EUGENE M. BARTLETT, one of the leading lawyers of Buffalo and Western New York, comes from a long line of distinguished English ancestors, who trace their descent back to one of the sturdy warriors who followed William the Conqueror from Normandy to England in the Eleventh Century, since which time, in the more peaceful, but equally stirring world of politics and public affairs, the family has been prominent in England and later in America. Curiously enough one of the descendants of a lieutenant of William the Conqueror of England, signed the American Declaration of Independence.
The family from which Mr. Bartlett is directly descended traces its lineage back to Adam Bartlett, who accompanied William the Conqueror from Normandy and fought under his banner at the decisive battles at Hastings in 1066. When the Norman Chieftain rewarded his victorious followers with tracts of English land, Adam Bartlett was given five thousand acres in Sussex, which have been held by the family from that day to this. The family mansion, still standing, was built in the thirteenth century. Another ancient edifice on the estate is a Norman stone church, built in 1309, and which is still in use. The present owner of the estate, which in accordance with the English law descends to the eldest male descendant, is Sir Walter G. Bartlett, 24th in the line from Adam Bartlett.
The first Bartlett to come to America was Richard Bartlett, who came from Sussex and settled at Newbury, Mass., in 1636. His descendants have played stirring roles in the history of the nation they helped to found. Among these, the most distinguished was Josiah Bartlett, whose elder brother, Stephen, was the great-great-great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch. Josiah Bartlett headed the New Hampshire delegation to the Congress of 1776, and as such signed the Declaration of Independence, his name following immediately after that of John Hancock, President of the Congress. In later years Josiah served New Hampshire as Governor and also as United States Senator.
Mr. Bartlett's father is Hon. Myron E. Bartlett, whose father removed from Vermont to Wyoming County, N. Y., in 1824;
There Myron E. Bartlett was born seven years later. He married Cordelia Elvira McFarlan of Twinsburg, Ohio, where he completed his education in the Twinsburg Institution. Through this union Eugene M. Bartlett was born at Warsaw on March 11th, 1855. In early life, recognizing its educational value, he learned the printer's trade in the office of the Western New Yorker, of which William H. Merrill, later the managing editor of the New York World, was then the proprietor. In after years Mr. Bartlett frequently contributed articles to papers and magazines. He received his education in the Warsaw and Geneseo Academies, and finished in Cornell University, and following his father in the study of law, was admitted to the bar in 1880. In the following year he formed a partnership with his father, under the name of M. E. & B. M. Bartlett, which continued until 1896. During its existence the firm was engaged upon one side or the other in nearly every important case in the county. The senior member of the firm was appointed County Judge by Governor Black in 1896.
Eugene M. Bartlett early took a prominent place at the Wyoming County Bar, and also became an active worker in the ranks of the Republican party; the combination of Republicanism and legal ability resulting in his election of District Attorney of the County in 1887. This office he filled with ability and success, until 1889, declining a re-nomination.
On January 23rd, 1895, Mr. Bartlett married Grace M. Sheldon of Hornellsville, and on June 1st of the following year removed to Buffalo, in order that he might enter upon a wider field in the practice of law. Since his removal to Buffalo, Mr. Bartlett has taken a prominent place at the Erie County Bar and has been engaged in the trial of some of the most important civil and criminal actions arising in that section of the State.
Mr. Bartlett has been connected with many business enterprises; he is a member of the New York State Bar Association, of the Erie County Bar Association, the Lawyers' Club, the Buffalo Historical Society, Cornell Alumni Association, Batavia Commandery, Knights Templar; Adytum Chapter, F. & A. M.; Lodge of the Ancient Landmarks, No. 441; Batavia Club, the Buffalo Club, Park Club of Buffalo, and the Empire State Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.
SOURCE: Memorial and Family History of Erie County New York; Volume I