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Choate, Rufus Mortimer (2) - Erie County

RUFUS MORTIMER CHOATE, son of Isaac W. Choate, was born Oct. 4, 1840, at Clarence, Erie County, N. Y. The first twenty years of his life were spent on his father's farm. He attended district school in Clarence, Clarence classical Academy, and graduated from Bryant & Stratton's Business College. After spending a year in Wisconsin, he returned in 1861 for the purpose of enlisting, with eight other Clarence young men, under the first call for volunteers at the outbreak of the Civil War. But after drilling for a month the little band were notified that they would not be required, as enough three months men had been secured. There upon Mr. Choate obtained employment on the Buffalo docks as clerk in a ticket office, and later became teacher of the district school at Clarence. The following summer he worked as a clerk on the docks and in the winter obtained a place in the Buffalo Custom House. Mr. Choate was passenger agent at Buffalo of the People's Line from 1866 to 1872, when he was made general passenger agent of all the lake lines, including the People's, the Western Transportation Company, the Union Steamboat Company, and the Lake Superior Transit Company. In 1888 Mr. Choate resigned his position to take up the real estate investment business, in which he is now engaged. He has operated almost exclusively in South Buffalo, and has had more to do with the building up of that part of the city than any other man in local history. In 1888 he organized the South Buffalo Business Men's Association, of which he later served four years as President. Two objects of the Association, the abolition of toll gates and grade crossings, have been accomplished, and the third, flood abatement, will soon be attained. In addition, he was mainly instrumental in the creation of Cazenovia Park and the Red Jacket and South Side Parkways, personally giving over 12 acres of land to the city, and helping to secure the rest. Mr. Choate was a resident of South Buffalo for twenty-five years.

Politically Mr. Choate has always been a Republican, but in 1906 he joined the Independence League movement, serving as member of the Executive Committee for Erie County.

In April, 1866, Mr. Choate married Ellen Strickler, daughter of Daniel Strickler of Clarence. Their surviving children are: Allen E., Lulu M. (Mrs. B. B. Daggett of Buffalo); Nellie C. (Mrs. E. W. Sanborn of Dunkirk, N. Y.), and Eda E., and Chester C. Choate of Buffalo.

SOURCE: Memorial and Family History of Erie County New York; Volume I