The History of New York State
Biographies, Part 42

Editor, Dr. James Sullivan

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam

 

ERNEST J. KELLEY, JR., M. D.

Among the most progressive of the younger physicians of Jamestown is Ernest J. Kelley, Jr., who has been in practice here since 1926, after a few years of other places and hospitals. He brought to his work here a sound education and an ambition to forge to the fore in this profession and ha shown in his work that there is every reason to expect him to fill a high place in the ranks. His interest in local civic affairs is deep and sincere and shows a sense of citizenship that appeals to the progressive element of the community, while his ingratiating personality is one of his greatest attractions and wins him many friends. Among the older physicians of the district he is looked upon with approving eye and the prediction that he will rise rapidly and high in his chosen field of effort.

He was born in chandler's Valley, Pennsylvania, March 20, 1897, a son of Ernest J. and Blanche E. (Brooks) Kelley, both residents of Chandler's Valley, his father being retired. He was educated in the local public schools and at Allegheny College, from which he received the degree of Bachelor of Science upon graduation, after which he entered the Western Reserve University, and was graduated from that institution with the class of 1922 and the degree of Doctor of Medicine. He served one year as an interne at St. Luke's Hospital, in Cleveland, Ohio, and then engaged in private practice in Leetonia, Ohio, removing to Jamestown in 1926, where he has since been engaged in general practice. He is a member of the staffs of the local hospitals and belongs to the American Medical Association and to the New York State and Chautauqua County Medical Societies. During the World War he served for a brief period in the military service, attached to the Medical Corps. He is a member of Stillwater Lodge, No. 547, of Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania, order of Free and Accepted Masons; Jamestown Consistory, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Masons; Ismalia Temple, Ancient Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, and other bodies, and belongs to the Shrine Club and to the Moon Brook Country Club. His residence is at No. 511 North Main Street, Jamestown.

FREDERICK E. CLARY

Rising steadily in the profession of the law, Frederick E. Clary is one of the representative citizens of Jamestown and holds a place among the leading practitioners, although himself among the younger element. He prepared with a comprehensive education for the part he selected as a life occupation and had consistently added to his knowledge by observation and careful

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attention to the details of the exacting profession. Held in esteem by his fellow-members of the bar, it is freely predicted that there are no heights to which he may not climb through the industry, ability and studious application which he gives to his work. He has shown his deep regard for the duties of citizenship by taking an active interest in public affairs and has been recognized by election to office, which he administers with credit to himself and satisfaction to the electorate. Native to the city, he has made a vast number of friends, whom he holds staunchly by virtue of his upright character and an attractive personality.

He was born in Jamestown, New York, November 2, 1894, a son of the late James A. and Elizabeth E. (Eberman) Clary, and began his educational work in the local public schools. He then took the course at the University of Michigan and was graduated with the class of 1922 and the degree of Bachelor of Laws. Admitted to the bar in 1923, he came at once to Jamestown and began practice. In 1924 he was elected county supervisor on the Republican ticket. During his university term he abandoned his work temporarily to enter the military service of the United States, in which he remained from August, 1918 to the spring of 1919, when he was honorably mustered out. He is a member of the Jamestown Bar Association, a charter member of the local post of the American legion and belongs to the Moon Brook Country and Prendergast clubs. His fraternal members include Mount Moriah Lodge, No. 145, Order of Free and Accepted Masons. His church is the Congregational.

Frederick E. Clary married, July 22, 1925, Lillian Brooks, of Jamestown, and they are the parents of one child, James Brooks. The family residence is at No. 44 Clyde Avenue, Jamestown, New York.

WILLIAM IRA BAKER

Eighty-two years young, yet still in the prime of life, strong and vigorous in both body and mind, swift in action, quick in decision, energetic, alert, and unusually versatile, such is the summing up of the physical and mental powers of William Ira Baker, president of the Albany Hardware and Iron Company, one of the largest concerns of its kind in the State. His years of struggle and achievement and finally of outstanding success serve as a notable example of what may be accomplished by high vision, direct aim and continuous hard work.

From the humblest position in the trade to his present and important station, Mr. Baker has risen with steady and consistent strides. The years that have intervened since first he was an apprenticed clerk he has filled with a service remarkable for its quality, in the various positions of salesman, buyer, and vice-president. Intelligence and hard work plus a native endowment, made him one of the most successful hardware salesmen that the hardware trade "up-State" has known; likewise, he became on of the most accomplished buyers in the business, and in this capacity exhibited ability which he has developed through his years back of the counter.

As vice-president of the Albany hardware and Iron company, he was, so to speak, on the shelf for the time, but during this interim he was maturing and consolidating his powers against the day when he should pass to the head of the class--the presidency of the company--whose standing and expansion are due largely to his genius for organization, squareness and fairness in all his dealings, the capacity for inculcating esprit de corps among the staff, and to system, spelled in capital letters, for system is perhaps his chief obsession.

The buildings housing the wholesale, stock and retail departments of the company stand as monuments to the progressiveness, modernism and far-sightedness of the concern's executive; the same is true of the equipment, completeness and high quality of the merchandise, and to the widely ramifying good will which the company enjoys. The ensemble of the physical and intangible or moral elements fitting into the composite picture of the company--its president, its staff, its morale--is most pleasing to the educated of the trade as well as most attractive to the buying public.

Born in inconspicuous but "homey" Leesville, near Sharon Springs, Schoharie County, New York, December 30, 1844, Mr. Baker is the son of Charles D. and Thersa (Brooks) Baker, both of whom were well-known and respected residents of the community. His great-grandfather, George Baker, of Milford and Portlandville, Otsego County, new York, was a soldier in the Revolution. William Baker's father was the "boss and all hands" at Leesville's general store, where about everything was sold, from stick candy and spruce gum to lam and eggs, while a harness stop and postoffice added to their varieties of activity. The little red schoolhouse was where the boy Baker obtained the rudiments of an education with which to face the issues of life. He did his chores on the home farm as most boys of his

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age, and station had to do to help father and mother make both ends meet. Could it have been that even in those days he had visions of making plows, hoes, rakes and shovels more popular as merchandise than they were as implements of a farm boy's hard labor? At any rate it was this vision that eventually led the young man Baker out into the wide world to seek his livelihood. He made his start in the small town of Summit, where he obtained a job as clerk and general utility man in the store of Samuel J. Lake, at the munificent salary of seventy-five dollars a year. The next year it was raised as high as one hundred and twenty-five dollars. He was at the bottom of the ladder, and there were only two things to do--run or climb, he began to climb. He made himself a part of the job, and when he attained his majority, he moved on to East Worcester, Otsego County, where he was employed by D. W. and N. Thurber, who had heard of young Baker's salesmanship ability. They paid him the large sum of three hundred dollars, a year and fed and lodged him in the bargain. From the Thurber establishment he migrated after a year, top Albany, where, April 26, 1866, he acquired his first taste of the hardware business as a clerk in the store of Cantine Tremper, No. 63 State Street, receiving a salary of three hundred and fifty dollars a year, plus the opportunity to "find himself." Four years of faithful service to Mr. Tremper, then the latter suddenly sold out his business to Maurice E. Viele--and Mr. Baker was out of a job. Then to James Martin's sporting goods store went William Ira, and Mr. Martin engaged him on the spot, at a salary of seven hundred and fifty dollars a year. For three years he stayed with Mr. martin, learning to the last work all about the sporting goods business. Next he joined the forced of L. Pruyn and Son, No. 39 State Street, almost across the street from Martin's at the same salary that he had been receiving. In 1874 Pruyn failed, and again Mr. Baker was out in the jobless world, but not for long. Maurice E. Viele, whose store was at Nos. 41-43 State Street, bought the entire Pruyn stock, and with it went Mr. Baker, the rising hardware salesman. In 1876 he became buyer for Mr. Viele and stocked a fishing tackle and sporting goods department in the Viele store. Mr. Baker became an expert in this line of merchandise and began to command a large following, to which he catered almost entirely until his line of builders' hardware compelled him to work additional hours to keep up with the customers' demands. The business grew apace and with Mr. Baker's following.

Now arrived the time when Mr. Baker achieved two of the most notable victories of his career. First, he won for himself a most efficient helpmate, Angie Randall, daughter of Jacob and Angeline Randall, of Albany, New York, and second, he secured for the Viele store the contracts for the hardware for the new Capital building in Albany, this latter amount running through many years of the building's construction period. Thereafter, matters took a quick change, and in 1891 the Albany Hardware and Iron company was organized, taking over all of Viele's stock of hardware and his good will. In 1905 Mr. Baker was made Vie-president and, as he had the backing of strong financial friends and unlimited credit at the bank, he soon became one of the heaviest stockholders in the company. In 1909, when the company was re-organized, he was advanced to president, which position he has held ever since. His remarkable administrative ability, combined with his genial personality, has won for him an enviable record, and it is due to his untiring efforts as well as to his radiating vitality that the success of the Albany Hardware Company has been established. Here are some facts worthy of mention: When Mr. Baker was with Maurice E. Viele, the latter's sales totaled $400,000 a year; when Mr. Baker became president of the Albany Hardware and Iron company the business that year amounted to $700,000; in 1925, the total sales aggregated $2,750,000--and the business is still on the increase.

In 1925 he company completed the erection of a huge, fireproof wholesale warehouse, 112 by 200 feet, seven stories in height, and a basemen, with a floor ear of 172,000 square feet, modern in all its equipment and appointments, with the Hudson River on one side and railroad facilities on the opposite side. This great structure was erected as a part of Mr. Baker's far-sighted plan for making every provisions for carrying ample stocks of hardware to meet the heaviest demands that might be put upon it by present or prospective customers. He has, moreover, not only provided for the material advancement of the business, but he has also most zealously looked after the interests of the employees. The morale of the large staff of the company is heightened by substantial bonuses under a system inaugurated by Mr. Baker. Ever since he became president he has paid salaries in accordance with the accepted

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standards of fair return to the workers, who are actually the backbone of the establishment. By thus boosting the employee's wages, he makes of them boosters for the Albany Hardware and Iron Company--so the plan works out exceedingly well both ways.

Mr. Baker is a Past Master of Ancient City Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, and is said to have been one of the very best exponents of Masonry during the days of his incumbency. For more then half a century he has been a member of the First Baptist Church of his home city; for more than forty years a deacon and a Sunday School teacher, and a trustee for more than twenty-five years.

In 1925 Mr. and Mrs. Baker made a vacation trip to the Pacific coast. It was their golden wedding anniversary year, and on their return they were honored by a "repetition marriage ceremony" reception at the First Baptist Church, which was attended by a great company of their fellow-members and friends. Following the ceremony at the church they were tendered a reception and dinner at the Albany Country club by the entire personnel of the Albany Hardware and Iron Company, and here they received many valuable gifts. Due notice of the event was made in the Albany press. At the conclusion of a particularly happy editorial was the following:

And so at the end of half a century of marital happiness, they are receiving the hearty good wishes and commendation of their host of friends. And the whole of Albany joins in this congratulatory wave of friendly felicitations.

"The union of hearts gives that pleasure its birth,
Which beams on the darkest and coldest of earth
Like the son on his chosen Isle."

And thus the life-story of William I. Baker presents a lesson in living that might well be held up to the modern business man. Honesty, love of one's work and love of one's friends declares its own dividend--in success.

MICHAEL J. HAWKINS

Engaged in the heating, ventilating and power installation business in Albany for almost a quarter of a century, Mr. Hawkins, as a result of his exceptional business and executive ability, his unusually thorough knowledge of the business and his great energy and progressiveness, has built up one of the largest and most widely known establishments of its type in Albany. In spite of the heavy demands which his large and ever-growing business interest have made for many years upon his time and energy, he has found it possible to give much attention tot he national sport of baseball and, since 1920, he has been the owner and president of the Albany Club, in the Eastern League. During the six years of his ownership he has greatly improved the Albany Baseball Park and has spared neither money nor effort to give to his many enthusiastic patrons a high-grade brand of baseball. In Albany he is considered one of the most successful and substantial business men, while in baseball circle he enjoys a very wide acquaintance and a very high reputation as a keen judge of this sport and a man of unvarying integrity.

Michael J. Hawkins was born in County Limerick, Ireland, August 15, 1871, a son of the late John and Margaret (Collins) Hawkins, the former a native of County Limerick, Ireland, a shoemaker at the time of his death in 1903, the latter a native of County Clare, Ireland, and for many years, tot he time of her death in 1914, a resident of Albany. Mr. Hawkins was educated in the parochial schools of his native city and after leaving school learned the heating and ventilating trade with E. P. Bates, of Albany. In 1903, he established himself in this business for his own account and under his own name at No. 606 Broadway, Albany, later removing his offices to Nos. 46-48 Orange Street, and his factory and workshops to No. 11 VanTromp Street. Having gained a very high reputation for the promptness of his service and the experience of his workmanship, he has become one of the lading heating, ventilating and power installation contractors in Albany. For many years a large number of the most important contracts, especially for large power installations, in connection with the erection of schools, factories, hospitals and public buildings have been held by Mr. Hawkins and have always been filled by him with the greatest efficiency and success. During the World War he was extensively engaged in the construction of warehouses for the Federal Government at Schenectady and in other places. Always interested in sports, and especially in baseball, he incorporated, March 17, 1920, the Capital District Baseball Association, and at the same time bought the franchise of the Providence, Rhode Island, Baseball Club. Since then he has been the sole owner and president of the Albany Baseball Club, of the Eastern league and as such has built up a high-class baseball team for a minor league baseball magnate he took over the old Chadwick Baseball park and rebuilt it completely into a modern and up-to-date baseball field. A new grandstand with a seating capacity of 6,500 was

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erected, and under his able management baseball in Albany has enjoyed great popularity. During the baseball season of 1925 the Albany Club won seventy-one games and lost eighty-two, having a percentage of .464. By midsummer, 1926, the club had won fifty-three and lost fifty-eight, having a percentage of .477.

In politics, Mr. Hawkins has always been a staunch supporter of the Democratic party and its principles, and, though he has never held or aspired to public office, he has always taken an intelligent interest in public affairs. Governor smith, of new York, has always made it a practice throughout the years that he has been at the head of the State government to attend each season the opening game of Mr. Hawkins' club, which function is also attended by the mayor of Albany and the mayors of several of the nearby larger cities, as well as by the leaders of society and public life. Mr. Hawkins is a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of Columbus, the Albany chamber of commerce, and the Albany automobile Club. His religious affiliations are with the Roman Catholic Church, of Albany, of which he is a devout member and the charities of which have always found in him a liberal supporter.

Mr. Hawkins married, in 1901, Elizabeth Hoarn, of Albany. Mr. and Mrs. Hawkins have no children and make their home in Albany.

CLAUDE R. DYE

In the field of education, Claude R. Dye, superintendent of schools of Fredonia, has made a rapid advance, having covered the steps from teacher to vice-principal, to principal, and to his present position. He has given proof of his ability in the different grades of service to which he has been called, his professional career already having embraced more than a quarter of a century. Well informed on a great variety of important subjects, Mr. Dye is enabled to communicate his views to others through recognized talent as a platform speaker. Forceful and logical in the presentation of his matter, he often is called upon to speak on public occasions, and his reputation in this regard is more than county-wide. Mr. Dye is also active in civic and church movements at Fredonia, whose citizens highly prize his spirit of cooperation.

John Dye, founder of the family of that name in Chautauqua County, came from Chenango County. He was a worthy citizen and well-known farmer.

Ledgard Dye, son of John Dye, was born in Villanova, and spent his entire life there. Like his father, he was a farmer.

Alvin Dye, son Ledgard Dye, and father of Superintendent Dye, lived all his life in his native township of Villanova. He married Josephine Russell, member of an old Michigan family of Lenawee County.

Claude R. Dye, son of Alvin and Josephine (Russell) Dye, was born in Villanova, Township, Chautauqua County, January 21, 1882. Careful attention was given the matter of his education. He attended the district school of Villanova and Forestville Free Academy, from which he was graduated in the class of 1899. Post-graduate work at Columbia University gave the finishing touches to his education.

The professional career which Mr. Dye elected began ina humble way two years before he entered Allegheny. He accepted the position of teacher in the district school at Villanova, where he had made his own start as a pupil but a few years before. After he had received his degree, he was elected principal of the Delevan (Cattaraugus County) High School, in which position he served most capably for his stay of five years. He next was called to the vice-principalship of the Olean High School, which position he filled for two years. Having accepted the place of supervising principal of the schools of Franklinville, he remained there ten years. It was with great regret that the school authorities there accepted his resignation, after he had determined to go to Fredonia, in 1924.

At Fredonia, Mr. Dye first held the position of high school principal, which duty he discharged so acceptably that, in 1926, he was advanced to superintendent of schools, in which capacity he has ever since served, to the satisfaction of the appointing power, the faculty personnel, and the school population. Mr. Dye, on his part, is happy in the relationship he holds to the town's educational system and its citizenry. His ability as a public speaker is devoted chiefly to the causes of education and religion, and he is a favorite at gatherings held in the interest of these endeavors. His standing as an educator is given attest through membership in the National Education Association and the New York State Teachers Association.

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Mr. Dye has fraternal affiliation with Fredonia Lodge, Free and Accepted masons, and the Independent order of Odd fellows. His religious fellowship is with the Methodist Episcopal Church at Fredonia.

Claude R. Dye married, June 28, 1911, Lena L. Phelps, of Delevan, and they have children: 1. Ronald C. 2. Marguerite L. The family home is at No. 28 Curtis Place, Fredonia.

ROY H. ERNEST

Active in the practice of law in Niagara County since 1897, during which period he has held a number of important public offices, Roy H. Ernest, of Lockport, has reached a position of importance in the community and won the respect of his fellow-citizens by his personal traits and his high order of ability. Taking a sincere interest in the civic affairs of the State and County, he has long been allied with the Democratic party and has served ably to posts which he has been called to fill by the electorate, his attitude being service to the full of his ability for all of the people and for the progress of the community which has frequently honored him with its trust. In fraternal affairs he has been no less active, and has taken a leading part in the activities of many organizations in Lockport, with which he is popular and valuable as a member. His high grade of citizenship is unquestioned, and his importance in the professional field which he graces has long been admitted by his brothers in the law and the people in general.

Roy H. Ernest was born in Niagara County, new York State, February 13, 1876, on the farm of his father and mother, Chauncey E. and Myra (Hixson) Ernest, and was educated in Lockport, at Union School and elsewhere, and then entered the law offices of Hopkins & Brim, where he began the study of his profession, later becoming similarly associated with Brong & Jeffrey, with whom he completed his studies, and was admitted to the bar, May 3, 1897. He established himself in practice in Lockport and has since practiced here. He served for three years as justice of the peace and for eight as police justice. For two years he was corporation counsel, and has also held the post of tax appraiser for Niagara County, and attorney for the State Tax Commission. He also was chairman of the Niagara County Democratic Committee. He is a member of the County Bar Association, and belongs to the Tuscarora Club. Fraternally, he is associated with Red Jacket Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, of which he is Past Master; Ames Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Genesee Commandery, Ismailia Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine; and constellation Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

 

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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