at
S/iei'nitin a nil \\~estjicld academies, gradu-
ating from the /after institution in 181 ~>:
taught school, studied law, and was ad-
mitted to tlie bar in 1879 ; was district
attorney of Chautauqua county, /<S',Y.{-,S7 ,-
has practiced law in Westfield, N. Y.,
since 1879.

OLester jforrcst Stearns

to manhood on his father's farm. His early life was
similar to that of many boys, who, born and bred in
the country, fit themselves for a profession, and win
fame and reputation in large fields of usefulness by

force of industry, perseverance, and character. There
is something in the practical training and in the sur
roundings of farm life that inculcates a sturdy self-
reliance and stimulates ambition ; and the fact is
aptly illustrated in the career of Mr. Stearns.

He received his elementary education in the dis-
trict school of his native Chautauqua-county town,
and completed his studies in the Forestville Free
Academy. For the two years following his gradua-
tion he taught school, thus acquiring the discipline
in method and accuracy so essential in the profession
of law, which he soon decided to make his vocation.
Before he began his legal studies, however, he spent
a year in the Bradford oil region in Pennsylvania,
where he had the supervision of a large strip of oil
territory. This work failed to prove congenial, and
he returned to Chautauqua county, to enter upon a

/:. i >'/"/'. I HI}'

course of legal study at Forestville. Later he moved
to Dunkirk, where he finished his studies in the office
of C. B. Bradley, then district attorney. Admitted
to the bar in l.SS^, Mr. Stearns at once opened an


office for himself. In DS.S4 he formed a partnership The judicial cast of Mr. Stearns's mind has been
with Walter L. Kinsley that lasted until 1H89. recognized in his nomination for the office of special
Since then he has been the senior partner in the judge of the County Court a nomination he felt
legal firm of Stearns & Warner. Mr. Stearns has constrained to decline. Subsequently he was nomi-
taken pains from the beginning to acquire the best nated and elected to the office of special surrogate,
books bearing upon his profession, and he now has a and served for three years in that responsible position.

His popularity has been likewise attested
by two elections to the office of district
attorney, which he has held six years in
all. He has been prominently mentioned
for judicial honors, and his friends are
desirous of seeing him on the bench. In
politics he is a Republican, but he has
never been guilty of carrying partisanship
into the duties of any public position
that he has been called upon to fill.

To his active professional duties Mr.
Stearns has added those of a progressive
citizen. He has taken a keen interest in
municipal affairs, and to his enterprising
efforts in large part the city of Dunkirk is
to-day indebted for its municipal system of
electric lighting. He has also interested
himself in the improvement of the streets
and harbor of Dunkirk, and every move-
ment for the public good finds in him a
warm supporter and a zealous champion.
Lester Forrest Stearns r.w* ln>nt at I'illa-
inn\i, Chautaiiqiia county, N. V., July 27,
1850 : graduated from Faresti'ille Free
Academy in 7,S'7,V , was admitted to the bar
at Dunkirk, N. Y. , in 1882 ; was elected
special surrogate in /<S'.S'{ . was electea
district attorney in /.V.SY/, and re-elected in
188f) : married Mary J/ Hiller of Dun-
kirk fulv 16, 1889 : has practiced law in

large and valuable law library. Here he has ready
at hand a vast amount of information otherwise attain-
able only at the cost of much time and effort.

Although Mr. Stearns has not yet passed the merid-
ian of life, he has built up a very large and impor-
tant practice in the northern part of Chautauqua
county, numbering among his clients about all the
leading concerns of Dunkirk. Men do not entrust
weighty interests to lawyers as a matter of friend-
ship, but seek the best talent anywhere obtainable;
and the large number of important clients who look
to Mr. Stearns for legal advice demonstrates the
wisdom of his choice of profession. His success,
however, while rapid, lias not come without corre-
sponding effort and faithfulness on his part.

a. /IDtnCr Wcllman h-is had a remarkably
successful career thus far ; and as he is not yet thirty
years old, it may safely be assumed that the future
has a much greater measure of prosperity in store tor

Mr. Wellman was born in the town of Friendship,
Allegany county, where he still lives. His early
education was received in a private school, but he
soon entered Friendship Academy, and took a five
years' course there. Having exhausted the educa-
tional resources of his native town, at the age of six-
teen he entered Hopkins Grammar School at New
Haven, Conn., to prepare for college. Two years
later he entered Yale University, and graduated in
the class of 1888 with the degree of A. B.



After this absence from home of six years, Mr.
Wellman returned to Friendship, a young man of
twenty-two, well prepared, by means of the excellent
education he had received, to begin the actual work
of life. In the fall succeeding his graduation he en-
tered, as a clerk, the First National Bank of Friend-
ship, of which his father was cashier. He was
soon chosen a director of the bank ; and after
an experience of little more than a year, on t he-
death of his father, he succeeded him as cashier.
This office involved a heavy responsibility for so
young a man ; but Mr. Wellman has proved himself
an able financier, and during the six years of his
management the bank has prospered in a most satis-
factory manner. His excellent qualifications for the
position of a bank official have led to his selection
as vice president of the First National Bank of
Cuba, N. Y., and as a director of the
First National Bank of Salamanca.

Like so many other enterprising men
in Allegany county, Mr. Wellman is in-
terested in the production of oil, and his
operations in the town of Wirt have been
highly successful. He has also become
interested in mining in Colorado, and
is treasurer of the Columbia-Menona
Mining Co. of Telluride, Col. He is
secretary and treasurer of the Ontario
Improvement & Gas Co., Limited, of
Honeoye Falls, N. Y. ; president of the
Friendship Water Co., and of the
Phoenix Gas Co. of Seneca Falls, N. Y. ;
and a director in the Williams & Werner
C'o. of Rochester. Thus it will be seen
that Mr. Wellman, though he has spent
his life in a country town, is as far as
possible from the traditional type of vil-
lager ; and is, in fact, an active, enter-
prising business man with extensive and
varied interests.

In politics Mr. Wellman is a thorough
Republican, '['hough he has never been
a candidate for a political office, he has
served his party in many ways. He acted
as secretary and treasurer of the Allegany-
i ounty Republican committee during the
presidential campaign of 1892, and has
been a delegate to county, senatorial,
and state conventions. In 1895 he was
chairman of the Allegany-county dele-
gation to the national convention of the Republican
League at Cleveland.

In social, fraternal, and religious circles alike, Mr.
Wellman is active and popular, thus rounding out

and completing his character as a business man and
a public-spirited citizen. He is a member of Psi
Upsilon college fraternity ; Master of Allegany
Lodge, No. 225, F. A. M., of Friendship ; and a
member of Valley Point Chapter, R. A. M., of
Cuba, N. Y., of St. John's Commandery, No. 24,
K. T. , Olean, and of Ismailia Temple, Nobles
of the Mystic Shrine, Buffalo. He is a member
of the First Baptist Church of Friendship. As a
trustee of Cook Academy, Havana, N. Y. , he demon-
strates in a practical way his interest in the cause
of education.

H'e/lina/i was born at Friendship, N. Y., November
13, I860 ; prepared for college at Hopkins Grammar
School, New Haven, Conn., and graduated from Yale
in 188S : became a clerk in the First National Bank


of Friendship in 1SSS, a director in ISSf), and has
been cashier of the same- l>ank since 18!> ; married
} I attie Prior Baldwin ol Set \ tons Kirer, I'/., June 28,



30bll "miOOfcwarJ), "'ho finds himself, at the
age of thirty -six, a member of the Supreme Court
of the state of New York, was horn at Charlotte,
Chautauqua county. He is a son of Daniel S. and
Cornelia Lake Woodward ; a grandson of John Wood-
ward, who served in the assembly from Chautauqua


county in 1835 ; and a great-grandson of John
Woodward, who fought before the Heights of Abra-
ham in the French-Canadian war, and who served in
one of the Massachusetts regiments during the revolu-
tionary war. Early in the century this latter John
Woodward moved to Genesee county, New York,
afterward taking up his residence in Chautauqua
county, where his descendants have carved out for
themselves careers worthy of his name. Mr. Wood-
ward's grandmother on his mother's side was Sarah
Mather, a lineal descendant of Cotton Mather.

In his infancy Mr. Woodward's parents left Chau-
tauqua county, taking up a residence in Michigan,
whence they moved to Kansas in 1 <S7(I, where his father
died. The family returned to Chautanqua count}- in

1871, the mother yielding up her life at Fredonia in
the same year. From that time Mr. Woodward made
Ins home with Henry C. Lake, his mother's brother,
who has long been a conspicuous figure in the politics
of Chautauqua county. Working his way along,
taking employment in the village stores and on the
neighboring farms, Mr. Woodward grad-
uated from the Fredonia Normal School
in 1.S7N, and began reading law in the
office of Morris & Lambert in that village
in the same year, afterwards attending
the law school of the University of the
City of New York, and graduating there-
from in ISSl. He was admitted to the
bar at Foughkeepsie in the same year,
and began the practice of his profession
in Fredonia. In August, 1883, he moved
to Jamestown to practice law there ; and
in 1JS86, on the incorporation of the city
of Jamestown, he became its first city
attorney, filling the position for two years.
He was appointed to a vacancy on the
board of supervisors in 18.H7, holding
the place by successive elections until
1MI2. when he was elected district at-
torney of Chautauqua county. He held
this position during the term, and in Jan-
uary, 18!Mi, was appointed a justice of
the Supreme Court by Governor Morton.
Judge Woodward is a member of th?
lamestown Club, the Knights of the
Maccabees, the Elks, the Citizens' Club
of Fredonia, the Ellicott Club of Buffalo,
the Orpheus Singing Society of the same
city, and the Camp Dent Fishing Club of
Allegany county. He takes an artixc
interest in all matters
quasi -public character.
)ohn Woodward is
student of the law in the abstract ;
searcher after precedents, in an effort to make new
conditions conform to old measurements. He seeks
rather to energize modern jurisprudence by com-
pelling it to meet a broadening conception of justice
and equity. To him the law is the servant of
society, to be administered impartially as between its
members, in the interests of equal justice; and la-
has the courage to assert so much of a new doctrine
as may be necessary in his judgment to this end, thus
aiding in that evolution of the law which is essential
to its highest development.

Personally Judge Woodward is genial and thor-
oughly likable, so that it is easy to understand his
widespread popularity.



not a plodding
not a coward h



ward was born at Charlotte, Chautaitijua county, N. Y.,
August 1,9, lS, r >() ; received a common-school education,
and graduated from the Fredonia Normal School in
1S7S ; graduated from the law school of the Uni-
versity of the City of New York in 1881, and was ad-
mitted to the l>ar the same year; practiced law in Fre-
donia, N. K, 18S1-S3; married Mary E. Barker of
Fredonia May 26, 1886; was city attorney of James -
town, N.Y., 1886-88, member of the board of super-
visors of Cliautaue/ua county, 1887-92, and district
attorney of Chaiitauqiia county, 189,>-9- r > ; was ap-
pointed a justice of tlie Supreme Court of the state of
A T ew York in January, 1896.

S. (larv HDatUS illustrates in his life the
potency of character and lofty ambition. Under
circumstances that would have daunted
most young men, and with few oppor-
tunities, he laid the foundation for success
in a profession where continual study and
expanding knowledge are essential. His
education in schools was meager, and
confined to elementary grades. He never
had the benefit of collegiate training. In
its place he substituted a course of private
study, and thus gained a knowledge and
mental discipline that fitted him ulti-
mately for the practice of law. Though
he was not admitted to the bar until
middle life, the preceding years were so
employed as to prove valuable to him in
his professional career. He was brought
into contact with the practical affairs of
life, and acquired a wide business expe-
rience. At the age of sixteen he learned
the carpenter's trade, and for several
years followed this calling during the
summer months. In the winter he taught
in district schools, and devoted himself
to study. His interest in education ex-
tended beyond teaching, and for six years
he filled the position of superintendent
of schools for the town of Collins, N. Y.,
having under his charge over twenty

Mr. Adams has had a long and varied ex-
perience in municipal and county affairs,
and is an authority on questions relating
thereto. He was supervisor of the town
of Collins two terms, and was subsequently elected
clerk of the board of supervisors of Erie county for two
years. During the year 1857 he was a member of
the state assembly from the 4th Krie-countv district.

In lrS")i( Mr. Adams was appointed deputy county
clerk of Erie county, and moved to Buffalo. In the
same year he began a course of legal study, reading
his Blackstone and Kent whenever he could find a
spare hour. In this way he acquired the legal
knowledge necessary to pass the bar examination,
and he was admitted to practice in 1863. His
efficiency and popularity as deputy county clerk led
to his nomination for county clerk in 1864 ; but he
was defeated by fewer than 100 plurality, though he
polled the largest vote on his ticket. As a lawyer
Mr. Adams has made a specialty of commercial law.
He was led into this branch of the profession by his
relations with the well-known houses of Pratt & Co.
and Pratt & Letchworth, whose confidential agent
and legal adviser he was for nearly a score of years.
He was also a trustee and secretary of the Buffalo

.V fAKY .!/' I I/A

Iron &: Nail Co., which was part of Pratt & Co.'s
establishment. His charge of the legal affairs of
these houses sent Mr. Adams into most of the north
ern states east of the Missouri, and familiarized him


with the legal procedure of many states. Since the
dissolution of the firm of Pratt & Co. in 1HH6, Mr.
Adams has devoted himself to general law practice.
In his political affiliations Mr. Adams has been an
ardent Republican since the formation of that party,
['or several years he was a member of the Republican

schools : taught school winters and worked as a car-
penter summers, 1841-50; married Harriet ]\'hit,
of Collins, N. K, October 20, 1842; was superin-
tendent of schools of Collins, 1846-52, supervisor
1852-53, a in I clerk of the board, 1854-55 ; was member
of assembly in 1S57, deputy county clerk of Eric county,
1859-4i 4, and deputy collector of customs,
ist;r>-i;7 .- moved to Buffalo in 1859, and
7i'i!\ admitted to the bar in Asv;.; . was
employed as confidential agent and legal
adviser for the Jinn of Pratt & Co.,
1867-86, and //as conducted a general law
practice in Buffalo since 1886.

/ l.\t/-:s A. ALLEN

county committee, and served one year as its chair-
man. He has, however, never sought office, and
has frequently declined nominations when urged
by his friends to accept them. Mr. Adani.s i.s
prominently identified with philanthropic work in
Buffalo. He served as a trustee of the Children's
Aid Society for a number of years, and has been a
managing director of the Queen City Society for
the Prevention of Cruelty to Children since its
organization in 18711. He has been connected with
the Wyoming Benevolent Institute as trustee and
secretary since 1S)S.'!.

A da m < 7t'ii\ born at Federal Stores , towi: of Chatham,
\ . Y. , Deeembei :.'..', 1S!O; was educated in common

a. HllCn was a Connecticut
boy, born in the delightful town of New
London, famous for its magnificent harbor
and historic associations. In his tenth
year he left his native New England,
and moved with his parents to New York
state. His studies, begun under a
Yankee schoolmaster, were continued at
Sinclairville, Chautauqua county, in the
select school of E. H. Sears, who sub-
sequently practiced law and became a
judge. From this school Mr. Allen
entered Fredonia Academy, and com-
pleted his education. In the meantime
he had taken up the study of law in the
office of Judge E. F. Warren. Like
many ambitious young men, he was
obliged to work his way in the world.
He taught school in the winter, and in
the summer assisted his father at home
while continuing his studies. He learned
thus to economize his time, and employ
profitably every hour of the day. His
career is an illustration of the fact that
any youth with an earnest ambition can
find opportunities to make himself the kind of man
he wishes to be.

In the fall of l-S.j'2 Mr. Allen entered the law
office of Welch & Hibbard of Buffalo as a student,
and when twenty-two years of age was admitted to
the bar, thus placing his foot on the first round
of the ladder that was to lead him to success and
prominence. He opened an office in Sinclairville,
and was so fortunate as to succeed to the law prac-
tice of Albert Richmond, newly elected surrogate
of Chautauqua county. The professional field, how-
ever, was limited, and Mr. Allen decided that a
city offered greater attractions in the way of legal
business. Accordingly, he settled in Buffalo in iMil.
where his practice h;is grown both in the number



of his clients and in the importance of his causes.
He has appeared before the highest courts of the
country, including the United States Supreme Court
at Washington. For three years of his professional
life Mr. Allen was associated in partnership with
Asher P. Nichols, once state comptroller.

Mr. Allen has so earnestly confined himself to
his office and his profession that he has never
figured in public life as either an office holder or
a candidate for office. His leisure outside his legal
studies has been devoted to literature. He is fond
of the Latin classics, has studied French, and is
conversant with its literature. He has also devoted
some time to the study of German literature,
through the translations of such masters as Carlyle.
Though not an author of books, Mr. Allen has
written many articles for the press, which have
appeared on the editorial pages of lead-
ing papers.

Above all things, however, Mr. Allen
is a student of the law, and is deeply
versed in its history and literature. Of
recent years his chief work has been
in connection with that intricate branch
of the profession relating to patents and
copyrights. Numerous cases of this class
have :aken him far and wide over the
United States. He has appeared before
United States courts at Portland, Boston,
New York, Albany, Utica, Detroit, Grand
Rapids, and Chicago. He argued the
first patent cause heard before Judge
Wallace after the latter' s appointment as
a judge of the United States Court, and
the last patent case ever decided by Judge
Blatchford of the United States Supreme
Court. Mr. Allen has been connected
with some of the most notable patent
cases tried in New York state. The cal-
'endars of the circuit courts attest his
prominence in the field of federal practice.
He is domestic in his tastes, delighting
in his family and in a choice circle of
friends and acquaintances.

James Albert Allen was born at New
London, Conn. , fanuai'v 19, 1834 w ' ( '- f
tdiicatcif in tlie common schools of New
London, a select .school at Sinclairrille,
N. Y., and at Fredonia (N. Y.) Aca/
emy ; 7iwv admitted to the bar in lS',i; practiced law
in Sinclairville, ISiJG-Gl ; married Jennie Pauline
Mack of Buffalo November ft, ISi;.' ; has practiced
larv in Buffalo since ISC I.

36CCl?Cr was not born in Buffalo, but
his long residence therein, his prominent part in the
business of the city, and his civic honors, have made
him one of the most prominent citizens of the place.
He was born at Oberotterbach, a town in Bavaria
on the river Rhine, in 1S3D. His early education
was obtained in local schools, in the classical school
of his native province, and in two years' study in
France. He came to the United States in 1<S47,
going directly to Buffalo from New York, via Albany
and the Erie canal. He first found employment in
Buffalo as a clerk in a grocery, at the very modest
salary of four dollars a month and board. He
brought to his employment the same energy and
determination to succeed that have characterized all
liis business life. Soon after reaching manhood he
opened a store of his own, only a few doors from his

I'llll. II' ItKCK'KK

present establishment, and founded the great business
that has been so long and favorably known to the
people of Buffalo under the name of Philip Becker
& Co.


The remarkable success that has attended Mr.
Becker's business career has not come by chance,
but has been the result of hard and intelligent work,
right living, and honest frugality. Mr. Becker's
acquaintance in Buffalo is probably as large as any
man's. While building up his own business he has
had many opportunities to lend a helping hand to
others, and the kindly way in which he has rendered
such aid has won for him a host of friends.

Online LibraryMoses KingThe men of New York: a collection of biographies and portraits of citizens of the Empire State prominent in business, professional, social, and political life during the last decade of the nineteenth century (Volume 1) → online text (page 28 of 69)