The History of New York State
Biographies, Part 41

Editor, Dr. James Sullivan

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam



Editor of the Jamestown "Morning Post," of Jamestown, Chautauqua County, New York, Edward Lisle Allen is also secretary of the publishing company controlling this publication, and has engaged in movements constructive to Jamestown since commencement of his residence there. His experience in larger cities, prior to coming to Jamestown and the founding of the newspaper, fitted him ably for directions of a high-class daily publication, which the "Morning Post," has been since its origin more than a quarter of a century ago.

Edward Lisle Allen was born in Moscow (now Leicester), Livingston County, New York, August 14, 1868, son of Elias and Rosetta (Sheldon) Allen. He was educated in district school, at south Bristol, New York, and Rochester Free Academy, from which he was graduated in 1887. That year he began his newspaper career, starting as reporter for the Rochester "Herald," remaining with that publication until 1891. He next worked on the Rochester "Union and Advertiser," 1891 t-92, returning in the latter year to the "Herald" as associate editor. Leaving the paper in 1895 he became cashier of the Rochester Post Office and two years later resumed newspaper work as editorial writer for the Buffalo "Enquirer." Its owner, William J. Conners, shortly after-

Page 225

ward purchased the Buffalo "Courier," where Mr. Allen continued in an editorial capacity from 1897 to 1901. He next came to Jamestown with associates, establishing the "Morning Post," September 2, 1901, as a Republican daily paper. The company was composed, in part, of local capitalists who were interested in the enterprise by Mr. Allen and a confrere in newspaper work from Chicago, Robert K. Beach. The original officers of the company were: President, Cyrus E. Jones; Vice-president, Arthur C. Wade; secretary, Edward L. Allen; and treasurer, Robert K. Beach. Messrs. Jones and Wade have since died, and the company now has as president, Ralph C. Sheldon, one of the original stockholders, with Messrs. Allen and Beach in the positions formerly assigned. Mr. Beach has acted as the paper's business manager from the first, having come to the "Morning Post" from the old Chicago "Chronicle," after a wide experience in Western New York; and Mr. Allen has been sole editor in charge. The "Morning Post" is the leading paper in Chautauqua County, with a circulation, daily, of approximately 13,000 (1929). It has an appearance comparable with that of metropolitan dailies, eight columns to the page, with sixteen to thirty-two pages, the average number in pages being twenty. In 1912 the paper was moved into its own building, which is a structure comprising three stories of brick and concrete. The "Morning Post" was the first in the county to carry the complete Associated Press news service. It is a live, progressive publication; and while founded as Republican is Independent in its policies.

Aside from his duties pertaining tot he Post Publishing Company, Mr. Allen maintains a diversity of interests in general affairs. In 1920 he was Presidential Elector for Harding and Coolidge; was a member of the Jamestown Charter Revision Commission, 1906-07 and 1922-23; Jamestown Board of Health, 1910-13; director of the Board of Commerce, 1915-17; member of the local board of the State Normal School at Fredonia, since 1915; was active in the State direct primary movement during the administration of Governor Hughes; is chairman of the Jamestown Advisory Committee to the County Agency for Dependent Children; member of the Jamestown Anti-Tuberculosis Committee; the State Charities Aid Association; New York Civil Service Reform Association; Union Grange; National Editorial Association; State Publishers' Association; State Press Association; and alpha Zeta Fraternity. He also held membership in the Jamestown University Club, and is a communicant of the First Congregational Church of that city.

Edward Lisle Allen married, at Canandaigua, New York, December 4, 1895, Martha C. Van de Vyver; and their children are: 1. Marjorie, who graduated from Elmira College, class of 1919, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and from the School of Journalism, Columbia University, New York City, class of 1923, with the degree of Bachelor of Literature, and is now the wife of J. Clifford MacDonald, of Tampa, Florida. 2. Edward Robert, who was graduated from the University of Rochester, class of 1923, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and from McGill Medical School at Montreal with the degree of Doctor of Medicine and Master of Surgery, class of 1928, is now (1929) interne at the Royal Victoria Hospital at Montreal. 3. Elizabeth, who was educated at Wellesley College, is the wife of T. Carlton Rowen, of Swampscott, Massachusetts, and they had a child, Thomas Dean. Mr. Allen's leading interest is child welfare work and he has done much to promote this particular line of progress in his home community.


Counselor at law, with offices at No. 1440 Broadway, Godfrey Julian Jaffe is among the foremost barristers of his generation practicing in the city of New York. His record has been one of consistent and steady progress in the profession.

Born in Elmira, new York, April 8, 1901, he is the only child of Henry Samuel and Beatrice Goldie (Ruttenberg) Jaffe. His father is a native of Lithuania, and was born March 10, 1877. He came to the United States at the age of thirteen, took residence first in Brooklyn, and through talent and application attained to a position of prominence in New York City's great clothing manufacturing industry. For years past, Henry Samuel Jaffe has been a well-known factor in the metropolitan market. His factory for clothing production now is at No. 739 Broadway, near Wanamaker's department store. He is a member of Sheere Zeder Synagogue, New York City. Beatrice Goldie (Ruttenberg) Jaffe also survives. She was born March 10, 1897, in Elmira.

Godfrey Julian Jaffe first attended Public School No. 25, in Brooklyn, then the Man-

Page 226

hattan Public School No. 10, and completed his grammar school course in June of 1914. In 1918 he graduated from De Witt Clinton High School, with markings indicative of scholastic excellence, and matriculated in Columbia University, New York City, whence he took the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1922. Meanwhile his preference for the law as a life's work had become pronounced. On completion of the arts course he entered Columbia University School of Law, and in 1922, concurrently with the arts and sciences degree, took the degree of Bachelor of Laws. In 1924 he took that of Master of Arts, also from Columbia; and in January of 1925 was admitted to the bar. Since then he has engaged in practice, with augmented reputation among colleagues at the bar, having offices as cited. His residence is at No. 789 West End Avenue, New York City.

Various interests have attracted Mr. Jaffe. He is a member of the West Side Democratic Club, frantically is affiliated with Justice Lodge, No. 753, Free and Accepted masons; in college belonged to Kappa Nu, in which he retains membership, and makes a diversion of the cinema.

Mr. Jaffe married, in New York City, June 24, 1928, Sadie Engleman, who was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, daughter of Harry Engleman, deceased, and Minnie (Heisman) Engleman, who continues to make her home in Brooklyn.


In many respects the career of Owen McNally, of Oswego, was illuminated with sparks of genius. His mind was unusually alert and his grasp of business details rapid and comprehensive. He was a natural student of commercial matters and understood men and their motivating forces with uncanny perception, enabling him to lead in many activities where others followed. He was satisfied to work for others, until such time as he felt fully qualified to operate independently, when he took the lead and quickly proved the justification of his decision by the prosperity that followed his activities. Although handicapped by ill health for many years, his nature was so forceful that his influence continued to be felt in various fields of commercial enterprise in and about Oswego. He never sought public office, but was deeply interested in civic affairs and was frequently called in consultation by office holders when confronted by some knotty problem of municipal administration, at which times his advice was invaluable. Sympathetic with the aspirations of others, friendly and generous-hearted, he so conducted his business that it coordinated with other establishments and thus brought prosperity into the community by mutual cooperation. He was a virile and valuable citizen of this community, whose loss was a severe blow.

Owen McNally was born in Oswego, November 18, 1862, a son of Bernard and Mary McNally, and acquired his education in the public schools and at business college. He acquired a practical business training that qualified him for secretarial work and he became associated with E. W. Rathbun, wholesale lumber dealer. His native ability and quick grasp of the details of the business brought about rapid promotion and he eventually became a director of the business, where he remained for twenty-five years. He then established himself independently under the name of McNally Lumber Company, with which enterprise he was very successful, soon becoming known as one of the shrewdest business men of the district. His health compelled his retirement. He had been an influential member of the old Board of Trade and its financial secretary for years. He later held membership in the chamber of Commerce and served on many of its more important committees. He was a communicant of the Roman Catholic Church, and an Independent Democrat in political sympathy. His death occurred in Oswego, New York, December 20, 1924.

Owen McNally married, on April 30, 1902, in Oswego, New York, Caroline E. Mitchell, daughter of Hon. Edward and Caroline A. (Hanzelman) Mitchell, of Oswego. (See following biography.)


Former mayor of Oswego, shipbuilder, wheat dealer, and cooper, Edward Mitchell was for many years one of the leading citizens of Oswego and one of its most attractive personalities. Although a native of Canada, he had spent his life from boyhood in the United States, acquiring his education here and becoming identified with a number of its commercial activities. He was an admirer of popular government, and took an active interest in political affairs, yet he never sought office, and it was only through the insistence of the electorate of both political parties that he permitted his name to be used

Page 227

as a candidate for the mayoralty of Oswego, New York. His popularity carried him into office, and he administered it with high ability. Edward Mitchell did his life's work well and thoroughly, and never trod upon the toes of others engaged in occupations that were allied to his own. He was a skillful business man, as well as a finished artisan, a man who could build a good ship and then operate it with commercial success, who foresaw the needs of the people and put his physical and mental powers to work to supply them. It was thus that fortune came to him, possessed as he was of an unflagging industry and a determination to succeed that no setback could discourage. He made a multitude of friends and held them to the end, while others who knew him only by reputation conceded that the community lost one of its most valuable citizens with his passing.

Edward Mitchell was born in Brantford, Ontario, Canada, on January 29, 1837, son of Francis and Francis (Langdeau) Mitchell, both of whom were born in France. They removed to the United States in 1844 and settled in Oswego, New York. Here it was that the boy, Edward Mitchell, acquired an education in the public schools. He learned the cooper's trade, and conducted a business in that line for twenty-five years with his brother, Oliver, under the firm name of E. and O. Mitchell, at the close of that interval going to Michigan, where they engaged in building vessels for the Great Lakes trade. Among their ships were the "Belle Mitchell," the "Oliver Mitchell," and many others. For a number of years they conducted the East Side Dry Dock at Oswego, New York. Edward Mitchell's principal enterprise was wheat-dealing, however, and he handled a large amount of that commodity, buying heavily and shipping the grain in the vessels of his own constructions. In 1890 he was prevailed upon by the many friends whom he had acquired in all political parties to permit his name to be used in the campaign for the mayoralty, he acquiesced, and was swept into office by a heavy Democratic majority, aided by a large number of Republican votes. His death occurred on November 7, 1895, and was a cause of widespread and sincere sorrow among his fellow-townsmen, his associates in civic and business affairs, and all who knew him.

Hon. Edward Mitchell married, in 1864, Caroline A. Hanzelman, of Oswego, new York. Their children were; 1. Caroline E., who became the wife of Owen McNally (see preceding biography). 2. Edward V., who died in buffalo, New York, in 1898. 3. Belle, who died, an accident victim, in Oswego, in 1890. 4. Mary Ella, who resides at the family home, No. 165 East Third Street, Oswego, New York. 5. Clarence A., also of Oswego.

One of the outstanding traits of the life and character of the Hon. Edward Mitchell, both during the period of his mayoralty of Oswego and through the long years in which he performed his duties as a private citizen, was his charitableness of attitude toward his fellow-men, as well as of action toward all who need aid or succor. He was ever ready to take up any worthy cause, and to aid to the limit of his ability in the introduction of new and progressive measures into the social machinery of his city, while he gave freely from his own pockets to help those who constituted the needy of his community. He was a man who encouraged young people upon every occasion, and did everything in his power to start them along the path to successful achievement. And many of Oswego's leading citizens today remember some helpful deed or kindly word that they received from Mr. Mitchell to cheer and aid them in their courses, and they regard their remembrance of him as a pleasant and inspiring influence in their lives.


A native and lifelong resident of New York State, Mr. Kelley has spent his entire career as an educator in various public school of a number of towns in his native State. For almost three decades he has filled different positions as principal and superintendent of schools. Since 1921 he as been superintendent of the public schools of Lockport, Niagara County, and in this position, as in all he held previously, he has proven himself a very able teacher and educational administrator. For many years he has also been prominently active in various organizations devoted to the cause of education, while, since coming to Lockport, he has taken a great interest and played an effective part in the life of that community. He is not only very popular with his fellow-teacher and with his pupils, but is greatly liked and highly respected throughout the entire community.

Roy B. Kelley was born in Otsego County, January 24, 1880, a son of Milo and Sarah (Ketchum) Kelley. Both his parents were natives of New York State, where the family

Page 228

has been settled for several generations, many of its numbers having taken a leading part in the life of the various communities of which they were residents. Mr. Kelley was educated in the public school and then attended the State Normal School of Oneonta, Otsego County, where he was graduated in 1900. Later he did special work at Harvard and Chicago universities, as well as at Syracuse University, from which latter he received the degree of Bachelor of Science in 1919. Immediately after graduation from Normal School he became principal of the public school at Peterboro, Madison County, where he remained for two years. Next he served successively for three years at Eaton, Madison County, for two years at Sandy Creek, Oswego County, for seven years at Onondaga Academy, and for two years at the Brighton School, Syracuse. After having been superintendent of public schools at Solvay, Onondaga County, for five years, he was appointed to his present position in 1921, and since then has continued to serve with much success as superintendent of schools of Lockport. He is a member of the National Education Association and of the National Association of Superintendents. In 1927 he was president of the Teachers' Association of the Western Zone, while in 1922-23 he was president of the States Superintendents' Council. He has also held office in various sub-divisions of the National Educational Association and of the New York State Teachers' Association. Ever since coming to Lockport he has taken a very active part in the various activities of that community. He is a member of the Lockport Chamber of Commerce; the Lockport Rotary Club, of which he is a past president; the Lockport Council, Boy Scouts of America, of which he is a director; the Lockport Young Men's Christian Association; and Lockport Lodge, No. 73, Free and Accepted Masons. His religious affiliations are with the Baptist Church.

Mr. Kelley married, June 26, 1903, Alma Green, of Schenevus, Otsego County. Mr. and Mrs. Kelley are the parents of one daughter, Martha Kelley. The family home is located at No. 35 Elmwood Avenue, Lockport.


For more then half a century Dunkirk, Chautauqua County, has had the benefit of a community library. Though in its early days this institution had to face many difficulties, it succeeded in overcoming them all, and during the second half of its existence, it has steadily grown in influence and usefulness. Much of its growth and development is attributable to the able management by its librarian, Carlina M. Monchow, who has been at its head since 1900 and who enjoys a very high reputation amongst the librarians of New York State.

The Dunkirk Free Library is the outgrowth of the Dunkirk Library Association, which was founded as long ago as 1874. After a precarious existence this name was changed to the Brooks Memorial Library an again, in 1904, to the Dunkirk Free Library, as it has continued to be known ever since then. At that time the late Andrew Carnegie contributed the sum of $25,000.00 toward a new library building. Its cornerstone was laid in 1904 and the completed building was accepted by the board of trustees two years later, in 1906. The library now has some 20,000 volumes and is in a very prosperous condition, largely the result of the able management of its librarian, Miss Monchow, who has been in full charge of it since 1900. The Dunkirk Free Library enjoys the full confidence and support of the community and is constantly extending its influence and usefulness.

Carlina M. Monchow, librarian and secretary of board of trustees, of the Dunkirk Free Library, was born in Dunkirk, a daughter of Edward and Elizabeth (Rieck) Monchow. Her mother died several years ago, but her father is still a resident of Dunkirk. Miss Monchow was educated in the public schools of her native city and then took a course in library management, first in Albany, and later at the New York City Public Library, since 1900 she has been librarian of the Dunkirk Free Library. She is prominently active in club work and in the affairs of several organizations devoted to the interests of libraries and librarians. She is chairman of the Libraries Extension Committee of the New York State Federation of Women's clubs; corresponding secretary of the Woman's Literary Club of Dunkirk; a member of the American Library Association and of the League of Women Voters; and past secretary of the New York State Library Association. Her religious affiliations are with the Unitarian Church, of the Women's Alliance of which she is a member.


New York, was founded in 1900, through the generosity of William G. Swan, and his wife, Mrs. Emma M. Swan. Their bequests of $30,000 and $10,-

Page 229

000 were used to purchase, reconstruct and equip the Roswell Burrows' residence at Main and State Streets, and to establish a small endowment. The Albion Public Library of 5000 volumes, which included a town library and was the outgrowth of an older school library, was incorporated in the new institution. Since 1900, the number of volumes has grown to 15,500 and the circulation in 1928 was 58,137. About sixty periodicals are currently received; many are kept permanently on file, and the library contains a large collection of pamphlets and many interesting old books; also a collection of native woods, a very fine collection of birds' eggs, a coin collection and a small historical museum. Local history is emphasized.

The second floor of the building is devoted to community uses. The large, pleasant rooms of this fine old residence were easily adapted to an ideal meeting-place for literary clubs, the Red Cross, the Parent-Teachers' Association, the Needlework Guild, and many other local and county organizations.

The librarian, Miss Lillie A. Achilles, has occupied her present position since 1890. In 1899 she took a special course in library work in Chicago University. She has served as school librarian since 1919. She keeps in touch with community affairs through membership in various organizations, and has recently been appointed local historian.


A native and life resident of Steuben County, Mr. Willis has been a member of the New York Bar for half a century and throughout all this time has been engaged in general law practice at Bath, the county seat of Steuben County. His long experience, his thorough legal knowledge, and his ability, have enabled him to build up a very large practice, and he is one of the most widely known and highly respected members of the legal profession in his locality. In public affairs, too, he has been effectively active for many years and in many directions, but his chief interest, outside of his own profession, has always been in the cause of public education, which he has served and advanced with great energy and enthusiasm, having been a member of the Bath Board of Education almost continuously from 1888 until his retirement in 1914, and its president for many years of this long period.

Clarence Willis was born on a farm in Howard Township, Steuben County, some ten miles northwest of Bath, July 31, 1852, a son of William H. and Nancy (Whiting) Willis. His maternal great-grandfather, Colonel John Whiting, was born at Billerica, Massachusetts, October 10, 1782, later moving to Eddington, Maine, and still later, in 1814, to Bath, New York. His paternal great-grandfather, William Willis, came from Tolland County, Connecticut, to Steuben County, in 1820, being a member of an old and prominent New England family. His maternal grandmother, Sarah Emerson Whiting, was born at Candia, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, March 15, 1798.

During his boyhood, Clarence Willis worked on his father's farm and studied with Rev. Peter C. Robertson, who laid the foundations of a very good classical education and whose interest in his pupil's educational progress became the basis of the latter's desire to make available to everyone the best possible educational opportunities. He attended the district school and Haverling Academy, from which latter he graduated in 1871, devoting the next few years to teaching school and to reading law in the office of Ruggles & Little, and of Charles F. Kingsley. These activities, to which eh devoted himself with great zeal, proved too exhausting for his health, and he was forced to retire for a time to the home farm o to recuperate. His health eventually improved, and he was able to complete his law studies and, in 1878, was admitted to the bar at Buffalo. In the same year he established himself in the practice of his profession at Bath, where he has continued since with success, and where he has become one of the leading lawyers and attorneys, with a very large practice. Mr. Willis always has taken a deep interest in local public affairs and has been elected to many offices. From 1883 to 1888, inclusive, he was clerk to the sheriff of Steuben County; in 1889 he served as village clerk of Bath; in 1890 as police justice (for six years); and from 1891 to 1895 as justice of the peace. Appointed by the State comptroller to serve as transfer tax attorney for Steuben County, March 1, 1907, he filled this office for two years, and he has also been assessor and a member of the Board of Health of Bath. In 1888, for the first time, he was elected to the Bath Board of Education and, with the exception of three years, from 1901 to 1914, when ill health necessitated his resignation, he having been president of the board for five of these years. His deep and helpful interest in the schools never wavered and for many years he has annually donated prizes for elocution. He

Page 230

also established the Haverling High School Alumni Association in 1883; and at various times, for a total of seven years, has been its president. Both Hobart College, Geneva, New York, and Alfred University, Alfred, New York, have enjoyed his friendly interest and support for many years, and have recognized his accomplishments and services to the cause of education; the former by conferring upon him, in 1895, the honorary degree of Bachelor of Arts; the latter, in 1910, the honorary degree of Master of letters. Historical affairs have claimed his intelligent attention for many years, especially when they concerned Steuben County, in the history and development of which he has taken such an active part and of which he is deemed one of the best informed historians. He has accumulated a very fine private library, especially rich in historical books, and he is the author of a highly regarded pamphlet on "The Pulteney Land Title" (Genesee tract), which has been in such demand that it has reached its fifth edition. The chair of oratory at Alfred University was founded by Mr. Willis in memory of his father and mother and he has been a director of the alumni Association of this institution. His fraternal associations have been with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of which he has been District Deputy Grand Master and District Deputy Grand Patriarch. In politics, he is a supporter of the Democratic Party, and, considering that his county and town are normally strongly Republican, he has made a very impressive record in both county and State politics. In 1906 he was nominated for county judge and made a gallant fight; in 1909 he was the Democratic nominee for the Assembly, but lost by a small margin; and in 1910 he was his party's choice for State Senator. Although he carried every district in Bath, where two years before President Taft had swept the district with a majority of five thousand, the overwhelmingly large republican vote of the other districts caused his defeat. He is also a director, secretary and superintendent of the Bath Cemetery Association (Nondaga), while his religious affiliation are with the Episcopal church, and more particularly with St. Thomas Church of Bath, of which he has been a vestryman for many years, and is now senior warden.

Mr. Willis married, April 23, 1890, Mary Alice Millington, who died March 13, 1925.


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

HTML by Debbie Axtman

You are the Visitor to this USGenNet Safe-Site™ Since September 5, 2004.


[Index][Book Index][NY][AHGP]