William D Murphy.

Biographical sketches of the state officers and members of the Legislature of the state of New York, in 1858 online

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mouth; a good forehead; large, perceptive faculties,
and a pale, nervous complexion. He is a loud, earnest
speaker, combining general coolness with occasional
excitability, and generally participates in most of the
discussions of the Senate. He is a representative of
whom his constituency need not be ashamed.



Senator Willard was born on the 26th of April,
1803, in the town of Hubbardton, Rutland county, Vt.
He is of English descent. His father, Francis Wil-
lard, emigrated to Vermont from Massachusetts, when
about sixteen years of age, and was a house joiner and
carpenter. He died in March, 1856, at the age of
seventy-eight, and Joseph's mother died at the age of
seventy-three. They were both well known through-
out the section of country where they lived, for their
honest industry and persevering self reliance, and died
respected and beloved by all who knew them.

Senator Willard received a common school educa-
tion in his native place. At the age of fifteen he was
apprenticed to the clothier business, in the town of
Castleton, where he remained until he was twenty-
one years of age. He then removed to New York,
and settled in Lowville, Lewis county, where he has
always since resided, and where he is now engaged
in the clothier and manufacturing business. Subse-
quent to the year 1825, he participated somewhat in
military affairs, and arose in rank to Quarter-Master
Major Colonel and Brigadier-General, of the 26th
Brigade and 12th Division. Meanwhile he occupied
several responsible offices in the town where he re-
sides, and in 1856 was elected Supervisor. He was
again elected in the spring of 1857, and in the fall of
the same year was the successful candidate, from the
Eighteenth district, for the place he now occupies
in the Senate, He was elected by a complimentary


majority over his competitor, who received the com-
bined Democratic and American vote of the district.
He is one of the oldest men in Uie Senate, and, al-
though not a frequent debater, discharges the duties of
his position, in a manner that will, doubtless, be entire-
ly satisfactory to his immediate constituents, and the
people generally, throughout the state. He is a man
of great decision of character — positive and fearless
In the expression of his views, and never takes for
granted what is succeptible of demonstration.

Senator Willard was formerly a Whig, of strong
Free Soil proclivities, and was always found acting
with that party, until it abandoned its organization,
when he entered into the Republican movement. In
1854 he was a delegate to the Anti-Nebraska State
convention, at Saratoga, and was one of the Vice-
Presidents, at Syracuse, in the fall of 1856.. when
Gov. King was nominated for the distinguished post
which he now occupies. Previous to the repeal of the
Missouri compromise, he took little part in the politics
of the day, though his abhorance of the Kansas-Ne-
braska bill was so great, that since its passage he has
been an industrious, energetic and influential member
of the Republican organization.

On the 22d of October, 1829, he was married to
Miss Euseba Eager, of Lowville, by whom he has four
children living, and is a member of the Presbyterian
branch of the church. He is a man of medium height ;
has a large, square, robust and vigorous frame; a
thick, heavy head of snow white hair; hazel eyes, and
a round, full, glowing face, which indicates good


health and happy contentment. No member, probably,
in the entire circle, looks the Senator more than does
Senator Willard.


Senator Willard is a native of Lancaster, N. H.,
and is the son of a clergyman. He is a descendant of
Major Simon Willard, who emigrated to this country
from the county of Kent, England, in 1643 ; who was
afterwards a member of the Council of the colony of
Massachusetts, and who is celebrated in the history
of the early Lidian wars. At a later period another
of his ancestors was president of Harvard university.

Senator Willard was educated at Dartmouth col-
lege, where he graduated at the early age of nineteen.
He held a very high rank in college as a scholar, and
when he graduated was selected to deliver the oration
before one of the two rival literary societies. Just
as he was about to commence the study of his profes-
sion his health failed, and his physicians advised a
change of climate, as offering the only prospect of
saving his life. He therefore sailed for Savannah,
and spent a winter in that city and its neighborhood,
deriving from it something of the hoped for benefit.
But it was long before his health was restored, and
this misfortune made a blank of two years in his life.
Subsequently he commenced the study of the law in
Chenango county, N. Y., completed it in Troy, and
was admitted to the bar in 1826. He immediately
opened an office in that city, where he had already


made many warm friends. The next year he was
nominated by De Witt Clinton for Surrogate of the
county of Rensselaer. At that time the *' Bucktail "
party had a majority in the Senate, and his confirm-
ation was opposed on political grounds only, and was
defeated. In 1834 he was appointed Judge of the
County Courts of Rensselaer county, on the nomina-
tion of Wm. L. Marcy. This office he held six years.
In the mean time his business as a lawyer had been
constantly increasing, and was now very extensive.
He then determined to devote himself entirely to his
profession, and after this time steadily refused all
nominations for election to public office. He still,
however, remained a member of the Democratic
Central committee, and continued to exert a large
influence on the politics of the county. He com-
menced practice without- a partner, but as his busi-
ness increased he found it necessary to divide the
labor; and the firm then became Willard & Raymond,
and afterwards Willard, Raymond & Woodbury. In
1850, accompanied by his wife, he carried out a plaa
he had long cherished, of visiting Europe. He spent
two months in Great Britain, and two months in
Paris; in the autumn he visited Belgium, Western
Germany and Switzerland; and passed the winter in;
Italy, dividing his time chiefly between Florence,
Rome and Naples. In the following spring and sum-
mer he extended his tour through Austria, Hungary,
Prussia and Poland, going as far east as Warsaw. He
afterwards visited Holland, and returned to America,
after an absence of more than a year. In 1855 ha


again enabarked for Europe, partly for the benefit of
his health, and partly to accompany a son. He was
absent from the country on this visit about fifteen
months. Of late he has retired from the practice of
the law.

In the fall of 1857 Judge Willard yielded to the
earnest request of his Democratic friends, and ac-
cepted the nomination of that party for Senator from
the Twelfth district, and was elected, although the
district gave at the previous election a majority for
Fremont over Buchanan of nearly five thousand.
This result was owing partly to his great personal
popularity, and the high position he occupied in the
ranks of his party. During the canvass the newspa-
pers in the district, politically opposed to his elec-
tion, referred to him in terms of high personal respect.
The Troy Times, the Republican organ, speaking of
the Democratic Senatorial convention, said: '* Hon.
John D. Willard, of this city, was nominated for
Senator by acclamation. He is an excellent citizen,
is a man of talents and good legal acquirements, and
is certainly well qualified to discharge the duties of
the office for which he has been nominated. The
district, how^ever, is against the judge and his party,
Washington and Rensselaer counties having last year
given near 5,000 Republican majority over the Demo-
cracy. He will be rejected, however, solely on poli-
tical grounds, his personal worthiness being such as
all good citizens would approve of." The Troy Daily
Whig, an American organ, speaking, after the election,
of the result, also adds : ' ' But since the choice of the


people has fallen to a political opponent, it is a plea-
sure to know that he is a gentleman of capacity,
unexceptionable in every relation of private life, and
will fill the responsible station with credit to himself
and his constituency."

At the charter election in Troy in March, 1858, he
was earnestly urged by his political friends to accept
the office of Mayor. The Troy Budget of March 6,
referring to the convention, says: "There was a
general desire for the nomination of Judge Willard
for the Mayoralty, and he would have been the una-
nimous choice of the delegates, if his acceptance
could have been obtained, which he declined in posi-
tive terms to give." In consequence of his declining
the Hon. Araba Read received the Democratic
nomination, and was elected by about five hundred

Judge Willard, though not a church member,
attends the services of the Presbyterian church, and
for several years has been chairman of the board of
trustees of the Second Presbyterian congregation in
Troy — the Rev. Dr. Smalley's. He is a Director in
the Commercial Bank of Troy, and is a member of
various literary and scientific societies. He is fifty-
eight years of age. In 1839 he married Miss Laura
Barnes, and has two sons. He has a taste for literary
pursuits, and has found time amid the engrossing
cares of a laborious profession, to give much attention
to general literature. In public, as in private life, he
is a straight-forward, upright, decided and reliable
man; a sound, successful lawyer, always occupying


the front rank in his profession; an able legislator;
and a representative of whom the people of the
Twelfth Senatorial district may well feel proud.


Senator Williams was born on the 29th, of October,
1815, in Alexandria, D. C, Va. His father, John
Williams, was of German extraction, but was native
born, as were also his mother's family. He is the
•second of six sons, three of whom, besides himself, are
still living. His father emigrated to New York in
the year 1825, and settled in the town of Sodus,
Wayne county, on the southern borders of Lake Onta-
rio. He was a successful practical mechanic, and
assisted in the construction of the first packet boat
ever run on the Erie canal. He died at that place,
in 1843, in a fit of apoplexy, at the advanced age of
sixty-seven. His wife, the mother of the hero of this
sketch, is still living, and has attained the age of sixtj'-

Senator Williams had not the advantages of a clas-
ysical education, having received all the schooling he
has, before his parents removed to New York, when
he was only ten years of age. About this time his
father placed him in a dry goods store in Sodus, as a
clerk, and his employer having no children of his
own, adopted him. Here he remained until he was
about eighteen years old, when falling out one day


with his employer, he concluded to leave him, and
accordingly did so, by hiring himself out to another
man, engaged in the same business, at nine dollars per
month. He continued in this new position till 1835,
when having become one of the most popular, efficient,
and industrious clerks in that section of the country,
his employer took him into his establishment as a
partner, without any share in the capital, save his
qualifications as a merchant. This partnership con-
tinued till 1837, when the firm sold out, and he en-
gaged in the same business, with what little capital
he had by that time acquired, on his own responsi-.
bility. He then continued in the mercantile trade
till 1841, when he again sold out. In ihe summer of
the same year he was appointed, under President Har-
rison, to the post of Deputy Collector and Inspector at
Big Sodus Bay, which he held until just previous to
the advent of the Administration of Mr. Polk, when
he resigned. Then again he embarked in the mer-
cantile business, in which he continued till the fall
of 1845, when he finally sold out for the last time.
In this same year he was elected county clerk, and
was subsequently elected to the same place, holding
the office, in all, about six years. At the expiration
of his clerkship he found his health greatly impaired
by his too close application to the duties of his office,
and has ever since been devoting most of his time to
traveling in the western states, where he has dealt
pretty extensively in the buying and selling of land.

Senator Williams has had considerable experience
as a military man, having arisen from a Lieutenancy


in a private company, to the position of Lieutenant
Colonel in the 242d Regiment, and has proved him-
self eminently qualified for every position to which
he has been called. In 1841 he was elected Justice
of the Peace in the town in which he resided by a
handsome majority, although the town was strongly
Democratic and he was the Whig candidate. In 1845
he was again elected to the same office, and was also
at the same time elected a supervisor, by large majori-
ties in both instances. In 1855 he was the unsuc-
cessful Republican candidate for state treasurer, and
in 1857, was nominated for the position which he
now holds in the Senate, with great unanimity, by the
Republicans of his district, and was elected by a ma-
jority of over three thousand, against a combination
• of Democrats and Americans. He has not unfrequent-
ly been tendered the nomination of his party for Con-
gress, but has always peremptorily declined.

In 1832, Senator Williams was married to Miss
Sarah M., daughter of John McCarty, a successful
farmer who died, in Wayne county, in 1831. She is
a modest, unassuming, sociable woman, and every
way calculated for a good wife, a kind mother, and a
generous and hospitable friend and neighbor.

Senator Williams early espoused the Anti-Masonic
cause, and was secretary of an Anti- Masonic meeting
at the age of twelve years. He was a member of the
first Whig organization in Wayne county, in 1834,
and continued to act with the Whig party, until it
lost its organization, in 1854, when he embarked in
the Republican cause. He was a delegate to the first


Anti-Nebraska State Convention at Saratoga in 1854,
and was at Auburn when the Republican party was
christened at that place. He has always been an ac-
tive, decided party man, and is perfectly booked up in
the politics of the state and the Union. Owing to
impaired health he has, as yet, been able to spend but
very little time in his seat in the Senate, though he
has not by any means been negligent of the interests
of his immediate constituents, or the state. He is
a man of strong intellectual powers; is a clear and
concise reasoner; and in legislation, as in everything
else, combines theory with practicability, adopting
the former only so far as it conforms to the latter.


Number of their respective Districts, and the Coun-
ties and Wards composing the same,

LiEUT.-Gov. HENRY R. SELDEN. of Rochester, Presic/cnf.

Diet. Counties and Wards. Senators.

1, Suffolk, Queens, and Richmond

counties, Joshua B. Smith,

2, 1st, 20, 3cl, 4th, 5lh, 7th, 11th,

13ih and 19th wards of Brook-
lyn, Samuel Sloan,

3, 6th, 8th, 9th, ]Oth, IStli, 14th,

15th, 16th, 17th and 18th

wards of Brooklyn, Francis B. Spinola,

4, 1st, 2d, 3fl, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th

a! d 14ih wards of New York, John C. Mather,

5, 10th, 11th, 13ih and 17th wards

of New York, Smith Ely, Jr.,

6, 9th, 15th, 16th and 18th wards

of New York, Richard Schell,

7, 12th, 19th, 20th, 21st and 22d

wards of New York, John Doherty^

8, Westchester, Putnam and Rock-

land counties, • Benj. Brandreth,

9, Orange and Sullivan, Osmar B. Wheeler,

10, Ulster and Greene, George W. Pratt,

11, Dutchess and Columbia, Wm. G. MaudeviUe,



Dist. Counties and Wards. Senators.

12, Rensselaer and Wasliington,. .. John D. Willard,

13, Albany, George Y. Johnson,

14, Delaware^ Schoharie and Sche-

nectady, Ed. J. Burhans,

15, Montgomery, Fulton, Saratoga

and Hamilton, George C. Scott,

16, Warren, Essex and Franklin,.. Ralph A. Loveland,

17, St. Lawrence and Franklin,.., Wm. A, Wheeler,

18, Jefferson and Lewis, Joseph A. Willard,

19, Oneida, Alrick Hubbell,

20, Herkimer and Otsego, Addison U. Laflin,

21, Oswego, Cheney Am es,

22, Onondaga, James Noxon.

23, Madison, Chenango and Cort-

land, John J. Foote,

24, Tompkins, Tioga and Broome, Lyman Truman,

25, Wayne and Cayuga, Alex. B. Williams,

26, Ontario, Yates and Seneca,.... Truman Boardman.

27, Chemung, Schuyler & Steuben, Alex. S. Diven,

28, Monroe, John E. Patterson,

29, Niagara, Orleans and Genesee,. Horatio J. Stow,

30, Wyoming, Livingston and Alle-

gany, John B. Halstead,

31, Erie, James Wadsworth,

32, Chautauque and Cattaraugus,.. John P. Darling.



The Counties in which they reside, their Post Office
Address, and Politics.

Senators. Counties. P. O. address. Politics.

Cheney Ames, Oswego, .... Oswego city, .... Rep.

Truman Board man,. Seneca, Trumansburg,. .. Rep.

Benj. Brandreth,.. .. Westchester, Sing Sing,. .. .. Dem.

Edward I. Burhans, . Delaware, . . . Roxbury, Dem.

John P. Darling, .. .. Cattaraugus,. Cattaraugus,.... Rep.

Alex. S. Diven, Chemung,... Elmira, ...... .". Rep.

John Doherty, New York,.. New York city,. Dem.

Smith Ely, Jr., New York,.'. New ^ork city,. Dem.

John J. Foote, Madison,.... Hamihon, Rep.

John B. llalstead ,.. . Wyoming,.., Castile, Rep.

Alrick Hubbell,. . . . . Oneida, Utica, Rep.

Geo. Y. Johnson,... Albany, Dunnsville, Am.

Addison H. Laflin, . . Herkimer, . . . Herkimer, ...... Rep.

Ralph A. Loveland,. Essex, Westport, ... .. > Rep.

Wm. G. Mandeville, Colunihia,. . . Stuyvcsant Falls, Deni.
John C. Mather,.... New York,.. New York city,. Dem.

James Noxon, Onondaga,... Syracuse........ Rep.

John E. Patterson, . . Monroe, Parma Centre, . . Rep.

George W. Pratt, . . . Ulster,. ...... Kingston, Dem.

Richard Schell, New York, . . New York city,. Dem.

George C. Scott,.... Saratoga,.... Ballston, ...... . Dem.

Samuel Sloan, Kings Brooklyn, Dem.

Joshua B. Smith,.. . Suffolk, Hauppauge, Dem.

Francis B. Spiiiola,. Kings, Brooklyn,., Dem.

Horatio J. Stow, .... Niagara,. .... Lewiston, Ind.

Lyman Truman,.... Tioga, Owego, ...-»... . Rep.

James Wads worth,. Erie, Buffalo......... Dem.

Osmer B.Wheeler,, Sullivan...., Otisville, Or. co.. Am.


wJTTn , ''""^""' P.O. address. PoHtic«.

Wm. A. Wheeler,... Franklin,... Malone, Ren

Joseph A. Willard,.. Lewis, Lovvville, Rep

John D. Willard,... Rensselaer,.. Troy, Deni.


Alex. B. Williams,.. Wayne, Lyons,


C/am5— Patterson, Scolt, Truman.

Fwance—Biven, Schel), Halstead.

Judidanj—N oTion, Diven, J. D. Willard.

Canals—Stow, Loveland, Mather.

Rail noads—Bai'Vwg, Brandreth, Hubbell.

Charilable and Religious •S'oad.V^-Truman, Smith, Wads-
worth. '

iiVera/Mre— Wadsworlh, Laflin, Foote.

Militia— Fooie, Pratt, Laflin.

Roads and Bridgcs-Wm^n.B, Mandeville, O. B. Wheeler

Grievances— MiMher, Johnson, Hubbell.

Banks-W. A. Wheeler, Sloan, Foote.

Insurance Companies— WuhheW, Ssott, Ely

Privileges and Electhns-W, A. Wheeler,* Spinola, John-

Internal Jiffairs of Toivns and Counties-J. A. William^
Halstead, Spinola. ^ "'

Slate Pnsons-LQvehmd, Williams, Brandreth.
Poor Laivs-ScheU, J. A. Willard, Mandeville.
Engrossed Bills— Fim, Darling, Ely.
Indian ^j^nVs— Boardman, Darling,* J. D. Willard.
Commerce and. Yavigation— Am.2s, Stow, Sloan.
-^gricultiire-Smnh, Boardman, Burhans.
Mamifactures-L^^mn, O. B. Wheeler, Johnson.
i2e/re;ic^m€w/— Burhans, Doherty, Patterson
Public Buildings-O. B. Wheeler, Doherty, Ames.


Division of Towns and Counties-ScoU, Mandeville, Board-


Cities and Villages— Ua^sXesid, Ely, Noxon.
Public Expenditures-Tvumai^, Schell, W. A. Wheeler.
Expiring Laws— Vaitersoii, Doherty, Wadsworth.
Medical Societies— Brai\dreth,Stow, h A. Willard.
Public Printing— hoxeland, Smith, Williams.
Manufacture of ^aZ/— Noxon, Adams, Mather.
Joint Library— Trait, Diven, J. D. Willard.




Mr. Alvord was born on the 20th of December,
1810, in Onondaga, Onondaga co., N. Y., and is des*
cended from good old Dutch and English stock. His
paternal grand-father and uncle both served through
the Revolution, and the latter was at West Point, as
one of the body guard at the execution of Andre.
They were, also, both conspicuous at Yorktown, and
his maternal grand- father, Cornelius Lansing, of Lan-
singburgh, who was a captain in the militia, success-
fully defended Ft. Edward during the battle of Sara-
toga. Elisha Alvord, Thomas's father, emigrated from
Connecticut to New York, in 1792, and settled in Onon-
daga county. His wife died in 1826, and he, in 1846.

Mr. Alvord received the rudiments of his education
at Lansingburgh, under the tuition of the Hon. George
A. Simmons, and in 1828 graduated at Yale college,
having for his class-mates the Hon. John Van Buren,
and Christopher Morgan. He then passed eighteen
months as a clerk in Pittsfield, Mass., after which he
studied law in the office of his former preceptor, Mr..
Simmons, in Keeseville, where he remained till 1832,.


when he completed his studies with Messrs. Kirkland
& Bacon, at Utica, and was admitted to practice the
same year. On the 1st of January following, he
established himself as a lawyer in the village of Salina,
now the city of Syracuse, and pursued the profession
till 1846, when he became an active lumberman and
coarse salt manufacturer and dealer. This is still his
occupation at Salina.

Mr. Alvord began his political career as clerk of
his native town, and held various town and village
offices until 1843, when he was elected to the Assem-
bly, where, although one of the youngest and most
inexperienced members, he enacted an influential and
conspicuous part as Chairman of the standing com-
mittees on Rail-roads and Claims. He was again a
candidate in 1850, but was defeated by sixteen votes,
by Mr. Leavenworth, his Whig competitor. He was
the "Soft Shell" candidate for Congress in 1854, in
the Twenty-fourth district, but alihough running far
ahead of his ticket, was defeated by Gen. Granger,
the Whig candidate. He was not again a candidate
for any office till 1857, when he was elected to the
present House, as the first Democrat elected to that
body from his district since the establishment of the
district system by the present constitution. He has
always stood well with his party and the people, and
has never been beaten in his own town or city as a
candidate for office.

Mr. Alvord has always been a sound Democrat,
and adhered firmly to the Hard Shell section of the
party till 1853, when he acted with the "Soft" sec-


tion. He is an active, zealous and laborious poli-
tician, taking the stump on all suitable occasions in
behalf of the principles of his party, and has not unfre-
quently been a member of State conventions, where
he has never failed to take an influential part. He
presides over the House, as its chief officer, with be-
coming dignity and decorum, and dispatches business
with a rapidity and correctness that would have done
credit to most of his distinguished predecessors. He
is a man of family; attends the Presbyterian church;
and possesses a high degree of personal popularity.


Mr. Abbott is a native of Niles, Cayuga county,
N. Y., and was born on the 14th of August, 1822.
His great grand-sire was an Englishman, and he is
descended from the Abbott family who figured so
largely in the English judiciary. His paternal grand-
father, who was a native of Massachusetts, and sub-
sequently lived in Vermont, took part in the Revo-
lution, and at ihe end of the war, located on the
same tract of land upon which the subject of this
sketch now resides. Mr. Abbott attended a common
school till 1837, when he studied a year at Pough-
keepsie and about the same length of time at the
Moravia institute, after which he took charge of his

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Online LibraryWilliam D MurphyBiographical sketches of the state officers and members of the Legislature of the state of New York, in 1858 → online text (page 8 of 15)