The History of New York State
Biographies, Part 62

Editor, Dr. James Sullivan

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam

 

HERBERT FREDERICK PRESCOTT

On the foundation of experience in the Fourth Estate there now and again has been erected by members of the profession the superstructure of fresh successes infields which are contiguous, so to speak, to the boundless territory covered by the ubiquitous newspaper man. A fine example of this type of builder, or evolu-

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tionist, is furnished by Herbert Frederick Prescott, of Albany, secretary of the New York Conservation Department. Mr. Prescott rose from the ranks of the cub reporter to the editor's chair, to legislative correspondent, and was connected with leading up-State journals for a score of years approximately. He graduated into the service of the State, and was called thence to be manager and editor of the Republican State Committee's "news Bureau." For more than twenty years he was the executive officer of a newspaper clipping bureau, meanwhile having been appointed to the important post that he now holds in the Conservation Department. it is a foregoing conclusion that to one's question of Mr. Prescott as to what element he considered to have been the most conducive to his advancement in the public service, he would reply unhesitatingly that it was his newspaper training.

Born in Bangor, Maine, December 14, 1866, Herbert F. Prescott is the son of Harrison Gray and Sarah (Leighton) Prescott, his father a well-known merchant in that city, who served in the Civil War as second lieutenant of Company H, 15th Main volunteers. Mr. Prescott was in the city of Albany when he became of age to attend grammar school. He made the most of his educational opportunities and went on to the high school, from which he was graduated in 1884. Before he left school he had decided to enter the newspaper profession, and shortly after graduation joined the staff of the Albany "Evening Journal." One of his salient characteristics that boosted him over many a hill of difficulty was stick-to-it-iveness, which is essential to progress in newspaper work. In 1889, he left the "Journal" and went to "The Argus" as city editor. For five years he directed the force in the city room of "The Argus." In 1894, he accepted an offer to become vice-president and managing editor to the "Syracuse Courier," which position he held until 1897.

It was in 1898 that Mr. Presxcott made the move that was to have the most intimate bearing upon his career. Joining the corps of press representatives attached to the State Capitol, he made the important and broadly embracing connection of legislative correspondent for the "Albany Journal," "Syracuse Post-Standard," "New York Commercial Advertiser," "Troy Press," and "Utica Herald-Dispatch." He served these newspapers with marked devotion and efficiency until he completed his assignment and filed his last story on a day in 1902.

In the latter year, Mr. Prescott had come favorably to the attention of the appointing authority and was made secretary to the fiscal supervisor of New York State Charities. In this position his newspaper training was effectively brought into play while he filled the office for six years. He was in line for promotion when, in 1908, he was advanced to deputy fiscal supervisor of the State charities, which position he occupied for four years. His wide acquaintance with the public men of New York State, in 1912, led to his selection by this Republican State Committee to organize a Republican New bureau at the capital, and for seven years he directed the State Committee's publicity medium, aiding the party in its campaigns of candidates of platforms ina period more exacting, perhaps, than any since the Civil War.

Back in the days when Mr. Prescott was engaged in newspaper work, he became the head of "Klips," a newspaper clipping bureau, which built up under the presidency of Mr. Prescott a large and desirable clientage. Here again his highly developed news sense made him a most reliable executive. Altogether he was president of "Klips" for twenty-two years, resigning the office in 1924. In 1921 he was appointed secretary to the Conservation Commission by Commissioner Ellis J. Staley, and of this position he is still the incumbent.

Mr. Prescott is affiliated with Mount Vernon Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, as a life-member. His clubs are the Fort Orange, Adirondack Mountain, Albany Fish and Game, the Unconditional and Capital City. He and his family are communicants of St. Andrew's Protestant Episcopal Church, Albany.

Mr. Prescott married (first), June 21, 1911, at St. Andrew's Church, Albany, Adelaide E. Turner, daughter of John and Annie (Munsell) Turner, and of this union there were three children: 1. Sarah Leighton, born March 19, 1912. 2. Herbert Hayden, born August 19, 1913. 3. John Austin, born July 25, 1916. Mr. Prescott married (second), at St. Andrew's church, April 21, 1924, Anne Reynolds, daughter of John W. and Anna (Colvin) Reynolds. Mr. Prescott and his family have their residence at No. 204 Western Avenue, Albany.

FRANK D. MILLER

In furthering the progress and development of his community, no one has ever exceeded the zealous and loyal efforts of the late Frank D. Miller, of Oneonta, whose death occurred May 30, 1920, a leader in various concerns and enterprises devoted to

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public service and public utilities. Mr. Miller was one of the organizers of the Oneonta Electric Light Company, of which he became president and was later one of the prime factors in the formation of the Oneonta Electric Water Power Company, which built an extensive plant and dam at East End. Possessed of a remarkable foresight and vision to give to the people of the community and this vicinity, the benefits of every modern improvement and invention, leaving nothing undone to procure for his fellow-citizens the most complete and most economic service from the various organizations which enlisted his interest. His public activities were not confined to this locality, and being well known in various parts of the country he participated in the construction of the electric system in Binghamton, while in association with George W. Fairchild, he bought and rebuilt the electric plant at Venice, Illinois, of the Granite City Electric Company, which concern provided all the electric light and power used at the St. Louis Fair commemorating the Louisiana Purchase by this magnificent and extensive exposition.

Mr. Miller was born in Oneonta, November 7, 1857, son of David M. and Sallie (Bowen) Miller. The Miller family is of Holland Dutch origin, and settled in New York State in colonial times. David M. Miller was senior member of the firm of Miller, Vosburg & Company, and later founded the commission firm of D. M. Miller & son, in which he was active for many years. Mr. and Mrs. miller had three sons: 1. R. Wesley Miller, prominent commission merchant. 2. Frank D., of whom further. 3. Orson A., who is prominent in the lumber business in Oneonta.

Frank D. Miller was educated in the schools of Oneonta, and rightly deserved the title of a "self-made man," as immediately upon his graduation from high school at the age of seventeen, he entered the business world, his father having met with financial reverses. He received his early business training with the firm of Miller, Vosburg & Company, and was later associated with his father in the commission firm of D. M. Miller & Son, conducting a prosperous trade in hops, wool and butter, operating the business after his father's death until 1893, when he entered the hop business, which he continued successfully until his death. He was sole owner of the Oneonta Hop packing Company, a leader in this industry and operating one of the largest organizations in the country, having clients throughout Europe and the United States. Active in the lumber trade, Mr. Miller was president of the Webb Lumber Company, which carried on extensive operations in Vermont, Pennsylvania, and the Adirondack section of this State. His activities in the field of public service were truly remarkable, having all the qualities of a public-spirited citizen of the highest type with the interest of the people ever in mind, and among his other projects, he served as director in the Otsego and Delaware Telephone Company, while he was offered the presidency of a bank, which earned him the admiration and praise of all, he remained content to be a simple son of the people, happy in possessing so many real and sincere friends, who valued him in addition to his splendid public success for his sterling qualities, his sincere interest in his fellow-man, and his true and devoted friendship. In politics, he was a staunch supporter of the principles of the Republican Party, and although urged by all to become a candidate for the office of first mayor of Oneonta, he declined the honor, although his election would certainly have been unanimous. He was a popular and active member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Oneonta Club and the Oneonta Country Club. His religious affiliations were with the First Presbyterian Church.

Frank D. miller married, May 18, 1886, Elizabeth Lewis, of Utica, daughter of Henry Lewis, who was born in Wales, and Mary (Lewis) Lewis, daughter of John J. Lewis, also a native of Wales. Henry Lewis, as a young man, was the first member of his family to come to the United States, becoming a stone building contractor here, building several churches in Utica and a number of large stone houses in Englewood, New Jersey, to which town he transferred his residence and where he lived until his death. He was an elder in the stone church he built in Englewood, New Jersey. Mr. and Mrs. Frank D. Miller were the parents of four children; 1. Mrs. Bayard Bigelow, born April 4, 1887; married Bayard Bigelow, of Buffalo, and they have two children:; Bayard, and Miller. 2. Mrs. Charles Addis, born September 4, 1891; married Charles Addis, and they reside at Mountain Lakes, New Jersey. They have twin daughters: Patricia and Elizabeth. 3. Grace, born May 20, 1896; graduate of the Episcopal Cathredal School of St. Mary's. 4. Frank D., Jr., born September 11, 1906; attended Kingsley Preparatory School at Essex Falls, New Jersey.

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ROBERT J. SCOTT

In whatever movement seems best adapted to further the interest of the community in which he makes his home, Dr. Robert J. Scott, of Port Henry, is both an active and willing participant.

Born in Fort Miller, New York, august 11, 1877, he is the son of Robert J. and Helen (Morrisey) Scott. His father was a papermaker. Educated in the public schools, and graduated from the high school at Ticonderago, class o 1895, Robert J. Scott entered the dental department of the University of Maryland, where he was graduated March 31, 1899, with the degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery. That fall he opened an office in Port Henry, where he has operated his profession ever since.

Dr. Scott is a cultivated musician, and for sixteen years, has been organist in the Christ Protestant Episcopal Church, in which he also serves as a vestryman. He is a member of the Morning Sun Lodge, No. 142, Free and Accepted Masons, and is also in Cedar Pont Chapter, No. 269, and Lake Champlain Commandery, No. 74; Lodge of Perfection of Troy, and Albany consistory of Albany, New York, holding the thirty-second degree in the Scottish Rite bodies. He is a member of the Adirondack Mountain club of New York State, and one of its house committee. Dr. Scott is also president of the board of the local library, and an omnivorous reader of general literature, while keeping thoroughly abreast of the latest developments on his own profession. He is a member of the National New York State and Third district Dental Societies.

He is an out-door man, being especially interested in mountain climbing and exploring the forests, and he is also interested in the raising of flowers.

ABRAHAM H. BOWERS, M. D.

Who has practiced medicine in Jamestown for forty years, has to his professional credit a total of fifty active years, as this brief sketch of his career is being written in the year 1928. Among our ablest physicians, he is a man who takes a deep interest in work among the poor and dependent, having a nature of deeply sympathetic trend and being actuated by the true principles of Christian benevolence and charity. No citizen of a community is of greater value than the altruistic physician in full development. Yet, so broad are his activities that he has taken a leading part in civic affairs, and in fraternal association, has held public office of honor and trust with credit to himself and the benefit of the people, and has for years held a place high in the esteem of his fellow-citizens of this district of the State of New York.

He was born in Conneaut, Ohio, January 7, 1853, a son of Rev. Abraham H. and Ann J. (Climo) bowers, his father having been for years a member of the Erie conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and whose work was largely in Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. He and his wife were the parents of three sons, the two younger having been Arthur C., a Methodist minister, and John M., a physician.

The eldest son, Alexander H. Bowers, acquired his education in Beaver College, Allegheny College, and the medical school of the University of Worcester, from which last-named institution he was graduated with the class of 1878 and received his medical degree. He began his professional career with practice at Russell, Pennsylvania, where he remained for two years, then removing to Forestville, New York, where he practiced for eight years longer. He then came to Jamestown, where he has since lived and practiced. Here he has served as health officer and physician to the poor for sixteen years and as coroner for fifteen years. He is a member of the New York State and Chautauqua County Medical societies and affiliated with Mount Moriah Lodge, No. 145, Free and Accepted Masons; Western Sun Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Jamestown Commandery, Knights Templar; and the Consistory, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Masons. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Abraham H. Bowers married, in 1879, Ida Allen, of Russell, Pennsylvania. Their children are: 1. Henry Allen, coroner of Chautauqua County. 2. Samuel Thomas, in the real estate and insurance business. The family residence is at No. 67 Prospect Street, Jamestown.

FRANK THOMAS McDONALD

Through steady application and with an unflagging spirit, Frank Thomas McDonald has won for himself a success which has given him an important place in the business life of Ticonderoga. Born in that village, July 6, 1888, he is the son of John and Martha (Conlon) McDonald. The father was an expert electrician and was connected with the International Paper Company.

Frank Thomas McDonald left the public schools at the age of fourteen to enter Williams' general store as a clerk. He remained there

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for three years, then went to the W. J. Smith Lumber Company as a lumber handler, where he also remained for three years. There followed periods with the Dolbeck Grocery and Meat Market and the Ross and Wood Grocery, where he stayed until 1910, when he joined the Ticonderoga National Bank, as junior clerk. Here his energy and willingness, combined with a keen ability for the banking business, carried him through promotions in the various departments of the bank until 1925, he was appointed cashier, which position he holds today,. In connection with the public life in his community, Mr. McDonald has for two years, held the position of trustee of the Village Board.

He is a member of the Free and Accepted Masons in Mt. Defiance Lodge, No. 794, and of the Caribou Chapter, No. 290, Royal Arch Masons; the Commandery, Knights Templar, of Fort Henry, New York, and of Ticonderoga Lodge, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He is a member of the Episcopal Church of the Cross, of which he is vestryman. His recreation is out-of-door sports.

HAROLD E. FRITTS

Actively engaged in the practice of law in Hudson, New York, since 1910, Harold E. Fritts has contributed substantially to the professional life of this city, where he served from 1915 to 1919 as city judge. He is also keenly interested in the social, business and fraternal affairs of Hudson and its environs, and is a member of several organizations which play important parts in widely varied phases of civic life.

Mr. Fritts was born in Hudson on January 11, 1885, son of Dr. Crawford Ellsworth and Emma (Wynkoop) Fritts. His father was a leading physician and surgeon in Hudson, where he was well known for his many years of careful and devoted ministrations to the public health. Dr. Fritts died April 6, 1904. Harold E. Fritts received his early education in the schools of his native place, attended Hudson High School, went for a year to the Hotchkiss School, then studied at Colgate Academy, from which he was graduated in the class of 1904. He then entered Colgate University, transferring to Union University, from which he was graduated in law with the class of 1909. It was in the following year that he began his professional practice in Hudson, and with the passing years he gained marked headway in his professional work, handling some of the most important legal cases that came up in Hudson and this vicinity of New York State. In the fall of 1914, he was elected city judge, and during the four-year period, from January 18, 1913, to December 31, 1918, in which he held this office, he fulfilled his duties most efficiently and well, and in a manner that could not but bring benefits to the city which entrusted him with this position. Since 1919, Mr. Fritts has been engaged in his professional work, and he is today recognized as one of the prominent lawyers of Hudson.

In addition to his other work, Mr. Fritts takes an active interest in business and civic affairs. He has an interest in the garage business known as William Petry, Incorporated, owned by Mr. Fritts and Richard Saulpaugh. He is a director of the Hudson River Trust Company and of the Hudson Savings and Loan Association. During the late World War he served his country as a member of the Student Officers' Training Corps at Columbia University. He is a member of the Free and Accepted Masons, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Delta Kappa Epsilon and Phi Delta Phi (Law) fraternities, and the American Legion, while he also belongs to the Fort Orange Club of Albany. He and his family attend the Dutch Reformed Church.

On May 7, 1921, Harold E. Fritts married Ruth M. Sonn, daughter of Albert H. and Elizabeth (Abbe) Sonn. Their children are; 1. Emma Elizabeth. 2. Crawford Ellsworth.

FREDERIC B. STEVENS

A native and lifelong resident of Albany, New York, Mr. Stevens has been connected practically throughout his entire business career, covering a period of almost four decades, with the National Savings Bank of Albany. Entering the employ of this important financial institution as a messenger in 1888, he has held at various times position in every department, and for many years was first its secretary and then its treasurer, until in 1925 he was elected president. This position he has filled with eminent ability, and much of the remarkable growth and continuous prosperity of the bank is attributable to his efforts, executive ability and keen business judgment, qualities which have made him one of the leading figures in the financial world of Albany and of New York State. He has also been very effectively active for many years in the affairs of the New York State Savings Banks Association, and he is especially well known as the author of a very comprehensive history of this organization. His prominence in financial affairs and his many and heavy

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business responsibilities have not prevented him from taking an active and useful part in the civic, fraternal, social and religious life of his native city, where he enjoys to an unusual degree the respect and confidence of his fellow-citizens.

Frederic B. Stevens was born in Albany, June 2, 1871, a son of the late Albert parsons and Emma A. (McMullen) Stevens, the former a native of Springfield, Massachusetts. From both parents he is a member of old and prominent families, he was educated in the public schools and at Albany Academy. At the age of seventeen years he entered the employ of the National Savings Bank of Albany, with which he has been connected ever since. From his first position he rose gradually to the position of secretary, which he held for many years until in 1906 he became treasurer. In August, 1923, he was elected president, succeeding the late colonel James H. Manning and his election as the head of the bank with which he has been connected for so many years was considered everywhere a well-merited recognition of a widely known banker and an exceptional executive. Under his able management the bank has not only maintained its long record of success, but has even excelled it. The National Savings Bank of the city of Albany was incorporated May 6, 1868. Its first president was Erastus Corning, who held this office until 1872, being succeeded by John H. Van Antwerp, who served from 1872 to 1901; then by Simon Rosendale, who served from 1901 to 1904; then by Colonel James H. Manning, who served from 1904 to the time of his death in 1925; and finally by Frederic B. Stevens, the present incumbent. The original board of trustees consisted of Adam Van Allen, John Reynolds, John Tweddle, Rufus W. Peckham, Matthew H. Read, William H. Taylor, Erastus Corning, William A. Rice, Robert L. Banks, Daniel Manning, John J. Conroy, Benjamin A. Towner, Albion Ransom, John h. Van Antwerp, Joseph Packard, Edwin W. Coring, and Isaac Edwards. The original location of the bank was at No. 57 State Street, almost opposite its present location at No. 70 State Street, to which latter it was removed in 1904, where it occupies one of the finest banking buildings in New York State, its architect having been Marcus T. Reynolds. The bank has had a remarkable growth and in 1926 had total assets of well over $30,000,000. Associated with Mr. Stevens in its management are Charles Gibson and Jonas Muhlfelder, as vice-presidents, and Ralph Bult (v.q.) as treasurer, Mr. Stevens is a member of the Savings Bank Association of new York State, of which he was secretary from 1910 to 1913, and, in 1926, was chairman of Group 3, comprising thirty-four banks in the Albany area, as well as a vice-president and a member of the executive committee. He is the author of "A History of the Savings Banks Association of New York State," a very authoritative work which was the commendation of bankers everywhere.

Mr. Stevens is also a member of the Albany Chamber of Commerce, of which he is a director; Lodge No. 5, Free and Accepted Masons; Society of Mayflower Descendants; New England Society; Society of Colonial Wars; Albany institute, and Historical and Art Society; and Albany Academy alumni Association. At one time he was a member of the Third Signal Corps, New York National Guard. During the World War he was treasurer of the War community Chest, and he also did a great deal of very effective work in promoting the sale of Liberty Bonds and in connection with various other patriotic movements. In politics he is a supporter of the Republican Party, while his religious affiliations are with the Presbyterian Church.

Mr. Stevens married, in 1919, Janet Lindsay, of Albany, a daughter of Charles E. and Caroline (Pentland) Lindsay. Mr. and Mrs. Stevens are the parents of one daughter, Janet L., born April 24, 1922.

CARL S. SALMON

Though relatively young, Carl Salmon has behind him an impressive record of noteworthy achievement in the several fields of endeavor to which he has devoted his attention. As an attorney at Amsterdam, New York, his brilliant legal talent and profound knowledge of the law brought him immediate success, while his conduct both in and out of court, his obvious devotion to the public good, won him the affectionate esteem of his fellow-citizens, who have chosen him the city's chief executive. Considering his service in the public interest no less worthy of his best attention than his own affairs, Mr. Salmon has initiated and put into effective execution, broad, progressive policies which stamp him a leader of the finest type, while the duties of his difficult position have won him universal commendation.

Mr. Salmon was born in Potsdam, St. Lawrence County, New York, on May 28, 1867, a son of Ephraim and Bessie (Jacobsen) Salmon,

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the former of whom died in 1897, but the mother survives. The other members of the family are: Del B. Salmon, who is engaged in the practice of law at Schenectady; Helen, the wife of Lionel P. Kristeller, a lawyer in Newark, New Jersey; and Gladys goldsmith, a half-sister of Mr. Salmon.

Carl S. Salmon received his early education in the public schools of Potsdam, and later entered the State Normal School, from which he was graduated in 1906. Thereafter he undertook a course of study in the Eastman Business College, upon the completion of which he was employed for a few years as a bookkeeper. At the end of this time he began to read law in the offices of Charles A. Murphy and Del B. Salmon, his brother, completing his studies in the Albany Law School, from which he was graduated in 1911, with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. Soon afterwards he was admitted to the bar and came immediately to Amsterdam, where he entered upon the general practice of law. Proving his ability to handle important litigation, he soon won the confidence of the community, and was appointed assistant district attorney, in which capacity he served for four and a half years. In June, 1918, Mr. Salmon enlisted in the United States Army as a private, later being commissioned second lieutenant in the Sanitary Corps, stationed successively at Camp Meade, and Camp Stuart, Virginia. He was honorably discharged in March, 1919.

Returning to Amsterdam, he resumed his professional work, and in 1921 was appointed attorney for the State Tax Commission, with which he was connected or two years, performing his duties with characteristic thoroughness and efficiency. On January 1, 1924, Mr. Salmon assumed the duties of mayor of Amsterdam, to which office he had been chosen by the electorate. In handling municipal problems he brought to bear sound judgment, combined with a deep insight into those projects which are basic elements in the city's growth, while his firm stand against corruption in public affairs, and his fearless defense of the rights of the people, have gained for his progressive administration emphatic popular approval. Mr. Salmon has been returned to office for three successive terms, the only mayor so honored in the history of the city. One of his most noteworthy achievements was the establishment of a bureau for the relief of unemployment, at which more than five hundred of those out of work in Amsterdam were registered. A thorough canvas of position available in the city resulted in placing all but seven of the applicants in the short space of three months; an extraordinarily successful conclusion of the project, for which credit belongs solely to Mayor Salmon. Of those unplaced, one was a woman over sixty years of age, and two were men also past sixty.

Mayor Salmon is affiliated, fraternally, with the Free and Accepted Masons, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Loyal Order of Moose, in which organization he is a member and Past Dictator of Amsterdam Lodge, No. 499, and with the Improved Order of Red Men, in which he is Past Sachem of Kennyetta Tribe. He is also a member of the Masonic and Goodwill clubs, and has been a trustee of the latter organization. He is an honorary member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars; a member of the American Legion; a member of the executive committee of the Amsterdam Chapter of the American Red Cross, and also belongs to the Chamber of Commerce, of which he is a director. He is also a member of the Sir William Johnson Country Club, and a member of the Congregation Temple of Israel, and is affiliated with the Amsterdam Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association. For the past year he has been a member of the Advisory Committee of the Conference of Mayors of the State of New York. Mr. Salmon has made continuous progress in the profession of which he is so able an exponent, always evincing that eagerness to advance civic development and that unselfish devotion to the general good in which are embodied the truest and highest ideals of public service.

On November 29, 1917, Carl S. Salmon married Hortense Kaufman, of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Of this marriage there is one son, Carl S., Jr., born September 20, 1920.

 

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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