The History of New York State
Biographies, Part 48

Editor, Dr. James Sullivan

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam



Engaged in teaching ever since he has completed his own education in 1910, Mr. Lighty has spent his entire professional life in New York State. A member of the teaching staff of the Dunkirk High School since 1915, he has been its principal since 1918. In this position he has shown great ability as a teacher and executive and he is liked equally well by his associates and by his pupils. He is active in several organizations devoted to the interests of the teaching profession and he also takes a very effective part in civic affairs and in the fraternal and religious life of the community. Since coming to Dunkirk he has made many friends among all classes of its population and in every way he must be considered as representative of the highest type of useful and progressive citizenship.

Harry D. Lighty was born in Steelton, Pennsylvania, July 18, 1883, a son of Daniel and Margaret (Hoffman) Lighty. He was educated in the public schools and at Pennsylvania College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where he graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1910 and from which he received the degree of Master of Arts in 1923, after having done post-graduate work. He began his career as a teacher at Cattaraugus, Cattaraugus County, in 1910, serving there for three years as assistant principal. Next he spent two years at the River view Military Academy, where he taught science. In 1915 he came to Dunkirk, Chautauqua County, as instructor in mathematics and science at the Dunkirk High school, where his work proved so acceptable that he was promoted to the position of principal in 1918. This post he had continued to hold since then. He is a member of several educational organizations, including the National Education Association; the New York State Teachers Association; the Association of Academic Principals of New York State; the Schoolmasters Association of Western New York; and the Chautauqua County Teachers Association. Of the last two he has served as president. Mr. Lighty, ever since coming to Dunkirk, has shown great interest in civic affairs and has

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actively supported every movement tending to advance the welfare of the city, its people and its institutions. He is the chairman of the Boy Scouts Council of Dunkirk, president of the Dunkirk City Civil Service Board, and local examiner for the New York State Civil Service Commission. He is also a member of the Dunkirk Chamber of Commerce and the Liberty Club, as well as of several fraternal organizations, including Berean Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; Dunkirk Chapter, No 191, Royal Arch Masons; Dunkirk Commandery, No. 40, Knights Templar; Dunkirk Council, No. 25, Royal and Select masters; Dunkirk Lodge, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; and Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. His religious affiliations are with the Lutheran Church. Mr. Lighty is not married.


The professional career of Daniel J. Dugan, Judge of the Children's Court of Albany County, has been allied for many years with the progress of this section of New York State, and through important public service he has become widely known. He is a man of broad vision and his judgment of affairs and conditions is considered of the highest.

Judge Dugan was born in the village of Greenbush, now the city of Rensselaer, Rensselaer County, new York, July 25, 1872, son of George and Mary (O'Connor) Dugan. At the age of two years he went to live in Albany with his uncle and aunt, William and Ellen Steele, and has been a resident of this city ever since. His early education was obtained in St. Joseph's Parochial School and the public school at Delmar, Albany County, and the Albany High School, graduating in the class of 1890. Having in the meantime determined to take up law for his life-work, he studied with Justice Peter A. Stephens, of Albany, and was admitted to practice in the old General Term of the Supreme Count at Saratoga, New York, in September, 1893. Upon his admission to the bar he established himself in his chosen profession in Albany, and in 1905 formed a partnership until 1912. The following year the law firm of Dugan & Bookstein, of which Judge Dugan is the senior member, was organized and has thus continued.

In 1910 Judge Dugan was the candidate of his party for the office of district attorney, Albany County, and in 1921 was again honored with the nomination for the office of Justice of the Supreme Court in the Third Judicial District of New York State. At the inception of the Children's court, the following year, 1922, Judge Dugan was elected to preside over its sittings, and now occupies that position. He is a member of the Albany County Bar Association; a member of the advisory board of ST. Peter's Hospital; a trustee of the National Savings Bank of Albany; and a member of the Recreation committee of Albany. In 1924 he was chosen the first president of the New York State Association of Judges of the Children's Courts. His religious affiliation is with the Roman Catholic faith and he is a communicant of St. Vincent de Paul Church of that denomination in Albany.

In 1896 Judge Daniel J. Dugan married Katherine G. Seery, daughter of John and Katherine Seery, of Albany, and they are the parents of six children: 1. Mary C. 2. Angela C. 3. Marjorie M. 4. William S. 5. Daniel J., Jr. 6. Alice M. The family home is No. 59 Euclid Avenue, Albany, New York.


For more than twenty years the publisher of what is now known as the "Union Sun and Journal," of Lockport, Niagara County, Mr. Corson is the second member of his immediate family to have had an important part in the development of this, one of the oldest newspapers in New York State. Much of this publication's steady growth in recent years is attributable to his executive ability, energy and progressiveness, and naturally he has been for many years an important and influential figure, not only in his community and county, but also in New York State. He is widely known in the newspaper publishing field, and the newspaper, the business policies of which he has directed so successfully, for such a long period of considered a model of efficiency and usefulness amongst newspaper of its size and type.

Egbert D. Corson left the University of Pennsylvania, in 1907. When his father, the late Fred W. Corson, died in the same year, his son became publisher of the "Union Sun" and in 1915, when this publication absorbed the Lockport "Daily Journal," he became the publisher of the resulting combined publication, known since then as the Lockport "Union Sun and Journal." Today this newspaper is the recognized news and advertising medium of a prosperous manufacturing city of some 25,000 population, in which and in the surrounding districts it enjoys a large circulation and an influential position. To a great extent this

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must be subscribed to Mr. Corson's work, because he took a leading part in bringing about, a few years ago, the merger of the three newspapers then existing in Lockport. Considering the territory which is available to these three newspapers, their continued existence, side by side, naturally brought about an unhealthy business condition for each, resulting from the necessary keen competition for advertising and circulation. Since these three papers have been combined under one ownership and under the able business management of Mr. Corson, these conditions have been remedied, and today his "Union Sun and Journal" is in a position to render to its readers broad, non-partisan, helpful services. Mr. Corson's influence, exerted both in his capacity as a newspaper publisher and as a private citizen, is always to be found in support of the best interests of Lockport and in upholding the highest ideals and principles of his profession.

The history of newspaper, as old as the present "Union Sun and Journal," of Lockport, is naturally very interest and closely identified with the history and development of that section of New York State, which it has served for more than a century. Today this publication is the twenty-second oldest newspaper in New York State. During its long history it has appeared under many captions and under numerous owners. It was really founded at Lewiston, Niagara County, some twenty miles west of Lockport, about one hundred and eight years ago. Its founder was Orsamus Turner, later historian of the Holland Purchase, an organization which surveyed, staked out and disposed to settlers much of the land now comprising the western part of New York State. Somewhat later Bartemus Ferguson owned and published this paper then known as the Lewiston "Sentinel," a small four-page weekly. Lockport at that time had no newspaper, but desiring to have one, so as to assist in the development of what was then only a small hamlet, several of its leading citizens bought the "Sentinel" and brought its equipment as well as its former owner and his family to Lockport. The equipment was very primitive, indeed, consisting of one old Rammage press, some type and a small amount of other printing paraphernalia. Equally primitive were the muddy roads between Lewiston and Lockport, and the modes of transportation then available. The latter consisted of two lumber wagons drawn by teams of oxen, and on these the entire printing establishment, together with Mr. Ferguson, his family, and his household goods, were brought to Lockport. There, two days later, the Lewiston "Sentinel" re-appeared as the Lockport "Observatory." In 1835, the paper was known as the "Niagara Democrat," being owned during that period again by its original founder, Orsamus Turner, who conducted it with only few interruptions for some twenty years until the time of his death. In spite of its name it was then Republican in politics, but in those day the term Republican was the equivalent of what today is called Democratic, while what is called Republican was then known as Federal or Whig. The "Niagara Democrat" then headed each week its editorial column with the Republican national ticket: "For President, Martin Van Buren of New York: For Vice-President, Richard M. Johnson of Kentucky." Later President Andrew Jackson received his unqualified support. In 1858 the paper became a daily, in order to compete politically with the Lockport organs of the Whig and the Republican parties and it was then known as the Lockport "Daily Advertiser and Democrat.' The union of these two newspapers was a prosperous one, but the turn taken by national politics just prior to the Civil war prevented its continuation. The newly named paper advocated, but without much enthusiasm, Stephen A. Douglas for President. In 1860, however the "Advertiser and Democrat" was absorbed by the Lockport "Daily Union," and that paper came out strongly in support of Douglas. Other names, not yet mentioned which the present Lockport "Union Sun and Journal" bore from time to time included, according to a very interesting historical article published in the October 29, 1927, issue of the "The Fourth Estate," the following: "Democrat and Sentinel," "Journal," "Balance and Gazette," and "Union Sun." This latter name resulted from the consolidation, during the years following the Civil War, of the Lockport "Daily Union," the Lockport "Bee," and the Lockport "Daily Sun." As has already been related, the "Union Sun," in 1915, absorbed the Lockport "Daily Journal," a Republican paper which had acquired the Lockport "Daily Review." It was this consolidation that brought about the establishment of the one present strong paper in place of the former three weak papers. AS long ago as 1895 Mr. Corson's father, the late Fred W. Corson, became an equal partner with the late

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O. W. Cutler, at the time of the absorption of the "Sun" by the "Union." In 1896 the older Mr. Corson became treasurer and manager and at that time and for many years later Matthew H, Hoover, who later was secretary of the new York State conservative Association, served as editor of the "Union Sun." Besides these frequent changes in its name and almost equally frequent changes in ownership, the "Union Sun and Journal" or more correctly some of its ancestors, also survived many other vicissitudes, including three fires, each of which entirely destroyed the plant and equipment of that particular period. With this long and honorable past, with the knowledge of having overcome innumerable obstacles and difficulties, and with the present able management, the Lockport "Union Sun and Journal" undoubtedly will not only maintain its present position of influence and prosperity, but will even enlarge its usefulness.

Mr. Corson is, also, publisher of the internationally known Export Journal "La Hacienda." With his associates he purchased in 1921 "La Hacienda" from the late William F. Wendt of Buffalo. The magazine has its publication offices at No. 30 Vesey Street, New York City, is published in two languages--Spanish and Portuguese, and circulates widely through Latin America.


Having entered the teaching profession when he was only nineteen years old, Mr. Darling served as teacher, principal and supervising principal in various New York towns until 1916. Since then he has been superintendent of schools in Dunkirk, Chautauqua County. In this important position he has proven himself a very capable educational administrator and has made many valuable contributions to the development and welfare of the community. He has also been prominently active in civic, fraternal and religious affairs, as well as in those of several organizations devoted to the interests of the teaching profession.

Frederick Raymond Darling was born in Andover, Allegheny County, November 7, 1873, a son of Edwin B. and Harriet A. (Chase) Darling. He was educated in the public schools and at Cornell University, as well as at the University of Chicago, from which latter he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1903. Later he did post-graduate work at Columbia University. He began teaching in 1892 in a district school near Hornell, Steuben County, from where he went to Fremont, also known as Stephens Mills, Steuben County. During 1896-98 he was principal of the public schools of Woodhull, Steuben County, during 1898-1901. Of these at Limestone, Cattaraugus County, during 1901-04 of the Union School at Portville, Cattaraugus County, and during 1904-06 supervising principal at Gouverneur, St. Lawrence County, and during 1906-10 supervising principal at Walton, Delaware County. Since 1916 he has been the superintendent of schools at Dunkirk. Under his management the schools of this city have been brought to a very high degree of efficiency and usefulness. Mr. Darling is a member of the National Education Association, the Council of City Superintendents and the New York Teachers Association, of the Western Zone of which he had been president. Taking a very active part in the civic life of the community he has served as president of the Dunkirk Chamber of commerce and of the board of trustees of the Dunkirk Public Library. He is also a member of the Dunkirk Kiwanis Club, as well as of Henry Rumer Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; Delaware Chapter, No. 251, Royal Arch Masons; and Dunkirk Council, No. 25, Royal and Select Masters. His religious affiliations are with the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Mr. Darling married, April 26, 1896, Emma A. Schu, a daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (Loohn) Schu of Hornell. Mr. and Mrs. Darling are the parents of four sons: 1. Carl Egbert, born August 20, 1903, a graduate of the Law School of George Washington University, Washington, District of Columbia, and now a practicing attorney in Dunkirk. 2. Francis William, born August 16, 1906, a student at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, class of 1929. 3. Ralph Edwin, born February 19, 1909, a student at George Washington University, class of 1931. 4. Paul Stephen, born October 21, 195, a student in the public schools of Dunkirk. The family resident is located at No. 604 Swan Street, Dunkirk.


In the early history of mankind, the function of priest and physician were usually combined in one individual; but as the race developed, society became more complex, knowledge broadened and these functions naturally parted company. But to this day it may be questioned if the physician does not hold a more intimate place in the confidence of his patients than is

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accorded the average clergyman. This is especially true when the physician is a man of exceptionally high ideals, fine character and kindly sympathetic, with a broad outlook on life and a deep, intuitive understanding of human nature. Such a man was the late Dr. Henry A. Argue, who had spent a lifetime ministering to the ills of mankind, many of them mental and spiritual as well as physical, in the very community where he grew to manhood and was known as boy and man to practically every citizen. His remarkable career was certainly an exception to the adage, "A prophet is not without honor save in his own country." Dr. Argue was not only a man of splendid mentality, but he possessed great physical force, was aggressive and determined and usually accomplished what he set out to perform, he possessed not the shadow of a trait of a "quitter."

Generous and sympathetic, he had great capacity for feeling the troubles of others, but withal, he possessed a whimsical sense of humor. His emotional nature was well developed, which made him very human; but he was also poised and well balanced, with a natural dignity that commanded consideration and respect. The death of Dr. Argue on Christmas morning in 1924, though not entirely unexpected, was none the less a great shock in the community where he had practiced medicine and surgery for forty-three yeas, and where his winsome personality has made him beloved far and wide.

Dr. Henry A. Argue was the third of four children born to Thomas and Catharine (Conor) Argue. His natal day was January 23, 1861, and the place, Corning. The parents were natives of Ireland. Thomas Argue was born January 23, 1830, and his wife six years later. They were married in Corning in 1855.

After preparing for college at Corning Academy, Dr. Argue matriculated at McGill University, Montreal, where he spent two years studying in both the academic and medical departments. From there he entered New York University, where he studied medicine for three years, graduating in the class of 1881, with the degree, Doctor of Medicine. Then following a year of hospital experience, after which he returned to his home town and began private practice of this profession. He never did anything in a perfunctory manner, nor did he fall into any rut of empiricism. Every case was a new problem, the factors varying with the physical and mental peculiarities of each individual. Such careful consideration and treatment could not fail to bring results to the afflicted and bring patients inconstantly increasing numbers. His practice grew rapidly from the very beginning, and at the time of the his death a local writer said of it, "He had a general practice second in size to none, and a surgical work which for many years was unapproached in importance," Dr. Argue found time in the midst of a most exacting practice to keep himself thoroughly abreast of the important developments in both internal medicine and surgery, and for many years had been identified in a professional capacity with a number of important corporations. He was the official surgeon of the New York Central, Erie and Lackawanna Railroad Companies, also the Elmira, Corning & Waverly and Corning and Painted Post Railway. He was an expert life insurance examiner and had been employed in many special and important cases by large insurance companies. He was also pension examiner for the United States Government, and had been called upon by his fellow-citizens to fill local political offices. He was a director of the First National Bank and Trust company. His fraternal affiliations included membership in Corning Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Corning Lodge Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, of which he was one of the founders and served as the first Exalted Ruler; the Maccabees; and his clubs were the Corning and the County. He was a member and former officer of Corning Academy of Medicine and Association of Physicians and Surgeons, the Steuben Medical Association, Lake Keuka Medical Association, and the New York State Medical Association, all of which had honored him with high office. Dr. Argue was also a member of the American medical Association; was surgeon for the Corning Glass Works from 1912 to 1922; was a member of the Railroad Surgeons Association and ex-president of the same; and at the time of his death was the oldest surgeon in the point of service for the Erie Railroad; and he was a member of the local draft board during the World War. He was identified with the Democratic Party, bur never a seeker for political preferment. However, he had decided opinions upon the privileges and duties of citizenship and was ever ready to bear his share in promoting any enterprise that looked toward the advancement of the common weal.

Dr. Henry Alexander Argue and Tressa Bowes, daughter of Patrick Bowes, of Bath, were married on November 25, 1898. From this union one son was born, Dr. Thomas H. Argue, who was associated with his father in the practice of his profession (see a following biog-

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raphy). For years he was identified with Christ Episcopal Church.


The name Argue has been well and honorably known in medical circles of the East for some fifty years, borne first by Dr. Henry Alexander Argue (see a preceding biography) and later by his son, Dr. Thomas Henry Argue, who survives. Dr. Henry Alexander Argue began to practice his profession in 1881, and continued to it until the time of his death, December 25, 1924, giving the whole of his career to his native city, Corning, where the family has now (1928) resided eighty years, its members having contributed largely to the advancement of the community.

Thomas Henry Argue, of the third generation of the family to reside in Corning, was born in corning, November 8, 1899, son of Dr. Henry Alexander and Tressa (Bowes) Argue. He received his earliest education in the local public schools, graduating from Phillips-Exeter in 1917 with scholastic markings of excellence, and matriculated in Harvard University, from which he took the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1921, aged twenty-one yeas. From the Harvard School of Medicine, 1924m he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine, thereafter, serving twelve months as interne in St. Mary's Hospital, at Dorchester. For twenty-one months he served on the surgical staff of Boston City Hospital, of Boston, Massachusetts, and came back to Corning, establishing himself in practice here, in 1926, commencing on July 1, of that year. Having taken over the major number of persons who composed his father's large clientele, Dr. Argue maintains one of the most important practices in this part of the State. He is on the surgical staff of Corning Hospital, a member of the American Medical Association, and the medical societies of New York State and Steuben County. Fraternally, he retains membership in the fraternity of Phi Beta Pi of Harvard University Medical School, and the Styx Club of Harvard University. He belongs also to the City Club of Corning and to the Corning Golf Club. His principal recreation are reading and golf.

On October 6, 1918, at the commencement of his sophomore year in Harvard, Dr. Argue enlisted in the infantry of the United States Army, for duty in the World War, and was assigned to the officers' training camp maintained at Camp Devens, in Massachusetts. He received his honorable discharge December 20, 1918, after two months and fourteen days in the service. He is now a member of the Medical Reserve Corps of the United States Army, holding the commission of first lieutenant, attached to Surgical Hospital No. 14 at Binghamton, New York.

Dr. Argue married, at Brookline, Massachusetts, November 3, 1925, Mary C., daughter of Joseph and Catherine (Burke) Pierce, of Addison, New York.


One of the oldest active bank presidents in the State of New York, Mr. Gross did not become interested in banking until 1893, serving twenty-six years, and from 1922 to the present date he has been president of the Merchants national Bank of Dunkirk, Chautauqua County. Prior to this he had already made for himself a very high reputation as an able railroad and corporation executive. He still retains his interest in some of his earlier activities, continuing to be a director in several important companies. His success in these various fields of endeavor is the result of his exceptional executive ability, his broad vision, and his untiring energy. In spite of his advanced age he is still very active, and today, as for many years past, he still is one of Dunkirk's most highly respected and most greatly liked citizens.

Robert J. Gross was born in Brighton, Province of Ontario, Canada, November 21, 1850, a son of Horace and Aurelia (Smith) Gross. He was educated in the schools of his native town and as a youth entered the employ of the Grand Trunk Railroad in the capacity of train dispatcher. Three years later he accepted a similar position with the Erie Railroad at Buffalo, from where he was transferred after two years to Dunkirk. During the seven years, which he spent in that city, he made himself very much liked and respected for his many fine qualities, a fact which was destined to bring him back to Dunkirk later in his career and to make of him eventually a permanent resident of that town. Before this occurred, however, he spent about two years in Pueblo, Colorado, as superintendent of transportation for the Denver & Rio Grand Railroad. At the end of that period he received and accepted an invitation to become connected with the Brooks Locomotive Works in Dunkirk as vice-president in charge of sales. When this company, one of the leading industrial establishments of Dunkirk, was consolidated with the American Locomotive Company, Mr. Gross

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was made vice-president of the latter and was called to its headquarters in New York City, where he was placed in full charge of foreign and domestic sales. He continued in this important position for some nine years, during which he visited most of the countries in all parts of the world, in which railroads were then in operation. Eventually he again returned to Dunkirk and there undertook the consolidation of seven different radiator and boiler manufacturing companies, resulting in the organization of the United States Radiator Corporation, of which he became the first president. He continued to serve at the head of this company for four years, with headquarters in Detroit, Michigan. However, he maintained his residence in Dunkirk. Eventually, he resigned, though he has always continued his interest in the fortunes of the company organized by him, and he is still a member of its board of directors. After his time in foreign travel, until, in 1903, he was called to he presidency of the Merchants National Bank of Dunkirk, which office he continues to fill. This bank was founded, January 23, 1882, with a capital of $100,000. Its first president was Langley Fullager and its first cashier John J. Lascelles. It was housed originally diagonally across from its present location at the corner of Third and Main Streets. Its present building was erected in 1904 and is one of the finest and most modernly equipped bank buildings in that part of New York State. At the end of 1919 its capital was increased to is present size, $250,000. Its surplus and undivided profits in 1928 amounted to $306.987, while its deposits had grown to the large sum of $4,220.800. Prior to becoming connected with the Merchants National Bank, Mr. Gross has been a director of the Lake Shore National Bank of Dunkirk. At present he is chairman of the board of directors of the Norris, Allister, Ball, Bridges Company, wholesale jewelers of Chicago and of the Atlas Steel Corporation of Dunkirk. He also hold this office in respect to the Ball Standard Railway Time Service and the Ball Watch Company. The first of these two enterprises is a humanitarian, non-commercial undertaking, founded and operated to conserve life, and its service is rendered on the basis of actual cost. It devotes itself exclusively to maintaining on an absolutely correct basis the timepieces of all employees of steam and electric railways, and motor bus lines, covering more then 200,000 miles, including block signal systems. Sine this service was started, no head-on collisions have occurred on any of the lines subscribing to it, the systematic regulation of railroad watches and clocks having done away with all possibility of errors in that particular direction. The Ball Watch Company, likewise, specializes in the field of railroad time-pieces. Its entire output is used by railroad men and its watches are never advertised for general sale. Mr. Gross has been largely instrumental in bringing these several companies to their present high state of efficiency and effectiveness. He is a member of the Dunkirk Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; Dunkirk Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Dunkirk Council, Royal and Select Masters; Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shine; the English Speaking Union; and the Shorewood County Club, of Dunkirk. He is also a life-member of the Japan Society of New York. In politics he is a supporter of the Republican Party, but he has never taken an active part in its work, though he has always been interested in civic affairs and in all public questions. His religious affiliations are with the Presbyterian Church.

Mr. Gross married, in 1887, Helen E. Wheeler, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mrs. Gross died September 12, 1928. Mr. and Mrs. Gross had no children. The family residence is located at No. 715 Central Avenue, Dunkirk.


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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