Yates County, New York

Biographies & Family Trees

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George H.  LAPHAM

from History of Yates Co., by L. C. Aldrich,  Pub. 1892   Pg. 516 - 518


LAPHAM, George H., the only son of Ludlow E., and Reliance W. (TOWNSEND) LAPHAM, was born in Benton, Yates County, NY, May 18, 1834.  His father returned to Penn Yan when he was about eight years of age, and he finished his education at the Penn Yan Academy, which at that time was in charge of a well-known and popular teacher, Joseph BLOOMINGDALE.  After leaving school at the age of fourteen years, Mr. LAPHAM became a clerk in his uncle John H. LAPHAM�s drug store in the village of Penn Yan.  He remained with his uncle two years, when he went to Geneva, NY, and was employed in the wholesale and retail drug establishment of A. D. PLATT until 1853.  In the latter year, returning to Penn Yan, he engaged in the mercantile business with his father under the firm name of  L. E. Lapham & Son.  This firm continued business for three years, when Mr. LAPHAM established business on a more extended scale under his own name, in which he was engaged successfully until 1873. 

In 1873, having obtained a charter for a national bank by a special act of Congress, the State quota being full at that time, he organized the First National Bank of Penn Yan.  This was the first national bank to be organized in Yates County.  Mr. LAPHAM became chief owner of the stock of the bank, has been its principal financial officer and has successfully conducted its affairs ever since.  For many years he has held the office of president.  Politically Mr. LAPHAM has always been a Democrat of the Jeffersonian school, and became active in politics when quite a young man, and was for years an honored leader of his party, and as chairman of its county committee was often enabled to lead them to victory, although his party was largely in the minority in the county.  His superior ability for organization and management as a party leader was acknowledged by all.  Mr. LAPHAM has frequently represented Yates County in the State conventions.  His advice on political matters was much sought for by the prominent leaders of his party.  He was unanimously chosen to represent the twenty seventh congressional district as a delegate to the St. Louis National Convention held in 1876, and was active in accomplishing the nomination of the Hon. Samuel J. TILDEN.  In 1880 his name was placed on the Democratic ticket for presidential elector, he receiving the largest vote cast for any of the nominees on that ticket.  Previous to holding of the Democratic State Convention in 1881, while Mr. LAPHAM was absent form the State, his name was prominently mentioned by the press as a candidate for State Treasurer.  This being without his knowledge and consent, it was not till after considerable hesitancy and upon the earnest solicitation of his friends, he finally consented to become a candidate for that office.  At the State Convention subsequently held at Albany, it was decided to present Mr. LAPHAM�s name for Comptroller.  His name was presented to the convention by his worthy townsman, Hon. Darius OGDEN, who in his presentation address says: �I name a man who will bring to the discharge of the duties of the office of comptroller vigor and youth; who will bring it also the maturity of manhood, a man whose education has been of the character that fits him to take hold of this office and to master and discharge its duties.  We need a name for the office of comptroller whose character is above reproach, honest, capable, faithful to the State; faithful to the constitution; faithful to the country in an eminent degree.  We have such a candidate in our nominee.�  The nomination was ably seconded by Hon. Peter B. OLNEY, of New York, and Gen. FALKNER of Livingston, and Mr. LAPHAM was unanimously nominated, an honor rarely if ever conferred by a State Convention for that office.  On account of severe sickness in his family, Mr. LAPHAM could not make a personal canvass prior to the election, but in locations where he was well known he ran far ahead of the balance of the ticket.  At the State Convention held in Buffalo in 1884, his name was prominently mentioned by the Tilden wing of the party for comptroller, but after the nomination of Isaac H. MAYNARD as Secretary of State, Mr. LAPHAM declined to allow his name to go upon the ticket.  Since this time he has withdrawn entirely from politics; although he has been often solicited by the leaders of his party, he has declined taking any active part in political matters.  Mr. LAPHAM was one of the seven commissioners appointed by the State Legislature to locate the site of the cantilever bridge at Niagara Falls, which was the first of the kind erected in the United States. 

Mr. LAPHAM married in 1861, Margaret P., daughter of Hon. Ezekiel CANSER, and their family consists of four children: Charles C., who is treasurer of Hammondsport Vintage Company, resides in Penn Yan; Margaret R., wife of Walter SHEPPARD, proprietor and editor of the Penn Yan DemocratGeorge H. Jr., a student at Cornell University and Bessie C.  

Mrs. LAPHAM died March 14, 1887, and he remarried June 13, 1889 Miss Kathleen H. M. BODDY, daughter of the Archdeacon of York, M. A. CAMBRIDGE of Toronto, Canada. 

Mr. LAPHAM, as a late very intimate fried of him says, � is a man of quick perceptions and rare common sense, with accurate and methodical business habits and superior business ability.  He is in the prime of live and is of attractive personal appearance.  He enjoys to a large degree the culture of experience and observation and has proved himself to be a practical and successful business man.�




Ludlow E.  LAPHAM

from History of Yates Co., by L. C. Aldrich,  Pub. 1892   Pg. 514 - 516  

LAPHAM, Ludlow E.  -  The original emigrant ancestor of this gentleman was  a weaver by trade, who came form Devonshire, England and settled at Providence, R. I.   He married Mary, a daughter of William MANN, and had a family of five sons and one daughter.  John, the eldest son of this family, married Mary, daughter of Joseph RUSSELL, and they had fourteen children, of whom John, the second child and oldest son was born October 3, 1703, and married Desire, daughter of Benjamin HOWLAND.  He settled about 1772 at Nine Partners, Dutchess County, NY, and had three children.  Benjamin, his eldest son, was born January 15, 1727, and had four children, Pazzi being the youngest son, and was born October 22, 1750, and married Bethany FOSTER.  Of their ten children the eldest was Eliakim, born at Nine Partners, Dutchess County, NY, September 1, 1778, and married January 5, 1800, Rachel HARRIS.  The latter was a native of Northeast, Dutchess County, NY.  Eliakim died in Columbia County, NY, December 17, 1828.  His widow came to Penn Yan in 1840, residing with her daughter, Mrs. Metzer TUELL, and died in 1863, at the advanced age of eighty-five.  The children of Eliakim and Rachel (HARRIS) LAPHAM, were John H., born October 8, 1804.   He came to Penn Yan and engaged in the drug trade, and died in 1874; and Ludlow E., born at Kinderhook, Columbia County, July 22, 1806.  His educations was limited to the local school and during his boyhood he learned the trade of scythe-making of one HARRIS, he being at that time the most noted manufacturer of scythes in the United States.  Mr. Ludlow E. LAPHAM came to Penn Yan in 1825, being then nineteen years of age, and was engaged as a clerk in the store of his uncle, Capt. James HARRIS, the firm being Harris & Stevens.  This was one of the first stores opened in Penn Yan.  Mr. LAPHAM retained his connection with this firm till 1833, in which year he succeeded to the business, the firm being Lapham & Brown.  He continued in the mercantile business till within a few years of his death, with partners and individually, excepting a period of ten years, when he was engaged in farming in the town of Benton.  He was an excellent farmer, and was one of the most industrious organizers of the Yates County Agricultural Society and in competition in ploughing (sic) was frequently a successful winner of the society awards. 

Mr. LAPHAM married April 18, 1830, Reliance W., daughter of Henry TOWNSEND.  She was born in 1812 and died in 1855, leaving five children, viz.: Sabra A., the eldest, who was a young lady of fine mental gifts, ambitious and earnest in self-improvement.  She was one of the early graduates of the State Normal School at Albany, and was a frequent contributor to the press of poems of acknowledged beauty and worth, amongst which we mention �Spirit Voices, � and �The Carrier Dove.�   She married in 1833, Rev. Asa COUNTRYMAN, Universalist minister, and died in 1857 at Orange, Mass., leaving two daughters, Ella and Georgia, both graduates of the Iowa State University.  George H. was the second child (see biographical sketch in another part of this work).  Olive T, the third child, is the wife of Theodore F. WHEELER, the well-known druggist of Penn Yan.  Mary J., the fourth child, is the wife of Clarence M. PAGE, of Rochester, NY.  Agnes R., the youngest of this family, resides in Penn Yan and is the wife of John T. KNOX, Esq., present district attorney.  Mr. LAPHAM remarried, August 20 ,1856, Mrs. Susan WILKIN, nee BOOTH of Hamptonburg, Orange County, NY.  The issue of this marriage was one son, Ludlow E. professor of languages at Cornell University. 

Ludlow E. LAPHAM was methodical and accurate in his dealing, social and genial in his manners, and hand a large circle of very warm friends.  He always took a deep interest in public affairs, endeavoring to inform himself well and keep himself versed in the general intelligence of the day.  He was for many years an active member of the Methodist Church, to which he was strongly attached, often acting in the official capacity of trustee.  On July 8, 1882, in his seventy sixth years, quiet and peacefully his soul took wings to perpetual peace, rest and bliss, at his own home surrounded by all the members of his large family.  


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