Biographies of Monroe County People
Page 19

line

From Semi-Centennial History of the City of Rochester
by William F. Peck (1884)
pages 650 - 653

CHESTER DEWEY, D.D., L.L.D. [This sketch is condensed from the Smithsonian Report for 1870, for which the original was prepared by Dr. M. B. Anderson, President of Rochester university.], at the time of his death emeritus professor in the University of Rochester, was in two respects a representative man. He was not only a typical teacher, but he also held a distinguished position among the few who at an early day cultivated and organised the study. of natural science in America.

Dr. Dewey was born in Sheffield, Berkshire county, Massachusetts, October 25th, 1784. His father was a man of strong character and clear head, who seems to have had the will and the capacity to give his son a most symmetrical training, both moral and intellectual. In this work the father was aided by a wife of singular piety, cheerfulness and moral excellence. It was doubtless to these early formative influences that Dr. Dewey owed much of that moral completeness which adorned the whole of his subsequent life. After a youth spent in alternate labor on the farm and study in the common school, he fitted himself to enter the college at Williamstown, Massachusetts, in his eighteenth year. He graduated in i8o6, taking rank as a scholar among the first in his class. During his residence in college he became the subject of those deep religious convictions, by which he ever after ordered his entire life. After graduation he lived and studied with Dr. Stephen West, who was an eminent theologian of the time, and for sixty years pastor of the church in Stockbridge, Mass. In 1807 he was licensed to preach by the Berkshire association (Congregational). After teaching and preaching for a few months at West Stockbridge and Tyringham, Mass., he was appointed a tutor in Williams college. Although he thus entered on a new field of labor, he never really retired from the pulpit. For fifty years he accepted frequent invitations to preach, in scores of churches in many places. and did nearly as much work of this kind as if preaching were his only occupation, and he had no other regular and pressing duties to perform.

After two years service as tutor he was elected (at the age of twenty-six) professor of mathematics and natural philosophy. He held this position till 1827, a period of seventeen years. During this time the college was poor and struggling for life. Of necessity, a heavy burden of labor and responsibility rested upon the officers of instruction. Among these Dr. Dewey bore a distinguished part. In times of confusion and internal disorder, his influence over the students is said to have been most salutary and powerful. According to the custom of the time, his department of instruction included not only mathematics and physics, but the whole range of chemistry and the natural sciences.

He entered upon the work of accumulating and organising the apparatus and collections requisite for the study of chemistry and natural history with great zeal and enthusiasm; while he was equally earnest in giving instruction in the severer portions of the broad department for whose cultivation in the college he was responsible. He fitted up a laboratory and commenced making collections for the illustration of botany, mineralogy and geology. This was accomplished mainly by personal labor and exchanges with those engaged in similar pursuits in our own and other countries. These labors gave the initial impulse to the cultivation of the natural sciences in Williams college and laid the foundations of its now large and valuable illustrative collections.

In 1827 Dr. Dewey resigned the chair which he had so long held. The friends of education in Western Massachusetts had been impressed with the necessity of providing more systematic and vigorous instruction for young men preparing for college and immediate business pursuits. An opportunity for public service of this sort of more immediate usefulness, as it seemed to him, than was afforded by his college chair, was found in the establishment of a Gymnasium at Pittsfield. He removed to Pittsfield, where from 1822 he had been engaged as professor of botany and chemistry in the Medical college, and became principal of this institution. He remained in Pittsfield nine years, at the same time occupying the chair of botany and chemistry in the Medical college there. His connection with this medical school was retained after his removal to Rochester, until about 1850. From 1841 he lectured for about nine years also at the Medical school in Woodstock, Vermont. In 1836 he removed to this city, and took charge of the collegiate institute, This institution in connection with Professor N. W. Benedict and others, he conducted with high success for fourteen years. In 1850, at the establishment of the University of Rochester, he was elected professor of chemistry and natural history in that institution, and continued to discharge the duties of that chair for a little more than ten years. He retired from active duty in 1861, at the ripe age of seventy-six.

Dr. Dewey was always ready to aid those who were honestly working to acquire an education. Many of his pupils who became eminent in the scientific world were glad to attribute their success largely to the inspiration of his enthusiasm, fullness of knowledge and willingness to teach. In his chosen profession of teacher he was an enthusiast. His whole life was absorbed in obtaining knowledge and imparting it to others. In the street, in the social circle, in the professor's chair, he was always the teacher. No person could come within the sphere of his influence without carrying away some new fact or thought, or being inoculated with new love for moral or natural truth. In his mind new truths seemed to fall spontaneously into the form adapted for presentation to the learner. He always conceived of nature and man as belonging to a common system, related to each other in every part and designed to illustrate a common moral purpose. This naturally led him to estimate new investigations and discoveries to be important mainly as they served to set forth the moral dignity of man, to promote his happiness and elevate his character. His intellectual life was a beautiful commentary on the remark of Gibbon, that "It is a greater glory to science to develop and perfect mankind, than it is to enlarge the boundaries of the known universe." He was utterly free from those petty jealousies which so often manifest themselves among scientific men. He rejoiced in scientific progress, to whomsoever it was due, and was always most generous in his estimate of the achievements of others. To his mind there was no broad separation between the moral and the material order. But he was intensely averse to that false philosophy .which seeks unity at the expense of reducing all thought and volition to dynamics, making no distinction between man and a crystal. To his mind, the whole scheme of material things was ever throbbing and quivering with Divine life, benevolence and power. This profound recognition of God in the modes in which he has revealed himself, rounded and completed his moral and intellectual life and made him, by way of eminence, the good teacher.

As a man of science, Dr. Dewey belongs to a class whose abilities and public services are liable, in our time, to be overlooked or underrated. Reference is here made to those men who were pioneers in the work of cultivating and popularising natural science in our country. When Amos Eaton, Parker Cleveland, Robert Hare, Benjamin Silliman, Edward Hitchcock and Chester Dewey began their labors, the natural sciences, as they are now understood, had, in this country, hardly an existence. Since that time the discoveries and investigations upon which they rest have in great part been made or matured.

Dr. Dewey left college in 1806. Just about this period that remarkable impulse was given to scientific inquiry, resulting in almost simultaneous development of chemistry, zoology, crystallography, botany and geology, which rendered the first half of the nineteenth century so supremely illustrious.

In connection with his labors in giving instruction in colleges, medical schools and academies, Dr. Dewey was not unmindful of his obligations to make some additions to the sum of scientific knowledge. He was for forty years a constant contributor to Silliman's Journal. He always studied with pen in hand and was a constant writer on scientific subjects for the newspaper press. He became early in life an enthusiastic student of botany and contributed very largely to the scientific knowledge of the carices. Dr. Asa Gray, our great botanist, classes Dr. Dewey with Schweinitz and Torrey, and speaks of his writings on caricography as "an elaborate monograph patiently prosecuted through more than forty years." He further, says: "In connection with the two botanists above mentioned, he laid the foundation and insured the popularity of the study of the sedges in this country." Unfortunately, Dr. Dewey did not write any systematic treatise on this subject, but his numerous short articles represent the progress of his own observations and studies and give a history of the progress of that department of botanical science. Dr. Dewey wrote a History of the Herbaceous Plants of Massachusetts, which was published by the state. He contributed, also, the article on carices, to Wood's Botany. Up to the last year of his life, his mind showed the vigor and enthusiasm of his early years. and he was constantly writing on scientific topics, mainly for reviews. His last publications of any length were two review articles, one entitled The True Place of Man in Zoology, the other, An Examination of Some of the Reasonings against the Unity of Mankind. These articles were read first before a literary association in Rochester, of which the doctor was one of the founders. They displayed a full and intelligent familiarity with all the most recent discoveries and speculations bearing upon these difficult and complicated questions. His last labors were the orderly arrangement of his large collection of sedges, which had been for so many years accumulating on his hands, and copying out his meteorological journal. Just before his death, while engaged upon his journal, his hand became unable to hold a pen, and, calling for the aid of his daughter, he placidly remarked that this would be his last report to the Smithsonian Institution. He died calmly, of old age, on the 15th of December, 1867, in his 84th year. He had the control of his faculties to the last, sustained by an unfaltering trust in a blessed life hereafter.

Dr. Dewey married Sarah Dewey of Stockbridge, Mass., in 1810. She died in 1823. Of their five children all are now dead. In 1825 he married Olivia Hart, eldest child of Lemuel Pomeroy, of Pittsfield, Mass. Mrs. Dewey still lives, with her daughter, Mrs. William H. Perkins, in this city. The other surviving children are Chester P. Dewey, of Brooklyn, and Mrs. Henry Fowler, and Dr. Charles A. Dewey, of Rochester.


From Semi-Centennial History of the City of Rochester
by William F. Peck (1884)
pages 653 - 656

Hon. ADDISON GARDINER, formerly lieutenant-governor, and judge of the court of Appeals, of the state of New York, was born at Rindge, New Hampshire, March 19th, 1797, and died at his home in the city of Rochester, June 5th, 1883. He was a grandson of Isaac Gardner, of Brookline Mass., one of his majesty's justices of the peace in the colonial times, who was killed at the first outbreak of the revolution, and of whom the historian, Bancroft, says: "Isaac Gardner, one on whom the colony rested many hopes, fell about a mile west of Harvard college." The patriot marched with the Brookline minute men for Lexington, on the 19th, of April, 1775, and, meeting the retreating column near Watson's Corner, was instantly killed in the skirmish which ensued, receiving no less than a dozen wounds. His son, William Gardner, born at Brookline in 1761, married Rebecca, a daughter of Dr. Raymond, an Englishman, and settled in Rindge, New Hampshire. He was a man of ability and pleasing manners, and in succession occupied the principal civil and military offices. He was colonel of the regiment of which the militia of the town was a portion; was for three years a member of the state legislature, and was selected for many other important positions. In 1809 Colonel Gardner took up his residence for a time at the city of Boston, but soon after removed to Manlius, Onondaga county, N. Y., where he was a successful merchant and manufacturer; he died in 1833. His wife, a lady of superior mind and accomplishments, survived him about seven years. Colonel Gardner's sons, of whom Addison was the third restored the original spelling of the name, in which for several generations the second vowel had been omitted. Addison Gardiner, having studied law, commenced practice at Rochester in 1822, the same year in which the court-house was built, and the year after Monroe was separated from Ontario and Genesee as a separate county. The village was growing rapidly in population and importance, and he soon secured a lucrative practice. He was Rochester's first justice of the peace. Samuel L. Selden, afterward judge of the court of Appeals, became his partner, and Henry R. Selden, afterward lieutenant-governor and judge of the court of Appeals, was a student in the law office of Gardiner & Selden. In 1825 Mr. Gardiner was appointed district-attorney for Monroe county, and performed the duties of the office so satisfactorily, that on the 25th of September, 1829; he received the appointment, from Governor Throop, of circuit judge for the eighth circuit of the state, consisting of the counties of Allegany, Erie, Chautauqua, Monroe, Genesee and Niagara. Besides holding circuits for the trial of causes, he was ex-jfflcio vice-chancellor of the same territory. The Anti-Masonic excitement, growing out of the disappearance of Morgan, had now commenced, and perhaps the most important case that came before Judge Gardiner, while on the bench of the circuit court, was that of the people against Mather, who was tried at the Orleans circuit, within two months after his appointment, for conspiracy in the abduction of Morgan. A multitude of questions were raised upon the trial, which was remarkable for its length, it being made a matter of special mention in the reports, that it occupied ten days, though, in these days of tedious trials, the profession and the public might naturally expect that such a case would occupy nearly as many weeks. After the acquittal of the defendant, a motion for a new trial was made in the Supreme court. The case is to be found in the fourth volume of Wendell's reports, page 220. The head notes, giving the disposition of the various questions raised, occupy four pages. On many of the points it has ever been a leading case. All the rulings of the judge were sustained by the Supreme court, and these, and other decisions, gave him the reputation of the model circuit judge. Resigning his judicial office in February, 1838, he returned to the practice of his profession at Rochester, and was recognised as one of the foremost of the bar of Western New York. In November, 1844, he was elected lieutenant-governor of the state on the Democratic ticket, with Silas Wright for governor. Many important questions came before the Senate while he presided. It was the period of the anti-rent disturbances, and various preventive and remedial measures were discussed. The enlargement of the canals, and other questions of internal improyemnent, received attention. One of the most important bills, passed after long and animated discussion, provided for the call of a state convention for the formation of a new constitution. As president of the Senate, Lieutenant-Governor Gardiner was the presiding officer of the court for the correction of errors, and then the court of last resort, consisting of the president of the Senate, the senators, chancellor, and judge of the Supreme court. Not very many cases were carried to this tribunal, litigation usually ceasing with the decision of the Supreme court or that of the chancellor, so that most of theni were important in principle or amount. Those decided during his presidency will be found in Denio's reports. As illustrative of his written opinions and methods, of reasoning, we select Miller v. Gable (2 Denio, 492), on charitable uses, holding that chancery, under its general jurisdiction over trusts, will interfere, on behalf of members of a religious corporation to which a fund has been granted, to prevent it from diverting the fund to promote the teaching of doctrines essentially variant from those designated, but not as to lesser shades of doctrine; Mayor of New York v. Baily (2 Denio, 433), holding that an action on the case for malfeasance will be against the corporation; if the city be empowered by statute to construct works, the state reserving the power to appoint commission ers to superintend the construction, the acceptance of the act by the city renders it liable for injuries arising for want of skill, or neglect, in building the works. At the close of his term of office Judge Gardiner was reelected lieutenant-governor over Hamilton Fish, the Whig candidate, by 13,000 majority, although, in the political complications of the time, John Young was elected governor by the Whigs, by a majority of more than 11,000 over Governor Wright. The lieutenant-governor resigned the position the following year. The new constitution, which had been adopted by a majority of 130,000, changed the judicial system of the state, and the new court of Appeals was, as its name implies, the court of last resort. Upon its organisation in 1847, Judge Gardiner was elected one of the judges, and held the office until the close of his term, December 31, 1855 when he voluntarily retired, declining a renomination, which, in the state of parties, was equivalent to a reelection. The other judges, elected to the court of Appeals on its organisation, were Judges Bronson, Jesvett and Ruggles, who were succeeded, before the retirement of Judge Gardiner, by Judges Foot, Denio and A. S. Johnson. Among the judges of the Supreme court who were ex-officio members of the court of Appeals were Judges Cady, Gridley, Wells and S. L. Selden. In this distinguished judicial circle Judge Gardiner occupied a conspicuous position. No opinions were quoted with more respect than his. Short and terse, they go directly to the heart of the question. They are reported in Comstock's, Selden's and the first three volumes of Reman's reports. Among them are the cases of Danks v. Quackenbush (1 Comstock, 129), in which he dissented, with three others of the judges, constituting one-half of the court, from the opinion of the four others, that the act of 1842, extending the exemption of personal property from the sale under execution, is unconstitutional and void as to debts contracted before its passage; Leggett v. Perkins (2 Comstock, 267), holding that a trust to receive and pay over the rents and profits of land was valid, under the statute anthorising a trustee to receive the same and apply them to the use of any person; People v. Schuyler (2 Comstock, 173), reversing the decree of the Supreme court, and holding that if the sheriff after the jury have found for a claimant, refuses to deliver the property, the surety on his official bond is liable, though the creditor does not indemnify him, and, where he requires and receives indemnity before selling and judgment is afterwards recovered against him for the erroneous seizure, his sureties, on payment of the judgment, are entitled to be subrogated to the indemnity; Chautauqua Co. bank v. White (2 Selden, 236), holding that an assignment by the debtor to the receiver of all his real property leaves no residuary interest in the debtor, and reversing the decree of the Supreme court, and affirming that of the vice-chancellor; Nicholson v. Leavitt (2 Selden, 510), reversing with the concurrence of all the judges, the judgmnent of the Superior court of the city of New York, and holding that an assignment by insolvent debtors of their property to trustees for the benefit of their creditors, with an authorisation to the trustees to seli the assigned property upon credit, is fraudulent and void as against the creditors of the assignees; Talmage v. Pell (3 Selden, 328), on the powers of banking associations, reversing the judgment of the Supreme court; Kundolf v. Thalheimer (2 Kernan, 593), on the powers of county courts, reversing the judgment of the Supreme court. The intellectual and moral qualities which especially characterised Judge Gardiner, as a judge, were his directness, comprehensiveness, and vigor, and his intense devotion to the right. With the justice of the case clearly in view, he never failed to find satisfactory reasons to establish it. A strongly sympathetic nature, though it never swerved him from pronouncing the law as he found it, made him swift to lay his hand upon iniquity, to redress the wrongs of the injured, and to vindicate the right. Although Judge Gardiner retired from the court of Appeals before he had reached his sixtieth year, it was not to a life of intellectual inactivity. As a referee he continued to lend his aid in the administration of justice, and it may well be doubted whether he did not, for twenty years, hear more important causes than any judge upon the bench of the Supreme court. Judge Gardiner was a modest, unassuming man. The path of higher political preferment was open to him, but he never put himself forward., He was at one time spoken of for the national presidency, and if he had had the ambition of less competent persons, he might have received the nomination. Passing the evening of his life on his farm, and taking pleasure in outdoor exercise, he preserved both his mental and physical vigor up to his final illness. In 1831 he was united in marriage to Miss Mary Selkrigg, of Scotch descent; their children are Charles A. and Celeste M. William Gardiner, Judge Gardiner's oldest brother, born in 1787, resided several years in Lowell, Mass., when he removed to Texas, where he died upon his plantation near San Antonio, about 1855. Another brother, Charles, born 1789, who was a merchant in New Orleans, died in 1860. His sister Rebecca, born in 1791, married Oren Stone, a merchant, and the partner of Governor Seymour's father; they removed to Watertown, where she died about 1818. Another sister, Dorothy, married Thomas A. Gould, a lawyer of Pittsfield, Mass., where she died in 1857. The youngest sister, Andu Lucia, born about 1800, married Hon. Elijah Rhoades, of Manlius, a merchant and state Senator. She now resides with an adopted daughter in Brooklyn, New York.


From Semi-Centennial History of the City of Rochester
by William F. Peck (1884)
pages 656 - 659

JESSE W. HATCH. — Prominent among the pioneers of Rochester, and for many years one of the leading manufacturers, is the subject of this sketch. Jesse W. Hatch was born in Granville, Washington county, N. Y., on the 20th day of May, 1812, and is directly descended from a family who came to this country immediately after the Puritans in 1632. His ancestors, paternal and maternal, did honorable service for their country in the revolutionary struggle, and his father was engaged in the war of 1812. When he was ten years of age his parents removed to Monroe county. Two years later he made his first advent into Rochester, then but a small hamlet.

The young man obtained such education as was offered in those early days, attending school at least a portion of each year until he was fifteen, when he left home to learn the tanning, currying and shoemaking trades, those three industries then being looked upon as constituting but one trade. The firm with whom he was apprenticed was Linnel & Foote, who had an establishment at Palmyra and another at Pittsford, through both of which Mr. Hatch pursued his way with industry and success, becoming a thorough master of all the details of the business.

In the spring of 1831, being then nineteen years old, he came to Rochester, where he has ever since resided. Although the fact is neither to his credit nor his discredit, still it is a fact that he was possessed of very limited capital when he reached the village, the amount, to speak with precision, being just nineteen cents; but he had the good sense to look upon his trade at its true worth. He found employment at once as a journeyman boot-maker, in which particular branch of his trade he excelled. He succeeded in pleasing his employers and gaining a reputation as a workman of unusual ability. Two years later his ambition to advance in the world led him to embark in business for himself, and he opened a- small retail boot and shoe store on Main street. He prospered fairly for three years, when, owing to circumstances beyond his control, he was compelled to give up business and again go to work at his trade. This did not, however, continue long, for he was soon again in business in the same line, which he conducted successfully until the summer of 1842, when he formed a copartnership with Henry Churchill, under the firm name of J. W. Hatch & Co. Three years later, Lyman C., a brother of Henry Churchill, was admitted to the firm, the style remaining the same. A successful business was carried on by them until 1855, when Mr. Hatch sold his interest to his partners, and formed a copartnership under the same style, with David McKay which continued three years. The firm of J. W. Hatch & Son was then formned in the same line of trade (J. W. & Chas. B. Hatch). When the financial stringency of 1857-58 came, Mr. Hatch was unprepared to meet it and he saw almost his entire possessions swept away, leaving him for the second time to begin business life anew. This he did with renewed energy, as a manufacturer, which he has continued until the present time.

It is one of Mr. Hatch's proudest triumphs that he was the pioneer in the United States (probably in the world) in introducing the sewing-machine into the manufacture of shoes; he was the very first man to make it a success, and thus revolutionised the business, doing more, perhaps, than any other one person to forward the manufacture of foot-wear from the old and slow methods, to the present mighty industry. Mr. Hatch is a natural mechanic, and hence it is not wonderful that his attention was attracted to the Singer sewing-machine when it was first exhibited in Rochester at the state fair of 1852. He had not long witnessed its working before he resolved to apply it to the manufacture of shoes. He secured a machine and tried the experiment (being then in partnership with the Messrs. Churchill); the experiment was only partially successful, chiefly from the imperfection of the stitch and the tension of the lower thread, as it was drawn from different points on the bobbin. Mr. Hatch was advised by the agent of the machine to go to New Jersey, where he said two manufacturers were using it. He did so, but found that one of the men had discontinued using the machine, while the other was still behind Mr. Hatch in results. He returned and finally overcame the difficulty referred to by using a larger thread on the bobbin than the one in the needle; this plan resulted in a pronounced success and has since been adopted wherever the sewing-machine is used for shoe-work. Other improvements and changes were made in the machine at his suggestion, to better adapt them to shoe manufacture, and it was not long before he had samples on exhibition at the office of the Singer Sewing-Machine company in New York which attracted much attention for the perfection and beauty of the stitching. Hence Mr. Hatch is entitled to the credit of being the real beginner in the revolution of shoe manufacturing - a revolution almost unparalleled in any branch of business, and which has built up in Rochester, especially, one of its largest and most important industries.

But Mr. Hatch did not stop here. In 1853, he, in company with Henry Churchill, invented and patented the celebrated revolving die power sole-cutter, which came into extensive use in the United States and portions of Europe. In 1871-72 he invented and patented a machine for crimping and molding "counters" for boots and shoes at one operation, a device whkh turns out three thousand "counters" per day and is destined to supersede the old. and more costly methods. This machine is now controlled by his sons, Andrew J. and James L. Hatch, under the name of the Hatch Patent Crimper company; they have already built up a large and lucrative business.

Mr. Hatch is responsible for various other improvements in shoe manufacturing, designed to advance the methods, make it more profitable and improve the quality of the product, but which could not be protected by patent and need not be further alluded to. A later patented invention is the Hatch flexible shoe, for children, which is designed to give ease and comfort to the wearer and especially to admit of a natural flexible action of the growing foot. In making these shoes the insole is shortened and cut away from the sjiank around the fore part of the foot, sewing through the upper and outsole only, leaving the shoe perfectly flexible. There is no insole to cut away the upper and the shoe, consequently, wears much longer. For the manufacture of these goods the Hatch Flexible Shoe company was organised, Mr. Hatch and his son, Charles B. Hatch, being given its management. The demand is large and consequently increasing as the merit of the article becomes better known.

From 1874 to 1878, Mr. Hatch, associated with Henry G. Thompson, of Milford, Conn., was engaged in inventing and experimenting with improvements in lasting-machines, on which he was granted several patents. These inventions showed remarkable ingenuity in overcoming obstacles, to surmount which other inventors had expended more than half a million dollars, and with only unsatisfactory results. Mr. Hatch made improvements that are vital to any successful lasting-machine and have resulted, when consolidated with other improvements, in the now perfect machine made solely by the McKay-Copeland Lasting-Machine association, to which his patents have been transferred.

The reader of the foregoing pages need not be told that Jesse W. Hatch is entitled to a foremost position among the shoe manufacturers of the world, while as an inventor he is worthy of much credit. All this is given him by his friends and acquaintances in Rochester and New England, where his general business standing, his unquestioned integrity, liberal public spirit and genial social qualities are fully appreciated.

A few words upon Mr. Hatch's military career will not be out of place here. When he arrived in Rochester he joined the rifle company commanded by Captain Samuel Drake, and at the second drill meeting was elected second sergeant. This company was a part of the Eighteenth Rifle regiment, and when Horace Gay became its colonel, vice Colonel A. W. Riley promoted to brigadier-general, Mr. Hatch was given the office of adjutant on Colonel Gay's staff; this office he held until the disbandment of the regiment. At the organisation of the Union Grays in 1837, chiefly through the energy of Lansing B. Swan, brigade inspector on Gen. Riley's staff, Mr. Hatch joined the company and is now a member of the Veteran Grays, an organisation for perpetuating the memory of old times and which pays proper respect to those of the old company who are called from earth.

Mr. Hatch has never been an office seeker in any sense of the word, and bas often declined proffered positions of honor, chiefly through a lack of taste for such duties and the demands of his own enterprises. He acted as a member of the board of education in 1846. He has been a member of the Brick Presbyterian church for forty-two years, one of its Sunday-school teachers for forty-one years, an elder in the church since 1859, trustee from 1854 to 1876, and was Sunday-school superintendent one year, declining the office to which he was reelected a second year.

Mr. Hatch was married to Harriet E. Flint, of Boston, Mass., October 11th, 1832. She died in 1867. His second wife was Mrs. Mary A. Frye, of Brockport. From the first union eight children were born, five of whom are living. His oldest son, Jesse W. Hatch, jr., died in 1865; his third son, Edwin B. B. Hatch, died in the battle of Gaines's Mills, 1862; his daughter Harriet E. Hatch married Rev. A. J. F. Behrends, and died in January, 1882; his daughter Adelaide married A. M. Lindsay, of the firm of Sibley, Lindsay & Curr, of Rochester, and his daughter Emma lives at home. The sons Andrew J. and James L. have been referred to and Charles B. is in business with his father.


From Semi-Centennial History of the City of Rochester
by William F. Peck (1884)
pages 659 - 661

CHARLES J. HILL was born at Woodbury, Conn., April 13th, 1796. His father, Jonathan Hill, was a New England farmer, born at Bethlehem, Conn., March 25th, 1769. He afterwards removed to Woodbury, where he married Sarah Judson, daughter of Jonathan Judson, and where Charles Hill was born, and later still, about the year 1818, he with his family emigrated to "the Genesee country," and settled upon-a fatm in Geneseo, on the west shore of the Geneseo lake, where they remained nearly thirty years, removing thence to Lima, N. Y., where Jonathan Hill died, January 6th, 1849, at the age of eighty years, his wife having also died there, April 4th, 1847, at the age of seventy-five.

At the age of twelve Charles J. Hill was taken into the family of Noah B. Benedict, of Woodbury, Conn., a lawyer of distinguished merit. Undoubtedly close association with a mind cultivated, refined, and experienced as was Mr. Benedict's had a lasting and beneficial influence upon the character of Mr. Hill. Four years were passed at a select school, and at the age of sixteen a choice of future occupation was given him - to study for the practice of law or to engage in trade. The latter was chosen and the youth became a clerk in a store in the neighboring village of Bethlehem, and there remained until 1816, when his employer, ceasing to do business at that point, Mr. Hill came westward to seek a new field for the activities of business life. The small settlement of Rochester, an undrained swamp, in an almost unbroken wilderness, presented a discouraging prospect to him, and he retraced his steps as far as Utica, where he remained for a few months, and again determined to cast his lot with the inhabitants of Rochester. Returning there in November, 1816, he engaged as book-keeper with the firm of Bissell & Ely, remaining with them two years. In November, 1818, in company with Andrew V. T. Leavitt, he engaged in a general mercantile business on his own account, their store being a few rods east of the present Reynolds arcade. The firm of Leavitt & Hill continued until 1825, when Leavitt became a silent partner and C. J. Hill conducted the business in his individual name for three years, and then took Lewis J. Peet as a partner, the firm of Hill & Peet continuing until 1831.

This period of thirteen years was marked by the extension of trade to other counties. Enjoying the respect and confidence of the community, Mr. Hill's store was a favorite resort, and his trade became of large extent.

In 1831 Mr. Hill commenced the milling business in the stone mill which then, and for many years thereafter, stood on South Water street, near Main. He afterwards took the mill adjoining on the south, in company with David Bates, and for a time the firm of Hill & Bates continued the business there. Subsequently Mr. Hill purchased a mill at the lower falls and continued there in his own name the manufacture of flour until 1831, a disastrous year for Rochester millers, owing to financial disturbances, most of whom then saw their accumulations swept away, Mr. Hill among the number, although he had at that time acquired a handsome property. For several years after that.he was engaged in other pursuits until 1845 when he again commenced the manufacture of flour, in the mill on South Water street, now nearest to Main, being the same which he relinquished when taking that at the lower falls. He now determined to produce a superior quality of white winter wheat flour, which should secure and retain the confidence and patronage of consumers desiring flour of uniform excellence, at home and in eastern markets, and the "C. J. Hill flour" soon became a favorite article with housekeepers in Rochester and throughout New York and New England. On the first of January, 1850, Mr. Hill took his son Charles B. into partnership, and the business was continued by C. J. Hill & Son for twenty-six years, the partnership being dissolved February 22d, 1876, by the retirement of Mr. Hill, who had then reached the age of eighty years, sixty-four of which had been devoted to active business. Covering a term of nearly fifty years the "Hill" flour was a well-known brand, and, especially, during the last thirty of that period it was appreciated and sought after by consumers, desiring excellence and uniformity of quality, throughout a wide extent of country.

On the completion of the Erie canal to the east side of the Genesee river at Rochester, Mr. Hill erected the first warehouse for storage and forwarding in the city, near the site of the present weighlock, and soon engaged in a heavy business of exporting. He built and resided in the first brick house in the city, on the present site of the residence of William Alling, on South Fitzhugh street. He afterwards built a residence on Plymouth avenue (then South Sophia street), where he dwelt for nearly fifty years, removing thence, in 1868, to his spacious and comfortable home, corner of Prince street and University avenue, where his last days were spent.

Mr. Hill was a trustee of Rochesterville from 1820 to 1822; a supervisor of the second city election in 1835 and at other periods since; county clerk from 1844 to 1847; he was elected mayor in 1842 on the Democratic ticket; he was appointed commissioner of deeds by Governor Bouck and the Senate in 1843, and elected president of the Pioneer society of Western New York for one year. In 1823 he was commissioned as quartermasterof the twenty-third division New York state militia, the law at that time requiring the major-general with his staff to review at least one regiment annually. Mr. Hill was required to traverse several counties to discharge his official duties. During the same period Daniel D. Barnard was in commission. Mr. Hill was at one time president of the Western House of Refuge. Prior to the organisation of a bank in Rochester, he was a director in the Geneva bank and has served as a trustee in the old Rochester savings bank. In pursuance of a legal requisition to destroy a certain class of bank paper, he was appointcd to that office by the comptroller and served in this locality. In the early days of Rochester's history he was a prominent and active member of the volunteer fire department and, at the time of his death, the last surviving member of that organisation. In politics he was a life-long Democrat. In sympathy with Masonry, he was a knight templar and a warm friend of the free common school system for educating the masses. A church member since 1821, he was for twenty years an elder in the First Presbyterian church and subsequently an incorporator of Plymouth (Congregational) church, in which he was president of the hoard of trustees for a number of years, consecutively, and until his death. He was a pioneer in establishing Sunday-schools in this city and vicinity, often serving as superintendent, and was vice-president of the Genesee Sunday-school union.

Mr. Hill was a remarkably industrious man and probably gave more hours per day to the demands of his business than any qther miller in the city. He regarded public and official life more as a duty than a pursuit, and various official positions held were the result of acquiescence in the desire of others and were not of his own seeking. Had disposition favored, there is every evidence to show that honorable position was at his command, as well as ample capacity to do himself justice.

Mr. Hill was married at Rochester, January 15th, 1823, to Salome Morgan, of Brimfield, Mass., by Rev. Joseph Penney, D. D., pastor of the First Presbyterian church, a union which was destined to remain unbroken for a period of sixty years, until his death, which occurred July 19th, 1883, at the age of eighty-seven years.

Mr. Hill possessed many of those sterling traits of character which the sons of New England carried with them and developed in the West - germs of usefulness, honor and success. He was reared to industrious, healthful and thrifty habits, and unswerving business and personal integrity, and throughout his prolonged active life he realised to the full extent in these respects the promise of his youth. His business character was founded upon a solid and thorough basis; untiring industry, uncompromising rectitude, a systematic and careful attention to details and courtesy of manner characterised his entire business life. Thoroughly unselfish, he was fair and liberal in his dealings, and those who transacted business with him generally came to be his warm personal friends.

Mr. Hill was genial and sympathetic, and quick to feel for the sorrows and misfortunes of others. It was his habit to respond to the solicitation of the suffering and the unfortunate unostentatiously and cheerfully, and, in his quiet and unobtrusive manner, he often lightened the burdens of others and gained the good wishes and prayers of many grateful souls, though his generosity was unrecorded in earthly annals. He had a personal magnetism and habitual deference and consideration for others, which attracted many to him, and a refined and pleasing thread of humor was woven into the fabric of his conversation, which gave it a certain charm, while he displayed it so delicately that it never wearied nor gave offense.

Mr. Hill found Rochester a small hamlet with an uncertain future before it, but, with an unwavering trust in Providence and a firm reliance upon his own capabilities, he cast in his lot here, with other earnest pioneers, and for sixty-seven years his life was identified with its history; he lived to see it become a flourishing city and closed his eyes at last upon its activities and its attractions, respected and honored by all who knew him.


From Semi-Centennial History of the City of Rochester
by William F. Peck (1884)
pages 661 - 663

SCHUYLER MOSES. Many of the inhabitants of the town of Windsor, Conn., can trace their ancestry back to the small flock who, under the pastoral charge of the Rev. Mr. Warham, left England in 1630 and after remaining a short time in Dorchester, near Boston, removed in the fall of 1635 and spring of 1636 to Windsor. The first grant of land in that town, of which any record exists, was made to twenty-eight persons, among the names of whom appears that of John Moses, son of John Moses, who came from England in 1632, who is supposed to have been married before he emigrated to America. [This John Moses was a blacksmith and brought with him from England, in 1632, a set of tools, which have remained in the Moses family down to the present time, a period of two hundred and fifty- two years; the anvil bears the date of 1632. His tools are now at the homestead in Mt. Morris.] The second John Moses was married to Mary Brown May ,13th, 1653. His children were John, born June 15th, 1654; William, born September 1st, 1656; Thomas, born January 14th, 1658; Mary, born May 13th, 1660; Sarah, born February 2d, 1662; Margaretta, born December 2d, 1666; Timothy, born February -, 1670 ; Martza, born March 8th, 1672; .Mindwell, born December 13th, 1676.

Timothy Moses (of these children) had a son, named Timothy, jr., born in 1700; he had a son named Elisha, born in 1738, who was the grandfather of Schuyler Moses, the subject of this notice. Elisha had a son, Elisha, jr., born in 1761. His children were Hannah Amarilla, born August 1st, 1788, died April 16th, 1866; Elisha D., born February 12th, 1790, died October 19th, 1871 ; Ormenta, born March 22d, 1791, died March 1st, 1825; Arden, born September 6th, 1792, died April 12th, 1842; Timothy, born August 9th, 1794, died September 4th, 1823; Phoebe, born February 23d, 1796, died January 18th, 1820; Betsey, born August 6th, 1797, died June 8th, 1857; Schuyler, (the subject of this sketch), born December 31st, 1798; Marcus, born September 30th, 1800, died December 9th, 1880; Edmund, born November 11th, 1801, died September 22d, 1864; Aurelia, born September 23d, 1803; Flavia, born July 25th, 1805, died July 3d, 1858.

Schuyler Moses was born in Canton, Hartford county, Conn., on the date above given (December 31st, 1798). In 1810, when he was eleven years old, his parents removed to Lenox, Madison county, N. Y., and in August, 1817, came to Rochester. He was then in his nineteenth year and describes the place as "a little hamlet in the woods, of perhaps six hundred inhabitants." His educational advantages were limited to the years previous to the removal of the family from Lenox. After his arrival in Rochester he leamed the carpenter's trade, which he followed as a journeyman, contractor, or builder, until about 1855, when he retired from the business, to devote his entire attention to his own real estate of which he is a large owner.

Mr. Moses has never sought public office, but his fitness for it was recognised by his fellow-citizens as early as 1837, when he was elected alderman of the fourth ward. He is now the only living member of that board. He was also honored with the same office in 1851-52. He was elected supervisor in 1843, and has held all the ward offices except constable.

Mr. Moses is among the oldest of the pioneers of Rochester, having voted in his ward for' sixty years, and has lived on the site of his present residence on Chestnut street fifty-nine years. He was a Democrat in politics until the beginning of the late war, when he gave his influence to the Republican party and the preservation of the Union. He has been a member of the Masonic order for sixty-three years and became one of the charter members of the Valley lodge in this city in 1845. He is one of the oldest members of the order in Western New York. Himself and one sister are the only living members of his parent's family.

In July, 1824, Mr. Moses was married to Elsie Carpenter. Two children were born of this union - William Schuyler Moses and Elsie A. Moses, both of whom now live in California. His first wife died July 16th, 1836. On the 22d of March, 1837, he was married to Susan Morgan (widow), daughter of Gaius Lane, one of the early pioneers of Rochester. She died on the 9th of November, 1838, without children. December 4th, 1840, he married Bertha Callender, who died May 24th, 1871, by whom he has two children, Fred A. and Martha A. Moses, both of whom reside in Rochester.

During the long life of Mr. Moses in Rochester he has enjoyed the confidence and respect of all with whom he has come in contact and has earned the gratitude of many by his kindly nature and generous deeds. In the decline of life he is enjoying the conipeteiice which his industry has provided1 and may look back upon years well spent.


From Semi-Centennial History of the City of Rochester
by William F. Peck (1884)
pages 661 - 663

Nehemiah NorthropNEHEMIAH B. NORTHROP. The history of some lives, although they may have been filled with generous deeds and made beautiful by innumerable acts for the benefit of humanity, must ever remain, to a large extent, unwritten. Such is the case with that of the subject of this notice - Nehemiah B. Northrop. While he was widely known and respected in his life and sincerely mourned in his death by the many who were proud to call him theft friend, still his career was not a public one in any considerable degree; his life was one of peaceful quiet, suited to his retiring nature, and hence furnishes little striking material for the biographer.

Mr. Northrop was born in Trumbull, Fairfield county, Conn., September 17th, 1801. When he was ten years old his father removed, with a large family of children, to Perinton, Monroe county. His early years were passed as were those of most others at that period, in manual labor, alternated with attendance at the common school, where he secured whatever of education was then available. About the year 1830 he removed to and permanently located in Rochester. Years before he had accompanied a surveying party over this region and, as he often related, jumped from log to log to avoid immersion in the swampy depths on the site of Powers block. In this place Mr. Northrop became engaged in the transportation and forwarding business, established the national transportation line on the canal and lakes and built up a large and lucrative business.

Mr. Northrop's natural inclination to retirement prevented his seeking after public office or distinction of any kind, but he was prevailed upon to permit the use of his name for alderman of his ward in 1849-50 and was elected, filling the office with dignity and sound judgment.

About the year 1854 he became interested in banking and was a member of the firm of Belden, Keeler & Co. In 1865 he was elected a trustee, of the Rochester savings bank, which office he honored until his death. In his extended business career Mr. Northrop gained a reputation for integrity and general uprightness upon which no breath of suspicion or reproach ever fell. He was for many years a consistent member of St. Luke's church, where the influence of his daily life was potent for good.

On the 10th day of January, 1831, Mr. Northrop was married to Miss Louisa Hartwell, of Pittsford, N. Y. She died in March, 1839, and in September, 1840, he married Miss Elizabeth C. Langdon, of Portsmouth, N. H. Four children were born to the first union - two sons and two daughters. Both the sons are dead, and the daughters now reside in Rochester.

Such is a mere outline of Mr. Northrop's active life; but it conveys no knowledge of the noble Christian character and the estimable personal attributes which gained him a large circle of friends in the community. These are more vividly delineated by the pen of one of his most intimate friends, who wrote of hini as follows, at the time of his death:

"His was not a mere negative virtue; it was the virtue of a many-sided and beneficent activity. His character was quiet but it was positive, and lie was ever ready with the word, and the advice and the act which the exigency required. He was warmly interested in all public objects, and his private charities were numerous and liberal. He gained the confidence and affection of the numerous persons whom he employed, both by his liberality in compensating them, and the uqaffected and hearty interest which he evinced in their welfare. Among the marked traits in his character was one which his wife once happily characterised as a hospitality of mind, he threw open the doors of his mind as we do the doors of our houses to entertain the interests of others, many of whom had no special claims upon him. He would listen patiei~tly to the stories of the difficulties of the poor and the humble, and bring his ripe experience and excellent judgment to hear upon the case in sound and judicious advice. Almost numberless are those who have thus gone from his doors with their hearts lightened and their perplexities relieved. But I took up my pen for no extended portraiture and chiefly to say a word in trihute to Mr. Northrop's beautiful domestic character. It was within the sacred precincts of home and among his chosen circle of friends that he was most advantageously known and most thoroughly loved. . . . He was tender and thoughtful as a woman of all that could add to the joy and attractiveness of home, with all a man's capacity for realising his plans. The cordial grasp of his hand gave unmistakable welcome to the friend that crossed his threshold and the kindly light of his eye and the benignity of his smile seemed to pervade the domestic circle like an atmosphere. In his withdrawal from that circle a beautiful light has been suddenly extinguished."

And no one who knew Mr. Northrop will say that this high praise was not all deserved. The following resolutions were adopted by the trustees of the Rochester savings bank on the occasion of his death:

"Resolved, That in the death of Nehemiah B. Northrop, the trustees of this bank deplore the loss of an active, useful and honest citizen, and an able and efficient colleague. In social and business life he was eminently genial and honorable in his intercourse with men. As a trustee he was intelligent, independent and faithful in the performance of every duty, and firm and decided in his opinions. His large experience in the valuation of real estate enabled him to render services especially valuable to this bank."

"Resolved, That we share in the sorrows which have overtaken his family and shall long cherish his memory, endeared to us by the associations of many years."

Mr. Northrop died suddenly of apoplexy while visiting at the Mineral Springs at Slaterville, N. Y., on the 1st of October, 1878. His remains rest in the family inclosure at Mt. Hope.


From Semi-Centennial History of the City of Rochester
by William F. Peck (1884)
pages 661 - 663

EVERARD PECK died on the 9th of February, 1834. It is deemed best to present, instead of a continuous sketch of his life, this extract from one of the daily papers of the city on the day after his death:

Mr. Peck was born in Berlin, Conn., on the 6th of November, 1791, and was in the sixty-third year of his age at the time of his demise, having been a resident of this city some thirty-eight years. At the age of seventeen he went to Hartford, Conn., where he learned the book-binder's trade. Having completed his apprenticeship, he went to Albany, N. Y., where he established himself in his occupation. Not finding business promising there, he came to Rochester, bringing with him, besides the implements of his handicraft, a small stock of books. This was in 1816. He found Rochester an inconsiderable village, numbering some three or four hundred inhabitants. Seeing, through the discomforts and rudeness of the settlement, indications which promised a prosperous future, he opened his slender stock of books and tools, and set up the double business of book-selling and book-binding. Being prosperous in business, he enlarged his facilities hy opening a printing-office and commencing, in 1818, the publication of the Rochester Telegraph, a weekly journal. He afterward erected a papermill, which he operated with great success until it was burned. Mr. Peck left the book business in 1831. After three or four years, in which he was out of health - so that for recovery, he was obliged to spend one or two winters in Florida and Cuba - he engaged in the banking business and was connected successively with the Bank of Orleans, the Rochester City hank and the Commercial bank of Rochester, being the vice-president of the last-named institution at the time of his death. Immediately on his taking up his residence here, Mr. Peck gave his warm support to the infant charitable and religious enterprises of the place, and from that time to this has been the warmest friend of all such institutions. To public office he did not aspire, hut labors for the poor, the suffering and the orphan he never shunned. The successful establishment of the University of Rochester was in a large measure owing to his exertions in its behalf. The friends of that institution accorded to him merited praise, and they will ever respect his memory. Up to the time of his death he was a member of its board of managers. He was one of the zealous promoters and founders of the Rochester Orphan asylum, which has now become permanently established and is one of the most excellent of our public charities. Our citizens have been accustomed to rely upon his judgment in all affairs of moment pertaining to the common weal, and he always exhibited a sagacity and solicitude for the welfare of the people which entitled him to the puilic confidence. He was thrice married - in 1820, to Chloe Porter, who died in 1830; in 1836, to Martha Farley, who died in 1851; in 1852, to Mrs. Alice Bacon Walker, who survives him [Mrs. Alice B. Peck died December 2d, 1881]. For more than two years past Mr. Peck has been suffering from a pulmonary complaint, and he spent the winter of 1852-53 on the Bermudas, but without obtaining relief from his disease. He has since his return been secluded in the sick-room, gradually declining, until he expired, surrounded by his wife and all of his surviving children."

The Albany Evening Journal of February 21st, 1854, contained an article by the pen of Thurlow Weed, then at the head of that paper, in which, after copying a long biographical sketch of Mr. Peck from the New Haven Daily Palladium of a few days before, Mr. Weed remarks:

"This deserved tribute to the memory of 'a just man made perfect' comes from one who knew the deceased well. The editor of the Palladium grew up under Mr. Peck's teachings, and was long a member of his household - a household whose memories are hallowed in many grateful hearts.

"In another paragraph the editor of the Palladium alludes to our own relations to Mr. Peck, but in a spirit of kindness which excludes all but the following from these columns:

"'Mr. Weed, of the Albany Evening Journal, began his career in the Rochester Telegraph office. He was a young man wholly without means when he applied for employment. We remember Mr. Weed's application, as if it were but yesterday. Mr. Peck at first declined his offer, but there was something in Mr. Weed's manner that touched a sympathetic chord in Mr. Peck's bosom, and he called him back and gave him a post of assistant editor where he soon made the Telegraph one of the most popular journals in Western New York.'"

"The heart upon which the memory of its early benefactor is engraven will glow with gratitude until its pulsations cease. We were, indeed, 'wholly without means,' and with a young family dependent, upon our labor, when, thirty-two years ago, we applied to Everard Peck for employment. He did not really want a journeyman, but his kindly nature prompted an effort in our behalf. It was agreed that in addition to the ordinary labor, as a journeyman in the office, we should assist Mr. Peck, who had the charge of his book-store and paper-mill, in editing the Telegraph. But our friend did not content himself with giving employment. We enjoyed, with our family, the hospitalities of his mansion until a humble tenement (tenements were scarce in Rochester in those days) could be rented. The compensation agreed upon was four hundred dollars per annum. That year glided pleasantly and peacefully away, teaching lessons to which memory recurs with pleasure, and in forming ties that have linked us through after-life to dear and cherished friends. At the close of the year Mr. Peck added one hundred dollars to our salary, with expressions of confidence and regard which enhanced the value of his gratuity. And ever after, through whatever of vicissitudes and change we have passed, that good man's counsels and friendship have helped to smooth and cheer our pathway."


From Semi-Centennial History of the City of Rochester
by William F. Peck (1884)
pages 665 - 669

ASHBEL WELLS RILEY. Prominent among the living pioneers of the city of Rochester, is the subject of this sketch, General Ashbel Wells Riley. He was born in Glastenbury, Conn., on the 19th day of March, 1795, and has, therefore, now reached the great age of almost ninety years. While he was an infant his parents removed to Rocky Hill, directly across the Connecticut river from the place of his birth. There his father died while his son was still in early youth. A discharge from the revolutionary army, signed by George Washington, and yet preserved, certifies that his father faithfully served six years in the revolutionary army. The early life of, the son and a younger brother was quietly passed at Rocky Hill, devoted to the assistance of his mother in rearing her family, and the acquirement of such education as was available in the common schools of the neighborhood. When he had reached a proper age, although a choice was offered him of a college education, through the kindness of a relative, or of entering the navy under favorable auspices, his mother deemed it best that he should learn a trade; he accordingly learned the carpenter's trade, finishing it when he was about eighteen years old, at which time he removed with his mother to the town of Preston, Chenango county, N. Y. There he engaged in teaching school, being the first person in that town to be examined for the work under the existing school laws. After about a year in Preston he went to Cayuga county, where he remained about a year in the town of Scipio and the village of Auburn, and then, in company with his mother, made a tour of several of the eastern states, visiting their former home at Rocky Hill. Following this he went to Buffalo, where he worked at his trade about six months, and then spent a similar period in attendance at the West Bloomfield academy. At the close of his studies, he removed permanently to Rochester, in the year 1816, when there were but three hundred inhabitants in the village. During the greater portion of the succeeding seven or eight years he worked here at his trade, and, as a contractor, built many large buildings, among them the Rochester High school, in 1827.

In the year 1827, Mr. Riley, in company with the late Josiah Bissell, purchased a large tract of land on the east side of the river, embracing two hundred. and forty acres, now mostly covered by a populous portion of the city of Rochester. The price paid for the tract was $35,000. Mr. Bissell died about two years after the purchase was made, and the property passed into the sole possession of Mr. Riley. He was chosen one of the first five trustees of the village, and was also elected in 1834 as one of the first board of aldermen of the city; he is now the only living member of both these bodies.

Mr. Riley's military career, in which he gained the honorable title by which he has been known so many years, began soon after he reached his majority, when he enlisted as the first foot soldier from the village, joining a company that was raised in the vicinity of Penfield; this company was a portion of the First rifle regiment, which subsequently became the Eighteenth. Mr. Riley was made sergeant of his company, from which office he rapidly advanced. In 1825 he was elected lieutenant-colonel of the First regiment of riflemen, (afterward the Twenty-third), of which Benjamin H. Brown was colonel, and in 1831 was placed in command of the regiment. He was afterward elected brigadier-general over the three regiments located in this vicinity, and finally was appointed major-general, succeeding General Bowen Whiting, the distinguished attorney, of Geneva. He and his associate officers were selected to act as escort to the Marquis de La Fayette on his journey from Rochester to Canandaigua, and the Twenty-third regiment because, under General Riley's command, one of the most efficient military organisations in this section of country. Indeed, it received from Governor Marcy, who reviewed it in 1832, the compliment of being the best regiment in the state. While under his command, the regiment volunteered to General Jackson (then president of the United States) to go south and aid in quelling the nullification troubles. For this prompt offer of service General Riley subsequently had the satisfaction of receiving the personal thanks of "Old Hickory" in the capitol at Washington.

At about the beginning of his military career, General Riley also began to take a practical interest in the advancement of the cause of temperance, the anti-slavery movement, and other reforms - a work to which he ever afterward gave up a large share of his time, his means, and his best efforts. He first made his influence felt for temperance in the different military organisations which he commanded, never accepting an office in any of them except upon a temperance basis, This resulted in almost eradicating intemperance from the regiment and brigade which he commanded. Neither did he hesitate from lifting up his voice, whenever and wherever it seemed most effective, against the curse of slavery, and that, too, during a period when it was anything but a source of honor to oppose the institution. From about the year 1826, during a period equal to the lives of most men, General Riley has devoted himself, heart and soul, to these reforms. In the cause of temperance he has traveled in most of the English-speaking countries of the world, going always at his own expense, making no request for compensation or aid, and often offering to pay those who differed with him for their time spent in listening to his potent arguments.

In this connection the following copy of one of General Riley's peculiar handbills will be of interest "One thousand able-bodied men wanted! to hear an address in behalf of drunkards' wives and children, by General Riley, of Rochester, N. Y., late one of the vice-presidents of the New York state temperance society. He will pay wholesale dealers and owners of distilleries and breweries that are now in operation, 25 cents an hour; retailers of liquors 18.75 cents per hour, and other able-bodied men 12.5 cents per hour, if they are mint satisfied at the close of the meeting."

He spent about a year and a half in Great Britain, and considerable time on the continent, delivering in those countries about four hundred lectures, while those of his different tours throughout America are almost innumerable. He procured the dies and had an appropriate medal struck, of which he has distributed more than six thousand to persons who would sign his pledge. Many of these persons he has met and heard from years after their pledge, in the enjoyment that always comes with temperate living. The influence of this life-work, to which General Riley has always made worldly riches and advancement subject, is simply inestimable for the general good and morality of humanity. As an eminent writer once said of him, "He has been to reforms what the white caps are to the waves - always in the ascendant." General Riley speaks extemporaneously, and, although not an orator in the polished and educated sense, he never fails to hold the interest of his hearers. In a series of Pen Portraits of Illustrious Abstainers, written by George W. Bungay, we find the following terse criticism of General Riley's eloquence and platform manner: -

"General Riley's speeches were strings of beads, coral, common glass, and gold, with here and there a rare jewel, and even diamonds in the rough. The thread of his discourse shone amid sparkled with wit, humor, sarcasm, pathos, and eloquence when he shook the brilliant rosary before an audience. His hearers laughed and cried alternately. Sometimes they were ready to shout his praises, at other times to pelt him with showers of unmerchantable eggs. Without trying to think in a direct line, or caring to speak logically, his lectures as a whole were arguments. He would leap over the laws of rhetoric, in his eager earnestness, as a blooded steed would a five-barred gate to get into good clover or good company."

It will also be appropriate to quote from remarks made by General Riley himself at a reform meeting held in the spring of 1883, in Rochester, where he spoke as follows relative to his life-work: -

"I have long been a business man and property holder in Rochester, but I have never paused to weigh the consequences of doing right in a plain case, to the business which I chanced to be in. My mother taught me when a child the lesson of the modern ditty, 'Dare to do right;' and I have ever obeyed her injunction. And though I have suffered in the world's estimate for doing right and opposing wrong; though I have sometimes lost money, and sometimes reputation by opposing Masonry, liquor-selling and slavery in past years, my family have not suffered hunger, and I own a residence in this city now as good as my neighbors, and have means to live in it."

"It is ever best in the long run to do right, though the words of our Savior were true when he warned us that men would hate us for doing right. 'If ye were of the world, the world would love his own, but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.' There never was a man in the city of Rochester so thoroughly hated as was Josiah Bissell; and yet there never was so general mourning at any other funeral as at his. His life was one protest against Sabbath-breaking, liquor-selling, slavery and the secret lodge, and hence he was hated while living, and universally honored and lamented when he was dead."

It does not, perhaps, need further details to show that the reform work carried on by General Riley has been eminently unselfish. He has pursued it for neither glory nor for gain, but because he believed it the right thing to do, even if at his financial loss. He has, moreover, been a Christian but little less radical than in his reform labors. He was nurtured in the Congregationalist faith, but has long been a member of the First Presbyterian church in Rochester. He was chairman of a meeting held here many years ago, having for its object the abolition of mail carrying on Sunday. While the measure did not succeed upon a basis of its Christianity, it did subsequently result in mail carrying but six days in the week upon all except the great through lines, because it would save one-seventh of the expense to the government. In this line of reform General Riley established a line of boats on the canal, in 1835, to run six days each week. This enterprise cost him $20,000, which he considered an excellent investment. For the cause of religion as a whole he has done much in this city, building one early church at his own expense, and giving substantial aid to others. One wooden church, 40 by 80 feet in dimensions, for which there was an imperative necessity through a division in the third Presbyterian church in the village, was erected on General Riley's garden, and in the short space of five weeks. This will serve to indicate the man's energy. Once having decided that it is necessary and right for him to do a certain thing, it is an insurmountable obstacle that can prevent its consummation.

It is not as reformer alone that General Riley has lifted his hand and opened his heart. When the cholera epidemic broke out in Rochester in 1832, he was the youngest member of the board of health, and a large share of the repulsive labor connected with the terrible scourge fell to him. The first victim (an unknown tramp) was buried in the night, General Riley performing the work almost single-handed. Out of 116 deaths by the dread disease, he placed eighty of the bodies in their coffins, eleven of which were in one day. But he never shrank from nor complained at the labor. He accepted it as his duty, and did it, passing through the ordeal unscathed.

In his semi-centennial historical address, delivered in Rochester in June, 1884, Hon. Charles E. Fitch made the following beautiful allusion to General Riley's unselfish labor during the cholera epidemic: "I had thought to observe faithfully the proprieties, by refraining from anything like eulogy of living citizens, but I am sure you will pardon an allusion to one who, amid that dreadful scourge, bore himself with a dauntlessness, before which that which faced the Redan battery or climbed the frowning crest of Molino del Rey pales and grows weak ; who met the pestilence with equanimity, when others fled before it; whose step never faltered, and whose hand never trembled in the ordeal; who was as gentle in his bedside ministrations as he was fearless in the chamber of death, and who, with his own hands, placed over eighty victims in their coffins. Ah! that is a sublimner type of courage which walks undismayed in the footsteps of the plague than that which rushes upon the foemen's serried ranks in the frenzy of battle, amid the plautlits of a nation. And the citizen-hero, General Ashbel W. Riley, the sole survivor of the whole body of village trustees - for he was a trustee sixty years ago - and the only living member of the first board of aldermen, although the frosts of nine decades have silvered his locks, still walks our streets, erect in form, stately in his bearing, with his mind yet vigorous, and the blood of health still coursing his veins, as the results of temperate habits amid cleanliness in living.

This sketch has already exceeded its prescribed limits, and perhaps enough has been said to enable the reader to picture to himself the life and character of General Ashbel W. Riley. He is a reformer; but, unlike many aspiring to that title, he has always backed his theories not only with the utmost fearlessness, but with all his might and means. This means a great deal and has won for him the respect of those who differ with him, as well as those who are in sympathy with him. He is now one of the oldest citizens of Rochester, and in spite of the fact that he has spent more than one liberal fortune in support of what he believes to have been his duty, he still enjoys a competence for his declining years.

General Riley was first married in 1819, to Betsey Ann Stillson, of Brighton. She died four years later, and in 1827 he married her sister, Charlotte Stillson. She died in 1870 and in the following year he married his third wife, in the person of Mary E. Hoyt, of Rochester. There were born to him by his first wife two children, but one of whom, his son George, is living. By his second wife he had two sons Ashbel W., jr., and Justin Gamaliel, and one daughter, Anna H. His youngest son, J. Gamaliel, died in 1873. His daughter married Cyrus Bentley in 1853, a lawyer then and now residing in Chicago. One of his surviving sons is in the treasury department at Washington, and one is George S. Riley, of Rochester.


From Rochester and the Post Express; A history of the City of Rochester from the earliest times; the pioneers and their predecessors, frontier life in the Genesee country, biographical sketches; with a record of the Post Express
compiled by John Devoy (1895)
page 204

P. EDWARD HAYDEN

P. Edward HaydenThe success of the United States Express company is beyond doubt due in no small degree to the policy of its managers in recognizing young men of ability and promoting them to positions of importance for which they prove competent. Their policy in this respect is responsible for the presence as manager for the Rochester office of P. Edward Hayden. Mr. Hayden is a native of Owego, New York, where he was born April 5, 1862. His parents were William and Elizabeth Hayden. He attended the public schools and Academy of the Sacred Heart of Owego, and at the age of seventeen entered the grain elevator and warehouse office of Bartlett & Green, Wall street, New York, with whom he remained six years. He then returned to his native town and entered the Tioga National bank, of which es-Senator Thomas C. Platt is president. After a year in the bank Mr. Hayden was appointed by President Platt cashier for the United States Express company in this city, and came here in March, 1882. He filled that office so acceptably for five years that at the close of that period he was promoted to the position of agent for the company in Rochester and now holds that office. Mr. Hayden, although he has never held or sought for any political office, has taken a deep interest in politics since he was seventeen years old. He is a Republican and was secretary of several town and county committees in Owego. He also represented Tioga county in the State convention of Republican clubs in 1892. He resides at the Jenkinson and is a member of the Rochester club, the Whist club, Royal Arcanum and Chamber of Commerce.


From Rochester and the Post Express; A history of the City of Rochester from the earliest times; the pioneers and their predecessors, frontier life in the Genesee country, biographical sketches; with a record of the Post Express
compiled by John Devoy (1895)
pages 204 - 205

SETH D. W. CLEVELAND

Seth ClevelandFew residents of Rochester are better known in the city and throughout the State than the subject of this sketch. S. D. W. Cleveland was born in Camden, New York, in May, 1846. His father was Henry T. Cleveland. He was educated in the public schools of Camden, and in 1871 came to Rochester and engaged for three years as a commercial traveler. He then took charge of Brewster, Gordon & Company's office and was credit man for the firm during nine years. In 1880, as head of the firm of Cleveland, Biehler & Brewster, he went into the wholesale tobacco business. In 1887 he started three retail tobacco stores in this city - one in the Reynolds arcade, another in the Powers hotel and a third at No. 226 East Main street. The latter two he still owns. Mr. Cleveland is a Republican, who carried a wide-awake torch for Lincoln in 1864, and helped to organize Company A, Boys in Blue, in 1880. He has been first-lieutenant of the company ever since. When representing the Seventh ward in the Common Council in 1889-90 he was chairman of the finance, electric, additional water supply and East Side sewer committees. Mr. Cleveland was married in 1870 to Frank S. Faust of Buffalo, has one son and resides at 82 Alexander street. He is a member of the Rochester Yacht club, Genesee Canoe club, Whist club, president of the Commercial Traveler's Insurance association of Syracuse, member of the board of managers of the Commercial Traveler's Home Association of America, and chairman of the building and ground committee, member of railroad committee National Commercial Travelers' Association of the United States, and was vice-president of the Commercial Traveler's Accident association of Utica for two years. He is past master of Genesee Falls lodge, 507, F. & A. M.; a member of Hamilton chapter, No.62; Doric council, No. 19; eminent commander of Monroe commandery, No. 12 a member of Rochester Lodge of Perfection, A. & A. Scottish Rite; Rochester Council Princes of Jerusalem; Rochester chapter of Rose Croix; Rochester Sovereign Grand consistory; past potentate of Damascus Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.; Lalla Rookh, No. 3, M. O. V. P. E. R.; past master Garfield lodge, A. O. U. W ; member Central lodge, No. 666, I. O. O. F.; member of the Flower City Gentlemen's Driving association ; Rochester Rod and Gun club, and Columbia Rifle and Pistol club.


From Rochester and the Post Express; A history of the City of Rochester from the earliest times; the pioneers and their predecessors, frontier life in the Genesee country, biographical sketches; with a record of the Post Express
compiled by John Devoy (1895)
page 205

CHESTER DEWEY, D. D., L.L. D.

The life of the late Chester Dewey is one that should he made known to all young men who desire to be of note in their day and transmit an enviable reputation to posterity. He was born in Sheffield, Berkshire county, Massachusetts, October 25, 1784, and inherited from his father that strength of character and mind which were his to the chose of a long life. From his mother he inherited a cheerful temperament, that is well remembered by those who knew him even in his old age. He passed his youth on the farm, attended the common school, and at the age of eighteen entered Williams college, from which he was graduated in 1806. After graduation he studied theology and in 1807 was licensed to preach, but after a few months he received an appointment as tutor in Williams college and thereafter did not occupy a pulpit permanently, although he continued to preach, on invitation, for fifty years. At the age of twenty-six he was elected professor of mathematics and natural philosophy in Williams college and held that position for seventeen years. In 1827 he resigned the chair at Williams and became principal of the Berkshire Gymnasium or High school at Pittsfield, Massachusetts. At the same time he occupied the chair of botany and chemistry in the Medical college in that town. In 1836 Mr. Dewey came to this city on invitation of the trustees of the Rochester High school, to become the principal, and held that position until the destruction of the school-house by fire in 1852. He was then appointed professor of the natural sciences in the University of Rochester and occupied the chair until 1861 , when he retired from active duty, at the age of seventy-six. In addition to his constant labor as a teacher Dr. Dewey was an indefatigable writer on science and kindred subjects for the daily press and scientific journals. He was also the author of a History of the Herbaceous Plants of Massachusetts, which was published by the state. In 1810 Dr. Dewey married Sarah Dewey of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, who died in 1823. All of their five children are also dead. In 1825 he married Olivia Hart, daughter of Lemuel Pomeroy of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Dr. Dewey expired, of old age, in his eighty-fourth year, on December 15, 1867, at his home in this city. His surviving children are Chester P. Dewey of Brooklyn, Mrs. William H. Perkins and Dr. Charles A. Dewey of this city, and Mrs. Henry Fowler of Buffalo.

  From Rochester and the Post Express; A history of the City of Rochester from the earliest times; the pioneers and their predecessors, frontier life in the Genesee country, biographical sketches; with a record of the Post Express
compiled by John Devoy (1895)
page 205

DR. CHARLES A. DEWEY

Professor Chester Dewey, principal of Rochester's first High school, professor of the natural sciences in the University of Rochester from its establishment to 1861, and one of the city's first inhabitants devoted to science, occupied such a prominent and honorable place in the esteem of the last generation that it must be a source of satisfaction to those of the present to have his son as one of their fellow-citizens. Dr. Charles A. Dewey was born in this city, his parents being Chester and Olivia Pomeroy Dewey. He was graduated from the University of Rochester, and then engaged in the manufacture of iron in Massachusetts. In 1880 he was graduated from the medical department of Harvard university, and since that year has practiced medicine in Rochester. Dr. Dewey is visiting physician to the Rochester City hospital, a member of the New York State Medical society, the Central New York Medical association, the Monroe County Medical society and the Rochester Pathological society. He is unmarried.


From Rochester and the Post Express; A history of the City of Rochester from the earliest times; the pioneers and their predecessors, frontier life in the Genesee country, biographical sketches; with a record of the Post Express
compiled by John Devoy (1895)
pages 205 - 206

GEORGE W. ARCHER

George W. Archer was born in Rochester, February 8, 1837. His education was obtained in the public schools of the city and was thoroughly practical, thus aiding most materially in preparing him for a successful business career. From 1863 to 1868 he was engaged in manufacturing machinery in the oil regions of Pennsylvania, but from the latter year up to the present period Mr. Archer has been actively identified with the business now conducted under the name of the Archer Manufacturing Company of Rochester, of which he is president. As a gentleman intimately associated with various business enterprises in his native city Mr. Archer is especially prominent. He is treasurer of the Rochester Gas and Electric company treasurer of the Vulcanite Paving company; vice-president of the Rochester Pullman Sash Balance company, as also a director in each of these several enterprises. He is a director in the Rochester City Railway company and a director of the Merchants' bank of this city. Mr. Archer is president of the Rochester Driving Park association, a prominent member of the Genesee Valley club and the Rochester Whist club, and also a Mason. He is also president of the Brush Electric Light company. Mr. Archer's interests in real estate matters are extensive, he being one of Rochester's heading tax-payers. From 1882 to 1884 he was a member of the Common Council, representing his ward as alderman. In politics Mr. Archer is a Democrat. Mr. Archer has visited the West Indies and has traveled extensively in this country. He occupies a high position socially, and his interest in all that pertains to the welfare of Rochester is deep and abiding. Mr. and Mrs. Archer's charitable benefactions are large.

line

Go to Biography main page.

Go to previous page.

Go to next page.

Home Go to GenWeb of Monroe Co. page.

line