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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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upon both the piano and violin, as well
as a singer of taste. His genius in music
is creative, also, and he has been a pro-
lific composer of both vocal and instru-
mental music. He is well known in the
musical circles of Buffalo as an enthusi-
astic amateur and musical director, and
as the leader for seven years of the Men-
delssohn Club.

Among his other occupations Mr.
Koerner has frequently furnished to the
illustrated press vivid and pungent car-
toons upon local and general subjects. In
this line of work he is peculiarly happy.
He has strong opinions upon public af-
fairs, and his pencil treatment of them
is direct and striking. His manner of
drawing shows decided individuality,
and is instantly recognizable by those
who have once seen it. His cartooning
has been done con tinn-f, but should he
devote himself to it entirely, Mr. Koer-
ner would easily attain high rank among satiric pic-
ture teachers of the day. Almost as clever with his
pen as with his pencil. Mr. Koerner contributes
to the press pointed articles upon current topics,
which always show a grasp of the subject, and treat
it in an original and entertaining manner. His
numerous brochures and treatises on lithography,
discussing the subject in both its practical and its ab-
stract aspects, have been extensively copied, trans-
lated, and printed in this country and abroad.

As secretary and treasurer of the National Lithog-
raphers' Association for nearly a decade, he has ren-
dered invaluable services in behalf of his profession.
PERSONAL CHRONOLOGY Herman
Theodore Koerner was born at Brooklyn November



J/A'.V OF NEW YORK WESTERN SECTION



9, 1855 ; was educated in the public schools of that
city: moved to Buffalo in May, 1S7H, to take a posi-
tion as lithographer in the establishment of Cosack
&* Co.; married Georgia M. IVhite of Buffalo May
11, 1877 : has been a member of the Jinn now styled
Koerner & Hayes since August, 1881.



1b. %am\? is a true son of western
New York, and though he has wandered at times,
there he has found his greatest success in life. His
quiet, unassuming manners conceal executive ability
of a high order, and only to those who know him
best is his full worth revealed. He was born in the
old Lamy homestead at East Eden in Erie county,
where his grandfather, George Lamy, settled in 1829,
and where his father, Henry Lamy, died in 1895.
Mr. Lamy acquired a good common-school education
as a foundation for his battle with the
world, and was for a time a student at the
well-known Springville Academy. His
first venture in business life was made in
1S02, when he went to Buffalo and be-
came a clerk in a grocery. After remain-
ing in this position about a year, he saw
greater opportunities for advancement in
another direction, and turned his atten-
tion to the transportation industry on the
Great Lakes. He remained in this busi
ness for eight years, becoming in that
time the owner of one vessel and part
owner of another.

His ambition still unslaked, Mr. Lamy
resolved to go to that El Dorado, where,
according to Horace Greeley, fortune
awaited every man who would grow up
with the country. Mr. Lamy spent nearly
two years in the West, mostly on the
plains, and had many experiences of an
interesting character. He was present
at the driving of the golden spike that
marked the completion of the Union Pa-
cific railroad. But the West did not
have sufficient attractions to keep this
eastern-bred young man, and soon his
face was set in the direction of more
advanced civilization.

After returning to Buffalo he received
an appointment as a keeper in the Erie-
county penitentiary, managed at that
time by Charles E. Felton, who has
since become known as an expert penologist. Mr.
Lamy at once proved himself the possessor of those
qualities that are so necessary in one who is respon-
sible for the care and conduct of imprisoned men.



When Mr. Felton was called to a larger field, found
in the superintendency of the House of Correction at
Chicago, he induced his able assistant to accompany
him. Mr. Lamy was made chief keeper of that
important institution, and for eight years he filled
with entire success this trying and responsible
position.

A desire to return to Buffalo led Mr. Lamy to
accept the appointment of office deputy under Sheriff
W. W. Lawson after that official's election in 1880.
When Mr. Lawson was succeeded by Harry H. Koch,
at the end of three years, Mr. Lamy was retained in
his position ; and when Frank. T. Gilbert was elected
sheriff in 188(1, he recognized Mr. Lamy's fitness and
ability by promoting him to be under sheriff. This
position he filled also during the term of Oliver A.
Fenkins.




Mr. Lamy's long service in the sheriff's office had
qualified him in a marked degree for the head
position there, and in 1<S9'2 he received the Re-
publican nomination. 'This was a bad year for that



220



/;. V OF .\E\\' YORK WESTERN SECTION



party, however, and he went down with the rest
of the ticket. Two years later he was once
more his party's candidate, and was elected by
a solid majority of 13,299 votes in the county of
Erie a certain indication of his personal and
political popularity.




WILLIAM F. MACKEY

PERSONAL CHRONOLOGY George H.
Lamv n'as born at East Eden, Erie county, N. Y.,
March If), 184.6 ; attended district schools and
ville Academy ; went to Buffalo in 1863, and
in lake traffic, 1863-71 : was chief keener at the House
of Correction, ( '/u'uigo, 1871-79 : married Lana C.
Keller of North Boston, N. Y., April 16, 1874; wan
appointed office deputy l>\ the slieriff of Eric county in
/,S',W, and under sheriff in AS\W ; lias heen sheriff of
Erie county since fitiiunrv 1 . 1895.



William jf. /IDacftCV, like thousands of other

bright young men brought up in the smaller towns,
was attracted by the manifold advantages of a great
city, and in early manhood settled in Buffalo. In



the twelve years that he has spent there he has inter-
ested himself actively in public affairs, and has become
well known both in his profession and beyond it.

Mr. Mackey is a native of western New York,
and was born at Albion, Orleans county, late in the
'50's. His early education was obtained in the
private and public schools of his native
village. In IrS(ii) his parents moved to
Middleport, Niagara county, and he at-
tended the public schools there for three
years. Then he took a four years' course
at Lockport Union School, from which
he graduated in l!S7(i.

The legal profession possessed decided
attractions for the young man, and he
began at once to prepare himself for it,
entering the office of the well-known firm
of Ellsworth, Potter & Brundage in Lock-
port, as a student. When Judge Brun-
dage withdrew from the firm Mr. Mackey
continued his studies with him, and after
admission to the bar, in 187!), he re-
mained in the office as managing clerk.
He continued to fill this responsible po-
sition until iXS.'-j, when Judge Brundage
moved to Buffalo. For a short time Mr.
Mackey practiced alone at Lockport ; but
in 1SS4 he, too, yielded to the magnet-
like attraction of a large city, and moved
to Buffalo.

It requires no small amount of courage
and determination on the part of a young
lawyer to make a place for himself in his
profession without forming an alliance
with some older man whose reputation is
already established : and the difficulty
is considerably increased if the young
aspirant for fame and fortune be a stranger
in the community. But Mr. Mackey was
equal to the task before him, and for several years
he worked alone, with ever increasing success.
Finally, in 1890, he associated himself with John
C. Draper, Jr., under the firm name of Mackey &
Draper, and this partnership still continues.

Mr. Mackey's greatest interest outside his pro-
fession is in the domain of politics, so fascinating to
many lawyers. He has taken an active interest in
public affairs ever since he left school, and his party
has gladly availed itself of his services. Before he
left Lockport he was the Democratic candidate for
district attorney of Niagara county, but was defeated
with the rest of his ticket. Soon after his arrival
in Duffalo he took an active part in the formation
of the Cleveland Democracy. He was its president



.I/AW ()/' .VEir yORA'll'ES7'EA\\' SECTION



221



in 1887, 1888, and 1S91>, and has been especially
interested in the organization ever since. In is.ss
he was his party's candidate for the coveted position
of representative in congress, but was defeated by
John M. Farquhar by a majority of about lliOd.
In December, 1890, Mr. Mackey's devotion to the
Democratic cause was rewarded by an appointment
as assistant city attorney, and he held the position
for three years, until his election as assistant United
States attorney in liS!K>. This position he still
holds.

Mr. Mackey is not actively connected with the
many social and fraternal organizations of the day,
but finds in politics all the relaxation he needs
from the cares of his profession. He is a member
of Buffalo Lodge, No. '21, B. I'. (>. E.

PERSONAL CHR ONOL O G Y William
Fleming Matkev was born at Albion,
N. ] . , fannarv 3, 1858 ; graJtiaffi/ from
Lockport Union Seliool in IS ill ; was ad-
mitted to the bar in 1S7U : married Ella
L. Robinson of Cambria, N. Y., Novem-
ber 10, 1877 ; practiced law at Lockport,
N. Y., 187984 : was assistant city attor-
ney of Buffalo, 1890-0.3 ; lias been assist-
ant United States attorne\ since 18f)3,; has
practiced law in Buffalo since 1884-



p. /IDtller has long been
active in the business life of Buffalo.
His entire career has been devoted to
practical objects, and he has done much
to increase the material prosperity of his
native city. With the exception of a few
years' schooling, he is a self-educated
man. He began early the task of mak-
ing his own way in the world. Having
learned the machinist's trade in the Buf-
falo Steam Engine Works, he graduated
from the shop to the steamboat. He be-
came connected with the Western Trans-
portation Co., and fora time was assistant
engineer on one of their screw propel-
lers. Subsequently he was promoted and
made chief engineer of the steamer ' ' Free
State. ' ' Finally the company made him
chief engineer of its entire fleet. As a
practical engineer Mr. Miller rendered
most efficient service to the Transporta-
tion Co., and at the time of its dissolution
in 1884 he was holding the responsible position of su-
perintendent, and was also a director in the company.
In the following year Mr. Miller entered a new
field, in which he was also destined to achieve



success. He became secretary and treasurer and
managing director of the Citizens' Gas Co. of Buffalo.
He had been connected with this company as a
director ever since its organization in December,
1 s~.">. He has also extended his business relations
in several quarters. He is a director in the American
Exchange Bank and the Buffalo General Electric Co.
His practical mind was early attracted to the elec-
trical field, and in addition to the directorates men-
tioned he is president of the F. P. Little Electrical
( ''instruction & Supply Co. He also retains his
interest in lake commerce, and is a member of the
Lake Carriers' Association, as well as manager and
part owner of the Red Star line of steamers of
Buffalo. Mr. Miller was among the first engineers
to recognize the value and feasibility of compound
engines, and he introduced the first one of the kind on




PETER P. MIl.l.EK



the lakes in the case of the steamer " Susquehanna."

In politics Mr. Miller's affiliations are with the

Republican party, and in 1809 70 he represented the

4th ward in the common council. In recent years



.l/A'.V O/'



YORK WESTERN SECT/O.\'



increasing business (ares have caused him to take a
less active interest in public affairs so far as they
relate to politics ; but his convictions on questions
of the day are strong and well founded. Mr. Miller
is naturally of a retiring disposition, content with
doing his duty as it appears to him from day to day.



JAMES AfOOXEY

He is a man of unflinching courage and of quick
resolve, and displayed these qualities to great advan-
tage at the memorable burning of the American block
in January, ISO"). Three firemen had lost their
lives, and the conflagration threatened to spread and
become general. At this juncture Mr. Miller con-
cluded that heroic measures were needed, and with a
quantity of giant powder he entered and blew up the
structure, thus preventing the fire from spreading.
Mr. Miller is a prominent Free Mason, and is a
member of a number of lodges in Buffalo. He is
also a member of the Buffalo Club and of the
Merchants' Exchange.

PERSONAL CHRONOLOGY Peter Paul
^[lllcr ii<as burn at Buffalo Xo;'eml>er .'. /.s'.,'7 , ;,>,i<



educated in the f>nl>lic schools of tlic city ; learned the
machinist''!: trade, and became engineer on lake
steamers ; j;>cts superintendent of the Western Trans-
portation Co. , and a director in the company, 1860-84 '
/iiis been secretary, treasurer, and managing director of
the Citizens' Gas Co. since I88n.




has made his

name synonymous in Buffalo with enter-
prise, business energy, and public spirit.
He possesses a rare combination of tact
and push, and when once he has em-
barked on an undertaking knows no such
word as fail. He is of Celtic origin but
of American training ; and unites in
himself the suave but independent spirit
of his race with the shrewd and progres-
sive character of the native American.
As a young man he was dependent
largely on his own resources for success ;
but he was ambitious, and laid a founda-
tion of character and ability sufficiently
broad and stable to support subsequent
eminence and fortune.

Mr. Mooney took up his residence in
Buffalo about forty-six vears ago, and
received his education in the public
schools of that city. His early ambition
was to practice law, and lie began a
course of legal study in the office of the
late Charles D. Norton. But Mr. Mooney
soon concluded that his talents lay in
another field, and he put aside his law
books to engage in the real-estate busi-
ness. Few men in Buffalo have been
more fully identified with the develop-
ment of the city than he. At a time
when land improvement was hardly con-
ceived, he showed his faith in the destiny
of his adopted city by expending time, money, and
energy in reclaiming and laying out vast tracts of
realty that are now within the limits of the city.
Rare judgment and courage were required in such
undertakings, but the reward has been commensurate
with the outlay.

Mr. Mooney has long been an active factor in
public affairs. While not an office-seeker, he has
been called upon frequently to fill public positions
of trust and responsibility, and in every case he has
fulfilled the duties imposed upon him in a business-
like manner. He was one of the original park com-
missioners of Buffalo, and served in that capacity for
fifteen years. For five years he was one of the
commissioners of the State Reservation at Niagara



J/A'.Y ()/' .VA'/T YOKK'irESTEK<\~ SECTfOA'



Falls, and proved himself watchful of the public
interests, and conscientious in the discharge of his
duties. In 1891 he was appointed by Mayor Bishop
commissioner of public works, and this position he
still holds.

In recent years Mr. Mooney has devoted consider-
able attention to building, and in the grand structure
known as the Mooney-Brisbane building he has
reared a lasting monument, creditable alike to him-
self and to the city of Buffalo. He has not confined
his activities to mercantile lines. Causes appeal-
ing to his patriotism and his sense of justice have
ever found in him an ardent supporter and a cham-
pion. He was one of the leading spirits in the Irish
Land League of America, and was its president from
18X1 to the time of its consolidation with the Irish
National League. Loyalty to race and traditions
has ever been a characteristic of men of
Irish lineage, and this loyalty Mr. Mooney
possesses in a high degree. For all that,
his stanch Americanism is none the less
marked and active, and he is a fine
example of the true meaning of the ap-
pellation Irish-American loyal to his
native land, but true to the land of his
adoption.

PERSONAL CHRONOLOGY-
fames Moi>ne\ l was born in Queen' s County,
Ireland, and came to Buffalo in 185<> ; lews
educated in the public schools ; married
Ellen L. McRmfen of Rochester in /.v;.; .
has carried on a real-estate business at
Buffalo since I860 ; /ias been commis-
sioner of public works of the city of Buffalo
since



Charles 3. IrtOrtb is a fit repre-
sentative of the men who, from very
humble beginnings and without help,
work their way up to success and a place
of honor in the community. His early
years were passed in circumstances that
gave little hint of what the future was to
be. He was born on a farm far up in
Clinton county, in which all of his great-
grandparents had been pioneers. Per-
haps the best part of his inheritance con-
sisted of the qualities that he derived from
a long line of Puritan and Quaker an-
cestors, one of whom, George Soule, was
a signer of the "Compact" in the cabin of the
" Mayflower."

In the panic of 1857 Mr. North's parents were
reduced to distress ; and insufficient food, fuel, and



clothing made the winter one to be remembered.
He was at that time thrown upon his own resources.
His education was limited to what he had received
in the district school, and to attendance for two or
three winters at a private school, where he built the
fires, shoveled the snow, and swept the schoolrooms,
in payment for his tuition. However, he was an eager
reader; and by sitting up nights after his day's
work was done, and studying the few schoolbooks at
his command, he made up in part for the limitations
dcM ribed.

Thus meagerly prepared, the boy set out with a
stout heart to work his way upward. He earned his
living by laboring as a farm hand until the spring of
1873, when he went to Buffalo, a total stranger, with
a few hundred dollars, saved by the utmost denial,
as his total capital. Having found employment in




L



C//.IK1./ - S J. \ORTH



an insurance office, he quickly mastered the details
of the business, and secured the confidence of his
employers to such an extent that within a short time
he was promoted to the most responsible position in



224



.I/A". V OJ-' A 'A'/;' VORk'll'ESTEKN SECT/<>.\



the office. After that advancement was easy. In
1ST!) he succeeded his former employer in the busi-
ness, and two years later formed the insurance part-
nership of North & Vedder, which still continues.
His history since then has been one of steadily in-
creasing prosperity.

The guiding purpose of Mr. North's life has been,
not to "serve selfish ends, but to be of use to the
world. He has never held nor sought office, but
has always endeavored to do his duty in a quiet way
as a citi/en, in everything advancing the public
o-ood. He was an original member of the Buffalo
Republican League, was one of six supporters to
promise it the necessary financial backing when a
permanent organization was planned, and served for
two terms as vice president and chairman of the
executive committee. He has been vice president
of the Buffalo Association of Fire Underwriters, is a
director of the Homestead Savings and Loan Asso-
ciation, and a director of the Exchange Elevator Co.
He is treasurer of the First Presbyterian Church
Society, a director of the Oakfield Club, a coun-
cilor of the Buffalo Historical Society, and a mem-
ber of various other societies and institutions of a
semi-public nature. He is especially interested in
the study of colonial history and genealogy. He is a
member of the Sons of the American Revolution, and
of the New England Historical Genealogical Society.

PERSONAL CHRONOLOGY Charles Jack-
son North was born at Chazy, Clinton county, N. Y.,
May 13, 184-7 ; was educated at the district school,
with a few terms in a private school ; worked as a
farmhand, /.W .'-73; was a clerk in an insurance
office in Buffalo, 1873-79 ; married Dora C. Briggs
of Buffalo June 30, 1881 ; has carried on an insur-
ance business since 1SH>, and since 1881 has been a
member of the firm of North & Vedder.



5ames sborne Putnam has a lineage

consistent with and prophetic of his own splendid
career. His earliest American ancestor was John
Putnam, who came from England in 1634 and settled
in Salem, Mass. The family prospered from the
beginning, soon acquiring large landed property in
Salem, and taking an important part in the affairs of
Massachusetts Bay. The branch of the family with
which we are immediately concerned moved to Ver-
mont in colonial times, and Mr. Putnam's father was
born in Brattleboro. He joined the westward pro-
cession, and settled in Attica, N. Y., in 1*17.
There James (). Putnam was born the next year, on
Independence Day.

After studying at Hamilton College in 1834-.">.">,
Mr. Putnam entered, as a junior, the Yale (lass of



IS.'lil, first absenting himself a year from college on
account of ill health. He then entered upon the
study of law in his father's office. Harvey Putnam
was himself a distinguished man, serving for many
years in the state senate and the national house of
representatives ; and his son could hardly have found,
especially in those days of inefficient law schools, a
better guide along the difficult road to legal learning.
\Yilh such advantages of tuition, Mr. Putnam easily
obtained admission to the bar in 1842. He then
moved to Buffalo and began practice at once. In
the early years of his professional work he devoted a
good deal of attention to railroad interests, which
were already beginning to have an important place
in the economic conditions of the country. In 1S44
he became secretary and treasurer, and in 184(1
attorney and counselor, of the Attica & Buffalo and
Buffalo & Rochester railroad companies. These
positions he retained until the consolidation of the
companies with the New York Central railroad.

Comparatively early in life Mr. Putnam became
prominent in public affairs, and he had not lived
long in Buffalo before his pre-eminent fitness for
positions of trust was recognized. In 1X51 he was
appointed postmaster of the city by President
Fillmore, and held the office through the administra-
tion. In 1853 he was elected state senator, and
attained national fame by his speeches in the legisla-
ture. His most notable work in that body was the
authorship of a bill requiring the title of church real
property to be vested in trustees. A serious con-
troversy had arisen between the bishops of the Roman
church, who contended that the title to every church
estate should be vested in the bishop of the diocese,
and certain congregations, particularly that of St.
Louis of Buffalo, which insisted upon independence
in their temporalities. The issue thus raised vitally-
affected the principles of religious freedom, and
intense interest was taken throughout the country in
the result of the controversy. It is not too much to
say that Mr. Putnam's speech of January 30, 1855,
in the New York state senate led to the almost
unanimous passage of his bill by the legislature.
The speech was a model of resistless logic, and was
delivered with burning eloquence. It was read
everywhere, and the orator acquired fame in a night
from one end of the country to the other.

Mr. Putnam was in those days a conservative
Whig. He went further, however, than that branch
of his party in his opposition to slavery ; and some
of his most powerful speeches concerned the " irre-
pressible conflict." He was at one time identified
with the American party, and he was its candidate
for the office of secretary of state in l,s,~>7. In 1S(J()



MEX Of A'Ell' YORK WESTERN SEC7'/(>.\



he was one of the two Lincoln presidential electors
at large for New York state.

Throughout the war Mr. Putnam was consul at
Havre, France, having been sent thither by President
Lincoln in 1861. Paris was a rallying-point for
loyal Americans on the continent, and Mr. Putnam
was frequently called to the capital on
national anniversaries and other patri-
otic occasions. He wrote the address of
American citizens abroad to their govern-
ment at the time of Lincoln's assassin-
ation. He delivered a notable oration
in Paris on Washington's Birthday, 18(!(i.



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 33 of 69)