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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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trade. In the same manner he mounted step by step
through all the different departments until in Janu-
ary, ISSli, he was admitted to partnership in the
concern ; his brother, William F. Wendt,
having a few years previously acquired
entire ownership and control of the
business.

The association was a most fortunate
one, as has been proved by the con-
tinued prosperity and the steady enlarge-
ment of the concern. The important
place that it occupies to-day in the man-
ufacturing world is due in no small
part to Mr. Wendt's thorough practical
knowledge of the mechanical and en-
gineering parts of the business, and to
the faculty for going to the bottom of
things, which was so marked a charac-
teristic when he was a mere lad. His
wide experience in designing, and in the
practical installation of some of the
largest heating and ventilating plants in
the country, supplemented by his natural
mechanical ability, has gained for him a
standing in the foremost rank of heating
and ventilating engineers ; and there is,
perhaps, no one to-day whose advice on
weighty matters in this line is more fre-
quently in requisition, or whose stand-
ing as an authority is more widely
recogni/.ed.

Of a sanguine temperament and a
naturally genial disposition, Mr. Wendt
has the power, so common to self-made
men, of inspiring in his subordinates
some portion of his own enthusiasm, and
comprehensive grasp of mechanical problems : the
result is, that he is surrounded by a corps of engi-
neers whose loyalty to, and unquestioned faith in,
their employers has contributed very materially to
the success of the firm. Their uninterrupted pros-
perity, which has suffered no check in good or bad
times, and their reputation for being always fully
abreast with the latest developments in engineering
science and improved processes of manufacturing,
are due in no small degree to his personal influence.
As consulting engineer in the larger and more
important work engaged in by his firm, Mr. Wendt
travels considerably and enjoys an enviable acquaint-
ance among scientists and engineers at home and
abroad. In the field of invention he has made



MEN OF NEW YORK WESTERN SECTIOX



449



a considerable mark, several patents having been
granted him for improvements in various lines of
engineering.

Although enjoying a wide acquaintance among
public men, with whom he comes in contact almost
daily in his own city and elsewhere, he has never
allowed his name to be used in connection with a
public office. He is a member of the board of trus-
tees of the Buffalo Builders' Exchange, and promi-
nent in Masonic circles.

PERSONAL CHRONOLOGY Henry W.
Wendt was born at Buffalo June 19, 1863 ; was
educated in Buffalo public schools ; learned the ma-
chinist'' 's trade with the Buffalo Forge Co., and has
been a member of the corporation since 1SS6.



(I. X6C XlbCll, well known among the younger
business men of Buffalo, was born in that
city about forty years ago. For several
generations his family has been promi-
nent in western New York, his grand-
father, Thomas G. Abell, having moved
from Vermont to Fredonia in 1814. He
was one of the foremost men of the
place, as was his brother Mosely ; and
had an important part in the develop-
ment of Chautauqua county. In com-
pany with two others, Thomas Abell
established in 1829 a line of stagecoaches
between Buffalo and Erie ; and he is said
to have made the first stagecoach in the
country. He was one of the founders
of Fredonia Academy. He moved to
Buffalo in 1852, and died there five
years later. His son, William H. Abell,
the father of our present subject, was
also a prominent man. Born in Ver-
mont in 1814, he was taken West during
infancy ; graduated from Fredonia Acad-
emy ; lived in Austin, Texas, during the
years 1839-42, holding several important
public offices there ; and spent the rest
of his life in Buffalo in various success-
ful commercial pursuits. He died there
in 1887.

Mr. Abell's maternal grandfather, Oli-
ver Lee, was a native of Connecticut,
but moved to western New York in early
life. He took a prominent part in the
operations on the Niagara frontier during
the war of 1812, and afterward engaged extensively
in lake commerce and in other mercantile pursuits.
He was a man of strict integrity and unusual business
ability ; and throughout his career enjoyed the



confidence and esteem of a large circle of friends.
At the time of his death in 1846 he was president
of the Attica & Buffalo railroad, and of Oliver Lee
& Co.'s Bank, Buffalo. This latter institution was
founded by him, and conducted successfully for 'a
number of years.

C. Lee Abell began his active business career at
the age of sixteen in the office of a wholesale coal
dealer in Buffalo, with whom he remained for about
four years. The next few years were devoted to
various clerkships in Buffalo, and two years' service
in Bradford, Penn., with the United Pipe Lines.
After the burning of the Marine elevator in 1879,
he formed a partnership with his father and Daniel
O'Day for the purpose of building and operating
the new Marine elevator. This purpose was effected
in 1881, and the business was successfully conducted




f. LEE ABELL



as a partnership until 1894. At that time the
elevator was enlarged, and the business was trans-
ferred to a stock company of which Mr. Abell was
made president and manager. The Marine elevator



4oO



MEN OF NEW YORK WESTERN SECTION



handles easily 20,000 bushels of grain an hour, and
stores at one time 700,000 bushels. This business
is Mr. Abell's chief commercial interest ; but the
care of his father's estate devolves largely upon
him. and requires a part of his time and attention.




ROBERT /". ATK1XS

As for personal matters, mention should be made
<>f Mr. Abell's long and distinguished career in the
National Guard. Beginning as a private and a
charter member of the Buffalo City Guard Cadets,
he served successfully as sergeant, second lieutenant,
and first lieutenant. He was elected captain of
company C, 74th regiment, October 3, 1881 ; and
became major in July, 1891, and lieutenant colonel
the next year. He resigned from the National
(luard in .April, 1S1I4. He is a .'!_M degree Mason,
belonging to Buffalo Consistory, A. A. S. R., and
to Hugh de Payens Commandery, No. .'!(), K. 'I',
lli has membership, also, in various other fraternal
organi/iitioiis. He 1ms been an active force in the
Democratic party for many years, attaining special dis-
tinction in connection with the Cleveland Demon. 1 . \



PERSONAL CHR ONOL OGY Charles Lee
Ahdl fiw.v born at Buffalo October 4, 1S~><; ; held
various clerkships in Buffalo and Bradford, /'enii. ,
/.v/' .'-SO ; married Emma L. Farthing of Buffalo
Miireh 25, 1880; was a member of t/ic j\\itiona/
Guard in Buffalo, 18S1-94 ; has been
manager and part owner of the Marine
elevator, Buffalo, since 1881.



IRObCrt Jf. HtfeiltS was born in
London, England, sixty years ago, but
has made his home in Buffalo ever since
his fifteenth year. He was educated at
Knox's College, Toronto, and afterward
attended Bryant & Stratton's I'.usiness
College in Buffalo. He then obtained a
situation in an undertaker's establishment
in Buffalo, and this vocation he followed
until 1-SII1.

When the war broke out it found Gen-
eral Atkins with a wife and two small
children, and a newly established busi-
ness that needed his attention. He gave
up all his personal interests, however,
and at once prepared to go to the de-
fense of his country. He probably
shared the general belief at that time
that the struggle would be a short one ;
but having once set out, he never fal-
tered, but remained in active service
until the last rebel company had laid
down their arms. In April, 1<S(>1, he
helped to organize a company from tin-
ranks of the volunteer fire department of
Buffalo, and was elected its first lieuten-
ant. They presented themselves for duty
in New York two months later, and were
temporarily stationed at Castle Garden.
When Colonel Cochran's regiment, the 1st United
States chasseurs, was organized, General Atkins
received an appointment as third sergeant of com-
pany B. The regiment was assigned to General
Graham's brigade, Couch's division, 4th corps;
and was in active service at Ball's Bluff, Wil-
liamsburgh, Yorktown, Fair Oaks, and Seven Pines.
In the latter engagement Sergeant Atkins was
wounded, and sent home on furlough ; and while
there he was promoted to the rank of first lieu-
tenant, and assigned to company C, the color com-
pany of the 116th New York volunteers, of which
Colonel Chapin was the heroic commander. The
regiment served with General Banks in Louisiana, and
Lieutenant Atkins acted as brigade quartermaster and
romiitissnry on the st-ilfol I'.rigadier General Chapin



ME.\ OF A'EJI'



SECTION



4.M



throughout the campaign, and in the engagements
of Baton Rouge, Plains Stone, Coxe's Plantation,
and the siege of Port Hudson. During this cam-
paign he was advanced to the captaincy of his com-
pany ; and in August, 1863, he was made lieutenant
colonel in the l.Sth United States infantry, and
appointed to the board of examiners of officers for
United States troops, with headquarters at Port Hud-
son. In the examination for this position Colonel
Atkins stood first among a large number of officers,
and was assigned as commanding officer of the 4th
United States engineers at Fort Brashear. He was
mustered out at New Orleans in September, 1865,
and in 1868 received a brevet commission as colonel,
for meritorious service.

Returning to Buffalo in 1865 after an absence of
nearly four and a half years, General Atkins became
local editor of the Evening Post, and in
1870 paymaster of the Anchor line of
steamboats. In 1877 he took up again
his former business, and he has long
been known as one of the leading under-
takers of Buffalo. He was president of
the New York State Undertakers' Asso-
ciation in 1881 and 1882 ; and took an
active part in the formation at Rochester,
fourteen years ago, of the National Un-
dertakers' Association, and was elected a
delegate to the first convention of the
association.

General Atkins has been actively in-
terested in the Grand Army of the
Republic from the time of its organiza-
tion, and has five times been elected
commander of Chapin Post, No. 2, of
Buffalo. He is also a member of the
Union Veteran Legion, as well as a
number of other societies military,
patriotic, and fraternal. He takes spe-
cial interest in the Independent Order
of Odd Fellows, and has been an active
worker in that organization for many
years. He was the first department
commander of the Patriarchs Militant of
the Empire State, and derived his title
of brigadier general from that position.
He increased the number of Cantons in
the state from seventeen to twenty-six,
and Canton Persch, No. 26, of Buffalo,
was mustered in by him. He belongs
to Canton Buffalo, No. 5, and was its first cap-
tain. He was for two years president of the Odd
Fellows' Club of Buffalo. He is a member of
the English Lutheran Trinity Church, and is the



only American member of the order of the Haru-
gari in this country.

PERSONAL CHRONOLOGY Robert For-
syth Atkins was born at London, Eng., February 24,
18-37; was educated at Knox 1 s College, Toronto, and
Bryant & Stratton' s Business College, Buffalo; mar-
ried Susan E. \\~lieeler of Buffalo June 24, 1857 ;
served in the Union arm\, 186165 ; was local edi-
tor of the " Evening Post," 186669, and paymaster
of the Anchor line of steamers, 1870-76 : was Com-
mander of the Patriarchs Militant of the Empire State
in 1886 ; has conducted an undertaking establishment
in Buffalo since 1877.



William 1fo. 38raJ>iSb was born in Wayne
county, New York, about forty years ago ; but his
parents moved to Batavia when he was only two




\\7LLfA.\f H. BRA nisi I

years old, and there he obtained his education and
his early business experience. Having graduated
from the Batavia High School, he served for n time
as recorder in the office of the county clerk of



452



MEN OF NEW YORK WESTERN SECTION



Genesee county, and was afterward employed by his
father, who owned a large wood and iron working
establishment in Batavia. In 1877 he went into the
newspaper business, establishing with Malcolm D.
Mix the Batavia Daily JVews. When this enterprise
was well under way he sold out his interest therein,




flKONSUX ('. K

and sought a wider field of activity in the neighbor-
ing city of Buffalo.

Notwithstanding his varied experience, Mr.
Bradish was but twenty-three years old when he
began his residence in the Queen City. His first
employment was that of stenographer for Sprague,
Milbnrn <\: Sprague, one of the leading law firms of
the city, with whom he remained for four years. He
then acted as superintendent of the Gilbert starch
works at I'lack Rock for a time. Subsequently he
was coniiei ted with the firm of Bell, Lewis \:
Yates, coal dealers, and with Richard Humphrey,
a Hour and feed merchant at Black Rock. For
several years past Mr. Bradish has carried on an
insurance office and a brokerage business in real




estate and mining stocks, and in this he has been
wholly successful.

Mr. Bradish is an earnest Republican in political
belief, and has interested himself actively in public
affairs for many years. In 1892 he was his party's
candidate for alderman in the 25th ward, and his
popularity was so great that he was
elected although the district is usually
strongly Democratic. Two years later
he was re-elected by a largely increased
majority, and in 1896 he occupied the
important position of president of the
board of aldermen.

For eleven years Mr. Bradish was
prominently connected with the National
Guard, serving most of the time in the
74th regiment. He was for a time
first lieutenant of company B, Spaulding
Guards ; and afterward first lieutenant
and captain of company A. He was also
elected president of company D, Buffalo
City Guard, comprising the old company
D, the Gordon Highlanders, and the
mounted Buffalo City Troopers. When
he retired from the National Guard he
held the rank of major on the staff of
General William F. Rogers.

Ever since his early newspaper experi-
ence in Batavia Mr. Bradish has been
more or less interested in the publishing
business, and in general newspaper work.
He acted for a time as manager of the
Black Rock Publishing Co., and he has
clone occasional work for different papers
as a correspondent. He attends the Pres-
byterian church, and belongs to a number
of clubs and other organizations. He is a
member of Occidental Lodge, No. 766,
F. & A. M. ; North Buffalo Lodge, No.
51 7,1.0. O. F. ; and Black Rock Court, I. O. F. 1 1 is
clubs are the Acacia (Masonic), the Fraternity ( < )dd
Fellows), and the Audubon, an association devoted to
hunting, fishing, and shooting, and maintaining a well
equipped shooting park. He is a prominent member
of the Black Rock Business Men's Association.

PERSONAL CHR ONOL O G Y U'il/iam
Ilaniiltiin Brai/ish 7C'its born at Lyons, N. Y., April 7 ,
IS.'iil ; 7i 'its educated in Batavia public schools ; engaged
in various business enterprises in Batavia, 18"!(t~,!>;
married Li>nise H. Reichcrt of Buffalo April 26,
/.V.v; , -fits an alderman from the 25th ward, Buffalo,
1803-07, and president of the board of aldermen in
iS'.n; : has lived in Buffalo since 187 f), and has con-
ducted a brokerage and insurance business since 1SH .'.



MKN OF NEW YORK' WESTERN SECTION



453



JSCimCtt, president of the Buffalo
Savings Bank, was born in the Queen City seventy
years ago, and has spent almost all his life there.
He was just twenty-one when the California gold
fever of 1848 broke out ; and, with the enthusiasm
of youth, he at once set out for the new El Dorado.

Returning to Buffalo' after a year's absence, Mr.
Bennett soon established a reputation as one of that
city's most trustworthy men of affairs. In 1877 he was
elected a trustee of the Buffalo Savings Bank. In
August, 1890, he was elected its first vice president ;
and in October, 1893, on the death of Warren
Bryant, the president, Mr. Bennett succeeded to
that office. The Buffalo Savings Bank was estab-
lished in 1846, and is therefore the oldest institu-
tion of its kind in Buffalo.

When the revised charter of the city was adopted
in 1853, enlarging its boundaries to in-
clude the village of Black Rock, and
increasing the number of wards to thir-
teen, Mr. Bennett was elected one of two
aldermen from the 5th ward, and re-
tained his seat in the common council
by re-election for four years. In 1872
Mayor Brush appointed him a member
of the board of park commissioners,
and he held the office for sixteen years
by successive reappointments from dif-
erent mayors. In 1877 he was nomi-
nated by the Workingmen's party for
mayor of Buffalo, and the nomination
was endorsed by the Tax Payers' Asso-
ciation.

Mr. Bennett is a member of the Buf-
falo Club and of the Orpheus Singing
Society. He has been a trustee of the
Charity Organization Society of Buffalo
ever since its early days, and has taken
an active interest in its work of super-
vising and regulating the charities of
the city.

PERSONAL CHR ONOL O G Y -
Edward Bennett was born at Buffalo
February 21, 1S.-T ; received an academic
education ; was <! clerk in a dry-goods
store, 18^1-JfS : en^a^ed in //lining ami
iilher enterprises in California, IS 48-40,
and in the real-estate business in Uiiffa/o,
IS.'iO-f>", ; married <\fcirv Josephine Osier-
Aitchinlcck October 19, 1S8~> : was an
ii/ili-riiian from tlie 5fh ward, Buffalo, 1854-57,
and a park commissioner, 1872-88 ; has been
president of the Buffalo Savings Bank since October,
1893.



TKH. JBrilSb, editor of the North Tona-
wanda Daily News, is a native of Ohio, and made
his home there until his removal to western New
York in 1894. Born in Nelson, Portage county, in
1865, he began his education in the public schools
at an early age ; and entered Mt. Union College
when only thirteen years old. He took a classical
course there that lasted two years ; but left college
in his sophomore year, and began to make his own
way in the world.

Mr. Brush has been connected from the first with
the printing and publishing business, and though
little more than thirty years of age, his experience
therein extends over a period of fifteen years or more.
He learned the printer's trade in the office of John
G. Garrison, publisher of the Alliance (Ohio) Weekly
Standard ; and at the age of eighteen purchased a




i-:n\\-.\un /:/:. Y.VETT



job-printing office in Alliance, and began to work
for himself. In 1SS7 he formed a partnership with
his former employer, Mr. Garrison of the Standard ;
and the next year he organized a stock company



l.M



OF NEW YORK WESTERN SECTION



with a capital of $16,000, for the purpose of purchas-
ing the two Republican papers of the place, the
Review and the Standard. He became manager of
the company, and conducted it for about six years
with much success. The same year the company
was organized he began the publication of a daily





// \RLA.\ II . BRUSH

paper called the Daily Review, which became, under
his vigorous management, a prosperous and well
conducted publication.

In December, 1894, Mr. Brush sold out his inter-
ests in Ohio, and moved to North Tonawanda, where
he purchased the Daily News, which he has edited
and published ever since. During this time the
place has developed from a village into a city which
is growing rapidly, and which presents unusual evi-
dences of material prosperity. So thriving a com-
munity offers an excellent field for a newspaper
man of energy and ability such as Mr. Brush has
proved himself to be, and he may be- counted on
to make the Tonawanda News a power in the
Lumber City.



Politically Mr. Brush's sympathies have always
been with the Republicans, and he has long been an
active and efficient party worker. During his resi-
dence in Alliance he served for a time as secretary
of the Republican committee there. Since moving
to Tonawanda he has taken a prominent part in
public affairs ; and in the fall of 1897
he received an appointment as United
States consul at Clifton, Ont., a posi-
tion that he will doubtless fill with entire
credit.

Aside from his newspaper business Mr.
Brush has been actively interested in
several manufacturing enterprises, and
has become thoroughly identified with
the general life of the community. He
attends the Methodist Episcopal church,
and is a member of the Alpha Tau Omega
college fraternity.

PERSONAL CHRONOLOGY -
Harlan W. Brush was born at Nelson,
O. , May 27, 1865 ; was educated at com-
mon schools and Mt. Union (O.) College ;
learned the printer s trade at Alliance, O.,
1880-85 ; married Annetta Hamilton of
Emlenton, Pain., May 16, 1888; con-
ducted a job-printing office in Alliance,
1885-87, and published a newspaper
there, 1887-94 ; was appointed United
States consul at Clifton, On/., in 1897 ;
has been proprietor and editor of the North
Tonawanda ''Daily News" since De-
cember, 1894.



Carl Hburston Chester has

practiced at the Buffalo bar for fifteen
years, and is well known in the profes-
sional and general life of the Queen
City. Born in Connecticut forty-odd
years ago, he spent his childhood and youth there,
moving to Buffalo at the age of sixteen. He had
already received an excellent fundamental educa-
tion in the public schools of his native state,
ending with several years' attendance at the Norwich
Free Academy ; and he finished his preparation for
college in the Buffalo Classical School under Profes-
sor Horace Briggs. He returned to Connecticut to
complete his education, entering Yale College in
1*71, and graduating therefrom four years later
with the degree of A. B. He took a high stand
in scholarship from the first, and won distinction
throughout his course. He received the Junior
Exhibition prize and the He Forest medal, the two
highest prizes in literature and oratory in the gift



MEN OF NE\r YORK \VESTERX SECTION



455



of the university ; and he was chairman of the
board of editors of the Yale Literary Magazine.

Mr. Chester determined to follow the law as a
profession, and he spent two years in New York
at the Columbia Law School immediately after
leaving college, graduating in 1877 with the degree
of LL. B. He then became managing clerk in the
office of Bowen, Rogers & Locke, one of the most
prominent law firms in Buffalo. He remained there
for several years, receiving thus an excellent train-
ing in the practical work of a busy office, and gain-
ing experience that has been invaluable to him
since. After an interval of about a year spent in
European travel, Mr. Chester in 1882 opened an
office in Buffalo on his own account. His success
was marked from the beginning, and proves the
value of thorough preparation for such a career.
Large and important as is the clientage
he has built up, it is the result of his
individual effort ; for he has steadily re-
fused all offers of partnership associa-
tions, preferring to control the entire
business of his office with the aid of an
able staff of assistants. Though he has
devoted himself to general practice, not
making a specialty of any particular
branch of the law, he has become widely
known as the counsel for large estates,
corporations, and business houses.

Mr. Chester's sound and accurate
learning in the law was recognized in
the early years of his professional life by
his appointment as a member of the
faculty of the Buffalo Law School soon
after its organization in 1887. He has
retained his connection with this institu-
tion ever since ; and is at present pro-
fessor of the law of insurance, wills,
special actions, etc. Since 1882 he has
been the secretary and attorney of the
Buffalo Orphan Asylum ; and for upwards
of ten years he has acted as secretary
and treasurer of the board of trustees of
the City and County Hall.

In the social life of Buffalo Mr. Ches-
ter Is well known, and he is especially
popular in club circles. He belongs to
the Buffalo, Saturn, and University chilis,
and to the Yale Alumni and I). K. E.
associations of western New York. He
served for two terms as president of the Saturn Club,
and is a member of the council of the University Club.

PERSONAL CHRONOLOGY Carl Tlwrs-
ton Chester was horn at Norwich, Conn., August /,



1853; graduate^ from Yale College in 1875, and



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 67 of 69)