MASON KING HOTCHKISS, son of Horace Hotchkiss, was born in 1836. He was reared on a farm and later became partner in a wholesale grocery in Albany. Afterwards he was extensively interested in the hotel business, becoming the proprietor of hotels at Rutland, Vt., and at Albany, Jamestown, Olean, and Hornellsville, N. Y. In 1861 he married Rachael Amanda Merriam, daughter of William and Emily (Bartholomew) Merriam. The children of the union are: William Horace Hotchkiss of Buffalo, and Bessie Louise (Mrs. Horace B. Ware) of Scranton, Pa. Mason K. Hotchkiss died at Olean, N. Y., in 1885.
William Horace Hotchkiss was born at Whitehall, Washington County, N. Y., September 7, 1864. He was educated in the public schools of Albany, N. Y., Rutland, Vt., and Jamestown, N. Y., the Albany Military Academy and the Rutland Military School, being prepared for college in Glidden's Classical School, in Jamestown. Entering Hamilton College in 1882, he was graduated in 1886 with the degree of B.A. He received honors in Greek, Latin, mathematics, literature, oratory and debating, and delivered the Head prize oration and the Latin Salutatory of his class, securing also the Phi Beta Kappa key. Three years later his alma mater conferred on him the degree of M.A. On leaving college Mr. Hotchkiss began reading law with the Hon. John D. Teller of Auburn, N. Y., also being appointed Clerk of the Surrogate's Court of Cayuga County, serving from 1887 to 1889. In 1888 he was admitted to the bar, and when Judge Teller retired from office he formed with Mr. Hotchkiss at Auburn a law partnership under the style of Teller & Hotchkiss.
In 1891 Mr. Hotchkiss came to Buffalo and was associated with Edward L. Parker until 1900, when Mr. Hotchkiss and the late James 0. Templeton formed a copartnership which lasted until Mr. Templeton's death in 1903, and since then with Myron P. Bush, under the style of Hotchkiss & Bush.
Mr. Hotchkiss was appointed Referee in Bankruptcy in 1898 for the Erie County District and reappointed in 1900, serving to the present time. He has delivered numerous addresses on bankruptcy law, and has written many articles on the subject. He is the author on the Fourth Edition of “Collier on Bankruptcy," the leading authority on that branch of law in the United States. Ever since the foundation of the National Association of Referees in Bankruptcy in 1899, Mr. Hotchkiss has served as its President and Chairman of its Executive Committee. He took an active part in drafting the Bay, and the Palmer amendatory bankruptcy bills, and the practice in bankruptcy courts throughout the Union has been largely regulated by the rules drawn by Referee Hotchkiss, and the practice forms prepared by him. He is Lecturer on Bankruptcy'' Law in the Law Schools of Buffalo, New York City and Cornell University.
A strong Republican, Mr. Hotchkiss has always taken an active interest in politics. He was one of the Buffalo Republican Committee to investigate primary election reform, the inquiry resulting in a report whose sequel was the first Hill ill. With Elihu Root and Paul D. Cravath, Mr. Hotchkiss drew the Primary Election Law of 1899, which is in force today. He was for two years a member of the Executive Committee of the Buffalo Republican League, and acted for a year as editor of its journal, “The Opinion." He has also rendered valuable services to his party as a campaign speaker. Mr. Hotchkiss has written a pamphlet on "Urban Self Government," has contributed many articles on this and other subjects to magazines, and has discussed municipal questions in a series of lectures. For three years he was Secretary of the Law and Legislation Committee of the Buffalo Citizens' Association, and assisted in exposing the ballot frauds in Buffalo in 1892. In 1907 he was appointed by Governor Hughes a commissioner for the promotion of uniformity of legislation in the U. S.
Mr. Hotchkiss is much interested in automobiling, and has served as President of the American Automobile Association, the New York State Automobile Association and the Buffalo Automobile Club. He is the author of the Motor Vehicle Law of the State of New York, which has been adopted by half a dozen other States.
Mr. Hotchkiss is a member of the American Bar Association, the Bar Associations of New York State and Erie County, and is a member and ex-President of the Lawyers' Club. He belongs to the Sons of the American Revolution and the Buffalo Historical Society. He is a 32d degree Mason, being affiliated with Ancient Landmarks Lodge, Palmoni Council, Princes of Jerusalem (15th and 16th grades Scottish Rite Masonry) of which he has served as head, and Zuleika Grotto. He belongs to the Liberal, University and Country clubs of Buffalo, and the Chi Psi college fraternity, of whose magazine, “Purple and Gold," he was editor-in-chief from 1886 to 1890.
April 25, 1895, Mr. Hotchkiss married Katherine Tremaine Bush, daughter of John W. and Kate C. (Tremaine) Bush of Ithaca, N. Y. Mrs. Hotchkiss is a descendant of Abner Tremaine, a Revolutionary officer who took part in the storming of Stony Point by Gen. Wayne. Mr. and Mrs. Hotchkiss have two children, Katherine, born in 1900, and Emily, born in 1903.
SOURCE: Memorial and Family History of Erie County New York; Volume I