The History of New York State
Biographies, Part 49

Editor, Dr. James Sullivan

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam



As night superintendent of the Victory Mills branch of the Americana Manufacturing company and as sheriff of Saratoga County, the name of William Nicholson Cromie stands out prominently among those of leaders in manufacturing and political circles in this section. William Cromie, father of William Nicholson Cromie, was born in Rathriland, County Down, Ireland, in 1842. In 1869 he came to this country, locating first in Saratoga and later in Victory Mills, where he passed away in 1907. During his lifetime he was a stone and brick mason. He married Mary Davidson, who was also a native of Rathriland, and who died in 1921 at Victory Mills.

William Nicholson Cromie, son of William and Mary (Davidson) Cromie, was born in Saratoga Springs, New York, July 14, 1874, and was educated in the primary and grammar schools. He then entered the general store and post office conducted by Mr. Atwell, of Vic-

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tory Mills, where he remained for one and one-half years, and the next thirteen yeas he was employed by John McLindon, who also conducted a general store and post office. His next position was with the Consolidated Electric, where he remained for two years, and the following two years he was employed by Starbuck & Company, in Schuylerville. In 1911 he established himself in the grocery business in Schuylerville, but after four years he sold out and became a representative for the Prudential Life Insurance Company until 1917, when he secured his present position as night superintendent of the Victory branch of the American Manufacturing Company. So well did he fulfill the duties of this office that when he was elected sheriff of Saratoga County he was still asked to retain the former even though his political obligations must needs take up a great portion of his time.

Mr. Cromie early in his career became actively interested in the affairs of the Republican party and as such was elected town assessor for two years; county supervisor for 1925, 1926 and 1927, but having been elected sheriff of the county he resigned as supervisor, December 28, 1926, and took over his present office, January, 1927. He is affiliated with the Schuylerville Lodge, No. 670, Free and Accepted Masons; Cryptic Council, Royal and Select Masons, No. 57; Washington Commandery, No. 33, Knights Templar; Oriental Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine of Troy; is a thirty-second degree Mason, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Troy and Albany; District Deputy Grand Master of Saratoga and Warren Counties in 1924; has been through all the chairs of the Blue Lodge and Chapter, and now serves in the capacity of secretary of the lodge and chapter. He is also affiliated with Union Valley Lodge, No. 253, Independent Order of Odd Fellows of Greenwich; the Saratoga Grange, Quaker Springs, Saratoga County; and the Dutch Reformed Church of Victory Mills.

On May 30, 1895, at Bacon Hill, William Nicholson Cromie married Lena Trombley, daughter of John and Emily (Johnson) Trombley, the former in business in Schuylerville. Mrs. Cromie passed away in 1922. From this union were born the following children: 1.William Nicholson, Jr., born December 18, 1896. 2. Helen Marion, born May 22, 1898. 3. Mary Elise, born October 19, 1900. 4. Russel Edward, born April 18, 1904. 5. Arline Mildred, born October 23, 1908, deceased. 6. Winnogene Louise. 7. Morgan Calisto. The family home is in Victory Mills, New York.

For twenty-eight years Mr. Cromie has been engaged in bee culture and much of his spare time has been devoted to his apiary and also to fishing. He has always been interested in music, having played a cornet in the local bands and also in the American Manufacturing Company's band at Victory Mills; and whenever a band is needed in that community, Mr. Cromie can be counted upon to furnish the musicians.


The literary colony of Jefferson County, New York, considers it an honor to have numbered among its members one of the most widely known writers of his day, John H. Treadwell, late of Watertown, who attained the status of an authority on the ceramic arts and is credited with having produced the first biography of Martin Luther, the great Reformer, to be published in the United States. he was also a poet of marked ability, whose verse received wide and favorable reading. Deeply learned in many subjects, he delighted in imparting knowledge to others by means of his happy gift of facile phrase and prolific pen. Virtually all his career was devoted to the pursuit of culture and the refinements of life.

John H. Treadwell was born in New York City, in 1844, and became a resident of Watertown, in the same State, in 1873. At Yale University, of which he was a graduate, he displayed the budding elements of a literary ability which was to flower and bring forth fruit. From the formal routine of classroom and textbook he entered his father's antique shop in New York City, conducted as Sypher and company, and he also acquired considerable experience and reputation in interior decorating. Turning his attention to literary effort and travel, his interesting history of the development of art in potteries and porcelains, which he treated in an exhaustive and highly illuminating manner, received the unqualified approval of many persons familiar with ceramics, either as artists or collectors. In extensive tours of Europe and South America, in addition to other travels, he added much to his great fund of information, and became profoundly learned in many subjects, some of which he elaborated upon in book form. After years of research and sympathetic study he brought out his work on Luther, which had the distinction of being the first history of the Apostle of the Reformation to come from the

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American press. The book was remarkable not only for the writer's able treatment of so great a subject, but also as showing the author's versatility along literary lines. To his friends and critics he seemed to be as much at home when yielding to the influence of the muse as in the production of heavier and more prosaic works. His discriminating mind and artistic temperament begot within him a cultivated enthusiasm as a collector, and from many parts of the world which he visited for the purpose of gathering literary material he assembled a valuable array of curios, art objects and antiques, which were of intense interest to those who were in the inner circle of his friends.

Business with its exacting details and the feverish efforts at profit-making never appealed to Mr. Treadwell's mind. His free spirit led him out and beyond the commercial view of life into the realm of thought and the cultivation of values in the moral, spiritual and artistic spheres. He lived in another world, and yet he was not a visionary; rather he was intensely practical in many ways--especially in his treatment of practical matters, in the bestowal of his affections on family and friends and in the expression of his heart content toward all peoples. He was an interesting man, who on his part was keenly interested in the doings and welfare of his fellows. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, and in political faith was a Republican.

John H. Treadwell married Mary Seymour Brainard, daughter of Orville Valora and Mary Seymour (Hooker) Brainard, of Watertown. A review of her father's life accompanies this biography. Mrs. Treadwell resides at the old family home in Watertown, where her distinguished husband died January 12, 1882. Children: 1. Helen Irene, married George Huntington, who is connected with the Crosby Company, of Buffalo, dealers in automobile supplies, and lives in Detroit, Michigan. Their children are; 1. Francis Danforth, graduate of Smith college and lives at home. 2. John. 3. Mary Lorraine. 4. Danforth. 2. Brainard, who is engaged in the paper supplies business in Watertown. He married Regina Galliciez, and they are the parents of john Huntington Treadwell, who resides at home.


The name of Orville V. Brainard will long be associated with safe and sane finance and with the inception of modern railroad construction in Jefferson County, New York. As cashier of the principal bank in Watertown for more than three decades, he was the outstanding principal in the building of that institution to a position of remarkable strength and influence in its field. As one of the promoters and the financial manger of the Rome & Watertown Railroad Company he accomplished a public service that helped give that section of the Empire State transportation facilities which contributed largely to its growth and prosperity. Three times he was called to occupy the office of village president by the people, who esteemed him very highly for his ability and character. In many other ways did he give evidence of his genuine interest in Watertown's material and civic progress.

Dr. Daniel Brainard, father of Orville V., settled as a young practitioner in the then little village of Watertown, being the second physician to locate in Watertown, New York. He established a reputation as a skillful physician, and some of his prescriptions for certain ailments continued in favor long after he had passed away. He married a Miss Hungerford, sister of Hon. Orville Hungerford. His death occurred at Watertown in 1810, at the age of twenty-eight years.

Orville Valora Brainard, son of Dr. Daniel Brainard, was born in Watertown, New York, in 1807. He was about three years old when he father died. He spent his boyhood in his native village, attending the local schools, and was early thrown on his own resources to make his way in life. He was a great favorite of his uncle, Hon. Orville Hungerford, who reared him from childhood, bestowed upon him a deep and sincere affection, and was doubtless largely instrumental in his success in life. When Orville Hungerford was elected cashier of the Jefferson County Bank, he took the youthful Brainard into the employ of that institution. He quickly familiarized himself with the duties of minor position, and soon was promoted to teller.

During the period of his intimate contact with the bank's patrons, he displayed such a pronounced ability for finance that it was accepted as the most logical thing for him to be chosen as Mr. Hungerford's successor in the position of cashier. For thirty-three years he filled that office in a manner that betokened the sound banker of undoubted financial acumen and personal probity. On more than one important occasion did his skillful management of the bank's affairs carry the institution safely

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through stressful experiences when a less courageous and weaker-minded man would have failed.

Capacity for seeing far into the future and for grasping opportunities in modern advance was strongly developed in Mr. Brainard. He was one of the first to perceive that the railroad as a community builder was the utility that Watertown and its interests stood most in need of. He joined forces with the promoters of the Rome & Watertown line which then was being projected and became one of the foremost in enthusiasm and energy in its construction. Recognition by his associates of his particular forte resulted in the railroad company's directors electing him to the position of treasurer and financial manager. These offices he held for many years, and it was said of him that it was his unquestioned financial ability and sound judgment which carried the road through the early critical period of its existence.

In all his business relations, Mr. Brainard exhibited a well-balanced mind. In them as well as in his personal affairs and associations he was deemed the soul of honor. Kindly disposed towards all people, he gave the best that was his for the success of every worthy cause. Modest, some though him to a fault; but he seemed simply unable to make himself obtrusive upon the time and attention of others. When chosen for any office or service, however, he showed an exemplary steadfastness, and always stood firm for righteousness in his administration of every responsibility. On all sides he was known for a man of lofty principles. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church and in politics was a Democrat.

Regardless of his habit of self-abnegation, Mr. Brainard was the choice of the voters for the office of supervisor, and he discharged the duties of the position with precision, efficiency and a faithfulness to his constituents that was to be expected of a man of his moral and intellectual caliber. For three successive terms he was president of the village of Watertown, and here his administrative and executive capacity were manifested ina high degree. He brought to his high office a dignity, courtesy and all-around ability which endeared him even more strongly to the people whom he served.

Such an outstanding records did Mr. Brainard achieve that it would be difficult, indeed, to forget those salient points of his notable career. It was not necessary to the perpetuation of his fine name--but an honor that was appreciatively bestowed--that one of the locomotives on the Rome & Watertown Railroad was called "Brainard," and there was much of similitude in the character of the man and the solid, substantial, faithful, steady iron horse--the former the exemplar, the latter the symbol and means of improvement and progress.

Orville Valora Brainard married, in 1857, Mary Seymour Hooker, a sister of General Joseph Hooker and of Miss Ann S. Hooker, a woman of great mental capacity and high accomplishments, who was principal of the early-time Female Academy, which stood on Clinton Street, Watertown. Mr. Brainard died in 1866, and was survived his wife until her death in 1882. They were the parents of two children: 1. Mary Seymour, married John H. Treadwell, a review of whom accompanies this biography. 2. Orville Hungerford, deceased.


The long period of distinguished activity at the bar of his native State, New York, has made the name William E. Woollard, of Albany, one of rare and widely recognized significance to the people and to the public progress, his success being due to proved ability, wide experience, energy, perseverance and high integrity. William E. Woollard was born in Albany, New York, March 26, 1876, son of Henry and Margaret Woollard. He obtained his earl education in the public schools of his native place and studied law with Gansevoort de W. Hurlbut, Esq., subsequently entering Albany Law School, from which institution he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Laws in 1897, and was admitted to the bar that same year. Upon completing his studies he established himself in the practice of his chosen profession in Albany and has since continued here, having become in the meantime widely known as a most able trial lawyer. In 1920 he formed a partnership with Walter H. Cogan under the firm name of Woollard & Cogan, which still continues. His firm is one of the most widely known in Eastern New York.

For many years Mr. Woollard has been an ardent advocate of the project to deepen and widen the channel in the upper Hudson River, urging its advantages in addresses before waterway, civic, commercial and legislative bodies throughout the Eastern States, and is the author of many important articles on the subject. In order to preserve the river free for future development, from 1913 to 1920, he strenuously opposed the attempt of the New York Central

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Railroad to limit its usefulness by constructing in connection with the Castleton Bridge, one of obsolete type, having a close succession of great piers in the stream only three hundred feet apart. He represented the commercial and trade organizations of the State in the opposition and was appointed, at the direction of governor Charles S. Whitman, a special deputy attorney-General of the State, and served with out remuneration in conducting the litigation on behalf of the State of New York in an effort to prevent the narrowing of the stream at that point. A result of the opposition the United States Board of Army engineers finally ordered changes in the bridge plans which required openings of six hundred and fifty and four hundred feet, respectively, between the piers. He then continued the contest in the courts on behalf of the State for several years in an attempt to compel the construction of a modern bridge without any piers in the stream between the established dyke lines. Political opposition in Albany County to the river improvement led him to enter the contest for Congress at the Republican primaries in 1920, in which he was defeated by the machine by a narrow margin. Gross frauds in the election were charged against the machine and exposures of corruption followed, finally resulting in the overthrow of the Republican machine in Albany County.

Mr. Woollard is vice-president of the Atlantic Deeper Waterways Association, and a director of the National Rivers and Harbors Congress and the New York State Waterways Association. The efforts to improve the river channel were finally successful and the project fully approved by the United States Board of Army Engineers in 1924, and confirmed by Act of Congress in 1925, he was elected on the Republican ticket a justice of the City Court of Albany, serving from 1901 to 1907; has served several terms as director of the Albany Chamber of Commerce; has been an arbitrator in many important labor disputes; is a director of the Capitol Trust Company of Schenectady and Albany Trust Company of Albany; a director in various civic and business organizations; and during the World War was chairman of the Legal Advisory Board, No. 7, of Albany. He is a member of the American Bar Association; the New York State Bar Association; former president and charter member of the Albany County Bar Association; a thirty-second degree Mason, and is Past Master of Dewitt Clinton council, N0. 22, Royal and Select Masters; a Knight Templar, a Shriner, and an Elk; a Past Grand of Mountaineer Lodge, No. 321, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is a governor and former president of the Albany Club and holds membership in the Wolfert's Roose County Club, the Unconditional Republican Club, and the Old Guard, Company C, Tenth Battalion, and in the Masonic and Odd Fellows' Veterans associations.

In 1907, William E. Woollard married Harriet Byers Holland, daughter of Professor and Mrs. Almond Holland. Their children are: 1. Elizabeth. 2. Alice Holland. 3. William E., Jr., and 4. Robert Holland Woollard, and their residence is at No. 166 Washington Avenue, Albany.


The career of Carl I. Bergerson has been replete, with much packed into comparatively few years. All of his activities, and notably those pertaining to his profession as an educator, have been of beneficial influence on the lives of persons around him, and he is today a foremost citizen of his community--Albion, New York, where he serves as superintendent of schools and interests himself in movements designed for the community's advancement along economic, civic and social lines. His record is one of merit and worthy attainment.

Carl. I. Bergerson was born in Wellsville, New York, April 10, 1893, son of Olander and Emma (Johnson) Bergerson, both of whom continue to make their residence at Wellsville. Olander Bergerson and his wife came from the agricultural area near Gattenburg. Formerly he was in the trade of tanner, but later turned to oil refining.

In the public schools of his native place, graduating from high school in 1911, Mr. Bergerson secured a sound academic elementary and secondary foundation on which to add later studies. He served a year, 1911-12, as clerk on the Alleghany division of the Erie Railroad, then matriculated in Syracuse University, spending only his freshman year there at the time. This was followed by two years as a teacher, for which post he was naturally equipped and fairly well fitted by training, and then he entered Hiram College, from which he took the degree of Bachelor of Science with major in pedagogy in 1918. Meanwhile, December 11, 1917, he had entered the medical department of the Regular United States Army for service in the World War, and was with the department nine months, afterward being transferred to the Ordnance Department, and subsequently receiving his honorable discharge,

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March 10, 1919. He was now free to follow his chosen work, and in September of 1919, prior to opening of the academic year, came to Albion, where he was since resided. For five years, until 1925, he was principal of the high school here, augmenting these responsibilities with those of science instructor. In 1925 he was elevated to the post of superintendent of the village schools. This office he has held to the advantage of the community through the years succeeding, constantly having given the schools his sincerest efforts as directing head. During his terms in Albion--or rather in the summer vacations--Mr. Bergerson attended Columbia University, New York City, and took therefrom the degree of Master of Arts.

General affairs have interested Mr. Bergerson in increasing degree. Professionally he is identified with the Associated Academic Principals of New York State, the New York State Council of Superintendents, the State Teachers' Association, National Education Association, and belongs to the Department of Superintendents in the last-named organization. Active in civic affairs, he supports all public movements designed to be of benefit to the village and county and State; is past president and a member of the Albion Rotary Club, and fraternally, is affiliated with Garrettsville Lodge, No. 246, Free and Accepted Masons, and Orleans Chapter, No. 175, Royal Arch Masons. He is a member of the Historical and Conversational Clubs of Albion, and a communicant of the Presbyterian Church.

Mr. Bergerson married, July 7, 1923, Hazel B. Riggs, of Wellsville, and they have a son, Charles Austin, who was borne on June 25, 1924. The residence is at No. 15 West State Street, Albion.


Administration of the municipal government of the incorporated village of Westfield by Mayor Verne B. Card has been given cordial and repeated indorsement by his fellow-citizens. Mayor Card, who is serving his third term in the executive office, is one of the most experienced of the civic leaders of Westfield, and served as village trustee prior to his election to the mayoralty. He is also at the top of his line of business, the proprietor of a large and successful automobile sales and service establishment. He is highly esteemed and popular among the people of his home town and section of the State.

Born in Troupsburg, Steuben County, July 24, 1875, he is the son of William W. and Lydia (Haxton) Card. His education was received in the public schools, and he early entered a business career by entering the employ of a grocer at Bradford, Pennsylvania, remaining with him in the capacity of clerk for some fifteen years. His next position was that of traveling salesman for W. H. Granger & Company, with whom he was associated for four years. For eleven years he was connected with Smith M. Flickinger, of Buffalo, having been the first member of his staff to represent him as traveling representative outside the city of Buffalo. it was due principally to his efforts and energy that a branch of the business was established at Jamestown. Mr. Card was sales manager of this branch for eight years.

A kindly fate led Mr. Card to locate his residence and business interests in Westfield, in June, 1920, when he purchased the Ford automobile agency in that village. Thereafter he devoted the major part of his attention to the conduct of this enterprise. He has built up an excellent sales department and service auxiliary, which are second to none in the field known as Westfield and its vicinity. Because of the careful attention he gives to the management, inclusive of the courteous attention to the requirements of his patrons, the volume of business continues to mount in value and size. He is well known throughout the trade, and his agency is one the principal Ford establishments in that section of New York. His offerings include practically all the Ford products, and thus he is enabled to meet from his stock and service virtually every demand from Ford motor owners.

The political career of Mayor Card began with his election to the office of village trustee of Westfield, in which capacity he served with distinction for his term of three years, wearing the label of the Republican party, to which he has always given straightforward allegiance. His occupancy of the trusteeship was so eminently satisfactory to the village folks that it was a natural conclusion that they should, when opportunity arrived, elect him to the office of mayor. He was installed in the mayoralty in march, 1925, and gave such a fine administration of the government that he was re-elected in 1926, and again in 1927, the latter time for a two-year term. The people are happy in the beneficent results of his service as their executive of political affairs.

Mayor Card takes an active part in the promotion of various civic interests. He is a di-

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rector of the Westfield Chamber of commerce; affiliated with Summit Lodge, No. 219, Free and Accepted Masons; Jamestown Consistory of the Scottish Rite, and Ismalia Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, of Buffalo. He is prominently identified with the United Commercial Travelers' Association, and served as senior councillor in 1922. His religious fellowship is with the Presbyterian Church, in Westfield.

Hon. Verne B. Card married, June 13, 1904, Pearl Bradley, of Bradford, Pennsylvania, and they are parents of three children: 1. June L. 2. Fae E., and 3. Paul R. Mrs. Card is a leader in local society and women's movements, a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Women's Christian Temperance Union and the Parent-Teachers' Club. She did her part for the success of her party at the polls in the 1928 campaign of the Republican National ticket through her activities as a member of the Hoover Republican Club.


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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