The History of New York State
Biographies, Part 43

Editor, Dr. James Sullivan

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam



Besides a general practice of law, in which Judge Brown has established his repute with leadership in the legal fraternity, and as one particularly well informed in all branches of his profession, he has filled with honor to his colleagues and to his won capabilities the responsibilities of several public offices, among them being that of district attorney of Steuben county, and the increasingly important fields in which he now serves as county judge and judge of the Children's Court, and in which he is fully meeting the requirements of the multitude of demands that accompany these offices. Establishing first in Chocton, New York, where he still resides, he has ever maintained an active interest in its affairs and has directed his administrative talents to advancing every substantial and worthwhile movement throughout his county.

Abel U. Brown, father of Judge Brown, was the son of Emerson Brown, who came from Massachusetts and settled in Fulton County, New York. he was a lumberman. Abel U. Brown took an active part in the Civil War, being a member of the 161st New York Infantry, and at the conclusion of the conflict he was appointed postmaster of Howard, New York, serving from 1869 until 1884, and again under President Harrison. Like his father, he, too, was a lumberman. He married Glovinia Stanton, who was of English and Welsh descent, her parents having come from the British Isles to Fulton.

Edwin S. Brown, son of Abel U. and Glovinia (Stanton) Brown, was born in Howard, New York, September 4, 1870. He received his elementary education in the schools of his native place and then matriculated at Alfred University, from which he was graduated in 1894 with the degree of Bachelor of Science. He took a law course at Albany Law School, and, after graduating in 1896, and his admission to the bar that same year, he located in Cohocton, where he still resides. From the start, success attended his professional efforts and he quickly won recognition, attaining a high place as a lawyer of broad knowledge and ability; wise and

Page 236

trustworthy in counsel and steadfastly faithful to the finest traditions of his profession.

Early in his career he became active in the affairs of the Republican Party and before he was twenty-one years of age he was a delegate to the county convention. He served Steuben County as district attorney for three terms and it was during his last term that he was appointed county judge by Governor Miller. This occurred on Thanksgiving Day, 1921. Profoundly learned in the law, he has contributed strength to the judiciary and has been especially noted for his high ready and accurate grasp of the legal aspects of the cases brought before him. Furthermore, he has brought a fine professional dignity, being democratic withal to his high position. He also serves as judge over the Children's Court, and it has already been proven that no wiser choice could have been made when Judge Brown was selected a man especially fitted to preside in this capacity for the manner in which he has discharged his duties devolving upon him has placed him well into the fore among those farseeing jurists who have done such beneficent and constructive work in the sane and humane handling of juvenile cases. Besides being a leader in his profession he is also a potent factor in the business world, and as such is vice-president and director of the "Steuben Courier," of Bath; director of the Cohocton State Bank, a director of the Wetmiller Dairy & Farm Products Company and a director of the Cohocton Valley Garage.

His fraternal affiliations are with the Free and Accepted Masons; the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Hornell Lodge; Loyal Order of Moose; Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Cohocton Grange, Patrons of Husbandry. He is a Presbyterian in his religious faith, having been an elder in the First Church of that denomination in Cohocton for twenty-five years, and was elected a delegate to the Presbyterian General Assembly at Los Angeles in 1921.

On December 25, 1905, Judge Brown married Lola Schafer, daughter of Christopher J. Schafer, of Cohocton, and they are the parents of three children: 1. Stanton S. 2. Edwina, and 3. Dorothy. His wide knowledge, extraordinary memory and rare gifts of eloquence have combined to make Judge Brown a brilliant and forceful speaker both in his professional and his social life, and he always upholds with vigor and courage the cause of equity and justice.


The passing of Orlo Edward Epps, June 1, 1926, removed from Oneonta, new York, one of its valued citizens, a true lover of humanity, and an expert member of the architectural profession, one who had for the past twenty years contributed generously to the sound growth of the community, building many Main Street structures, planning and attending to the erection of numerous public building, and giving his best effort to the task of creating beauty as well as strength and durability. Mr. Epps was a Socialist, one of the conservative, genuine, members of that party, sincerely sharing the burdens of those less fortunate than himself, and devoting his talents as a speaker, as well as his means to the advancement of the principles in which he so earnestly believed. During the "middle nineties" Mr. Epps, while practicing as an architect, was also instrumental in mathematics and physics in the Agricultural and Mechanical College, at Greensboro, North Carolina.

Edward Epps, father of Mr. Epps, was born in Norfolk, Virginia, where he Epps family has been located since 1688, when two brothers of the name came to this country, landing in Boston, and removing very shortly to Norfolk, Virginia. Several of the family served in the Revolutionary Army, and their descendants are enrolled among the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Sons of the American Revolution. The military tradition is strong in the family, and three of the boys are graduates of West Point and are serving in the Regular Army of the United States. Edward Epps, like most of his forebears, was a man of energy and of education, and was engaged in agricultural activities part of the time. He was, however, a teacher in the schools of Indiana towns for many years, and also taught in Otsego County, New York. His death occurred in 1903. He married Helen Blanchard, of Meredith, New York.

Orlo Edward Epps, son of Edward and Helen (Blanchard) Epps, was born in Elkhart, Indiana, February 16, 1865. He attended the schools of the various Indiana towns in which his father was teaching, until he was sixteen years of age, and then came with his parents to Oneonta, where he was graduated from the high school in 1882. Later, he entered Cornell University, at Ithaca, New York, where he completed his course with graduation in 1888. He had early become interested in architecture, and he combined advanced preparation for teaching with professional training, while at Cornell University. In 1894 he went

Page 237

to Greensboro, North Carolina, as professor of mathematics, and physics in the Agricultural and Mechanical College, and while teaching he also conducted an architectural office in town. Later, he opened an office in Washington, District of Columbia. In 1905 he returned to Oneonta and engaged in the hardware business under the name of Epps and Kerr, but the hardware business was managed mostly by Mr. Kerr, while Mr. Epps devoted his time to his profession. In 1908 Main Street in Oneonta was destroyed by fire, and for many years Mr. Epps, as a partner of H. Blend, worked at the erection of new buildings on that thoroughfare. He planned and supervised the erection of many business houses, residences, and grain elevators in Oneonta, and he also prepared the plans for the State School of Architecture, at Delhi, New York. For some years he was the only architect in Oneonta, and in public affairs, as in his own professional practice, his knowledge was always at the service of those who needed it. He was appraiser for the New York Board of Water Supply in the condemnation of land for the Gilboa Reservoir, and was well known as a progressive and genuinely interested and public-spirited citizen. In the early years he was a member of the 3rd Separate Company, of Oneonta, New York national guard, and in Greensboro, North Carolina, he was active in the affairs of the local militia, but later he became a socialist, active in the interest of that party and of humanity in general, and from that time in he was opposed to war, including the World War, as barbaric and cruel. He was an earnest and effective speaker in the cause of Socialism, and was a man of tender sensibilities and genuine sympathy, taking to heart the troubles of others much more keenly than any troubles of his own. Kind, in all his relations an contacts in life, he was one of those of whom it might well be said "the strongest are the tenderest, the loving are the daring." For forty years, Mr. Epps was a member of the Masonic Order, being a Past Master of the Blue Lodge; and he was also a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He was identified with the Fortnightly Club and with the Oneonta Club, and his religious affiliation was with the Universalist Church, in which he was an active worker to the time of his death, ceasing his activities, both in his profession and in his church, only when his last, lingering illness was upon him. A man of many friends, his passing was deeply mourned by a very large number of friends and associates, and the community felt that it had lost a citizen whom it would miss for many years.

Orlo Edward Epps was married, December 26, 1900, at Washington, District of Columbia, Dr. Alexander Kent, a brother George Makley was a locomotive engineer on the Socialist performing the ceremony, to Charlotte Makley, of Oneonta, New York, daughter of George Makley, who was born in South Egremont, Massachusetts, of Scotch ancestry, and of Julia (Schofield) Makley, whose parents came to this country from England. George Makley was a locomotive engineer on the Delaware & Hudson Railroad, running between Albany and Oneonta for many years, during which period he never had an accident. Upon the outbreak of the Civil War he enlisted at Sidney, New York, in the 144th. United States Volunteer Infantry, with which he served as color bearer. He served from 1862 to 1865, taking part in the battle of Gettysburg, and in the battles of the Wilderness, and was wounded, and was still living in Oneonta, at the age of ninety years, in 1927.

Mr. and Mrs. Epps became the parents of one son, Max Epps, who was born in Oneonta, New York, May 26, 1910.


One of the outstanding figures in Albany's great legal fraternity, where he is highly respected and where for more than twenty years' practice of his profession has called to his office a large and select clientele, is Judge Earl H. Gallup, county judge of Albany County, New York. Through his useful career in an official capacity he has ever found time to devote to the interest in public affairs, which he has maintained since entering upon his profession.

Earl H. Gallup was born on the Gallup homestead in Knox, Albany County, New York, where his grandfather, Elon Gallup, and father, Thomas Benton Gallup, were born. Thomas Benton Gallup married Lira E. (Earl) Gallup, and they now make their home in Florida, Earl H. Gallup's birth occurred May 31, 1880, and his early education was obtained in the local public schools, following which he attended Jersey City High School, and subsequently matriculated at Albany Law School, from which institution he received the degree of Bachelor of Laws in 1905. While attending the law school he became a clerk in the office of David B. Hill, former Governor and United States Senator, and after graduating continued

Page 238

to practice with him for two years, after being admitted to the bar in 1905. During 1907 and 1908 he was chief clerk in the State Inheritance Tax Bureau, after which he resumed connection with Governor Hill's office, and from that time until 1923 he was engaged in general practice. In 1920, Judge Gallup was appointed assistant United States attorney for the Northern District of New York, and was appointed United States attorney in September, 1922, an office he held until December 31, 1922, when he resigned to qualify as county judge of Albany County, to which he was elected the November previous on the Democratic ticket. Judge Gallup is a member of the Albany County Bar Association and was secretary of that organization for three years. He is also a member of the New York State Bar Association, University Club of Albany, and Wolfert's Roost Country Club. He attends Westminster Presbyterian Church of Albany.

On June 3, 1908, Judge Earl H. Gallup married Mary Louise Burdick, daughter of G. Dudley Burdick, of Albany. They are the parents of four children: 1. Jane. 2. Mary. 3. Earl H. Jr., and 4. Elizabeth.


A rare combination of business ability and public-spirited interest in American history in the past and American progress today, together with ample opportunity for the exercise of her talents have placed in a position of leadership along many lines Mrs. Edith Adelaide Harrison, wise of Charles Van Sweringen Harrison. She was born June 13, 1878, at Gloucester, Rhode Island, daughter of the well-known physician of Grafton, Massachusetts, Albert Leonard Page, now deceased. Who was born at Pascoag, Rhode Island, and his wife, Elma Adelaide Clarke, of Stafford, Connecticut. She is descended from several old New England families: Adams: Burgess: Clarke: Covel: Hopkins: Page: and Slater. Mrs. Harrison is of the eighth generation from John Slafter (Slaughter, Slater), who came from Great Britain in 1680, presumable from Wales, and settled at Lynn, Massachusetts, subsequently becoming one of the purchasers of land at Mansfield, Connecticut, which went to make up the town of Willington, of which he was an incorporator. She is of the seventh generation from Colonel Nicholas Page, who came from Devon, England, and settled at Newport, Rhode Island, about 1675. The Clarke and Hopkins families go back to Stephen Hopkins of the "Mayflower," and with Dr. Stephen Hopkins as Governor of Rhode Island, 1734-1768, with the exception of four years, and Signer of the Declaration of Independence.

The daughter of this fine ancestral line, Edith Adelaide Page (Harrison), inherited splendid traits of mind and character. She was valedictorian of the class of 1893, of the Academy Avenue Grammar School in providence, Rhode Island, and continued her studies at the Pawtucket High School, in the commercial department, and the La Salle School of Higher Accountancy. She also took a course in music under Madame Langley and one in elocution under Professor C. M. Brink of Brown University. Various occupations have filled her mature years. She was corporation bookkeeper; florist; mesh bag manufacturer; time-keeper for the Massachusetts Highway Commission, the only woman to be thus honored, and for the Hopedale Company, of Hopedale, Massachusetts, and bookkeeper and store-keeper for a New York State institution. She qualified for the position of Civil Service Steward, in New York State Institutions. She has been a poultry fancier, farmer, owning and operating nearly 1,000 acres of land; newspaper correspondent and writer; accountant; photographer; natural history collector; botanist; conchologist; etymologist; ornithologist; mineralogist; collector of antiques; elocutionist; musician; and philatelist. Thus diversified are her tastes and gifts. Meantime, she has held many public offices and performed many specific achievements in the line of constructive citizenship. She has been notary public since March, 1919; in 1920 was federal census enumerator of the 3rd Ward, Hudson, new York, Institution Division; was New York State Census enumerator in 1925 for the town of Gallatin; State historian for the town of Gallatin since 1919, as provided for by the Legislative Act of that year; court clerk since 1914. She enumerated and compiled the military resources of the town of Gallatin in 1917 for the World War needs and was federal agent of the Food Conservation Commission for the town that same year. Mrs. Harrison became the first member of the Red Cross Society from Gallatin. She enrolled the women of Gallatin and compiled the statistical data for the first women voters under the Legislative act granting the franchise which enabled them to vote, and she was the first woman in Gallatin to cast her

Page 239

vote. She served as poll clerk in 1919 on the Gallatin Election Board, the only woman to hold this office on the local board, and as the especially and officially designated watcher at the polls for six years, she has represented the Republican Party of Columbia County, New York. She was the Gallatin representative of the Rural Problem Committee of Columbia County, affiliated with the New York State Women's Suffrage Party, and she was president of the Philathea Society of Hudson, from 1919 to 1922. She belongs to the Daughters of Columbia County, incorporated in 1921, now known as the Columbia County Historical Society; and in 1919 belonged to the Woman's Christian Temperance Union; the Humane Society; and the Roosevelt Memorial Association. Her clubs are the Pittsburgh Radio and the Green Meadow. Mrs. Harrison is a member of the First Baptist Church of Hudson, having formerly been affiliated with the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church at providence.

On January 15, 1913, at Kingston, New York, Edith Adelaide Page married Charles Van Sweringen Harrison, son of Charles Henry and Sarah Jane (Murphy) Harrison, the former of New York, the latter of Lansing, Michigan, the daughter of Van Sweringen Murphy, who was postmaster and a leading Democratic politician of Lansing, Michigan. Mr. Harrison's father's family goes back to the Colonial period, two of his ancestors having been United States Presidents. Thus it is that Charles V. S. Harrison inherits his public and politics talents from both paternal and maternal branches. Her husband was the postmaster of Suydam, new York, for eighteen years; is now justice of the peace; member of the Columbia County Republican Committee; member of the local school board for thirty years; chairman of the town election board; chairman of the Republic Town Committee; Federal Census Enumerator, 1910-20; State Census Enumerator in 1915; military census, 1917; member of the official board and Board of Health for the town of Gallatin.


A stalwart among the Republican leaders of New York, Hon. Joseph A. McGinnies, who has been Speaker of the Assembly for five years, and for more then thirteen consecutive years one of that body's most influential members, stand forth from among his colleagues for conspicuously distinguished service. Endowed with exceptionally political acumen, which began to be exhibited ina marked manner in his early thirties, Mr. McGinnies has demonstrated his capacity as a legislator to the point where he is acclaimed on both sides of the House for his ability, force and keenness as its presiding officer, also for his status as an authority on complex problems of taxation, on ways and means of financing the State Government, and on the initiation, presentation and processes of legislation. The Speaker was no novice in practical politics when first he entered the Assembly; he already having served a score of years on the Chautauqua County Board of Supervisors, and of which he has been clerk for more than a quarter of a century. In the business world Mr. McGinnies is a pharmacist and the mastermind in the Chautauqua and Erie Grape Growers Association, of which he was one of the organizers. He is also a director in two important financial institutions and the owner and operator of a number of fruit farms.

Joseph Albert McGinnies was born in County Down, in the North of Ireland, November 7, 1861, the son of William and Elizabeth (Lighthouse) McGinnies. His father preceded the family to America and settled in Ripley. After he had arranged a home for them the mother came with the rest of the family, Joseph Albert being then three and one-half years of age, and in 1864 they were all comfortably settled in the town where the parents lived, highly respected by their neighbors, until their death many years later. It is in the town of Ripley, too, that Speaker McGinnies began to carve a career for himself which has eventuated in the exalted place to which he has been called at the State Capitol. He has always been undeviatingly loyal to the town which adopted him as one of its very own, and the people of that community, on their part, have been for these many years extremely fond of their most distinguished fellow-citizen. The public schools of Ripley finished the youthful McGinnies with the early advantages of an education, which he finished with a course in the high school.

At the age of sixteen the then future Speaker of the Assembly made his entry ina business career by taking employment in the drugstore of Dr. Simons in the village of Ripley. Energetic and eager to learn, he mastered the pharmacist's profession, and five years after he had taken the position of clerk in the store he became its proprietor, having in that year attained his majority. Immediately he mani-

Page 240

fested unusual business ability, even for one so young, and he developed the establishment along the lines of a general store, in the management of which he won recognition of business leadership. That he merited this trust was fully shown by the progressive young business man, who visualized grater things to be achieved in behalf of the potential interests of his region. Time proved that he has the farsightedness of a commercial prophet and of a political seer as well, although Mr. McGinnies will tell you that practically all his achievements have been made on the bedrock of hard work, painstakingly and persistently performed. His superstructure of success, in business and politics, has been reared with careful thought given to the approved methods of building, and with due regard to the permanency of a good name which attends the making of a career whose principal elements and integrity of character, efficiency of service and loyalty to constituency, his party and the State. With such ideals ever held before him, it was to be expected that soon he would be preferred by his peers for positions in the public service for which he was rapidly qualifying.

Mention shall be made more extended at this point of Mr. McGinnies' prominent participation in the affairs of business, which has been somewhat overshadowed by the pinnacle to which he has been elevated in his public career, since the latter has attracted attention that is State-wide. To his efforts as the owner of a pharmacy and general store, he added an interest of a practical nature in agriculture, and he began to purchase fruit farms, principally those adaptable to grape-growing. He first had his own small farm to look after, and from time to time he was appointed administrator of estates in the grape belt, and these he managed with as successful results as his own business. Having become one of the most expert grape-growers in the region, his interest centered logically on the problem of marketing his product to good advantage. He conceived the benefits that would accrue from a cooperative body, whose purpose should be to coordinate all the member-interests in the plan for moving the grapes to a desirable market which would return profits to assure the success and permanency of the industry. His genius for organization resulted in the formation of the Chautauqua and Erie Grape Growers' Association, whose operations have amply demonstrated the wisdom of its chief organizer and moving spirit. Mr. McGinnies has ever since been identified with the association in some important capacity. For many years he was a director, following the launching of the enterprise about the year 1897. For a considerable period he has held the offices of secretary-treasurer and manager, having been charged with the responsibility of marketing millions of dollars worth of grapes each year. The farmers who are members of this great cooperative enterprise have benefited appreciably from Mr. McGinnies' management of their share of the business. Incidentally, through his successful accomplishments in behalf of the grape-growing industry, the counties of Chautauqua and Erie, and the town of Westfield as headquarters, have been given a prominent position on the commercial map of the country, and their agricultural prestige has been advanced as well. Recognition of Mr. McGinnies' ability as a financier and stabilizer of business was given a number of years ago through election as director of the First National Bank of Ripley and of the Dunkirk Trust Company of Dunkirk. The confidence of the patrons of these two institutions is rendered the more implicit, if that were possible, by the presence of Mr. McGinnies on their boards.

Mr. McGinnies was under thirty years of age when he became the standard-bearer of the Democratic Party in his district, having accepted the nomination for member of the Assembly. His popularity and vote-getting qualities were attested by his giving the opposing party's candidate an exceedingly close run in an overwhelmingly Republican District. Thereafter he was to be reckoned with as a redoubtable contender for any office to which he might aspire. Subsequently to his first essay in the field for public service, he had his "political eyes" opened, and embraced the principles and policies of the Republican party, and for more than thirty-two years he has given to this great political organization all the resourcefulness at his command as campaigner and officeholder.

It was in 1896 that Mr. McGinnies was first elected a member of the Chautauqua County Board of Supervisors. At that time he was a Democrat, and for successive years he continued to represent the town of Ripley as a member of the Democratic Party. In 1905, however, he experienced a change of political faith, having become convinced that the Republican party's ideals of government were

Page 241

more in accord with his own, and without further delay he made a full and free declaration of his new alliance. How richly the Republican organization of the State has benefited from his entry in that fold is now a matter of political history in New York. His change of political faith had no effect upon the minds of his townsfolk, and they promptly re-elected him supervisor, as they had done all these yes, when the occasion required, until the present writing (1928). He has continued to merit their confidence in his ability and fidelity and to serve their interest impartially, having ever since borne the Republican Party label. When the Board of Supervisors in 1906 met for organization he was elected clerk of that body, and has served in that office without interruption from that year. Long years of membership as a supervisor have rendered him one of the best-informed men on county affairs in the Chautauqua jurisdiction, and none is more familiar than he with the duties and obligations of the board with reference to its relations to the towns of the county and to the State. He is the acknowledged leader of the board, and upon his sound advice Republicans and Democrats alike confidently rely, often shaping their decisions to meet his suggestions and judgment.

Hon. Joseph A. McGinnies was elected a member of the New York Assembly from the Second Chautauqua District in 1915 on the Republican ticket. At once he won his way to a position of influence in the proceedings of that body and in the committees to which he was appointed. From this place in the esteem of his colleagues he has never descended, and long since he consolidated his position of leadership to which his follow-members elevated him. His knowledge of State affairs is recognized in the Assembly as being second to none with reference to the workings of the various departments of the State Government. He is keenly alive to the questions of assessments and taxation, and in the Legislature he bears the reputation of being an expert on these subjects. In the session of the Legislature of 1918 and 1919 he was made chairman of the special committee on war preparations. He has been a member also of the committees on ways and means, on taxation and on public health and excise and has been appointed to several of the most important special committees of the Legislature. In the session of 1921 he was elected chairman of the committee on ways and means and served in that capacity for four years. in his committee work he was known for his seemingly inexhaustible energy in attention to detail, his quick and comprehensive grasp of the subject in hand and the clarity with which he presented it when that duty fell to his lot. The value of his service to the Legislature and the State, in committee room and on the floor of the Assembly, can hardly be estimated in words.

The peak of Mr. McGinnies' political career was reached by him in 1925 when he was elected Speaker of the Assembly. To that high office he brought a natural ability, rich experience, firmness, a sense of fairness, familiarity, with parliamentary law, and a complete knowledge of legislative practice. He has clothed the office with dignity of bearing and manifested a genuine respect for the niceties that are to be expected of the one so highly exalted by his peers. For four years he has been the keystone in the Republican arch of the Legislature, and inclusive of the year 1928 he continued to grace the rostrum where he so capably wielded the gavel of office.

Speaker McGinnies is also highly placed in the Masonic Fraternity, affiliating with Summit (Blue) Lodge, No. 219; Westfield Chapter, No. 229, Royal Arch Masons; Dunkirk Commandery, No. 40, Knights Templar; Jamestown Consistory of the Scottish Rite; and Ismailia Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine of Buffalo. He is a Past District Deputy for the 40th Masonic District; a member of Lodge No. 758, Independent Order of Odd Fellows; belonging also to the Encampment and having served as a District Deputy of that order. His other fraternal relations are with Aerie No. 16, Fraternal Order of Eagles; the Knights of Pythias, and the Patrons of Husbandry, also the Order of the Maccabees. He is a member and generous supporter of the First Presbyterian Church of Ripley.

Hon. Joseph A. McGinnies married, May 3, 1885, Anna Brockway, a member of one of the old and influential families of Ripley. They are the parents of a daughter: Clara Elizabeth, who received her education in the schools of Ripley and at Syracuse university, from which she was graduated Bachelor of Arts. She married, in 1919, Park J. Johnson, who is postmaster of Ripley. Mrs. McGinnies is prominently identified with various women's organizations, a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Order of the

Page 242

Eastern Star and the Young women's Christian Association.


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]