The History of New York State
Biographies, Part 58

Editor, Dr. James Sullivan

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam

 

MORTIMER YALE FERRIS 

was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, March 29, 1881, the son of Dr. Edward Mortimer and Marion Eliza (Yale) Ferris. He attended the public schools of his native place, after which he matriculated at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, from which he was graduated in 1903 with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. After completing his college course he entered the engineering department of the Pennsylvania Railroad. In 1905 he moved to Ticonderoga, where he has actively engaged in the practice of his profession.

Early in his career, Mr. Ferris began to take an active interest in public life, and throughout the intervening years has never failed to give his earnest support to everything pertaining to the welfare and advancement of his community. He has held the following offices: president of the Moses Ludington Hospital; president of the Ticonderoga National Bank; director of the Northern New York Telephone Company; trustee, Ticonderoga Community Building; member of the Ticonderoga School Board from 1908 to 1918, the last three years of which he served as president of the organization; village president for two terms. In 1918 was nominated in the Republican primary as a candidate for New York Senator, 33rd. District, comprising Clinton, Essex, Warren, and Washington counties, was elected that autumn and subsequently re-elected in 1920, 1922, and 1924; in 1921 he served as chairman of the Special Joint Legislative Committee to investigate the Farms and Markets Department; in 1925 was appointed chairman of the Special Joint Legislative Committee on the proposed Lake Champlain vehicular bridge.

On the expiration of his last term as State Senator he was appointed by Governor Smith a member of the Lake Champlain Bridge Commission and on its organization was elected chairman. The commission, representing the States of New York and Vermont, is empowered and directed to build and operate a toll vehicular bridge between Crown Point, New York, and Chimney Point, Vermont. In 1926, Mr. Ferris was elected a member of the Republican State Committee from Essex County.

Senator Ferris is fraternally affiliated with Mount Defiance Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; Ethan Allen Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, all of Ticonderoga; Lake Champlain Com-

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mandery, Knights Templar of Fort Henry; Albany Sovereign consistory; Oriental Temple, Mystic Shrine of Troy; the sons of the American revolution. He and his family are members of the Protestant Episcopal Church.

On February 14, 1905, at Newton, Massachusetts, Mortimer Yale Ferris married Elizabeth Leavitt, daughter of John and Jeanette A. (Huff) Leavitt, and they are the parents of two children: 1. Mary, born February 6, 1906. 2. Elizabeth, born July 2, 1911. The family home is in Ticonderoga.

FRANK Henry MOTT

A leading member of the bar in Western New York, Frank Henry Mott has risen to high place in his profession solely through his own fine energy and ability during years of efficient service. Profoundly learned in the law, with a knowledge of all underlying principles together with their application, his keen perceptions and ready tact have time and again scored victories for the causes which he has espoused. A striking characteristic of Mr. Mott's work, and one which is only too rare, it is to be feared, among the men of his profession, is his sincere belief in the merits of the cases which he accepts. For his high conception of his professional duty quite as much as for his many successes, he has been honored by the people of Jamestown, and gained secure place in their lasting esteem.

Mr. Mott was born on February 9, 1873, in Russell, Warren County, Pennsylvania, a son of Aaron Van Rensselaer and Flora (Russell) Mott, and a member of old and distinguished families which have been prominent in American life since Colonial times. The town of Russell derives its name from his maternal great-grandfather, while on his father's side a great-grandfather was a captain in the colonial Wars, before the Revolution. Another was a soldier of the Revolution, and an earlier forefather was a colonial governor of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Still earlier, a member of the family was one of the "Mayflower" signers of the Plymouth Compact, while in England one of them stood among the men of Runnemede who wrested the Magna Charta from King John in the thirteenth century. The Motts were among the earliest settlers of the Hudson River Valley and Long Island, and were prominent in the early annals of New York City as well as Dutchess County. A collateral branch of the family settled and became distinguished in Virginia.

John Russell, an ancestor on Mr. Mott's mother's side, was born in Ireland, and came from County Down to the United States about 1788. In 1800 he explored the wilderness country along the upper Allegheny and Conewango. Later, the same year, in Chautauqua County, he and his family left their home on the north branch of the Susquehanna in Pennsylvania, to lead a party of emigrants, mostly his neighbors, up that and the Sinemahoning Rivers in a boat of his own construction. This boar was carried across the portage to the Allegheny and again launched on that river, which was in turn descended to the mouth of the Conewango. Mr. Russell ascended the latter stream to a place near the State of New York, where he settled the same year. A portion of his party became pioneers of Sugargrove and Farmington, in Pennsylvania, and Kiantone and Carroll in New York. His son, Thomas Russell, and John Frew, a kinsman, some years later became the founders of Frewsburg in Chautauqua County. Another son, Robert Russell, the great-grandfather of Frank H. Mott, became afterwards a prominent pioneer of the town of Kiantone and later the founder of Russell, Pennsylvania, and was for many years one of the most successful lumber men and leading citizens of Northwestern Pennsylvania.

Frank Henry Mott, of this record, attended the public schools of his birthplace, and at the age of fifteen, entered the high school in Jamestown. Deciding upon a legal career, he later became a student at law in the office of Cook, fisher and Wade, long the leading law firm of Chautauqua County. He completed his studies in the Buffalo Law School, and was admitted to practice in 1899. Immediately after his admission to the bar, he took up professional work in Jamestown, and is now inactive practice in this city, with a clientele composed of many of the largest interests. While pursuing his law studies, he was engaged for two years in newspaper work for the Jamestown "Morning News," and again during the Presidential campaign of 1900 he was the political editor of the Buffalo "Times."

In his professional success, Mr. Mott's own character and personal charm have played an important part. Uniformly courteous and possessing of extraordinary warmth in his contacts with others, he has pursued his duties with the fine dignity which makes for true nobility. His eloquence, which has brought him wide reputation far beyond the borders of the county, results partially from this and partially from his

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lucid grasp of the matter under his discussion, and talent for forceful expression. In the trial of jury cases he is earnest and resourceful, alert to seize upon any weakness which is evident in his opponent's presentation of a subject. As has been well said: "Opposition stimulates him, difficulties seem to delight him. No subject turn of the conflict confuses, complexes or discourages him. His cases are always well prepared. His perception, swift and keen, is regulated by vigorous reasoning powers. Whether examining a witness, arguing a point of law to the court, or addressing the jury, his manner is always assured. As a counselor, he exhibits boldness and sagacity, with kindness and tact, but no man has ever been able to command his services for the accomplishment of wrong or the perversion of justice."

Mr. Mott possesses extraordinary judgment in the matter of business trends and values, and is frequently consulted by the largest financial interests, among whom his opinions are highly regarded. In politics he has been a consistent Democrat, with a remarkable record of public service in this party. He has been a leader in party councils, and the Democrats of Chautauqua in particular owe much to his sagacity. At a meeting of the Democratic State Committee held in the summer prior to the National convention at Kansas City in 1900, notwithstanding a strong effort to prevent expression of a choice for a presidential candidate, he introduced and secured the passage of a resolution significantly expressing the existence of a sentiment in the committee favorable to William J. Bryan. At the State Convention, held at Saratoga in 1904, he was one of those who organized and led a movement that resulted in the nomination of Judge Herrick for governor.

He was a delegate to the Democratic national convention held at Kansas City in 1900, and represented the State of New York upon the committee appointed to notify William J. Bryan that his nomination for the office of President. At the Democratic State Convention held at Saratoga in 1902, when but twenty-nine years of age, he was chosen the Democratic candidate for Secretary of State. On his return to his home in Jamestown, he was given a public reception, at which speeches were made in his honor by the leading citizens of the city without distinction of party. In the election that followed he married this Republican stronghold by nearly three hundred majority, and ran several thousand votes ahead of his ticket in Chautauqua County, thus showing his popularity and the high esteem in which he is held by his fellow citizens. In every political campaign since he attained his m majority, he has been one of the ablest champions of the principles of his party, and during the Presidential campaign in 1904, in a continuous tour, he addressed large assemblies in many of the principal cities and towns of the State from Buffalo to Brooklyn, rendering valuable aid to the cause he served.

At Jamestown Mr. Mott has been active in every movement for civic advance and progress giving his time and substance unselfishly to worth enterprises. For two terms he served as a member of the Board of Education, while for one term he was local deputy attorney-general of the State. He also acted for two years as secretary of the Public Service Commission of the Second District, New York State, and for six months counsel of the same commission.

Fraternally, he is affiliated with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, of which he is Past Exalted ruler, while is also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the Phi Delta Phi Fraternity, and Jamestown chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, of which he is a Regent. He is a member of the Jamestown Club, a former president of the Jamestown Bar Association, and a member of the New York State Bar Association.

A man of wide culture, Mr. Mott has read extensively, quite aside from his professional work, in the best literature of the world. He has gathered together what is, perhaps, the finest private library in this part of the State, comprising many rare and beautiful volumes. His work in legal affairs, in public life, and in all the manifold activities of the community reflects great credit both upon himself and upon the State and its people. His is a career, it may fittingly be said in conclusion, of achievement, success and honor.

SCHUYLER C. SCHULTZ

It is said by those who have had a chance to know what Schuyler C, Schultz has contributed more to the development of modern Kingston than has any other single individual. However that may be, it is certain that Mr. Schultz has built more then three hundred houses and many stores in Kingston, and it is also certain that he has introduced new practices and secured

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new building provisions. He was a pioneer in the zoning of districts for the purpose of effectively restricting as to style and character of building, and it was Mr. Schultz who was the means of getting most of the stores located on Wall Street, Kingston's modern business street.

The branch of the Schultz family to which Mr. Schultz belongs was founded in this country by his great-grandfather, William Schultz, who came to this country from Hamburg, Germany, about 1815, and settled near Staatsburg, in Dutchess County, New York. John L. Schultz was a farmer, during the earlier years of his active life, in Esopus, New York, but in 1856 he succeeded to the insurance business of his brother William, and from that time on he was engaged in the insurance business, in which he has became an expert. In 1890 he admitted his son, Schuyler C. Schultz, to partnership in the business, and upon his death in 1920 his son succeeded him in the business. He was active in the Prohibition movement, serving as county, State, and national committeeman, and he was one of the most highly esteemed men of this part of the State. He married Rachel Terpening, who died in 1907, daughter of Ezekiel Terpening, who was among the first settlers in Ulster County, and who was once the wealthiest man in Ulster County.

Schuyler C. Schultz, son of John L. and Rachel (Terpening) Schultz, was born in Esopus, New York, March 8, 1870, and after graduating from Kingston Academy in 1888, entered the New Paltz Normal School, at New Paltz, New York. In October, 1890, he was admitted to partnership in his father's real estate and insurance business, and has continued to carry on that line. Upon the death of his father in 1920 he became the owner of the business, and he had been one of the most active developers of the modern portion of Kingston. He has opened up new sections and subdivision, has established the custom of zoning and restricting subdivision property, and has built more the three hundred houses, as well as many stores. His long experience in the real estate and insurance business, his natural ability, and his energy, initiative, and executive ability have enabled him to accomplish a work which is equal to the life-work of several individuals of average achievement in his line. He has not only built large numbers of houses, but he has planned and built well for the best interest of the community. A pioneer in the zoning and restricting of new developments, he has conferred in this one respect a substantial benefit upon the city, and in years to come home owners will have reason to be grateful for the wisdom and the farsightedness of this builder. Mr. Schultz is a Republican in his political faith, but he has never sought nor desired the honors of public office and has even refused to have such honors and responsibilities thrust upon him, declining several times to accept a nomination as mayor of Kingston. He is a member of Kingston Lodge, No. 10, Free and Accepted Masons; and of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; and he is a charter member of the Kingston Rotary Club. He is an active and an influential member of the Kingston Chamber of Commerce. His favorite form of recreation is traveling. He is a member of the Dutch Reformed Church, and one of its generous supporters.

Schuyler C. Schultz was married (first) , at Oceanic, New Jersey, in October, 1890 to Marguerite Freer. She died in 1896, leaving one child, Jeannette, who was born in July, 1892; married Aleck Mollott. Mr. Schultz married (second), December 31, 1896, Grace V. Howland, of Woodstock, Maryland, daughter of Egbert Howland, a farmer and grocer of Woodstock. To the second marriage four children have been born: 2. Helen, born in 1897, married William Michael. 3. Egbert, born November 4, 1900, associated with his father in the real estate and insurance business. 4. Lillias M., born June 3, 1902, married Philo Powell. 5. Schuyler C., Jr., born August 4, 1908.

HON. George WINTHROP FAIRCHILD

From farm boy to self-educated man and ranking Republican member of the most important committee of Congress; from printer's apprentice to owner and editor of the newspaper on which he had "served his time"; from a comparatively obscure position in the realm of business to president, then chairman of the board of the largest concern in its field in the world; from a state of virtual poverty to a position of wealth and great influence, the late Hon. George Winthrop Fairchild, of Oneonta and New York City, achieved a career that was as useful in its various services as it was romantic and colorful in its many aspects.

He was a direct descendant of Thomas Fairchild, who settled in Stratford, Connecticut, in 1632. On the maternal side he was a great-grandson of Thomas Morenus, a soldier of the

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Revolution, and grandson of Jeremiah Morenus, a soldier of the War of 1812. Both these ancestors are buried in hallowed ground in Oneonta.

George Winthrop Fairchild was born in Oneonta, New York, May 6, 1854, a son of Jesse and Belle (Morenus) Fairchild. The surviving children of his parents are: 1. Charles J. Fairchild (retired), of Watertown, New York. 2. Miss Mae Fairchild, who resides in New York City. 3. Miss Jesse E. Fairchild, of Oneonta, for many years a public school teacher in that city and now retired. There were originally nine children in the family, and the father, a farmer, none too well blessed with this world's goods,. Had to depend on his sons' labors for some measure of the family's support. As he became more and more inform and aged, this dependence became the more necessary, and the boys loyalty turned in their earnings to keep the domestic circle intact and from actual want. To this filial devotion on a most generous scale within the limits of his resources, George Winthrop Fairchild willingly gave all that he was enabled. Verily he did honor his father and mother, and the promise of long life in his land was fulfilled as a part of his reward.

Educational opportunities did not offer themselves to the ambitious and keen-minded youth beyond the common school courses in his native town, owing to the fact that he must give so much of his time to working the home farm for his father. He made everything count for the most, however, and when he left school in his fourteenth year o serve as an apprentice to the printer's trade, he ha laid a groundwork n which he as later to build his self-education on a plane that was a source of surprise to all who had known of his circumstances. From his earnings in the printing office he gave the major share toward the support of the family on the home farm. He came "out of his time" a finished printer, and was made foreman of the Oneonta "Democrat" (later the "Herald") printing office before he was twenty-one.

Thereafter his rise was rapid. At the age of twenty-five he purchased a half-interest in the Oneonta "Herald," a weekly newspaper, on which he had learned his trade. Meanwhile he gratified his great thirst for knowledge by supplementing his common school education with wide and selected course of reading. An apt student of men and affairs, he ever remained as such to the end of his days. In the truest sense of the word it could be said that he was self-educated man; his knowledge covered a very wide range of subjects as his career throughout his middle and later life abundantly demonstrated.

An extended tour of several Western cities in quest of improved health, while he plied his trade to pay expenses, was followed by his return to Oneonta, where he resumed his association with the "Herald," in 1876. A few years later he became the sole proprietor of the paper, of which he also acted as editor. His arrival at the status of sole owner was reached after he and Willard E. Yager had taken over the "Herald and Democrat" and changed the name to the Oneonta "Herald" in 1890. He also became vice-president of the Otsego Publishing Company and held that office until his death. Through his journalistic efforts he wielded a great influence throughout the section served by his newspaper and came to be known as one of the keenest of editors and publishers in that region, while his name and reputation received favorable attention throughout the State.

Greater prominence attached perhaps, to Mr. Fairchild for his identification with the manufacturing world. In association with an old friend, Harlow N. Bundy, he became interested in the Computing, Tabulating and Recording Company, which had its plant at Endicott, New York. Later he was a majority stockholder and was elected president of this concern. This proved one of his richest sources of revenue, while his newspaper enterprise also make money for him. The Computing, Tabulating and Recording Company attained a vast growth, and the business was re-organized as the International Business machines Company, the largest of its kind in the world, and of which Mr. Fairchild became chairman of the board, being retained in that position for the rest of his life.

He was an officer or a director of many other corporations, all of which have been successfully operated in their respective fields. He was president of the White Plains (New York) Development Company, president of the Railway Improvement Company of New York, president of the Bundy Manufacturing Company; director of the People's Trust Company, Bingham, New York; for many years a director of the Citizens National Bank and Trust Company, of Oneonta; director of the Fairchild Aerial Camera Corporation; director of the Garden City (Long Island) Estates; and director of the Guardian Trust Company, of New York City. Aside from his interest in the above enterprises, he dealt heavily in improved real estate, whose returns added to his financial strength.

Mr. Fairchild was deeply interested in the

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cause of education. He and his old friend Bundy founded the Star Lecture Course, which proved of immeasurable benefit to thousands. He was also the prime mover in the successful bringing of a State Normal School to Oneonta. He was very happy in being enabled to render these services to his old home community, for which he had an imperishable affection.

As an outstanding Republican, Mr. Fairchild was seasoned in the politics of his section of the Empire State when called, in 1906, to represent his district--Ulster, Delaware, Sullivan and Schoharie counties-- known as the old Thirty-fourth, in the lower House of Congress. He developed into the highest type of statesman as to erudition, sound judgment and authority on business legislation. Serving with marked distinction on the Committees on Foreign Affairs and Ways and Means, he brought to that service an intimate knowledge of his country's finances and of political conditions in Europe. Thus he became one of the most influential and farseeing members of the Congress during the World War period. He did much for his constituency, as well as for the nation, and obtained for Binghamton and his native city, Oneonta, the commodious and beautiful post office buildings of which they had been in great need. During the war he attained the rank of leading Republican on the Ways and Means Committee and had a large part in directing the United States' financing of the war. In Congress he also became known as a warm friend of the soldiers of the Civil War. His splendid record in congress was written during a membership of six successive terms, from the Sixtieth to the Sixty-sixth sessions, 1907-1919.

Mr. Fairchild stood high in the confidence of the Federal government, he was vice-president of the International Peace Conference, and as a representative of the United States he twice attended the sessions of that body abroad. President Taft charged him with a special mission to Mexico, conferring upon him the rank of minister. He was also appointed a member of a special commission which made a tour of inspection of the Hawaiian Islands.

He was a member of the Sulgrave Institute, the Metropolitan and Chevy Chase clubs of Washington, District of Columbia, the Union, Republican and Union League clubs of New York, and the Country, Oneonta and Odd Fellows' clubs of Oneonta. As a boy he had been very fond of attending Sunday school, and all his life his religious preference was for the Presbyterian Church, although not actively identified with the membership.

Mr. Fairchild married, February 15, 1891, at the Church of the Heavenly Rest, New York City, Josephine Mills Sherman, daughter of William Sherman, of Davenport, Iowa. Up to her marriage she had lived most of her life with her uncle, Dr. Gilchrist, a wealthy physician of the metropolis. She died January 24, 1924. To Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild was born a son, Sherman Mills, on April 7, 1896, at Oneonta. In energy and business acumen, as well as in facial and other physical characteristics, he resembles his honored father. He studied at Harvard and Columbia Universities. He is the inventor of the airplane camera, an the founder of the Fairchild Aerial Photos Company,. He also manufacturers airplanes at Farmingdale, Long Island.

The death of Hon. George Winthrop Fairchild occurred at his New York residence, East Fifty-fifth Street, December 31, 1925. Some time previous to his passing, the "National Magazine" said of him: "The printer boy, newspaper editor, the business man, the congressman and the statesman reveal in the life-work of George w. Fairchild a career that is typical of the highest conception of American citizenship."

James T. LOHNES

An important and familiar figure in the life of Valley Falls, New York, James T. Lohnes has been superintendent for many years of the well-known Thompson Company mills in this place. He succeeded his father high executive position with this company, ably carrying on the duties of his office, and his services have proved of decisive value in the continued progress of the company affairs.

Mr. Lohnes' father, Adam Lohnes, was born at Valley Falls, on March 21, 1856, and his death occurred here on January 16, 1920. He was a son of Adam and Jane (Whalen) Lohnes, a d after completing his education in local public schools, he went to work in the wheel mills of the Schuylerville Powder Company, with whom he remained connected through many yeas, becoming overseer of the mills. Soon after his marriage, which occurred in 1878, he entered the employ of the Thompson Mill, and became overseer of the finishing and dyeing departments, a position in which he continued until the time of his death. A Republican in politics, he was active in party and governmental affairs, and at one time served as collect of Pittstown. Mr. Lohnes was a member of Columbia Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd

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Fellows, and of several civic and benevolent organizations. He married, in 1878, Hannah Celia Thompson, daughter of James and Isabel (Curran) Thompson, and they became the parents of several children, as follows: 1. Isabel, a resident of Boston. 2. William Thompson, deceased. 3. James T., of this record. 4. Estelle, who married Commander A. E. Baker, of the United States navy, stationed at Mare Island, California, resides in Vallejo, California.

James T. Lohnes was born at Valley Falls, on June 11, 1882. He attended the local public schools, and following graduation from high school in 1899, spent two years at Troy Academy before entering Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, from which he was graduated in 1905 with the degree of Civil Engineer. Upon his return to Valley Falls, Mr. Lohnes became connected with the Thompson Mill, rising through various minor positions to places of the greatest confidence and trust. Finally he became superintendent of the mill, and this is his office today (1929). Mr. Lohnes is thoroughly familiar with all details of the work under his control, both theoretically and by practical experience. He has built up a smooth-functioning organization, and through his efficient work has contributed in no small degree to the successful operation of the company.

In politics a Republican like his father, Mr. Lohnes also served for several yeas as collector of the town of Pittstown. He is affiliated fraternally, with the Free and Accepted Masons, holing membership in Victory Lodge, No 680, at Schuylerville, while he is also a member of Epsilon Chapter of the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Although the demands of his profession upon him are heavy, he has always found time to be interested in civic affairs and the general welfare of the community, contributing liberally to all worthy movements for advance and progress. He is a member of the Johnsonville Gun Club, and, with his family, of the First Methodist Episcopal Church, of Valley Falls.

On December 30, 1907, at Valley Falls, James T. Lohnes married Adah Nancy Harrington, daughter of Henry J. and Clara (Ball) Harrington. Her father established an early grist-mill at Valley Falls, which he ran for many yeas, and later was one of the founders of the Harrington Company, dealers in lumber, coal, feed, and farm implements. This enterprise he continued for fifty years. Clara (Ball) Harrington was a daughter of John P. and --------- (Slocum) Ball and a member of the family which came originally to Valley Falls from Warwick, Massachusetts. Her father became well known locally as a manufacturer of linseed oil. He was prominent in politics, a leading member of the Democratic Party, and served for sometime as county clerk for Rensselaer County. among his other distinctions he was the last Democratic supervisor ever elected from the town of Pittstown. Both the Harringtons and the Balls were very prominent families, representative of the superior class and culture fast disappearing from this section.

Mr. and Mrs. Lohnes became the parents of two children; 1. James Thompson, born in February 6, 1908. He was graduated from the Valley Falls public school; Lansingburgh High School, in 1928, and is now a member of the junior class at Amherst College. 2. Marjorie Ball, born in March, 1911. The resident of this family is continued at Valley Falls.

 

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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