The History of New York State
Biographies, Part 14

Editor, Dr. James Sullivan

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam

 

FRED L. PORTER

Prominent in business and political circles in New York State, as well as being a leader in agricultural advance in Northern New York, is Fred L. Porter, of Crown Point. Together with these particular interests, Mr. Porter never fails to give his support to whatever cause, in his judgment, tends to further the welfare and advancement of the community, and he is easily one of the most prominent citizens in this section.

Lensay A. Porter, father of Fred. L. Porter, was born in Poultney, Vermont, March 30, 1849. He served in the Civil War, enlisting in 1864, and in 1865 at the termination of his service, came to Crown Point, where for many years he was engaged in business as a carpenter and builder, and later became a successful raiser and buyer of apples, continuing thus until his death on August 1, 1911. He married Ollie P. Heustis, who was born on April 5, 1853, and died November 2, 1900.

Fred L. Porter, was born at Crown Point, New York, November 12, 1877, and received his early education in the public schools of his native place. Later he attended Albany business college, and since that time has devoted himself to politics and a business life of cast proportions. He owns a farm consisting of five hundred and twenty-six acres, sixty-five of which are devoted to apples, specializing in the raising of Mackintosh and Northern Spies. He also has one hundred head of blooded cattle, consisting of Ayrshires and Guernseys, together with three hundred and fifty registered Hampshire-Down sheep. Mr. Porter also conducts a feel mill in Crown Point; handles builders' and masons' supplies and slack and tight cooperage, which proves conclusively that he is a man of untiring energy and is endows with ability of an unusual high order.

Early in his career, Mr. Porter became active

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in the affairs of the Republican Party, both local and State. He was supervisor of the town of Crown Point from 1909-1915; served on the School Board in 1917; was a member of the State republican Committee; member of the executive committee has been a delegate to State Convention since 1920; chairman of the commission on the Reorganization of the State Government; vice-chairman of the Ways and Means Committee in the Assembly; and has represented Essex County in the State Assembly since 1920. Mr. Porter is also a member of the executive committee of the New York Farm Bureau Federation; ex-president of the Essex County Farm Bureau; ex-member of the executive committee of the New York Horticultural Society, ex-president of the New York Sheep Breeders' Federation, embracing forty-four counties; president of the Northern Orchard Company of Peru, the largest commercial orchard in Northern New York, harvesting in 1927 twelve thousand barrels of apples; vice-president of the Grange League Federation Exchange, which is the largest cooperative farm organization of its kind in the East, the value of farm supplies handled in 1927 having been fourteen millions of dollars. He is also a trustee of the Cobleskill Agricultural School, and a member of the executive committee of the Moses Ludington Hospital at Ticonderoga. His religious affiliations is with the First Congregational Church, of which he is trustee; and his fraternal affiliation is with Rescue Lodge, No. 772, Free and Accepted Masons; Cedar Point Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, of Port Henry; Lake Champlain Commandery, No. 74, Knight Templar, of Port Henry; Oriental Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, at Troy; Independent Order of Odd Fellows; Ethan Allen Grange, and Ticonderoga Lodge, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. His clubs are: Crown Point County Club, of which he is a member of the executive board; and the Albany Club of Albany, of which he is a non-resident member.

On June 10, 1902, at Crown Point, Fred L. Porter married Margaret Abott, daughter of the late Charles and Esther (Rowley) Abott, of Denver, Colorado, the former for many years a successful mining engineer and operator. Mr. and Mr. Porter are the parents of two children: 1.. De Vore, born in 1904, was educated at Miss Fuller's school at Ossining, which her mother attended, and later graduated from Cornell University with the degree of Bachelor of Science in 1925. 2. Charles Abott, born March 1, 1909; attended new York Military Academy and Manlius Military School, at Manlius, New York, class of 1928. The family summer home is at Crown Point, and the winter home is in Albany, New York. Mr. Porter enjoys both hunting and fishing, but his daily recreation is found in horseback riding.

CHARLES JOSEPH MULLEN

Devoting his entire life to the manufacture of smoking tobacco, a profession inherited from his father and grandfather, Charles Joseph Mullen, of Kingston, has built solidly upon the foundations laid down by his predecessors and at this writing is sole proprietor of a great commercial enterprise, conducted under the name of the E. Mullen Tobacco Company, in honor of his grandfather, who founded it in 1867. A Republican in politics, he has ever taken a deep interest in the civic affairs of Kingston and has acted as president of the Alma Commission of the town. His fraternal affiliations have added to a natural popularity, his probity, industry and affability bringing him friends in hosts. His value as a citizen is attested by the high regard in which he is held by the community, which unitedly looks upon him as a most important part of the commercial and civic edifice.

Charles Joseph Mullen was born in Kingston, July 11, 1885, a son of J. Crawford and Edith (Tronson) Mullen, both natives of Kingston. J. Crawford Mullen's father, Egbert, was born in Wawarsing, new York State, a son of John Mullen who came to the United States from his native Ireland prior to the War of 1812, between this country and England. He was first engaged in the jewelry business in New York City, later removing to Poughkeepsie, in 1828. Edith (Tronson) Mullen was of Dutch ancestry and born in Kingston. She was the mother of two children, Joseph C., dying in 1922, at the age of thirty-four years. He had been connected for years with the Borden Milk company, and was the husband of Cecile Clark, by whom he had one child, Virginia, born November 11, 1913.

Charles Joseph Mullen, descendant of this line, was educated in St. Joseph's Parochial School and in the Kingston public schools and was graduated in 1904 from St. Laurent college, Montreal, Canada. The tobacco company of which he is sole proprietor was founded by Egbert Mullen, his grandfather, in 1867, with the location at No. 125 North Front Street. The

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factory output was long-cut smoking tobacco and a great trade was built up in the sale of manufactured Kentucky tobacco. To meet varying demands, changes were from time to time made, with every-growing business as a result. The founder died in 1908, at which time Charles Joseph Mullen became president of the company. He is a roman Catholic in religion and a member of the Knights of Columbus, of which organization he was Deputy Grand Knight for two years. He also is a member of the Kingston Lodge, No. 550, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, of which he has been secretary since 1919.

Mr. Mullen married, in Kingston, May 11, 1910, Margaret G. Campbell, of Kingston. She is a daughter of the late John J. Campbell, a building contractor, head of the firm of Campbell & Dempsey. This concern did a great deal of work in cities removed from its headquarters, but also constructed many notable buildings in Kingston. Among these are the Stuyvesant Hotel, Ulster county Jail, Elks' Club, and Knights of Columbus Hall. They also built the Poughkeepsie Court House and the county buildings at Carmel, New York. Mrs. Campbell's mother was Mary Ann (Clark) Campbell. Of the marriage of Charles Joseph and Margaret G. (Campbell) Mullen there were born three children: 1. Margaret J., born June 27, 1912, 2-3. Mary C. and Anne C (twins), born January 10, 1915; the latter died at the age of seven.

BERT H. TERWILLIGER

For more then sixty years the insurance business founded in Ellenville by the Late Uriah E. Terwilliger has been on of the most flourishing commercial establishment of this section of the State. Associated with the founder and at this writing carrying on where the elder had begun, is his son, Bert h. Terwilliger. Upstanding citizens both, the son is a most worthy successor to the man whose name was synonymous with progress and substantial business enterprise. Bert H. Terwilliger was born in Ellenville, May 21, 1874, son of Uriah E. and Alice A. (Hoar) Terwilliger, Uriah was also born in Ellenville, in 1850, and was educated at the Claverack Military Academy. For upward of thirty years he owned and conducted the resort of Mount Meenagha, a beautiful and popular vacation place of five square miles in the mountains near Ellenville. At the same time he managed his real estate and insurance business in Ellenville and assumed a commanding position in the community for his sturdy citizenship and inviting personality. For the last twenty years of his life he had partially retired. His death occurred in 1923. He had been offered and declined the vice-presidency of the Continental fire Insurance Company of New York, as well as the management of the North British & Mercantile Insurance Company, his other interest demanding as much of his time as he cared to devote to business affairs, outside of Mount Meenagha, in which he had some $300,000 invested. He came of Dutch stock and many of his ancestors fought in the patriotic army in the War of the Revolution. Alice A. (Hoar) Terwilliger, his wife, was a daughter of George A. Hoar, of Ellenville, a builder of canal boats and a very successful citizen, of English ancestry.

Bert H. Terwilliger was educated in the schools of Ellenville, and at Worcester Academy, Worcester, Massachusetts, from which he was graduated in 1895. He at once began his life-work as assistant to this father in the management of the Mount Meenagha estate. This property was sold in 1922 and the son afterward devoted himself solely to the insurance and real estate offices in Ellenville. He is a director of the First national Bank of Ellenville and a trustee of the Ellenville Savings Bank. He holds membership in the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, of Kingston, and in Wawarsing Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons. He is a member of the Shawangunk County Club, and attends the Dutch Reformed Church in Ellenville.

Mr. Terwilliger married, at Bergen, New York, October 26, 1900, Tone, daughter of Thomas J. and (Mrs.) Spafford tone, her father having been principal of the schools in Cincinnati, Ohio, who retired and removed to Bergen. Their children are: 1. Robert S., a graduate of Worcester Academy and of Amherst college, where he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts. 2. Katherine Tone, a graduate of Hillside School, Norwalk, Connecticut, and now a student at Wellesley College.

JOSEPH H. COHEN

Twenty years ago, Joseph H. Cohen, the widely known president of the Pennsylvania Exchange Bank of New York City, was asked for a precept that would serve as a guide for a young man just starting in life. He replied that nothing original that he could suggest would improve upon what the

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great Hillel said, twenty-one hundred years ago: "Judge all men kindly." Mr. Cohen went on" "A young man cannot start life with a better attitude toward his fellow-men than the feeling that there is a lot of good in everybody. If you manage to keep your mind filled with that thought, there will be no room for malice. When you part company with malice and walk along with kindness as your constant companion, you cannot go wrong." This spirit emanates from Joseph H. Cohen so constantly that one is impressed by it even in a brief and casual meeting. It is so winsome in its quality that one responds to it to one's fullest capacity. It inspires confidence and it disarms. An evil doer would be calloused indeed who would try to take advantage of Mr. Cohen. He has demonstrated through a long life that material success can be achieved without disparaging or impairing spiritual values. He has shown that the "hard-boiled" attitude toward men and life is not only not necessary, but that it is an interior method. The milk of human kindness not only makes business, it makes friends. In his own career, Mr. Cohen has demonstrated the truth of Ira Remsen's statement: "there is something better then making a living-making a life," and of that much older proverb: "Bring up a child in the way he should go and when it is old he will not depart from it." Reared by parents of great piety, who believed in practice as well as in precept, Joseph h. Cohen has proven in his own experience the very vital part that environment plays in the formation of character.

Joseph H. Cohen was born in Sapotkin, Portland, February 8, 1865, son of Jacob and Malka (Landau) Cohen. The restrictions, impediments and cramping conditions of the old world were greater than the older Cohen's ambitions could accept; accordingly, in 1872, he came to New York City to spy out the land as it were, and to see if conditions were favorable to building a home for his family in the modern land of promise. A stranger in a strange land, he prospered in spite of his handicaps, and two years later was able to send for his wife and family to join him in this country. He continued in business for himself successfully as an east side merchant as long as he lived. His death occurred in 1893, at the age of sixty.

After completing the courses in the public schools of New York City, Joseph H. Cohen found work as a boy in a drygoods store. Conscientious, energetic and intelligent in the performance of his duties, he soon won promotion to stock clerk, and later was made salesman behind the counter. Little had been learned of this period in his life; but thus early he must have manifested those qualities which later won for him a foremost place in the garment industry. Always he kept before him the ambition to have a business of his own; so he not only studied merchandise, but merchandising and people. It is not hard for one who loves human kind to study people; and few studies are more important. All the while that he was acquiring knowledge he was also, by the practice of self-denial, accumulating capital. Finally, in 1886, he felt that the time had arrived to make the venture, and with Abraham Davis as a partner, under the firm name of Davis and Cohen, wholesalers of women's garments. Their combined capital was only three thousand dollars--not imposing, but a lot of money when it comprises the total resources of two hardworking men. This first place of business was located at No. 1128 East Broadway, and there the firm continued until 1892. In that year the business was removed to No. 108 East Broadway, in order to provide larger and more convenient quarters. And Mr. Davis' interest was taken over by Moses L. Olenick, the firm name becoming Cohen and Olenick. In 1896 Mr. Cohen purchased his partner's interest and moved the business into a building that he had specially designed and erected at No. 81 East Broadway. That building was taken over by the city in 1907 to make room for a bridge, and Mr. Cohen removed his business to a building that he had erected at No. 35-37 East Broadway. it was in 1888 that Mr. Cohen had begun the manufacture of women's garments. That was about the time that ready-to-wear clothing for women began to come into vogue; and Mr. Cohen foresaw that the time would come when he would be forced to become a manufacturer. One of the big factors in business success is the ability to foresee and forestall conditions. This ability Mr. Cohen has always possessed in large measure. He has always been a student, a keen and thoughtful observer, analyzing problems an situations from every angle, and there has been a remarkably consistent accuracy in his judgments. The special type of garment which Mr. Cohen manufactured has a market which was never completely supplied; and this condition placed Mr. Cohen in a position to select his customers. He made it an inflexible rule to see to only one retailer in each city. No travelers were ever employed. The patrons visited New York City personally and

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were waited upon by Mr. Cohen himself. This made the demand upon his time so great that he was compelled to adopt the method of seeing his customers only by appointment. His location on East Broadway was somewhat outside the market district of the cloak and suit industry, which at that time was in the neighborhood of Worth Street. This was inconvenient for out-of-town customers; but Mr. Cohen's personal attention offset this disadvantage. He was the gainer, too, because, at the same time that he was selling merchandise, he was learning what his trade wanted. He had only one model and one showroom. This pleased the trade so well that often appointments were made in the spring for fall showings. Mr. Cohen always went to Europe twice a year and bought models. Upon his return five or six weeks were spent in revising the designs to meet the demands of American tastes. The following incident is interesting as showing Mr. Cohen's adaptability and his quick response to market demands. A customer from California, who had always purchased in good volume, showed utter indifference on one occasion. Mr. Cohen was ably finally to persuade him to explain his reasons. The customer pointed out that the new styles Mr. Cohen had adapted fro the latest Paris creations were not in accord with the American style trend. Mr. Cohen saw the point in a flash, stopped manufacture, worked night and day on the production of new designs, and in three or four days had on display a line of samples that, ordinarily, would require five or six weeks to produce. That season proved to be one of the best in the history of his business, and led naturally to a continuance of patronage that otherwise might have begun gradually to fall away.

From what has already been said of Mr. Cohen's personality and his attitude toward men, one an easily understand why he knew nothing of labor troubles, and that among his workers was an esprit de corps that led them to rise to the exigencies of every emergency and stand behind him with a loyalty almost incredible. In 1900, Mr. Cohen suffered an attack of asthma, and as his sons were yet at school he was compelled to wind up his business and go to Europe in search of health. he was fortunate in recuperating sufficiently to permit his resumption of business. He returned to New York City in 1911 and took up his manufacturing and wholesaling where he had laid it down. His old customers resumed business relations with him as soon as they discovered he was in a position to serve them; and in this fact is implied one of the finest compliments that could be paid him as a man and to his methods. By 1912, such a large proportion of the cloak and suit industry has moved uptown that it became a real hardship for Mr. Cohen's customers to visit his showroom; so in that year he removed to the corner of Thirty-third Street and Fifth Avenue. In 1924, he incorporated the business under the name of Joseph H. Cohen's Sons and Company, and retired from active business to the enjoyment of a well-earned leisure. The sons continued the business for about two years; but, as their tastes led them into other lines of business, they finally retired from the garment trade.

The elder Cohen's leisure was to be short lived; for in January, 1927, the Pennsylvania Exchange Bank drafted him to serve as its president, in which office he has continued to the present time. His wide acquaintance in the garment trade and the high esteem and confidence in which he is held are a valuable asset to the bank. He knows the psychology of the business man, and, as he says, "it requires merely common sense plus business experience to check credits." After all, it is better to wear out than to rust out. And that is what Mr. Cohen is doing. Happiness is not to be found in idleness; and after years of active business life in daily contact with keen virile minds, he could not long remain content outside the sphere of business. His environment is different, to be sure; but people are people wherever one find them, and Mr. Cohen is interested above all in human beings.

This interest has led him to give of his time, ability and means during all the years of a strenuous life to the advancement of Jewish communal affairs. For long he has been a director and for the past twenty-five years he has been president of Beth-Israel Hospital. He was the founder of the first Jewish Center built anywhere in the world., it is located at No. 131 West eighty-sixth Street, new York City. The Center is the evolutionary result of an idea that took hold of Mr. Cohen when his first son was born. As has already been noted, Mr. Cohen's parents were pious Jews in the strictest sense of the word. They would not break Sabbath nor tell a lie under any provocation or circumstances. Their example and teaching were not lost upon their son, who wanted to pass these ideals on to his own boy. Mr. Cohen felt, however, that while the underlying principles of his religion would re-

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main forever unchanged, there are changes in form that each period and place demands and which must be considered. He felt that the old-fashioned synagogue his father led him to would not appeal to his son when he grew to maturity. And so, together with other progressive members of the congregation, Mr. Cohen began to plan ways and means of attracting your people to their place of worship. The necessity for such a movement impressed him the more forcibly as his family was augmented by another son and in time a daughter. So, in time, in collaboration with Rabbi Kaplan, he evolved the idea of the modern Jewish Center. He is also a trustee of Yeshiva College of New York City. this institution is now erecting building at Amsterdam and One Hundred and Eightieth Street, which involves the expenditure of between seven and eight million dollars. Yeshiva College embraces elementary and high schools, collegiate course and a theological seminary. Mr. Cohen is a member of the Centennial Lodge, No. 763, Free and Accepted Masons.

On June 8, 1887, Mr. Cohen marred Dora Olenick, daughter of M. L. Olenick. She was born in San Francisco. Three children have been born to this union: 1. Abraham, married Anna Surut, they have four children: Hinda, Samuel, Natalie, and Elias. 2. Simon, married Rose Kahn, they have three children: Hezekiah Jacob, Miriam and Judith. 3. Jeannette, married Joseph Silverstein; they have two children; Murray and Rita.

James SOUTHWORK PARKER

Born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, June 3, 1867, James Southwork Parker came to new York State many years ago, since which time he has devoted himself largely to work for his community, both as a member of the New York Assembly and as Representative in Congress.

Mr. Parker was the son of James K. and Grace E. (Southwork) Parker, the former a jeweler by trade who was a veteran of the Civil War, in which he fought with the Forty-ninth Massachusetts Regiment.

Following his preliminary education in the public school of Great Barrington, James Southwork Parker entered Cornell University, in 1885. Later he taught in St. Paul's School, at Concord, New Hampshire, for four years, and then came to New York State, locating in Salem, where he purchased a farm. This was in 1898, and he continued at the development of his property until 1903, when he was elected a member of the New York Assembly. He served as such until 1905 and then took a further term in 1908, serving in 1912. In 1913, Mr. Parker was elected to represent the Twenty-ninth District on the Republican ticket, and served continuously through the Sixty-third Congresses, from 1913 to 1925. He was a delegate to the motional convention of 1904 and 1908, and has been appointed an alternate to every convention held since. Mr. Parker is affiliated with Salem Lodge, No. 391, Free and Accepted Masons, as well as the Troy Lodge, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Grange, and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is a member of the Troy Club, the Metropolitan And Chevy Chase Clubs, of Washington, District of Columbia, and the Union League and Republican clubs of new York City. His college fraternity is Alpha Delta Phi, Cornell Chapter. His religious affiliations are with St. Paul's Episcopal Church, at Salem, of which he is vestryman.

On June 21, 1899, Mr. Parker married (first) Marion Williams, daughter of James Martin Williams, a descendent of General Williams, the latter a member of the Continental Congress. Mrs. Parker died in 1923, and Mr. Parker married (second) Amy (Glidden) Richards, daughter of John M. and Anna (Warren) Glidden. The Washington resident of Mr. and Mrs. Parker is at No. 2100 Sixteenth Avenue.

 

The History of New York State, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1927

This book is owned by Pam Rietsch and is a part of the Mardos Memorial Library

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

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