The History of New York State
Biographies, Part 5

Editor, Dr. James Sullivan

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam



Early in the latter half of the nineteenth century, one of the world's most famous scientists, Pasteur, wrote: "Science is the soul of the prosperity of nations and the living source of all progress." The wonderful material advancement made in the half century since that opinion was expressed confirms its soundness beyond question. There was never a time when originality in thought counted for so much as it does today. Pasteur, with Koch and one or two other contemporaries, established the validity of what has become known as the "germ theory"; but it waited for W. H. Carrier, a twentieth century pioneer scientist, to find practical and economical technic for ridding air of a large percentage of germs and other impurities, thus reducing the danger of infection in large gatherings of people. He has also developed methods of controlling humidity and temperature that mean health and comfort where people formerly sweltered in summer heat, and which are also of far-reaching industrial significance.

Pioneering seems to be a characteristic of the Carrier family. It was established in this country by Thomas Carrier, who was born in Wales about 1630 and is of record in Billerica, Massachusetts, in 1674. Afterwards he resided at Andover, that State, and later he is found on the records of Colchester, Connecticut. Tradition says that his wife, Martha, was executed as a witch during the Salem hysteria. Descendants of Thomas Carrier through whom the subject of this sketch traces his lineage, became pioneer settlers in Western New York. They braved the dangers of wilderness, pestilence and savage to establish religious, political and economic freedom--courageous, industrious, upright, thrifty folk who helped to establish the foundations of American institutions.

Philo Carrier was the paternal grandfather of W. H. Carrier. He was born in Shenango County and was a farmer all his life. His son, Duane Carrier, was born in that county. When the boy was about two years old, the family with its possessions embarked on an Erie Canal packet--the Canal had only recently been opened--and located in Erie County, establishing, with other members of the family, a settlement long known as Carriertown. When the railroad was put through the name of the place was changed to that which it now bears--Angola. In his youth Duane Carrier had an ambition to become a physician, and with that end in view he attended Oberlin college; but his health, which had always been frail, compelled him to abandon that pursuit. The same frailty was the cause of his rejection when he sought to enlist as a defender of the Union in the Civil War. For a time he engaged in business as a merchant, but his physique was not suited even to that form of indoor life. So, soon after the close of the Civil War, he bought a farm near that of his father and engaged in dairying during the remainder of his life.

Duane Carrier married Elizabeth Haviland, daughter of David Haviland. The Haviland family was an old one on the Island of Guernsey where they were Seigneurs at an early day. It was established in this country about the middle of the eighteenth century.

And so, Willis Haviland Carrier carries in his veins, the blood of many New England pioneers, and now that there is no more land to be settled, the same spirit of curiosity and adventure led him to do pioneering work in the field of science, the far-reaching effects of which is too early to estimate. Mr. Carrier's title to fame, however rests secure on what has already been accomplished as a result of his work. He was born in Angola, November 27, 1876. He was educated in the grammar school of his native town, the Buffalo High School and Cornell University. He was graduated from the latter institution in 1901 with the degree of Mechanical Engineer. From early boyhood there had never been any question as to the direction his training would take or the nature of the vocation he would adopt. The machinery on his father's farm had always interested him, and he seemed to have an almost intuitive understanding of mechanisms. He could take things apart and put them together again, accurately. Both parents had mechanical ability and both had been school teachers, his mother having taught until the age of thirty, when she was married. She had exceptional mechanical ability for a woman, and seeing the trend of her boy's mind, she encouraged him to follow it. He always had a liking for mathematics, and this was fortunate; for mathematics is one of the principal foundation stones of engineering science. The persons who themselves are exemplars of the modern theories of heredity and environment are the quickest to give the theories their adherence. It pays to be well born.

Mr. Carrier was one of the graduates recommended by his alma mater to the Buffalo Forge Company as promising embryo engineers. It was originally planned that he would work into the sales department, and in order to give him a proper acquaintance with the company's products he was put to work in the drafting department of the fan works. After six months in the drafting room he was transferred to the advertising department. His interest in the engineering side of the business was so intense, however, that the merchandising end of the business had no appeal for him. He envisioned a field of investigation and possibilities that had never been touched, and he proposed that some research work was badly needed in connection with the subject of heat transfer. That was in 1902, and they told him to go ahead. Mr. Carrier did the first scientific research work ever undertaken in connection with transferring heat from stream to air. As a result of his discoveries in this connection Cornell University made him member of Sigma Psi. In 1911 this work was written up in the proceedings of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. At the same time he was engaged in this work he became interested in the treatment of air with reference to controlling its moisture content and temperature. A lithographing plant was his first field of study in this connection, and the result was his invention of a device for washing and humidifying, and also for removing moisture from air by spraying it with cold water. The process is now in almost universal use, but at that time the method had never been thought of. In 1908 The Carrier Air Conditioning Company of America was organized as a subsidiary of Buffalo Forge Company to develop the possibilities of this invention both from the engineering and commercial standpoint. Mr. Carrier became vice-president of the new company and at his personal request his present partner, Mr. J. I. Lyle, was made sales manager.

Mr. Carrier saw that there was a wide field for the application of his new technic in connection with industrial plants. They gave their attention first to the textile industry. The use of the Carrier device for controlling the cotton mill made it possible for that industry, or a large part of it, to remove from New England to the South. Candy and chocolate factories and plants where chewing gum was manufactured next occupied their attention. Then the owners of the process for manufacturing artificial silk came to America and established the Viscose Company of America. They found it necessary to equip their plant with the Carrier system of air conditioning, and when they saw the results, they decided that, after all, the conditions in their English plant might be improved, and the necessary installation was made over there.

In 1915, Mr. Carrier organized the Carrier Engineering Corporation, and a contract was entered into with the Carrier Air Conditioning Company of America whereby the latter gave up all its work in industrial plants. Mr. Carrier continues in relation with the old company with the Buffalo Forge Company as consulting engineer. Mr. Carrier is president of the Carrier Engineering Corporation and Mr. J. I. Lyle is executive vice-president and treasurer. This company confines its work to air conditioning in industrial plants and to installations in public and private buildings where cooling and dehumidifying is accomplished for the health and comfort of the occupants. At this writing they are making installations in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. These installations include a new system of refrigeration invented by Mr. Carrier that is particularly adapted to air conditioning. It makes use of centrifugal force, which is a new and unique principle of refrigeration. The old refrigerants used in other systems proved unsuited to compression by centrifugal force; so Mr. Carrier set about in search of a compound that would meet his requirements. This he found in dichloromethane-commercially known as "Carrene"--an entirely new and unique refrigerant. It works in a vacuum and is highly efficient, is not inflammable, and, therefore, safe. Simplicity of operation is one of the outstanding characteristics of the Carrier system. No other system is so well suited to sea-going vessels. It is in use in the United States Navy, and is working most satisfactorily in theaters and other large auditoriums, department stores and industrial plants.

In 1911 Mr. Carrier presented two papers, to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers which embody important work he had previously done. One was entitled "Rational Psychrometric Formulae," the significance of which lay in the facts there set forth showing that Mr. Carrier had formulated the fundamental principles underlying the wet bulb psychrometer, an instrument for measuring moisture and air. While the United States Weather bureau had done a good deal of work on the subject before Mr. Carrier took it up, no one had ever before worked out the underlying principle governing the measurement of moisture in the atmosphere. Today, Mr. Carrier's findings are accepted as authority on the subject; and he is preparing an article on the next edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica covering the measurement and control of moisture content in air. During the years he has written many technical papers for technical publications. He edited the "Fan Engineering Handbook," which was printed by the Buffalo Forge Company, and he also wrote part of that work. He contributed a paper covering his researches on the subject of Psychrometer, entitled "National Psychrometric Formulae," to the American Society of Mechanical Engineering, and he also prepared papers for the American Society of Refrigerating engineers, one of then on "Thermo-dynamic Properties of Refrigerants," in which he described some new refrigerants at well as others already known. The other paper was on the subject of "Centrifugal Compression as Applied to Refrigeration." This dealt with Mr. Carrier's new process of refrigeration which is now widely employed. It was installed to cool the air in the famous Paramount and Roxy theaters in New York City, and it is also in use in many other large theaters there and in other parts of the country, and in Europe and Great Britain. Department stores are using this system. The foreign demand became so great that it was found expedient to organize an associated company in England to take care of it--The Carrier Engineering Company, Limited. This company also handles installations in the cotton mills of India, where, on account of prevailing high temperatures, the Carrier system has been found indispensable for efficient production. An interesting note in this connection is that when the temperature of the spinning and weaving rooms was reduced from 100 degrees to 80 degrees, the natives suffered from the "chill" in the air and the temperature had to be raised. This Carrier invention means much to India, as it makes possible the operation of industries that formerly could not be carried on account of climatic conditions. Other papers presented by Mr. Carrier are: "Air Conditioning Apparatus," American Society Mechanical Engineers, 1911, (Frank L. Busey, co-author); "The Temperature of Evaporation," American Society Heating and Ventilation Engineers, 1918: "The Theory of Atmospheric Evaporation," American Society Civil Engineers, 1921; "The Temperatures of Evaporation of Water into Air," American Society Mechanical Engineers, 1924, (Daniel C. Lindsay, co-author); "Comparisons of Thermo-dynamic Characteristics of Various Refrigerating Fluids," American Society Refrigerating Engineers, 1924 (Robert W. Waterfill, co-author); "The Thermal Engineer," American Society Refrigerating Engineers, 1927.

Mr. Carrier has written his name indelibly in the annals of modern engineering by his epoch-making contributions to industrial efficiency and progress and to human well-being, comfort, and happiness.

He is a lover of nature and the great out-of-doors. He finds his chief recreations in hunting, fishing and canoeing. Every year he manages to spend a couple of weeks canoeing in the wilds of Canada. At other times he plays gold. He is a member of many technical societies, among which may be mentioned the American Society of mechanical Engineers. He is a past president (1926-7) of the American Society of Refrigerating Engineers. He is a member of the council of the American Society of heating and Ventilating Engineers of which he is vice-president, 1929. He belongs to the Engineers Club of New York City; the Cornell Club of New York; Newark Athletic Club; Essex Falls Gold Club. He was one of the founders and is a member of the Congressional Club in Washington and is also a member of the Washington Country Club.

Willis Haviland Carrier married Jennie Martin, daughter of John Martin of Angola, New York. Mr. Martin was a merchant in buffalo. Mr. and Mrs. Carrier have adopted two sons: 1. Vernon, who received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Wisconsin University in 1927 and was president of his class. He is now editor of the Alumni Journal. 2. Earl, who received the degree of Mechanical Engineer from the same University in 1928.

Mr. Carrier is a trustee of the Caldwell Presbyterian Church, of which Grover Cleveland's father was at one time pastor, Mrs. Carrier takes an active part in the important women's organizations. She, too, is a graduate of Cornell, where she specialized in science. Her special hobby is rock gardens and wild flower gardens. She is a very active member of the Essex Falls Garden Club.


A prominent and well-established businessman of Newburgh is William James McGiffert, who conducts the fire and casualty insurance office which operated for sixty-five years under its former procreators, Charles D. and F. B. Robinson.

Mr. McGiffert was born in Newburgh, October 6, 1886, son of James D. and Pauline (Moss) McGiffert. The father, born in January, 1862, in Newburgh, died there in 1921. A soap manufacturer in earlier life, he was a prominent official both in municipal affairs and in fraternal organizations. For none successive years he was tax collector for Newburgh, from 1897 to 1906, inclusive, and he later served as county clerk of Orange County, beginning in 1906 on what proved a dozen years of service, and was clerk of the Supreme Court until his death. For two years Master of Newburgh Lodge, No. 309, Free and Accepted Masons, he was its secretary for a quarter of a century and for a time District Deputy of Masons. He was Past High {Priest of Highland Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, and a member of Hudson River Commandery, No. 35, Knights Templar, and he belonged to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His many friends annually lay on his grave a wreath of flowers in token of their warm and continued affection for his memory,. His wife also was born in Newburgh, January 2, 1865.

It was but natural that the son of native citizens who had done much to further the welfare of Newburgh should devote himself also to public affairs and to business activities which would be of general benefit. William James McGiffert, after graduating from Newburgh Academy, became a clerk in the Highland National Bank. He then advanced to the position of bank teller in the Quassaick National Bank and National Bank of Newburgh. With successful banking experience behind him, in 1922, Mr. McGiffert bought the real estate and insurance agency from Charles D. and F. B. Robinson, which had been established sixty-five years earlier, and he was continued the enterprise very successfully. Mr. McGiffert specializes in fire and casualty insurance. A Republican in politics, he is serving now as treasurer of Orange County, a post to which he was elected for a three-year term in 1925, and he is treasurer of the Republican County Committee.

His services were tendered his government when the United States entered the World War as a participant. Mr. McGiffert was inducted into service July 20, 1917, at Newburgh, and ordered to Camp Meade as a member of the infantry, being transferred later to the Medical Corps, in the 11th Division, as a private, first class. Since the war, and until January 1, 1927 he was commander of Galloway Post, No. 152, and he belongs to the American Legion and he "Forty and Eight." His fraternal affiliations are with Newburgh Lodge, No. 309, Free and Accepted masons, of which he is Past Master; Highland Chapter, No. 52, Royal Arch Masons; the Hudson River Commandery, No. 35, Knights Templar; Greenwood Forest, No. 81; Tall Cedars of Lebanon; the Newburgh Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and Newburgh Lodge, No. 247, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He belongs also to the Newburgh City Club, the Powelton Golf Club, and the Newburgh Wheelmen. His church is the Union Presbyterian.

On October 25, 1916, at Rock City Falls, New York, William James McGiffert married Dorothy Welles Brown, daughter of Edward Brown, a paper manufacturer of Rock City Falls, and a former member of the Connecticut Legislature, and of Eva (Barrett) Brown, of Florida. Children: 1. Marjorie Welles McGiffert, born April 10, 1920. 2. Beverly Elsinore, born November 2, 1924.


Although having retired from the presidency of the Citizens' National Bank at Waverly in 1925, Fred Andrew Sawyer still remains a member of the board of directors and a member of the loan committee and is still considered a potent factor in financial affairs. Too, having been a leader in civic affairs, he never fails to give his earnest support of whatever, in his judgment, tends to further the welfare and advancement of Waverly and its environs, and is widely recognized as one who had contributed in no slight degree, to the progress of his home community.

Fred Andrew Sawyer, scion of one of the oldest American families in this country, comes from English lineage; his emigrant ancestor, Major James Sawyer, settling probably on Shelter island, New York. Born at Barton, Tioga County, New York, October 23, 11860. Fred Andrew Sawyer is the son of the late Charles Halstead Sawyer, a farmer, born July 27, 1827, and died April 17, 1982, and his wife, Martha Wilkinson (Hanna) Sawyer. Receiving his education in the schools of Waverly, he graduated from the high school in 1878, and for about a year worked in temporary positions; but in September, 1879, he became associated with the Citizens' National Bank of Waverly as head bookkeeper, a position which he held until 1885, when he was advanced to the office of cashier. These duties he continued to perform until 1911, when he became president, guiding its destinies until he retired from active office in January, 1925, although still remaining a member of its board of directors and a member of its loan committee, Mr. Sawyer's banking ability place him also in many positions of trust and responsibility, and as such he has been president of the South Waverly Water Company since 1911, and vice-president of the Waverly Cooperative Savings and Loan Association.

Early in his career he became active in the advancement of his community, and subsequently accepted the duties of civic office, serving five years as treasurer of the village; and for seven years, two of which he served as president, he was a member of the Board of Education. His religious affiliation is with the Presbyterian faith. He and his family have been active members of the First church of this denomination since its founding in June, 1847, his father having served as elder, and he as trustee for a period of ten years. Since 1880 he had been a member of the Tioga Hose company; and also belongs to the Rotary club, and the Shepard Hills Country Club, serving as a member of various committees. His favorite recreation is golf.

On August 19, 1885, at Waverly, New York, Fred Andrew Sawyer married Mary Stone Moore, daughter of William Emmett and Sarah Emily Stone (Hotchkiss) Moore. Mr. and Mrs. Sawyer have one son, Harold Moore, born April 15, 1890, now one of the vice-presidents of the American Gas and Electric Company of New York; married Regina Lutz of Wheeling, West Virginia, November 18, 1914,; they have one son, Harold Murray, born November 3, 1916; they reside in New York City.


Daniel Bernard Lynch, M. E., a popular physician and surgeon with a well-established practice in Albany, is held in high regard by his fellow-practitioners and the general public, his experience in the World War and as a skilled medical associate in hospital and general practice having received due recognition in all the concerns of his profession. He is a son of Michael J. Lynch, a stone carver, who was born in Glens Falls, New York, in 1858, and died in 1903, and of Hannah (Reardon) Lynch, who was born in Limerick, Ireland, and died in 1896. They had seven children, five having died in infancy, the two surviving children being: Florence, who married William Gleichauf, of Rochester, and Dr. Daniel Bernard, of whom further. Dr. Lynch's grandfather, Jeremiah Lynch, was born in Ireland, in 1829, and he came to Canada early in life, afterwards locating at Glens Falls, New York, where he was a stone carver by trade, becoming wealthy in business. He married Ellen colliers, of St. Albans, Vermont, and they had ten children.

Dr. Daniel Bernard Lynch was born January 16, 1892, at Glens Falls, New York, where he attended the parochial schools and St. Mary's Academy, graduating with the class of 1909. After a year at the medical school of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland, he was graduated at the medical school of New York University with the class of 1916, when he received his degree of Doctor of Medicine. He was two years in interne at St. Vincent Hospital, in New York City, and after the war he established himself in general practice in Albany. He is a member of the staff of St. Peter's Hospital; he has held the posts of assistant surgeon and surgeon in the dispensary of that hospital, and he is visiting physician to St. Anne's School of Industry at the House of the Good shepherd.

Dr. Lynch enlisted in the World War, June 20, 1917, as a first lieutenant, and on January 13, 1918, he was ordered to Camp Greenleaf at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, where he joined the Medical Officers' Training Corps. Here he continued for ten weeks, when he attended the six weeks' course in surgery at the Mayo Brothers' clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He spent three weeks at the base hospital at Camp Grant, Rockford, Illinois, when he was assigned to Evacuation Hospital No. 13, at Camp Gordon, Atlanta, Georgia, where he remained six weeks, after which he was at Camp Hill, Newport News, ten days. Sailing for Brest, France, he arrived in August, 1918, and, with Evacuation Hospital No. 13, he was at Toul one week. From there he was assigned to Chaligny, with the same unit, but attached to the 82nd division. Consecutively, after three weeks he was transferred to Champignelles with the 92nd Division for three weeks; to Commercy with the 33d Division, in the Illinois National Guard, until January 3, 1919; thence to Walfurdingen, Luxembourg, with the 5th Division, Army of Occupation, until July 4, 1919; and returning to Brest, sailed July 10, arriving in the United States July 19. From Camp Merritt he was transferred to Camp Upton, where he received his discharge, August 15. He was commissioned captain, February, 19, 1919.

Fraternally, Dr. Lynch is affiliated with Glens Falls Council, No. 194, Knights of Columbus; Glens Falls Lodge, No. 81, Benevolent and Protective order of Elks; Fort Orange Post of the Americana Legion, Albany; and with Admiral Coughlin Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Albany. He is a member of the American Medical Association; New York State Medical Association, Albany County Medical Society, and with Beta Beta Chapter of Phi Chi Fraternity of New York University. He is a communicant of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, Albany.

Dr. Daniel Bernard Lynch married, June 14, 1922, in Albany, Mary M. Guilfoyle, daughter of Frank J. and Catherine (Doyle) Guilfoyle. Frank J. Guilfoyle was for many years general manger of the Dobler Brewing Company, Albany, New York and he is now engaged in the tailoring business in New York City. Dr. and Mrs. Lynch are the parents of Frank Guilfoyle Lynch, born September 20, 1923, and Daniel B. Lynch, Jr., born January 1, 1925.


The History of New York State, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1927

This book is owned by Pam Rietsch and is a part of the Mardos Memorial Library

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

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