The History of New York State
Biographies, Part 40

Editor, Dr. James Sullivan

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam



The long period of distinguished activity as public school teacher, school commissioner, supervisor, district attorney, and later as Surrogate of Steuben County,

which preceded the elevation of Judge Smith to his present position, Justice of the

Supreme Court of New York State, made his name one of rare and widely recognized

significance to the people, and in the duties of his present office, which he assumed

January 1, 1929, it is firmly believed that his influence upon the progress of his time will continue to be definitely felt.

Edwin C. Smith, the son of Charles A. and Emma (Lewis) Smith, was born in the town of Barrington, Yates County, New York, December 15, 1870. At the tender age of eight months, his parents removed to the town of Urbana, Steuben County, New York, where the subject of this sketch was educated in the public schools, and was graduated from the Hammondsport High School in June, 1887. Thereafter he was a teacher in the public schools of Steuben County at Pulteney, New York; Bradford, New York; and Hammondsport, New York, until the year 1893, when he was elected school commissioner of the First Commissioner District of the County of Steuben. In the meantime, Mr. smith had studied at Haverling High School in Bath, and was graduated therefrom in June, 1893. During these years he had also registered as a law student in the offices of the late Supreme Court Justice John F. Parkhurst, at Bath, and after he retired from the office of school commissioner, he entered the Albany Law School, where he as graduated in June, 1897, with the degree of Bachelor of Laws, and was admitted to the bar in July, 1897.

On September 6, 1897, Judge Smith bought out the old and established law practice of Dininny and Sanford, at Addison, New York, and removed to Addison, where he practiced law until he was elected surrogate of the County of Steuben in 1918. In the meantime, while at Addison, Judge Smith was supervisor of that town, and on the first day of May, 1906, was appointed district attorney of the county of Steuben by Governor Frank W. Higgins. In the fall of 1906, and again in the fall of 1909, he was elected and re-elected district attorney, and served in that office until January 1, 1913. He was unanimously reelected surrogate of the county of Steuben in November, 1924. At the November election of 1928 he was elected a Justice of the Supreme Court in and for the Seventh Judicial District of the State of New York, and assumed the duties of that office on the first day of January, 1929.

Judge smith has always been a Republican in politics, following the example of his father and grandfather before him. Judge Smith is a member of the Addison Masonic Lodge, No. 118, Free and Accepted Masons, a Past District Grand Master of the Steuben District, and a Past Grand of the Independent Order of Odd fellows. He is also a past president of the Beth, New York, Rotary Club.

Judge smith is married, and with his wife, formerly Rose Latimer, of Addison, New York, resides at Bath, New York. They have two sons, George F. Smith, a graduate of West Point in the class of 1928, and now stationed at Brooks Field, San Antonio, Texas; their younger son, Edward F., is a student at St. John's Military Academy, at Manlius, New York, class of 1929. Judge Smith is an ardent follower and lover of out-of-door sports.

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Enforcement of the law demands men and administration of the highest type of integrity and courage, and the city of Amsterdam, New York, is indeed fortunate in having a police force of unexcelled quality. Few persons within the area who rely upon this force for protection of their properties and safety rights are unappreciative of this. Large credit is given the chief of the Police Department, William E. Cline, as well may be. For twenty-five years (1928) he has been identified with the force, and not once in that lengthy period has his integrity been challenged. Duty to him has been a thing of personal pride, and remains with him untarnished in the straightforward manner of its execution. He is one of the foremost citizens of Amsterdam.

Born in Ulster County, April 15, 1872, chief Cline's father was Alonzo Cline, sturdy farmer and business man of Ulster county, who died when his son was very young; Gertrude (Adams) cline was his mother. He secured his elementary and secondary instruction in the public schools of Ulster County, then went to work. From that time to the present he has known no idleness, and all of his efforts have been usefully directed. For about a year and a half he worked in the Shannon Brothers Steam laundry, and in 1902 joined the police force, as patrolman. Later he became a member of the Traffic Squad, and still later was promoted to the rank of sergeant, and for six weeks, beginning at the close of 1926, served as acting chief, which was confirmed permanently by appointment in full in February, 1927. As chief of the department he has continued to the present, to the benefit of the people at large and the credit of the administration responsible for his appointment.

A Republican, chief cline has held no political office save that of chief of police, and this he does not regard as a political payment, but as a position in which he is placed to fulfill certain great responsibilities to the people, regardless of his personal political views. He has supported the principles and candidates of the party consistently, and is accounted as influential figure within its circles. During the war he was of valued aid in the campaigns of the Liberty Loan and Red Cross. Fraternally, in former years, Chief cline was affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and is now a member of the Police Benefit Association and Police Association of the State of New York, having long been active in the last two named. He is a communicant of the First Methodist Church of Amsterdam.

Chief Cline has been twice married, (first) in May, 1892, he tool to wife Alice Fuller, and (second), in February, 1901, Fannie W. Suits, daughter of Herman and Jane Suits. Of the first union were born two daughters: Jane, born in 1898, who became the wife of Paul Garcia, and Hattie May, born in 1901, now the wife of Frederick Vunck. Of the Second marriage was one daughter, Lillian, born in 1905, now the wife of Reginald Firth.


For many yeas one of the outstanding business men of Ticonderago, New York, Franklin Lake Brust was the founder of the Brust hardware company, of this city, which was started in 1892, later take over by two of the organization's former employees. He spent practically all his life in New York State, where he was widely known and highly respected, and in the course of a busy and useful career, acquired a large number of faithful and loyal friends; some of them people who he knew in a business way and who held him in the highest esteem for his qualities of sound judgment and his ability of handling difficult problems and situations, we well as those who se privilege it was to be on more intimate terms with him and that he ever demonstrated by his actions and words and for the delightful companionship that moments with him afforded. His death, it is hardly necessary to point out, brought great sorrow to the hearts of all who knew him, for his friends were many and his contribution to this community most extensive and helpful.

Mr. Brust was born in Lansingburg, near Troy, New York, on May 12, 1849, a son of David and Frances Ann (Lake) Brust. It was in the schools of his birthplace that he received his early education; and, when it was time for him to decide upon the choice for a career, he took up business as the most likely field for his endeavors. In 1892 he founded the Brust Hardware Company, which has continued under the same name since that time. He selected a site of land, build his building, and when it was competed conducted his business independently, without taking any partners, until 1920, when it was incorporated ina form which was kept until 1923. In 1923 M.

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R. Temple and L. M. Barry assumed control of the company, this business having been willed to them by their employer, Franklin L. Brust, and they continued to operate the business under his name, handling a general line of hardware. Both Mr. Temple and Miss Barry were employed for many years by Mr. Brust, and so they were fully fitted to take over entire management upon his death. The Brust hardware Company, both under his management and theirs, has been one of the foremost business enterprises in Ticonderago, and this part of New York State, and since it was founded in 1891 has shown steady and healthy growth and development, with the result that today it renders a distinct service to its community and is one of Ticonderago's most valued assets.

In addition to his connection with this company, Mr. Brust was a director of the Ticonderago National Bank. He belonged to the Free and Accepted Masons, in which his affiliation was with Mount Defiance Lodge, while he also had membership in the Commandery of Knight Templar of Troy, New York. His religious faith was that of congregational Church, in which he was one of the trustees. His wife was Carrie Burdick.

Franklin Lake Brust died on June 11, 1923, and his passing caused widespread grief throughout Ticonderoga and the surrounding community, in which he was known and loved. The business which he developed was at all times carefully managed and successful, and he was highly respected for his work in connection with it. One of his business associates, in writing of him, said: "He was a man of high character and industrious to the last degree." Mr. Brust was a man whom Ticonderago will not soon forget, and who will be most difficult to replace.


A man of long experience and wide knowledge of the medical sciences, Richard John Brown has been a leading member of his profession at Jamestown for twenty years. In addition to his early general practice for seven years in Albania, New York, he was led to make an exhaustive study of goiter and its treatment, and now for the past eighteen years, he has devoted himself entirely to the alleviation and removal of the disease, with internal medicines, containing no poison of any kind, according to the art and science of medicine only. No iodine is used. It is a hereditary, transmitted blood disease. I this special field he has won the greatest distinction, being consulted by patients from all parts of the country who come to him with the completest confidence--justified by his past successes--that no more expert care is available.

Dr. Brown was born in Albany, New York, on June 4, 1860, a son of Nicholas and Mary Brown. He obtained his education in the public schools of his birthplace, also at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and later entered the Medical and Surgical College of Albany, from which he was graduated in 1882, with the degree of Doctor of Medicine. At Albany he was a student under Dr. Swinburne, who was health officer of the Port of New York, and Dr. Lewis Balch, professors of anatomy, who conducted a large private hospital for surgical and medical treatment in which the young doctor was assistant for three years, and from the very beginning of his professional training, revealed the meticulous care in mastering even the smallest details which has always been characteristic of his work. In the class of ninety, he received from Professor Merrill the second highest honor for excellence in the course pertaining to the disease and treatment of the eye, ear, nose, and throat.

Soon after his graduation from medical college, Dr. Brown began the general practice of his profession at Albany with unusual success for so young a man, and there, in 1882, in county clerk's office, he became a registered physician and surgeon, and under the State registration of 1927-28-29. In addition he served as surgeon for the New York Central Railroad, at the West Albany shops, and lectured frequently before the Young men's Christian Association. he originated the methods of treatment now so commonly used by all "first aid to the injured," in 1883, and was the first to give general instruction along these lines--a service of inestimable value in a country now largely industrialized and with a constantly increasing number of accidents where skillful first aid is often of vital importance. He was elected a member of the Albany Club, and in 1882 was elected a member of the Albany County Medical Society. In the year 1909, Dr. Brown came to Jamestown, where he has made his home since that time, a prominent and highly esteemed member of the community. Through years of successful practice, in constant attendance upon the sick and injured, he won for himself a secure place in the affections

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of all those who came in contact with him in any way by his high conception of his professional duty and great skill, his genial and pleasant manner and personal warmth and charm. By continual study he kept well abreast of all the latest developments in medical science, and having become interested in the problem connected with the prevention and removal of goiter (without operation) he resolved to make this his special province. For almost eighteen years, he Haas confined his attention to goiter cases, supplying to the community a service of the kind which is usually available only in the largest cities, and during all this period his reputation as a specialist has spread throughout the country. Now he is consulted by many from far distant States who all gladly testify to the efficacy of his treatments


For thirty years, the medical profession of Jamestown has been enriched by the membership of A. Austin Becker, a successful practitioner and a citizen of unblemished reputation. Skilled in his knowledge, Dr. Becker is student who advances in synchronism with the progress of his art, having at all times at his command the very latest discoveries and the ability to apply them correctly in his treatments. Progress in the science of medicine demands constant study and a facile mind and in these respects this physician is an honor to his fellows. He is ranked as one of the most worthy of out citizens and as of great value to the community, both professionally and in his assistful interest in public affairs, ever looking to the general progress of the community and ready at all times to lend his aid in worthy causes.

Austin Becker was born in Ontario, Canada, November 9, 1873, and received his professional education at the University of Buffalo, new York, from which he was graduated with the class of 1898, and received the degree of Doctor of medicine. He spent a short time as an interne in Buffalo and then came to Jamestown, where he established himself in general practice. He is a member of the New York State and County Medical societies and is affiliated with the Masonic body, having membership in Mount Moriah Lodge, No. 145, Free and Accepted Masons; Jamestown Consistory, ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Masons, and other bodies of the order. His church is the Unitarian.

Dr. Becker married Maude J. Burch, of Pennsylvania, and they are the parents of one child, Charles Samuel. The family residence is on Terrace Avenue, Lakewood, New York.

Henry M. SAGE

A member of an old Albany family and himself a native and lifelong resident of New York State's Capital, Mr. sage has been prominently identified with the lumber industry for almost four decades, ever since he graduated from college in 1890. For many years he has been a part owner and executive officer of the Sage Land & Improvement Company, with offices at No. 33 State Street, Albany. This concern, owning large timber tracts in several States, is engaged in the development and selling of timberland, and in its field has become on of the best-known and most successful enterprises. Mr. Sage has also been very prominently active in public affairs to the county and State and has held many positions of an executive character which he has been forced to relinquish because of ill health. he was born at Albany, new York, May 18, 1868, a son of the late Dean and Sarah (Manning) Sage, the former for many years a successful lumber dealer.

Henry M. Sage was educated at Albany Academy and at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, from which latter he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and in his senior year was a member of the Skull and Bones Club. After graduating from college he entered his father's lumber business, in which he continued until 1893. In that year the Sage Land and Improvement Company was organized, since which time Mr. Sage has been identified with that concern. The company owns several large timber tracts in various parts of Michigan, Alabama, and California. The principal business of the organization is the purchase, improvement, and sale of timberlands, and much of the great success of the company is attributable to Mr. Sage's thorough knowledge of the business, his great ability, his keen judgment and his remarkable energy, which traits have also been shown very forcibly in connection with his public service.

He is a director of the New York State National Bank; the New York Telephone Company; and trustee of the Albany Savings Bank. In politics he is a staunch supporter of the Republican Party and its principles and for many years he has been considered one of the leading figures in Republican affairs in New York State. In 1899 and 1900 he was a member of the Assembly, and from 1911 to 1920

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he represented Albany County in the New York State Senate. He has been president of the Board of Hudson River Regulating District since his appointment to that office by Governor Miller in 1923; and has been a delegate to the New York State republican Convention for many years, as well as having been a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1916, 1920, and 1924. His fraternal affiliation is with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity of Yale. He also holds membership in the Albany Chamber of Commerce, the Yale Graduate Club of New Haven, Fort Orange Club, University Club of New York City, and the Schuyler Meadows Club, of which last named he is a director. His religious affiliation is with the Protestant Episcopal Church.

Henry M. Sage married twice, his second marriage to Cornelia McC. Cogswell having taken place May 11, 1911. He is the father of four children, two by his first marriage and two by his second; !. Ann E. 2. Katherine, both, in 1926, engaged in the study of art in Europe; 3. Cornelia Cogswell, born in 1914; and 4. Henry M., Jr., born in 1920.


"Of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes." The eugenists believe this principle holds good of human beings, and the examples that can be cited in support of this postulate are well-nigh innumerable. The career of Cecil Dashwood Giles offers a case in point and emphasizes the old saying that it pays to be well born. Not every well-pedigreed trotter makes a notable racing record; but such a record is not even expected of an animal with truckhorse ancestry. Thus, on the principle summed up in the French term noblesse oblige, it behooves a person favored with a fine ancestral background to make good, if for no other reason then to maintain the prestige of an honored family name. The scion of families prominent among the clergy of the Church of England and in the British Navy, he came to America and by his own acumen and intelligently directed industry, combined with high ideals of personal conduct in all the relations of life, he has won for himself a place of outstanding eminence in his adopted profession.

Mr. Giles was born in Weston-Super-Mare, England, January 25, 1875, son of Captain Charles S. and Helen N. (Lang) Giles. As a lad Captain Giles entered the British navy and rose step by step to the rank of captain. He retired from that position some years before his death. He was a contemporary of Lord fisher, who, in his "Memoirs," referred to Captain Giles as "my dear messmate and devoted friend." Helen N. Land, whom Captain Giles married, was a daughter of a long line of Episcopal clergymen, for generations the Giles family had been officers in the British Navy, and it was the plan of the family that Cecil D. should follow in the footsteps of his forebears. According, after completing his elementary schooling, he was sent to a private school whose specialty it was to coach prospective applicants for navy enlistment. Young Giles was nominated for the navy by Lord fisher; but just then, the Admiralty changed the age of admission and postponed examinations for a year. the boy could not wait for employment until this period had elapsed, owing to the family's fortune having been depleted by financial reverses; so he found wok ina n accountant's office. Possibly he was influenced in making this choice of vocation by the fact that one of his brothers had adopted that profession and was making good at it in New York City, that brother, R. H. Giles, is today vice-president of the Bankers' Trust company. In 1897, Cecil D. Giles came to America and went directly to St. Louis, where another brother, Ernest N. Giles, was engaged in newspaper work. After a year there, Cecil D. returned East and found employment with the firm with which his brother, R. H. Giles, was associated, Deloitte, Plender, Griffiths and Company. Here he devoted himself not only to the performance of the routine duties to which he was appointed, but by observation and study he sought to master every detail of the theory and practice of accounting. He had always manifested a special aptitude for mathematics. As a boy he won every prize for which he competed in this subject, and he entered many contests. Cecil D. Giles was a young man of vision and ambition; resourceful and energetic, with initiative aplenty, he believed he was worth more to himself than he could expect of anyone else, who planned to make a profit on his time and labor. In 1901 he felt that the time had come to put this belief to the test and venture into business on his own account. Accordingly, he organized the Federal Audit and Transfer Corporation to do a general public accounting business. After five or six years he withdrew from

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That corporation and entered the employ of Niles and Miles, with whom he remained for seven years. He resigned from that position to become associated with the firm of Suffern and Son, which later became the firm of Loomis, Suffern and Fernald. That connection continued until. 1915, in which year Mr. Giles resigned to start again in business for himself. A partnership was formed with Harold d. Greeley, a close friend, and a general accounting business was established under the firm name Greeley and Giles. After three years the partnership was dissolved, and with R. E. Niederweisen as a partner, Mr. Giles established the firm of C. D. Giles and Company. That arrangement continued until 1921, since which time Mr. Giles has been sole proprietor of the business. From the very beginning of his venture into business on his own account, Mr. Giles has been called upon to do accounting for estates. He has probably done more work of this kind than any other accountant in America, and some of the estates he has handled have been very large ones. Perhaps it is safe to say that there is no other man who has a broader or more thorough knowledge of the laws relating to probate and tax matters than Mr. Giles. Possessing a keenly analytical mind, and as conscientious in watching out for a client's interests as if they were his own, Mr. Giles has been able to save estates sums of money sometimes running into large amounts.

In 1917 he was appointed to represent the Alien Property Custodian in New York City and was assigned immediately to investigate the German corporations there. He also did similar work for the War Trade Board. Every moment of his time was thus employed until the Armistice, and he had the satisfaction of seeing his record placed by the Alien property Custodian at the head of the list as second to none. Owing to the increase in the volume of his practice Mr. Giles, in 1929, took into partnership Daniel Brockman.

Mr. Giles is a member of the board of governors of the Accountants' Club of America; he is also a member of the Connecticut society of Certified Public Accountants; Incorporation of Accountants of Scotland. He is a lover of the great outdoors and finds his principal recreation in playing golf. He is a member of the Ardsley Country Club; the Corning Club of Corning, New York; the Wood's Hole Country Club; the Layers' Club. He is a member of Chancellor Walworth Lodge, No. 271, Free and Accepted Masons.

Cecil Dashwood Giles married Vesta L. Grimes, of Paw Paw, Michigan, daughter of Charles Grimes, who original American ancestor came to New England in the seventeenth century. Mrs. Giles was graduated from the University of Chicago, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, she then pursued the study of art in a New York City art school from which after four years, she was graduated as an interior decorator. Since then she had been following her profession with gratifying success. Mr. and Mrs. Giles are members of St. Johns' Episcopal Church.

Mr. Giles believes that any young man may reach any goal he sets for himself if he be truly ambitious, not a clock watcher but, like the Apostle Paul, be "instant in season and out of season." The man who can "deliver the goods" will not fail of recognition, for there are never enough of his kind to satisfy the demand. His own career is a splendid demonstration of the accuracy of his theory.


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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