The History of New York State
Biographies, Part 32

Editor, Dr. James Sullivan

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam

 

ALBURN POND RICHARDSON

The first of his family in many generations to abandon the farm for business, Alburn Pond Richardson, of Ticonderoga, New York, conducts a furniture store in connection with an undertaking establishment, is prominently identified with the Masons and other orders, and is a leader in church circles. He is a son of Edmund and Elizabeth L. (Lewis) Richardson, and was born at Chesterfield, Essex County, New York, April 21, 1876. His father, Who was a native of Marlow, New Hampshire, was brought to Essex County, New York, by his parents when but six months old, and lived practically his entire life on one farm, dying at the age of seventy-six years.

Until he was twenty-eight years old, Alburn Pond Richardson, who had been educated at Brown's Schoolhouse. Chesterfield, was his father's assistant on the farm. Then for six years he was an engineer with the Chateugay Iron & Ore Company. In 1900 he settled in Ticonderoga, and was for the next twelve years engaged in the grocery business. He learned undertaking and embalming with M. J. Wilcox, and was also a student for four months under Professor Charles R. Renouard, in New York City. After seven years with Mr. Wilcox, and two years with J. P. Gunning, morticians, he opened his own establishment in 1925.

He is a Republican, and has been justice of the peace in Chesterfield for four years. He is Past master of Mr. Defiance Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, and a member of Carillon Chapter, No. 291, Royal Arch Masons, and is also a member of the Court of the Amaranth, and of the Chamber of Commerce, all of Ticonderoga. With his family he is a regular attendant of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and has been a member of the board of stewards for a number of years.

Alburn P. Richardson married (first) Hattie J. Russell, daughter of Cashmore and Harriet (Knox) Russell, of Schroon Lake, New York; married (second) Maude G. (Hutchins) Donavon, daughter of Eugene Hutchins. Of the first marriage were born: 1. Charles E.; 2. Bessie, who married W. E. Breed, of Ticonderoga, New York.

EDWARD F. MEANY, JR.

A native of Albany, New York, Mr. Meany has been successfully engaged in the general practice of law ever since the completion of his legal education and his admission to the bar in 1925. Since then he has been affiliated with Thomas J. P. Cawley, with

offices located at No. 82 State Street, Albany. Although one of the younger generation of lawyers he as made rapid progress in his profession as a result of his thorough legal training, his ability and his conscientiousness.

Edward F. Meany, Jr., was born in Albany, New York, March 26, 1903, a son of Edward F. and Julia Elizabeth (Mulcahy) Meany, the former a retired floral decorator. He was educated in the schools of his native city and afterwards took up the study of law at Albany Law School, from which he graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Laws in 1925. Admitted to the bar in the same year, he commenced the practice of his profession in July, 1925, in Albany, where he has carried on a general practice in the offices of Thomas J. P. Cawley. He is a member of Beta Chapter of Phi Sigma Kappa Fraternity and of the Catholic Union. In politics he is a supporter of the Democratic

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Party and its principles, while his religious affiliations are with the Roman Catholic Church.

Mr. Meany is not married and makes his home with his parents.

EDWARD WELLS

In every community are several men outstanding in various lines of endeavor, well known, widely respected, the pillars upon whom the welfare of the community may be said to depend. Edward Wells, of Johnstown, is one of these; and his medium, his life-work and career, is banking. This year (1928) marks the fiftieth in which he has been engaged in banking, and by far the greater part of that distinguished half-century of work in finance has been concentrated in Johnstown. Edward Wells, president of the Peoples Bank of Johnstown, is the fourth member of his family indirect line of descent to hold this position. His father, grandfather and great-grandfather, all of them considerable men of responsibility and prestige, gave their best efforts to the upbuilding and expansion of what is today one of the dominant financial houses in this part of New York State. In presenting the biography of Mr. Wells then, it will be interesting to consider the history of the Peoples Bank of Jamestown.

Son of Nathan P. and Mary Louise Wells, Edward Wells was born in Johnstown, may 21, 1862. Here he secured a sound general education, in the public schools, and before he had reached the age of sixteen years was made cashier of the David Hays Bank of Johnstown. He enjoyed the distinction--which continues to be unique as it was then--of being the youngest bank cashier in the United States. In May, 1887, the Manufacturers & Merchants' Bank of Gloversville was founded, and Mr. Wells consented to serve as the cashier. Then twenty-five years of age, he remained with the Gloversville house until 1889, January 16, when he was recalled to Johnstown to become cashier of the Peoples Bank, which opened its doors under that style upon that same day. After several years of good experience at the cashier's desk, his ability carried him into the presidency of the institution, which he has retained through the years succeeding. Under his administration the bank has grown extensively, and is recognized as among the soundest and most progressive of financial institutions in the country. His advice is widely south on questions regarding financial and commercial undertakings of importance; and he is placed among the business leaders of the Mohawk Valley.

The Peoples Bank of Johnstown had its origins, really, in the old Montgomery County Bank, organized in 1830, located where the store of Max Finn now stands. When Montgomery County was divided, in 1838, Johnstown was named the county seat of Fulton County. The bank received a new charter and continued in operation until the early "sixties." At its foundation it was the only bank between Schenectady and Utica, and was considered one of the strong banks of the State, as its notes were accepted at pat wherever circulated. (It may be recalled here that, in those early days, banks issued circulating notes as national banks have done in the past, not to exceed double the amount of paid-in capital.) Currency was scarce at times, and often it was necessary for an official of the Montgomery County Bank to go to Albany for a supply, on horseback to Fonda, then by train. It is not quite certain, indeed, but that a part of the trip then had to be made by canal boat. First officers of the bank were: Daniel Potter, president, and Nathan P. Wells, great-grandfather of Edward Wells, cashier. The capital was $100,000. Later, Nathan P. Wells was made president and Edward Wells cashier; then Edward wells became president , and Nathan P. Wells (2), father of Edward Wells, cashier. The Montgomery County Bank was succeeded by the private banking house of N. P. Wells & Company, and by David Hays. At the time when David hays succeeded to the business the Hon. John Stewart was its president, and Edward Wells, present head of the bank, cashier, as recounted in the paragraph preceding, at the age of sixteen. In 1879, the First National Bank was organized, succeeding the banking house of David Hays. James Younglove was the first president, Howland Fish cashier, and Edward Wells teller. This bank continued until 1889, when the Peoples Bank of Johnstown was organized, with Jacob P. Miller as president and Edward Wells as cashier. It opened its doors for business in the same building, east of the Stark Department Store, in which all of its predecessors had operated. The old Cady mansion Main and Market streets was acquired, demolished, and the bank moved into a new building thereupon, May 1, 1889. This building in turn was removed, to make way for the present imposing structure housing the Peoples Bank of Johns-

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town. This bank building, completed December 1, 1927, is equipped with every modern banking facility.

Mr. Wells is called upon constantly to support various public and philanthropic movements in the community, as well as to assist in building up its economic structure. Demands upon his time are heavy, but he has shown himself unfailingly to be of loyal public spirit, and assists any public enterprise which he believes worthy of support. In 1924, yielding to the wish of many friends, he became candidate of the Republican Party for the office of State Treasurer. At that time the local newspaper said of him:

Few Johnstownians stands higher in the esteem of their fellow citizens; few Johnstownians have done more for the general welfare of the community; and few Johnstownians have wider business and social relationships throughout the state……

Edward Wells married, in 1886, Harriet Newell Mills, of Gloversville, whose great-grandfather, William Curtis Mills, was one of the earliest settlers of Gloversville, which was then called Stump City. her paternal grandfather, Charles mills, was one of the substantial men of Gloversville, and her maternal grandfather, Frederick Steele, was one of the first settlers of Kingsboro, now a part of Gloversville. Mr. and Mrs. Wells became the parents of four children, of whom three survived: Edward C., assistant to his father, president Edward Wells; Margaret L., and William E.

Mr. Wells is a member of the Colonial Club of Johnstown, and others. He is a communicant of the First Presbyterian Church, of Johnstown.

George RICHARD LUNN, D. D.

Minister, mayor, Member of congress, and lieutenant-governor of the State of New York during a period of some twenty-five years, include the unusual record of public service rendered to his adopted State, new York, by Mr. Lunn, with exceptional ability, sincerity of purpose and effectiveness and eventually culminating in his appointment by Govern Alfred E. Smith, as a member of the New York State Public Service commission. He was born, July 23, 1873, on a farm near Lenox, Taylor County, Iowa, a son of Martin A. and Martha (Bratton) Lunn.

Dr. George Richard Lunn was educated in the public schools of his native region, but left school at the age of twelve to sell newspapers in Des Moines, Iowa. At seventeen he was driving a delivery wagon in Omaha, Nebraska, when he decided to enter college and study for the ministry. He entered Bellevue College, Nebraska, and earned his way through this institution by sawing wood, digging potatoes, waiting on tables and doing any other work that came his way, graduating in 1897 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and receiving the degree of Master of Arts from the same college in 1901. In 1897 he came East and took up his theological studies at the Union Theological Seminary, New York City, from which he was graduated in 1901, with the degree of Bachelor of Divinity, Union College, Schenectady, New York, conferring upon him later, in 1905, the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity. His first ministerial work was as assistant pastor of Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn, New York, where he served with marked success from 1901 to 1904. In the latter year he accepted a call to the First Dutch-Reformed Church of Schenectady County, with which he remained until 1910, when he became pastor of the First Congregational Church, until 1915.

Immediately after coming to Schenectady, Dr. Lunn became interested in public affairs, and sought to remedy municipal conditions in this city as a member of the Republican Party. Failing in this effort he accepted, in the all of 1911, the Socialist nomination for mayor on a platform pledging many city reforms, and was triumphantly elected. In 1913 he failed of re-election, being defeated by a combination of the Democratic, Republican and Progressive parties, but he was re-elected on the Socialist ticked in 1915. Not being a Socialist really, he soon disagreed fundamentally with the leaders of this party and left it in February, 1916. He resigned during his second term, having been elected, in November, 1916, a member of the Sixty-fifth Congress from the Thirtieth New York District, serving from 1917 to 1919. In this election he ran on an independent ticket with the indorsement of the Democratic Party. In November, 1919, he was again elected mayor of Schenectady, and in November, 1921, his fellow-citizens honored him by electing him as their chief magistrate for the fourth time, his term running from January, 1922 to January, 1924. However, in 1922 the Democratic Party nominated him for lieutenant-governor of the State of New York on the ticket headed b y Governor Smith, and he was elected. On January 1, 1923, he resigned as mayor of Schenectady and assumed his duties as lieutenant-governor, in which he continued until the ex-

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piration of his term, December 31, 1924. In January, 1925, governor smith appointed him a member of the Public Service Commission for a full term of ten years to expire February 1, 1935. During his term in Congress he became one of the Democratic leaders at Washington during the second administration of President Wilson and later he was prominently mentioned as a candidate for governor of New York. His various administrations as mayor of Schenectady attracted attention throughout the State and indeed, throughout the entire country, on account of their progressive character and of the success with which he accomplished much of what he set out to do for his city and its inhabitants. When he first took office, the city had no parks or playgrounds, but as a result of his untiring energy and determination, Schenectady now has four parks, eighteen public playgrounds and an elaborately planned boulevard system which is still largely under development. He also caused the erection of many new schools, and established public health centers and municipal ash and garbage collections and improved civic conditions in Schenectady in many other ways. During the Spanish-American War, then still being a resident of Nebraska, he served as first corporal, Company I, 3d Nebraska Regiment, commanded by Colonel William Jennings Bryan.

Dr. Lunn married, in Brooklyn, New York, May 7, 1901, Mabel Healy, of Brooklyn. Dr. and Mrs. Lunn are the parents of five children: 1. George Richard, Jr., born in 1902. 2. Mabel C., born in 1903. 3. Elizabeth Healy, born in 1905. 4. Raymond, born in 1908. 5. Eleanor Peabody, born in 1910. The family residence is located at No. 19 Stratford road, Schenectady, with a summer house at Cold Spring-on-the-Hudson.

ELSIE (LEWIS) WHITE

The increasingly active part women play in the business and political life for today, without in any way losing their domesticity, is well illustrated in Elsie (Lewis) White (Mrs. John F. White), of Colden Avenue, Lake Placid, New York.

Born on what has always been known as the Lewis Farm, near Lake Placid, at Wilmington, New York, November 18, 1887, daughter of John Q. and Loanda (Wilkins) Lewis, she was educated at a district school a mile and a quarter from her home, and then spent a year at the Lake Placid High School, but did not graduated, owing to the outbreak of an epidemic of scarlet fever. In 1904, she accepted a clerkship in the Wilmington post office, and remained in the postal service there for four years, when she received a more important appointment in the post office at Newman, New York, and held it until 1910. Family circumstances made it necessary for her to relinquish this post in order to take up the household management at the Lewis Farm, where she resided until her marriage in 1912, since which time there has been no keener housewife, and no one more active in the civic and religious life of the community. During the World War, however, she served as enumerator for the State census. She is one of the leading members of the Women's Club of Lake Placid. She served as secretary of Lake Placid Chapter Order of the Eastern Star, during the years 1910, 1911, and 1912.

Her marriage to John F. white took place at Wilmington, New York, April 3, 1912. Their children are: 1. Claire G., born February 1, 1913. 2. Roberta Louise, born July 8, 1919. 3. John Lewis, born December 23, 1921. 4. Eleanor Elsie, born October 3, 1925. Mrs. White and her entire family attend the "Adirondack Community Church" (Methodist), at Lake Placid, New York.

JUDGE DANIEL Henry PRIOR

Eighty-five years in almost any city constitutes an old family; but if there is an exception to the rule, the exception would be Albany, where there are families dating back to Dutch Colonial days. The Prior and Barry families appear to have made their homes in the city since 1840. Charles F. Prior, living in Albany, is engaged in the wholesale undertakers' supply business in Boston, Massachusetts. He married Catherine Barry, also of Albany, and they are the parents of Daniel Henry Prior, who was born April 20, 1888. He studied in the public schools and the Albany High School, finishing its course in 1906. He attended Holy Cross College at Worcester, Massachusetts, and went through the Albany Law School, being admitted to the bar in 1911. Since that time he has been engaged in general practice. Mr. Prior acted as first assistant district attorney of Albany county from January 1, 1914, to November 26, 1916, when he was appointed to fill a vacancy of the City Court of Albany, and served out the unexpired term. He was elected in November, 1919 to serve the full term of six years as the Republican candidate. He is a member of the New York State Bar Asso-

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ciation, the Albany County Bar Association, and of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, No. 49, being a Past Exalted Ruler. He belongs to the Knights of Columbus, the Loyal Order of Moose, the Order of Maccabees, and is a communicant of Our Lade of Angels Roman Catholic Church.

Judge Prior married, in Albany, New York, September 15, 1913, Catherine Winkler, daughter of Joseph and Margaret (Hammer) Winkler, of Albany. They are the parents of five children: 1. Catherine. 2. Helen. 3. Daniel Henry Jr. 4. Virginia. 5. Margaret. The family house is at No. 164 South Manning Boulevard, Albany, and Judge Prior's office is at No. 51 Chapel Street. He is a man of fine abilities, and devoted to his family and native city.

HIRAM NEWELL FLOYD.

Descended of farming stock, with practical experience in agricultural matters developed on his father's place, Hiram Newell Floyd, of Ticonderoga, New York, has been catering to the necessities of farmers during the greater part of his business life. He was born in Crown Point, New York, April 27, 1881, son of Edwin R. and Martha J. (Newell) Floyd.

Hiram Newell Floyd was educated in the public schools of his birthplace and attended the Ticonderoga High School. His first employment was in the New York State Survey with Mr. Colvin, but a year later, in 1898, he became a clerk in the feed store of his brother, Earl E. Floyd, where he remained eleven years, learning the business from the mill or production as well as the selling end. When Earl E. Floyd sold his business to George F. Dudley & Company, Hiram Newell Floyd continued in the employ of the new proprietors for five years, and at the end of that period, in association with George H. Bemis, bought the Dudley interests. On June 30, 1926, the death of Mr. Bemis terminated the partnership, and having taken over the Bemis interest, he has continued the business alone. He handles a full line of flour, grain, feed, roofing, and the farm implements of John Deere, having taken over the Deere agency in 1921. He is a Republican, a member of Ethan Allen Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of the Ticonderoga Fish and Game Club, and of the Essex County Farm Bureau.

In 1903, Hiram Newell Floyd married Minnie Curran, daughter of Richard and Lucy (Brown) Curran. Their one son is Donald R., who is a student in the dental school of Pennsylvania University, class of 1930, but spends his vacations assisting his father in business.

DAN CARROLL

As managing editor of the "times Union" and vice-president of the Albany Evening Union Company of Albany, Dan Carroll holds a prominent place in editorial circles in this section of the State. Together with his particular line of advance, Mr. Carroll takes a keen interest in the activities of the city and never fails to give his earnest support to whatever tends to further the welfare and advancement of this community.

John Carroll, father of Dan Carroll, was born in Galway, Ireland, in January, 1843, and at the age of ten years came to New York City, where for many years he was employed by the Standard Oil Company. He died in 1891. Mr. Carroll married Mary Reynolds, a native of Leitrim County, Ireland, who was born in 1850, and died in April, 1924.

Dan Carroll, son of John and Mary (Reynolds) Carroll, was born in Long Island City, November 13, 1886, and received his education in the public schools of his native place, graduating from the Bryant High School in 1902. Having in the meantime determined to take up newspaper work, he became a sub reporter on the New York "Sun," until 1911, when he became a reporter on the New York "Herald." In 1915, he resigned to accept a position as news editor of the "Times Union" at Albany, New York, and five years later was promoted to managing editor of the paper, which position he has since held.

In 1917, at the outbreak of the World War, Mr. Carroll served as war correspondent on the staff of the New York "Herald," being assigned to the Twenty-seventh Division in training for overseas duty at Camp Wadsworth. General John F. O'Ryan was commander of the Twenty-seventh, formerly the New York State National Guard units. Mr. Carroll was there from August, 1917 to May, 1918, when he returned to New York City and resumed work as a reporter for the "Herald" until October of that year, at which time he returned to the "Times Union" at Albany as news editor, attaining his present position in 1920.

Dan Carroll married, April 25, 1924, at New York City, Cora Mae Tiddle, and they are the parents of one child, Dan, Jr. born October 8, 1925. The family home is in Albany. Mr. Carroll is a great over of horses and his favorite short is hunting.

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CHARLES J. TOBIN. Few men crowd the hours more closely, or have a wider variety and range of activities, then Charles J. Tobin, of Albany. His father, Charles Tobin, was a builder, now retired, and his mother was Alice (Murphy) Tobin.

He was born in Albany, February 14, 1882, and was graduated from the Christian Brothers' Academy in 1900. He was made a Bachelor of Laws upon his graduation from the Albany Law School in 1904. The same year he became associated with the law department of the State Tax Commission, and served as its counsel from 1913 to 1916. In 1916 he formed a partnership with Justice Ellis J. Staley, as Stay & Tobin, and engaged in general practice in Albany. When Judge Staley was elected Surrogate of Albany County, Mr. Tobin engaged in general practice, from 1919 to 1921. The partnership of Tobin, Wiswall & Walton was formed on January 1, 1922. Chester Wood was admitted the next year, and the firm became Tobin, Wiswall, Walton & Wood, having a general practice and specializing in corporations, taxation, legislation, and State Department matters. Mr. Tobin was counsel for the New York State Children's Code commission. For many years he was associate counsel to the New York State Legislature Committee on Taxation. He was Special Deputy-General in the gas rate cases. He is Legislative and Departmental counsel of the Archdiocese of New York; and the six other Catholic dioceses, embracing the Province of New York, with jurisdiction embracing fourteen counties of the State, secretary to the State Council of Catholic Charities, its field covering the Catholic charities of the entire State; he is president of the diocesan central council of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, embracing the diocese of Albany; president of the New York State Tax Association, a State-wide association of tax officials and taxpayers; member of the National Tax Association, composed of national and State tax officials, tax experts, economists and taxpayers.

Mr. Tobin is a trustee of the Catholic Charities, of Albany, with jurisdiction covering the Catholic charity activities in the diocese of Albany; a trustee of the Maternity Hospital and Infant Home of Albany; a trustee of the Albany Catholic Association interested in camps and playgrounds. He was chairman of the Albany County Child Welfare Board, and is a past president of the New York State Association of child welfare board, a member of the advisory board Associated Charities of Albany; a director of the Legal Aid Society of Albany; and a member of the New York State Crippled Children's Committee. He is a member of the American, New York State and Albany County Bar associations; a director of the New York State National Bank of Albany; and a director of the Argus Company. His clubs are the University of Albany; the Fort Orange, and the Wolfert's Roose Country Club, of Albany; Mohawk Golf Club of Schenectady; and the Catholic Club, of New York City. He was vice-president of the Albany County Bar Association in 1925.

Mr. Tobin married, in Yonkers, New York, October 7, 1914, Sara Martha Devitt, daughter of John Jay and Mary (Shaughnessy) Devitt, of Yonkers. They are the parents of Charles J., Jr., Mary Beth, Edmund Booth, and Alice Miriam. The family lives at No. 60 South Manning Boulevard, Albany, and Mr. Tobin finds his happiest hours passed with his loved ones at home. His many activities bespeak rare executive ability and directness of aim, and power of concentration, all of which a re bound to open even wider opportunities for a man in his prime.

REV. CYRIL VENS STEVENS. One of the most popular and highly respected clergymen of Northern New York, the friendly influence of the Rev. Cyril Vens Stevens, of Ticonderoga, is felt far beyond the bounds of parish or denomination.

Born in Schoorissie, East Flanders, Belgium, August 3, 1870, the son of Theophile and Odilia De Nauleneester Stevens, he attended the parochial schools of his native town, and pursued his classical studies at the college of Oudenare, from which he passed to the theological seminary of the famous University of Louvain. This ancient Belgian seat of learning, which was almost destroyed during the World War, has probably prepared more young men for the service of the church in the United States than any other in Europe, and many of them have arisen to high distinction. After having received minor orders, he was raised to the priesthood, June 29, 1894, by the Most Rev. Francis Janssens, now deceased, then archbishop of New Orleans. He arrived in America on October 1, 1894, and was assigned to the parish church of Madrid, New York, where his pastorate lasted eighteen

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years. In May, 1913, he was transferred to Ticonderoga, and has since been rector of the Church of St. Mary.

Father Stevens comes of a family which has furnished many churchmen and professional men to Belgium, including his own father, Maitre Theophile Stevens, who died at the age of thirty-two years, just at the beginning of a brilliant legal career. Like all the faithful sons of Louvain, whether in America or Elsewhere, Father Stevens has been deeply interested in the movements which have had such phenomenal success, for the restoration of Louvain University, and its ancient and beautiful library. His Eminence, the beloved Cardinal Mercier, it will be remembered, gave the last of his life to this work.

 

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

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