CHARLES RUSSELL HUNTLEY, President of the Buffalo General Electric Company, is one of Buffalo's leading business men and in the field of electricity applied to industrial and commercial uses, ranks among the foremost men of the time.
Mr. Huntley is of English and Puritan lineage. The immigrant ancestor came from England to the Colonies during the Puritan emigration and settled in New Bedford, Massachusetts. His eldest son was James Huntley, who settled in Exeter, Otsego County, N. Y. His eldest son was Phineas Huntley, who was a farmer in Exeter, and whose sons were James, Charles, Elisha, Lester, Orrin, Porter, and Loren.
James Huntley, son of Phineas, was, like his father, a farmer. In 1850 he retired from farming and removed to the town of West Winfield, Herkimer County, N. Y., where he died in March, 1879. He was a Major in the State militia and a Justice of the Peace of the town of Exeter. He was survived by his sons, Russell, James, Alonzo, George, Porter, and Carlos.
Russell Huntley, son of James Huntley and father of Charles R. 'Huntley of Buffalo, was born in West Exeter, N. Y. January 10th, 1818. He began life as a farm boy, taught school' and later became a merchant in Durhamville, Oneida County' Afterward he removed to West Winfield, Herkimer County, where for many years he kept a general store. Later he removed to Ilion, N. Y., a year afterward going to Utica, N. Y., where he engaged in a mercantile business. At the close of the Civil War he went to Newberne, North Carolina, where he carried on business until 1867, when he returned to Ilion and engaged in the hardware trade. He died January 4, 1901. The wife of Russell Huntley was Clorinda Talbot, who was born in Manlius, Onondaga County, in this State, and who died in 1898. Charles Russell Huntley was born in West Winfield, Herkimer County, N. Y., October 12th, 1854. Until fifteen years old he attended public schools. He assisted his father in business until twenty years of age. He then entered the employment of the Remington Arms Company of Ilion, N. Y., for three years, when he entered the employ of the Standard Oil Company, at Bradford, Pa., afterward becoming the company's agent in that city, until 1883, when he resigned and went into the brokerage business in Bradford, remaining there till 1888. In that year he came to Buffalo as Secretary and General Manager of the Brush Electric Light Company, which positions he held until 1903, when the Brush and other companies were merged into the Buffalo General Electric Company, of which Mr. Huntley became Vice-President, and General Manager, and later President and General Manager, offices which he now holds. He is also Vice-President and General Manager of the Cataract Power and Conduit Company; President of the Cataract Electric Supply Company, and President of the Niagara Tachometer Company and of the Ramapo Iron Works. He is a Director of the Western New York Water Company and of the International Acheson Graphite Company; Treasurer of the Niagara Falls Electric Light & Power Company, and a Director of the George Urban Milling Company. He is Vice-President of the People's Bank, a Director of the German-American Bank, and is interested in the Mexico & Orient Railroad. In politics Mr. Huntley was formerly a Democrat, but in 1896, when the Democratic party advocated the free coinage of silver, he became a Republican. While in Bradford, Mr. Huntley served one term as selact Councilman. He was twice elected a member of the Bradford Board of School Control, serving two years. He was appointed Park Commissioner of Buffalo by Mayor Jewett, serving three years.
When the late John M. Brinker first projected the Pan-American Exposition, Mr. Huntley was made one of the original Board of Directors and later served as a Director and a member of the Executive Committee. In 1905 he was Commissioner of the State of New York to the Lewis & Clark Exposition at Portland, Oregon. In 1890 Mr. Huntley was elected President of the National Electric Light Association, a body composed of 800 members and representing vast electrical interests throughout the United States. A sequel to this event was the assembling of the Association's Annual Convention in Buffalo in 1892. Mr. Huntley is a member of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, and frequently contributes to electrical Journals. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, and belongs to the Buffalo, Ellicott and Country clubs, in all of which he has served as Director. He is also connected with the Republican Club of New York City. He is a 32d degree Mason, and a member of Ancient Landmarks Lodge. In religion he is of the Episcopal faith, and attends the Church of the Ascension.
In June, 1878, Mr. Huntley married Miss Ida Richardson, a daughter of William and Ann (O'Day) Richardson. The children of this union are: William Russell, now Assistant General Manager of the Buffalo General Electric Company; Walter Wood, who is engaged in the electrical business in Buffalo; Mary, now Mrs. Robert W. Chapin, and Robert Richardson.
SOURCE: Memorial and Family History of Erie County New York; Volume I