Samuel W Durant.

History of Oneida County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers online

. (page 97 of 192)
Online LibrarySamuel W DurantHistory of Oneida County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 97 of 192)
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of the State, and upon which, partially at his own expense,
he has erected very fine and almost palatial accommoda-
tions for the convenience and comfort of friends during in-
clement weather on burial occasions.

Following the footsteps of his father (one of the first
members of Trinity Church), he is identified with church
and other kindred interests tending to educate and elevate
the rising generation. He has been a director in the First

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National Bank of Utica for many years, and was treasurer
of the Bistop's fund for the diocese of Western New York
for fourteen years under Bishops De Laneey, Cox, and

In politics he has never taken an active part, and has
always declined any political preferment or publicity, and
although identified with the Republican party, has not been
zealously partisan when he conceived right measures repre-
sented by men of integrity of the opposition. Mr. Hopper
is a man of great consideration, candor, and integrity of
purpose, and has spent an active business life.


is a man of marked and distinguishing traits of character,
allied in business of wide extent and almost universal neces-
sity, who has passed in Utica long years of continuous and
well-rewarded endeavor, and in the course of his life has
been a leader in most of the undertakings of the place. He
was a native of Conway, Mass., born in the year 1792 or
1794, Jan. 10, and came to the village of Utica to reside-
in 1812, although he had previous to that time lived in the
vicinity. In 1813 he obtained a position as driver on the
stage, and held the reins of a four-in-hand every day until
1817, except for the space of six months, which time was
spent in the school at Clinton. And though after this time-
it was only now and then that he mounted the box, yet such
was his acknowledged skill as a reins-man, that on occasions
of ceremony, or when something extraordinary was required,
he was the one that was usually selected as most competent?
to do honor to the service. One of the Wost satisfactory
remembrances of his life in this direction is the one-that
recalls the visit of Lafayette in 1825) when with six dash-
ing grays and the old Van Rensselaei* carriage he drove to'
Whitestown, where the distinguished- ''guest was to be re-:
ceived. A second, when between iQi<Jttight Sad early bed-'
time the following night, with frerfi'relayfecjf horses, he;
made the trip to Albany, carrying six of "Ulveay hgliotedi
citizens, — James Piatt, Richard R. Lansing, Joh'n H.^Os-E
trom, Charles P. Kirkland, Joseph S. Porter, and William
Williams, arriving at that city before the opening of the
Legislature ; and returning, completing by going to New
Hartford, a distance of some two hundred miles, in less than
twelve hours. A solitary, but not less exciting, ride of
those early times was his well-planned and self-executed,
and almost unparalleled swiftness and courage, in overtaking
and the capture of a thief in the pine-woods, above Troy, the
particulars of which are given by Dr. Bagg, in his " Pio-
neer History of Utica," and very full details of Mr. Faxton's
early life. In the year 1822 he became a partner with Mr.
Childs, in the firm of Parker & Co., in the conveyance of
passengers and goods between Utica and Albany, which at
that time was a large and important business, there being
subsequently eight daily lines of stages running east and
west through Utica, besides four lines running north and
south, with the departure and arrival of eighty-four stages
daily. This vast and increasing transport the firm con-
tinued for ten years after the death of the senior partner,
Mr. Parker, and down to the year 1838. This firm erected
the Exchange building, on the site of the old Canal Coffee-
House, and held real estate in common.

Mr. Faxton was associated with Hiram Greenman and
John Butterfield in running packet-boats on the canal, after
its completion. In connection with Alfred Munson and
others he organized the first line of steamers that ran on
Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence, and continued for a
number of years to be one of its managing directors. He
was one of the originators of the Utica and Black River
Railroad. Gave the first one hundred dollars to found the
Utica Mechanics' Association, and held the presidency of
that organization for several years. With Willett H.
Shearman and Anson Dart, he was one of the commis-
sioners who, in 1843, completed the erection of the State
Lunatic Asylum at Utica, the first board having been dis-
missed when Mr. Seward became Governor, after they had
laid only the foundations.

In 1852 he was chairman of the committee who super-
intended the erection of the present edifice of the First
Presbyterian Church. Mr. Faxton was one of the origina-
tors of the water-works company, the Utica Steam Cotton-
Mills, the Globe Woolen- Mills, of which he is now presi-
dent, and the Second National Bank, over whose affairs he
has presided ever since its organization.

In 1845, he, not content to wonder at a distance of the
success of the achievements of the telegraph line laid
between Baltimore and Washington, after an examination
of.-^he same;' united with Hiram Greenman, John Butter-
field, ;andi'6thefs, and formed a company, with a capital of
$2.00,000; wKeh laid down the first wire between New
York- and Buffalo; - He was chosen president and super-
inteiident,-;and tsohtimied;in that capacity for seven years,
and made it u comi^efce success by using the iron instead
of the'eopper wire.'""l ■ ' ■ ;■;' '

Me Faxtoni never fook a. very active part in politics, but
w-as of&n' called- to positions ;of' hbnor and trust. He was
lifasfee of the village of Utica, 1831, alderman in 1836,
afldirnayor- in' 1864;. He was a delegate to the National
Whig. Convention which nominated Zachary Taylor, in
1848,' and was also sheriff of the county in 1842. Hold-
ing the office only a few weeks, he was displaced by the in-
coming Governor, William C. Bouck, for political reasons

In addition to the stage, packet,"steamboat, railroad, and
telegraph lines, banks, manufactories, and other enterprises*
that have added wealth and prosperity to Utica, Mr. Faxton
has three other monuments that will perpetuate his name
and add honor and blessings to his memory, — the Old
Ladies' Home on Faxton Street, Faxton Hall, at the junc-
tion of Varick and Court Streets, for the education of the
children of factory operatives by day and night, and Faxton
Hospital, a splendid institution recently opened.

Mr. Faxton is a gentleman of marked sociability, of great
kindness of heart, of strict integrity of purpose in. all his
business transactions, and in his advanced age still holds, as
he always has, the respect and confidence of all who know


was born in Brookfield, N. Y., June 3, 1801. He was
a son of Benjamin Greenman and Eunice Billings, — both
natives of Massachusetts. Prior to coming of age he pur-
chased his time of his father, and with that resolution and



indefatigable perseverance which characterized his subse-
quent career, he began business life for himself.

We first find him as a common laborer on the canal,
afterwards steward of a packet-boat, and subsequently a
captain and owner of a boat, and for many years carried on
extensively the forwarding business, being largely interested
in the stock of one of the boat companies wherein the
bulk of his property was made. He was among the fore-
most in all public undertakings, had a share in steamboats
on Lake Ontario and in the earlier telegraph lines, pos-
sessed a remarkable degree of enterprise and energy, and
practically knew not the meaning of the word fail. As
a friend he was frank, generous, and true. As a neighbor
he never tired of doing good offices, as to watch with the
sick and to comfort the afflicted.

Whatever he turned his hand to, whether for the. ad-
vancement of his own fortunes, the interests of his friends,'
or the promotion of the public good, was sure to succeed.

For seven years he was the victim of a fearful malady,
against which he bore up with indomitable spirit. This was
a cancer that in the end destroyed the whole of one side of
his face and took away his life on the 11th of November,

His genuine pluck is well illustrated by the experience
of a neighbor who, having the previous night overheard
the sufferer groaning with pain as he walked ujrand.down
the sidewalk, accosted him in the morning with t-heJ inquiry,
" How are you. Captain Greenman ?" , .Tb which the litter,
with a cheerful smile, replied, " First-rate, I thank youi"
It is by such men that the material interests, of com-
munities are fostered, the means • of .intercommunication
brought into being, and towns and cities sustained. Captain
Greenman was a liberal supporter of church and kindred
interests, and for many years previous to his death a mem-
ber of Trinity Church, Utica.

Fifteen months previous to coming to Utica, and in
the year 1823, Feb. 15, he was married to Miss Sarah,
daughter of Silas Cobourn and Elizabeth Reynolds, of
Whitestown, this county, — the former a native of Massa-
chusetts, the latter a native of Saratoga. Both died at
Utica. Captain and Mrs. Greenman had three children, —
Sarah, died in infancy; Hiram, died at the age of twenty-
» seven; and Silas, died at the age of forty-two, leaving a
wife and one son, James C. Mrs. Greenman is a lady of
rare womanly qualities, respected by all who knew her for
her many virtues, and still survives in 1878.

Mr. Greenman's wife and two sons survived him. Hiram
Greenman, Jr., was born at Utica, Jan. 8, 1827, and re-
ceived his education in the schools of that city. After
reaching manhood he engaged in business at Syracuse, and
subsequently in Utica ; but his failing health soon obliged
him to, retire from active pursuits, and after a long and
painful illness, which he bore with great patience and Chris-
tian fortitude and submission, he peacefully expired at his
mother's residence in Utica, July 4, 1857, with a good hope
of eternal life. His premature death was a great affliction
to his widowed mother and other relatives and to his many
friends, to whom he was greatly endeared by his frank and
generous nature and kind disposition ; and had his life been
spared it is believed that he would have done much good

as a useful and excellent man. Many fond- hopes were
buried with him. He died unmarried.

Silas C. Greenman was born at Utica, Nov. 10, 1829,
and died at the same place, June 20, 1871. His health
was very frail for many years, which prevented him from
engaging in business pursuits, for which he had a taste and
decided ability ; but he was of an active disposition, and
keenly interested in political and military affairs, and in all
matters pertaining to the good of the city of his birth and
residence, and to his country.

He was an ardent patriot, and on the breaking out of the
rebellion offered his services to the government with the
military company of which he was a member, and left his
home to join the army ; but his health was unequal to the
hardships of camp life, and he was obliged to return. His
attachment to his friends was ardent and sincere, and his
' death was a great grief to his family and to his associates.
His mother survived him, and also his wife and son, James
0. His death was peaceful and hopeful.


was born in the town of Schuyler, Herkimer Co., N. Y.,
May 14, 1816. His father, Warren Richardson, was a
native of Cheshire, Mass., and removed to Schuyler, with
his father, Nehemiah Richardson, about the year 1790, and
settled as a farmer. The grandfather, Nehemiah, was a
soldier of the Revolutionary war, and the father a soldier of

' the war of 1812-14, and died on the farm in Schuyler,
where" he first settled, at the age of nearly eighty-nine years.
His mother still survives, at the age of eighty-nine years.
Eaton-. J:j was fourth child in the family of ten children ;
spent, his minority on the farm at home. At the age of
twenty-6ne he went to Cazenovia Seminary, where he re-
mained for two years, and prepared for college. At the end
of this time he entered the office of Hon. Thomas E. Clark,
of Utica, as a student at law, where he remained for some
four years, and was admitted to the bar as an attorney in
1845, and after the usual time as a counselor at law. Im-
mediately, after his admission to the bar he entered upon
a partnership with Mr. Clark, and began the practice of his
profession, and has been continuously in practice until the
present time. Mr. Clark died in 1857, and for the follow-
ing seven years Mr. Richardson was alone in practice, and
in the year 1864 associated with him Mr. George W. Adams,

, ^d in September, 1877, Mr. James F. Mann, the firm
being now entitled " Richardson, Adams & Mann."

Originally, Mr. Richardson was identified with the old
Whig party, and upon the formation of the Republican
party supported its platform and advocated its principles
until, in the year 1865, he became more conservative in his
opinions relative to the administration of the government,
and has since stood as an independent thinker on all political

In the year 1855 he was elected to the State Senate,
which position he filled for one term of two years, and served
as chairman of the committee on " Finance," on " Roads
and Bridges," and member of the committee on " Printing."
As chairman on roads and bridges, Mr. Richardson did
efficient service, and was chiefly the means in getting the
charter for a connecting railroad-bridge across the Hudson


I'.B^MUBJJ:.'^ ":-inF-2-davSi NT



River, in which he was successful after much opposition ;
and in this act a matter was settled which the traveling
public demanded, and which had been agitated for over a

Mr. Richardson has never been solicitous of any political
preferment, and has remained in the quiet practice of his
profession. In the year 1863 he married Miss Cesarine
Meigs Sleeper, of Floyd, Oneida Co., N. Y. She died in
the year 1869.


was born in the city of Albany, N. Y., Nov. 12, 1805.
He was son of Patrick Cassidy and Polly Welch, — the
former a native of Ireland, the latter a native of Albany.
When about eight years of age his father died and he went
to live with a man by the name of Moses Steel, a farmer,

Photo, by WilliamR.


with whom he stayed until he was of age, when he set out
in life for himself. For the next seven years we find Mr.
Cassidy a farm laborer, and for the following six years a stage
driver for John Butterfield, of Utica, N. Y. It was during
these years that he had the honor of conveying General Kirk-
land, Thos. Walker, E. A. Wetmore, Ezra D. Barnum, and
other prominent citizens of Utica to Albany, for the pur-
pose of getting the charter for the city of Utica.

Mr. Cassidy spent some two years with Governor Clinton's
nephew in his trip to Europe and other parts of the world,
since which time he has been engaged as a business man in
the city of Utica, with the exception of two years spent as
a farmer in the town of Schuyler, and several years in the
milling business. Mr. Cassidy is well known among the
old men of the city of Utica, and among the rising gene-
ration as a man of honesty of purpose and characteristic
integrity. In the year 1836 he married Miss Harriet M.
Gilbert, of Washington Mills, who was born in the year

1819. Her parents, Billy Gilbert and Sarah Stockings,
were natives of Connecticut. They have bad eight children.
George and Willie died young. Sarah (deceased), wife of
Willett Northup, of Chicago ; Emma, wife of Hiram E.
Brewster, of Utica ; J. Archer, of Chicago ; Fred A., under-
taker of Utica ; Willie G. (deceased), and Harry C.

It is said of Mr. Cassidy, that he was second to none
outside of New York as a restaurant-keeper, when in that
business, and many of his old associates remember with
pleasant pride his genial and courteous ways and his great
hospitality. In politics, Mr. Cassidy has been an unswerv-
ing standard-bearer of first the Whig and subsequently the
Republican party.


William H. Watson, A.M., M.D., was born at Providence,
R. I., Nov. 8, 1829. He is the only son of the lat« Hon.
William Robinson Watson and Mary Anne Watson, and on
the paternal side is descended from the oldest, most respect-
able, and most distinguished families in the State of Rhode
Island, among whom may be named the Wantons, Hazards,
Robinsons, and Browns, who, at a period anterior to the
Revolutionary war, were the largest landed proprietors in
the southern portion of that State, and were noted for dis-
pensing an elegant and princely hospitality, and furnishing
a genial and polished society, when the city of Providence
was yet but a small and inconsiderable village.

Dr. Watson on the paternal side is the lineal descendant
in the fifth degree of Gideon Wanton, the Colonial Governor
of Rhode Island in 1745 and 1747. Five of his ancestors
had filled the gubernatorial chair of that State previous to
the Revolution of 1776.

The original ancestor of the Watson family, John Wat-
son, came from England about 1680, and settled in South
Kingston, R. I.

Dr. Watson's father was the son of John J. and Sarah
(Brown) Watson, and was born in South Kingston, R. I.,
Dec. 14, 1799. He pursued his early classical studies at
the Plainfield (Conn.) Academy, and graduated at Brown
University in the class of 1823. Among his classmates
were Chief-Justice Ames, of Rhode Island, Rev. Dr. Crane,
George D. Prentice, the distinguished editor of the Louis-
ville Journal, and Judge Mellen, of Massachusetts. Pro-
fessor Gammell, in an article on the necrology of Brown
University for 1863-64, states that '■ he was admitted to
the bar, but engaged to only a very limited extent in the
practice of his profession. His life was devoted pre-emi-
nently and almost exclusively to politics. For nearly forty
years he was one of the most active and prominent politi-
cians in Rhode Island, and probably no individual ever
exerted a greater influence in its local politics.

" Mr. Watson was also during much of his life a writer
for the political press, and in several instances, usually at
seasons of election, for brief periods, conducted as editor
certain papers with which he was politically connected.
His writings were almost invariably of a political character,
and in the interest of the Whig party, of which he was a
devoted champion in Rhode Island. The most elaborate of
these were a series of papers first published in the Journal
in 1844, under the signature of 'Hamilton,' which were



afterwards collected and printed in a pamphlet form. The
doctrines then held by the Whig party were there explained
and vindicated with remarkable force and vigor.''

He was distinguished alike for the integrity and ability
with which he discharged the duties of the many and varied
public offices which he filled, for the elegance and force with
which he wielded a facile and not ungraceful pen, and for a
kindness of heart and dignified urbanity of manner, which
attached to him the warmest friends, who appreciated his
agreeable qualities as a citizen in private life.

Dr. Watson's mother was the daughter of Hon. Caleb
Earle, a, former Governor of Rhode Island.

Dr. Watson was graduated at Brown University with dis-
tinction in 1852. During his collegiate course he was par-
ticularly noted for his fondness of and proficiency in the
classic languages of antiquity. His original dissertations in
the Latin and Greek obtained for him the highest prizes in
those departments of collegiate study, and at the exhibition
in the Junior year he was awarded the high distinction of
delivering the oratio Latina. While in college he became a
member of the Phi-Beta-Kappa and Psi-Upsilon Societies.

From his earliest youth he had shown a love of and an
aptitude for the medical profession. Immediately after his
graduation he entered upon its study in the office of the
eminent physician. Dr. A. H. Okie, of Providence.

After attending lectures at the Homoeopathic Medical
College of Pennsylvania, the University of Pennsylvania,
and the Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, he received
his medical degree, and immediately located in Utica, N. Y.,
where he now has an extensive and influential practice.

He was elected a member of the American Institute of
Homoeopathy in 1854. He was one of the founders of the
Homoepathic Medical Society of Oneida County, and was
elected its president, Oct. 16, 1860. He delivered the
address at the reorganization of the Homoeopathic Medical
Society of the State of New York, in the city of Albany,
Feb. 28, 1861. He was elected permanent member of the
Homoeopathic Medical Society of the State of New York
in 1866. On the 12th of January, 1868, he was elected
president of the last-named society, and delivered the annual
address before it Feb. 9, 1869.

Dr. Watson has been particularly distinguished as the
advocate of a higher standard of medical education, and as
the uncompromising opponent of sectarianism in medicine.

He took a leading and very active part in the contro-
versy of 1870 and 1871, by which that unjust and bigoted
official, Dr. H. Van Aernam, Commissioner of Pensions, who
had removed Dr. Stillman Spooner and other homoeopathic
physicians from the office of pension-surgeon, for the avowed
reason that " they did not belong to the school of medicine
recognized by the bureau," and had thus sought to estab-
lish a sectarian test for admission to office, was himself dis-
placed, and the ejected homoeopathists reinstated.

On the 13th of February, 1872, he delivered an address
before the State Medical Society at Albany, on " The Homoe-
opathic School, the Modern School of Rational and Liberal
Medicine," which, while it aroused the hostile criticism of
the bigoted by its liberal and catholic spirit, gained for him
the approval of the liberal-minded members of both the
allopathic and homoeopathic schools.

At the sesssion of the American Institute of Homoeo-
pathy, held at Cleveland, June 6, 1873, he introduced and
in an elaborate speech supported the follovring resolutions,
which were unanimously adopted, as indicating the policy
of the profession :

"Reaohed, That homoeopatbistB everywhere should strenuously in-
sist upon the non-violation of the great fundamental American prin-
ciple of 'no taxation without representation,' by sectarian monopoly,
either of national, State, county, or city institutions supported by
legal assessments, or of those private eleemosynary institutions which
derive their support from individual contributions.

" Keaolved, That the recognition of this principle by the Legislature
of Michigan, by its action at its recent session, in creating two pro-
fessorships of homoeopathy in the University of that State, meets the
most hearty approval of this body."

Dr. Watson is the " Examiner in Diagnosis and Pathol-
ogy" of the " First State Board of Medical Examiners," ap-
pointed by the Regents of the University of the State of
New York, under the "act relating to the examination of
candidates for the degree of Doctor of Medicine," passed
May 16, 1872.

Dr. Watson was married to Miss Sarah T. Carlile, of
Providence, R. I., May 1, 1854.

Dr. Watson was instrumental in establishing the " New
York State Asylum for the Insane at Middletown." In his
inaugural address as president of the Homoeopathic Medical
Society of the State of New York, in February, 1869, he
recommended " the appointment of a committee to urge
upon the Legislature the necessity of taking appropriate
action in reference to the erection of a Lunatic Asylum, to
be located in one of the southern tier of counties of the
State, and to be placed under the control of a physician of
good standing in the homoeopathic school."

He was appointed trustee of the above-named asylum,
May 28, 1873,'by Governor John A. Dix, " by and with
the advice and consent of the Senate," and served until
April 20, 1876, when he resigned from the fact that his
residence at a distance from the asylum, in connection with
his professional duties, prevented him from regularly attend-
ing the meetings of the Board of Trustees.

He was appointed United States Examining Pension-

Online LibrarySamuel W DurantHistory of Oneida County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 97 of 192)