Biographies of Monroe County People
Page 23


From Semi-Centennial History of the City of Rochester
by William F. Peck (1884)
pages 695 - 696

Arthur YatesARTHUR G. YATES, the subject of this sketch, was born at Factoryville (now East Waverly, N. Y.), December 18th, 1843. He is the second son of Judge Arthur Yates and grandson of William Yates, M. D., who was born at Sapperton, near Burton-on-Trent, England, 1767. He studied medicine but never practiced it. Being the eldest son, he inherited a large estate with the title of baronet. His marked characteristics were great benevolence. He erected and conducted at his own expense an insane asylum for paupers at Burton-on-Trent, for treating the insane upon the humane plan, and he is spoken of in his biography as a great philanthropist. He was a cousin of Sir Robert Peel, the statesman, and John Howard, the philanthropist. He sailed for Philadelphia in 1799 and was the first to introduce vaccination in America, expending much time and money to introduce this great boon to humanity. The following year he returned to England and then again returned to America, and from Philadelphia ascended the Susquehanna valley with Judge Cooper, General Morris and Judge Franchot. He met a daughter of one of the leading settlers of the Butternuts valley, married her, and immediately sailed for England. After two years' absence he returned to America. After having disposed of Sapperton to his brother Harry, he purchased a large estate in Butternuts (now the town of Morris), Otsego county, N. Y., and during his life he disposed of a large fortune to carry out his benevolent ideas, He died in his ninetieth year greatly respected and widely known as a great philanthropist.

Judge Arthur Yates was his eldest son, born in Butternuts, Otsego county, N. Y., February 7th, 1807. He obtained his education in the common schools, and in 1832 left Otsego county and settled in Factoryville (now East Waverly, N. Y.), where he engaged in the mercantile and lumber business, which he continued extensively for thirty years, doing much to build up and beautify the present village of Waverly. He was appointed by the governor judge of Tioga county in 1838. All his life he was prominently identified with the church, school, and banking interests. In January, 1836, he was married to Jerusha, daughter of Zeba Washbon of Otsego county, and died in 1880, widely known and greatly respected. He had seven children, the fourth of whom was Arthur G. Yates. He obtained his education principally in his native town and finished it in various academic institutions.

In March, 1865, at twenty-two years of age, he came to Rochester to accept a position with the Anthracite Coal association. Two years later he engaged in the coal business on his own account, continuing it at the present time, developing it to a remarkable degree - his personal anthracite coal business extending over all the Northern and Western states and Canadas and aggregating over 350,000 tons annually; while the shipping interests at Charlotte are now being developed by the immense shipping docks recently erected by him, making Rochester headquarters for the distribution of vast quantities of coal.

In 1876 the firm of Bell, Lewis & Yates, of which he is a member, was formed for the purpose of mining and shipping bituminous coal. Their success has been remarkable, the tonnage having reached 650,000 tons or more, annually. He is a director in the Bank of Monroe, trustee of the Mechanics' savings bank, and for many years a warden of St. Paul's church, and is a director in various coal and other companies and interests outside of the state.

He has never accepted political office, but prefers to give his undivided attention to his large and increasing business interests. Mr. Yates is high principled and honorable in all his dealings, and is in the broadest sense one of the most honorable and foremost of the business men of Rochester. Having developed the coal trade in so few years to such enormous proportions, he has, at the same time, acquired a reputation most enviable as a man of ability and integrity.

He was married December 26th, 1866, to Jennie L. Holden, daughter of Roswell Holden, esq., of Watkins, N. Y. They have had six children, Frederick W., Harry, Florence, Arthur (deceased), Howard L. (deceased), and Russell P.

From Semi-Centennial History of the City of Rochester
by William F. Peck (1884)
pages 696 - 698

THE MUMFORD FAMILY. The Mumford family was of English extraction. Thomas Mumford, of South Kingston, R. I., emigrated to this country about 1650. The family afterward settled in New London and Groton, Conn. In 1758 David Mumford, the grandson of Thomas, married Rebecca Saltonstall, granddaughter of Governor Saltonstall and great granddaughter of Governor Thomas Dudley, of Connecticut. The sixth child of this marriage was Thomas Mumford, the father of William Woolsey, and George Huntington Mumford.

David Mumford was one of a family of six sons, mentioned in the accounts of that locality as distinguished for their size, being of the average height of six feet, or according to familiar report, "thirty-six feet of Mumford in one family." Early in the disputes between America and the mother country this family took a decided stand in favor of the claims of the colonies, and prior to and during the revolutionary war, were prominent and enthusiastic in their assertion of these claims. It is related that shortly after the commencement of the revolution, the Rev. Mr. Graves, the rector of the Episcopal church at New London, had been respectfully requested to desist from reading that portion of the liturgy containing the prayers for the king and royal family; "but with this request," the chronicle goes on to state, "he declared that he could not conscientiously comply. It was then intimated to him that if he persisted, it was at his peril, and he must abide the consequences. Accordingly the next Sunday a determined party of whigs stationed themselves near the door with one in the porch to keep his hand on the bell-rope, and as soon as the minister began the obnoxious prayer, the bell sounded and the throng rushed into the house. They were led by the brothers Thomas and David Mumford, both men of commanding aspect and powerful frame, who ascended the pulpit stairs and taking each an arm of the minister, brought him expeditiously to the level of the floor." The account, however, goes on to relate how he was rescued by two "resolute matrons" who protected him from violence and escorted him to a place of safety.

The name of Thomas, son of the David here referred to, appears in the list of alumni of Yale college as a member of the class of 1790. In January, 1795, he was married to Mary Sheldon Smith and shortly thereafter moved from Connecticut, and established himself at Cayuga Bridge at the head of Cayuga lake, in this state, where he continued to reside during the remainder of his life. Here were born in November, 1795, William Woolsey, and in July,1805, George Huntington.

WILLIAM WOOLSEY MUMFORD was prepared for college at Utica and graduated at Yale in the class of 1814, numbering among his classmates and friends Samuel B. Ruggles, Daniel Lord and others who afterward became conspicuous in various professions. He studied law at Litchfield, then the most prominent law school of the country, and about 1818 established himself at Rochester in the practice of his profession. He became extensively interested in real estate, and either as owner or agent of his father, controlled a large amount of land adjoining the Genesee river, on the west side, and particularly in that portion of the city which was for many years known as Frankfort. To the improvement of this real estate and the, advancement of the growth of the city he devoted his time and means. About 1828 he erected on South St. Paul street the first brick block for residences of any considerable size constructed in the city, and resided in one of these houses to the time of his death. For many years in partnership with Mr. Frederick Whittlesey, the firm of Mumford & Whittlesey conducted an extensive law business through this portion of the state. He was one of the directors of the old Bank of Rochester; was deeply interested in educational matters and was instrumental in organising the old High School, and for many years one of its trustees. About 1830 he retired from active practice of the law and devoted himself principally to the care of his real estate. During this time he was extensively engaged in milling, particularly in the villages of Mumford and Lima. During a life of thirty years here he was a witness of the marvelous growth of the town - a growth, in fact, that far exceeded his most sanguine predictions. He saw during these years a mere hamlet expand into a city of upwards of 50,000 souls. He died in January, 1848, at the age of fifty-two years. He was twice married and left three children.

GEORGE HUNTINGTON MUMFORD was the fifth child of the family of six. He grew up at the hospitable old family mansion at Cayuga Bridge, then on the direct line of travel between Albany and Buffalo, and at which most of the prominent men in the state were entertained in their journeyings back and forth, At an early age he entered Union college, from which he graduated in the class of 1824. Soon thereafter he came to Rochester and entered the law office of Mumford & Whittlesey as a student. After his admission to the bar and the retirement pf his elder brother from practice, he formed a business connection with Mr. Whittlesey, and the firm of Whittlesey & Mumford was for many years one of the leading law firms in Western New York. He remained in the active practice of his profession until about the year 1855 when the state of his health induced him to relinquish it. Few men have commanded confidence, public and private, to a greater degree than did Mr. Mumford, or more thoroughly deserved it. The various positions he was called upon to fill, unsolicited by him, and often against his protest, testify to the confidence reposed in him. Though he studiously avoided public positions, he was for years a member of the board of supervisors; for nearly thirty years he was a trustee of the Rochester savings bank and at times its president and attorney; he was trustee and president of the Rochester City hospital from its organisation to the time of his death; he was director in the old Bank of Monroe, and in the Commercial bank; he was one of the originators of the Union bank, a director during its entire existence, and at one time its financial officer; he was director and president of the Manufacturer's bank, and the first president of the Trader's bank. In the early history of railroad construction in this state he had become interested in the organisation and construction of the Tonawanda railroad, and after its absorption into the Buffalo & Rochester railroad was for many years one of its directors and the secretary of its board. He took a deep interest in the development of the telegraph system of the country and early foresaw its value and importance; was identified with the Western Union telegraph company in its early struggle, and later triumphs, and up to shortly before his death was one of its directors, and at times an officer. There were few enterprises of a public nature in this locality, during the busy period of his active life, with which he was not identified, and to which his sound judgment and perfect integrity did not add weight and character. He was a man of earnest religious convictions, and for many years senior warden of Grace church.

He died in this city in September 1871, at the age of sixty-six years. His wife, a daughter of Mr. Truman Hart, of Palmyra, and four children survived him.

From Semi-Centennial History of the City of Rochester
by William F. Peck (1884)
pages 698 - 700

AARON ERICKSON was notable among those pioneers whose sturdy industry and purity of life left durable impress upon the new settlement of Rochester.

For nearly sixty years he made this city his home and the varied occupations which engaged him all bore direct relation to productive employments which alone create human wealth and substance and, in their best forms, supply those natural requirements which, untrammeled, maintain enlightened civilisation. When such a man passes away, the results and influence of his life remain, to mold and give pattern to human enterprise and, too, with that fragrance which arises from the "remembrance of the just."

It is due to the memory of one who tempered the manly and successful resolves of a strong intellect with the gentler guidings of religious subjection, that the man himself should not be forgotten, even though his example remains a beacon to those who come after.

Mr. Erickson was of Scandinavian origin, and a descendant of the historical Swedish colony which was planted in New Jersey, near Trenton Falls, about the year 1632. In 1626, Gustavus Adolphus, the illustrious king of Sweden, issued his proclamation granting substantial advantages to colonists. The German war delayed the mission, but it finally departed, provided with ships and necessaries, and also ministers of the Gospel, which latter were required by the king, not only to attend to the spiritual needs of the colonists, hut, in the words of the edict, to plant the Christian religion amongst the heathen. The descendants of this colony largely remain along the Delaware to this day.

Mr. Erickson was born at Freehold, N. J., not far from Trenton Falls, directly in sight of the battlefield of Monmouth, on the 25th of February 1806, and, as it was his pride to avow, of patriotic revolutionary ancestry. But, honorable and gratifying as was this birthright, he was permitted to know still greater than this, that the earliest historical knowledge of this North American continent was due to the fearless and brave ambition of his progenitors.

In the year 984, five hundred years before Columbus set foot upon San Salvador, the Norsemen, under the leadership of Eric, with the stars for guidance, discovered Newfoundland; and, in the year 1000, Leif Eric-son, son of Eric, sailed westerly into the Sea of Darkness, as the Atlantic was called, and, coasting, discovered this continent, landing near Fall River, Mass.; and, in the year 1002, Thorwald Ericson, brother of Leif sailed to Fall River, remained three years, was killed, and, an intelligent fancy suggests, it was his skeleton in armor, discovered in 1832, that was the foundation of Longfellow's poem. This is a record which inspires justifiable pride in a genealogical history both remote and distinguished, and the story, too, that of bold discovery attained by the highest exhibition of human daring.

This inherited trait of resolute purpose marked Mr. Erickson's successful life. He came to Rochester in 1823, when seventeen years old, poor and indomitable. First a superior iron-worker, possessing a versatility of adaptation to the various demands in his toil, so needed in new communities, and always marking a skillful from an inefficient worker, he then engaged in the wool business, and not content with merely buying and selling, he acquired such knowledge of the trade of the world in wool; of its annual supply; of the effects of tariffs; of British prohibition of exportation; and other disturbing elements in the prices and uses of this commodity, that his views became of recognised public value, and were asked by statesmen, such as Robert J. Walker, secretary of the treasury, and Henry Clay. When mature life was reached and worldly competence obtained, he established a large moneyed institution, and through it greatly advanced the industries which gave the city of Rochester prosperity. His business life was spent in promoting legitimate, productive employments, by which all wealth is created, and is removed by infinite distance from the speculative gambling of idlers and chance-seekers.

Such was Mr. Erickson's business career. It was the natural consequence of a strong, personal individuality, guided, first, by conscience, and then by sound intellectual reasoning, enlightened by the best self-culture.

In private life he was beloved by all in whom he reposed such confidence as gave access to his home and heart. Always courteous and hospitable, in the genial atmosphere of his fireside the graces of a self-respecting, manly character shone with delightful impress. In foreign travel he equipped himself with such acquisition of useful lore that hours were passed in unalloyed enjoyment at his clear recital. At his home, his extensive grounds gave opportunity for such indulgence in tree, and lawn, and shrub that they made entrance there to a delightful, unfading recollection. And here, surrounded by an elegant sufficiency, his welcome and kindly greeting, made more marked by his patriarchal form, gave a happiness to the wayfarers which made life sweeter and helped dissipate earthly disappointments.

Mr. Erickson's death, which took place January 27th, 1880, called sincere tributes to his honored, Christian character. His unostentatious charities were somewhat divulged; his offerings to the Rochester City hospital; his unexpected gift in the winter of 1869 of two hundred and fifty barrels of flour to the sick poor, through the Female Charitable society; his friendly help to the young desiring education to others seeking start in business life; to help needy, humble friends; and in a manner delicate and unobtrusive, all these were recounted with warm recollections of the well proportioned outlines in strength and kindliness of their benefactor's life.

Such a man was Aaron Erickson, fearless, just, merciful.

From Semi-Centennial History of the City of Rochester
by William F. Peck (1884)
pages 700 - 705

GEORGE ELLWANGER. The life and character of Mr. George Ellwanger illustrate the truth that an honorable and successful career - one that wins domestic happiness, sincere friendships, public confidence and private esteem, - in a word, everything that renders life desirable, is the result, in most cases, not so much of great genius and brilliant intellectual gifts, as of early training, persevering industry, integrity of purpose and a sincere regard for virtue and purity of life. These qualities command respect and deserve success, and generally gain them.

Mr. Ellwanger was born December 2d, 1816, at Gross-Heppach, in the Remsthal, one of the many beautiful valleys that extend in every direction through the kingdom of Würtemberg in Germany, called the "Garden of the Fatherland." In accordance with the law and practice in his native country, he passed the period of his youth at school. The intervals of study, vacations, etc., he spent with his father and brothers in the vineyards which constituted the family patrimony, the raising of grapes and manufacture of wine being the chief sources of revenue and support for the inhabitants of this favored valley.

The love of nature and taste for flowers and horticultural pursuits that was developed by the associations and occupations of his home, decided him to learn, practically and scientifically, all that was possible relating to plants and flowers, fruits, shrubs, soils, etc. Accordingly, he entered a leading horticultural establishment at Stuttgart, where he remained four years till he had perfected himself in all the arts of horticulture and landscape gardening.

This education constituted his whole capital, his "stock in trade." He then sought a proper sphere for its profitable use.. His intelligent mind was quick to profit by the information, then first spreading in Germany, of the great possibilities of the New world. The limit for achievement in the Fatherland no longer satisfied his restless, growing ambition; and he resolved to leave old friends and home and make his career and win fortune and distinction, if possible, in America, He sailed for this country and arrived in New York in 1835. He did not come as a parasite, to live off its bounty, but brought with him the wealth of a strong purpose, well disciplined mind and habits, and the knowledge that was to help develop the resources of the country of his adoption. Pushing westward he settled first in Ohio, at Tiffin, then a mere hamlet, but now a large and flourishing city. His expectations not being fully realised at this point, he recalled the many attractive towns he had passed on his way through Central New York. Among them Rochester had most favorably impressed him, from its beauty of location, its thrifty vegetation and apparently prosperous condition.

The wisdom of his resolution to settle here has been amply proved by the results. He did not wait until the position he most desired presented itself, but accepted the first occupation that offered, and then, in the spring of 1835, entered the horticultural establishment of Reynolds & Bateham. From his industry, his quick perception of the requirements of such a business, and a complete knowledge of the modus operandi of propagation, etc.. he was intrusted with the entire management of the establishment. In 1839 he began business for himself. He saw the opening offered in this then new country, for planting fruit and ornamental trees and bought out the horticultural establishment of Reynolds & Bateham, the first of its kind in Rochester. He also purchased eight acres of land on Mt. Hope avenue, the soil being in its primitive state, and naturally well suited to the growth of nursery stock. This was the commencement of the Mt. Hope nurseries, so widely known, and so justly celebrated, and now covering nearly 600 acres in extent.

Seeking then, as always and everywhere since, for all kinds of information relating to the propagation of fruits and flowers, Mr. Ellwanger examined the lists of the few horticulturists to be found in the United States. From that of Mr. Kendrick, near Boston, Mass., he made his first collection of fruit trees from which to cultivate and sell specimen stock. This, he often says. proved one of his "best investments."

In 1840 he made the acquaintance of his present partner, Mr. Barry; and their views being in accord, they entered into a copartnership which has continued without interruption ever since.

Mr. Ellwanger made many business trips to Europe in the interest of his establishment, collecting trees and plants previously unknown in this country, thus advancing public taste and greatly enlarging the scope of his business. He imported the first dwarf apples and pears, and drew public attention, prominently, to the advantages of growing fruit trees with low heads, in contrast to the old method of pruning away the lower branches.

Mr. Ellwanger has been a constant student arid careful observer of all that has been written and accomplished in horticulture, and has visited all the best establishments in the Old world. He has introduced, grown, and disseminated a greater number and variety of trees throughout the United States, than any other person. In this way he has added greatly to the comfort and convenience of living, and shown what taste and refinement can accomplish in embellishing our American homes.

Immediately after the formation of the partnership of Ellwanger & Barry, the united enterprise of these two gentlemen projected and put into execution numerous other business plans. The Toronto nurseries, in Canada, were established by them, and, later, the Columbus nurseries, in Ohio, both of which have since become famous.

Through extensive correspondence with leading horticulturists in Europe, the house of Ellwanger & Barry has been enabled to add everything valuable, new or old, suited to our climate, to their own constantly increasing collections. Nothing has been spared-in time, money and pains to make the Mt. Hope nurseries the most complete and largest in the world, and worthy of the famed valley of the Genesee, called the "Garden of the great state of New York." They were the first in this country to plant complete collections of fruit trees to propagate from, and produce new varieties- This system has been continued till their specimen grounds are of very large extent. They have also a complete arboretum for their own personal satisfaction, and serving, at the same time, as a school for their friends and patrons. Most of the old orchards of choice fruit, in the western states and California, have been furnished by this establishment. For many years nurserymen in all parts of the country were supplied from it, and its productions are in demand all over the world. They make shipments to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and even to Jerusalem. The Japanese government honored it with an unlimited order for a complete collection of fruit trees, shrubs and plants, to be accompanied also by a horticultural instructor.

Rochester had previously only been known as a city at the falls of the Genesee, with a good water-power turning the wheels of a dozen mills for grinding wheat, and ambitiously called the "Flour city." But the constantly extending fame of the horticultural establishment of Messrs. Ellwanger & Barry, first, and chiefly, attracted the attention of people of taste and refinement, at home and abroad, to visit their extensive grounds and conservatories. These visitors, witnessing the effects produced in this city, by surrounding the homes scattered along its well shaded avenues, with beautifully planted grounds, gave it the more appropriate name of the "Flower city."

When Messrs. Ellwanger & Barry first established their nurseries in Rochester, money was scarce, trade was limited, and there were no manufactories to attract labor and create wealth. But their business soon expanded into a vast industrial establishment, employing several hundred hands. These had to be housed, and provided with all the requirements of life, and the money earned, and paid out for labor, soon circulated among the merchants, and gave new life to business. The enterprise of this establishment, and the industry and economy of its employees, showed a most beneficent result in the numerous comfortable homes that, year after year, were planted around, and encroached upon the grounds of the Mt. Hope nurseries. Most of these were built for the employees by Messrs. Ellwanger & Barry on easy terms of payment that encouraged saving by their workmen, in the prospect of soon possessing homes of their own. Many more costly houses of tasteful architecture have been built by the firm, on streets laid out and improved by themselves, bordering the grounds of their large estate.

For a long time Mr. Ellwanger has been identified with the banking interests of the city, having been successively director in the Union bank, the Flour City bank, and trustee in the Monroe County savings bank, and the Safe Deposit company, since their organisation. He is also a director in the Rochester Gas company, and in the Rochester & Brighton street railroad company. He and his partner, Mr. Barry, own half the stock of this latter company, and it has been pushed forward with great rapidity, till its tracks run to every part of the city, and are constantly extending, as the increase of population in new sections, renders it necessary. The money he has given, without ostentation or publicity, to churches, charitable institutions, schools, etc., of Rochester would amount to many thousands, and would surprise those accustomed to see gifts and bequests paraded before public attention. His many acts of personal kindness, and generosity to friends, are known only to those who have been the recipients of them.

While Mr. Ellwanger has been looked upon as a successful and accomplished horticulturist, and has kept the details of this vast business always well in hand, as also of various other business enterprises that have occupied his attention and helped him in the accumulation of his large fortune, he has found time for extensive reading, study and intercourse with the most intelligent men of the day. Not only is he familiar with the rich literature and varied and interesting history of his own country, Germany, but he is well informed in the political, social and financial history and literature of America, and has kept pace with the scientific discoveries, inventions and improvements of the times. In architecture his taste is carefully correct, and his knowledge of the best methods for building is as good as that of professional architects and builders. He has a fine artistic sense, a critical judgment and practised eye, in ancient and modern art, formed by frequent visits to the most celebrated galleries and studios in Europe; during his travels abroad he has purchased many fine original paintings and pieces of statuary.

As a citizen of Rochester Mr. Ellwanger has constantly exercised a helpful and elevating influence on its material prosperity and business integrity. He is always active and prominent in every public enterprise, giving freely of his time and means, if the object is to promote the general good.

In 1846 Mr. Ellwanger married a daughter of General Micah Brooks, one of the pioneers of Western New York. Four sons were born of this marriage, who received the advantages of education afforded in the best schools and colleges of this country, and of extended study and travel in Europe.

Breadth of culture, variety of knowledge, and experience and contact with the world, especially with refined, cultivated people, and correct, moral principles, have always been, in Mr. Ellwanger's opinion, the surest foundation for usefulness and success in life. These lessons he has always inculcated in the minds of his children, and his rapidly accumulating fortune has been freely used in procuring for them these advantages. The same satisfactory results have followed his ambition for his children that have come from his business enterprises.

The eldest son, George H. Ellwanger, is a gentleman of extensive and varied literary accomplishments, and he was, till recently, the editor of the Rochester Post-Express.

The second son, the late Henry B. Ellwanger, ranked with the first horticulturists of the day in scientific attainments, and was widely known in Europe and America for his interesting and instructive writings upon rose culture.

The third son, William D. Ellwanger, after graduating at Yale college, and the Albany law school, has entered upon the practice of law in this city.

The youngest son, Edward S. Ellwanger, is possessed of literary tastes, and is engaged in the book trade.

In his social and domestic life Mr. Ellwanger is genial and entertaining, and is never happier than when he welcomes his friends to his beautiful home. This is always a scene of the most generous and gracious hospitality. People of cultivation and distinction are constantly received and entertained by him, with a refined and graceful courtesy that gives an added, pleasure to social intercourse.

In the attainment of his ambitions he has added to the wealth, and increased the attractiveness, of the city of his adoption. The avarice of accumulating and hoarding material wealth, he has been quick to see, enriches no one; while a selfish absorption of the property and labor of others, without the just return which leaves every man with capital and means equal to his ability and opportunities, impoverishes both the individual and the community, and reacts on those whose only conception of riches is to possess all themselves.

In how many respects, and how beneficially, his fine taste, his practiced eye and skilled hand have turned the waste places - the highways and byways - into teeming fields and blooming gardens, those have seen, who have stood with him on the elevation south of Rochester and looked at the extensive vineyards he has planted, and fields of grain sweeping southward that he annually cultivates, and hundreds of acres of fruit trees, shrubs, and flowers he has planted in this section.

Those who have known him through the busy, active years, during which he has accomplished so much work, and amassed a princely fortune, have seen how strongly he has impressed his character on the business enterprises of Rochester, and reflected his taste for out-of-door adornment on this thriving and prosperous city. His vigorous, and determined purpose, have made him one of the foremost among our citizens, and won for him the distinction of being universally respected and honored. While active and successful in business, however, he has retained his early love for nature, and his faith in the precept that "much of the purest happiness of life is found in active employment in the garden."

Whatever else he has created, or become, he has always remained the true artist among flowers - a landscape gardener without a superior, his skill in creating an effective picture rivaling that of the best landscape painter. Indeed, his knowledge of the harmony and contrasts of color, of light, and shade, of distance and perspective, and their proper treatment for producing fine effects, in a given space, enables him to paint the lawn with nature's actual colors, and dispose the trees, shrubs, and plants - even the sky itself, with its gleams of light and depths of shadow - into pictures, as pleasing to the eye, and satisfying to the taste, as the most accomplished artist can put on canvas. Downing was a genius in landscape art, and Mr. Ellwanger seems also to have been endowed with this rare gift, fostered and nourished among the hills, and valleys and varied and beautiful scenery of his native land.

Some twenty years since the writer of this sketch had the good fortune to make an extended tour of travel with the subject of it, through the states of Germany. We went along the Nekar and Rhine valleys, to Frankfort, the great commercial center where the Rothschild family originated, and on to the picturesque region of Eisenach and the Wartburg, to Leipzig, and thence to the art city of Dresden. We spent a week at Berlin, the ambitious city extending along the banks of the river Spree, and then went to Potsdam, visiting the numerous palaces and villas of Prussian kings and queens. Everywhere Mr. Ellwanger was an intelligent and instructive companion. The art, history, associations, political and social condition of Germany were subjects on which he was as well informed as if he had not already been twenty years a citizen of the New world. At Munich, then first developing into the great art emporium of Germany, his appreciation and enthusiasm for its new schools of modern art, gave him great pleasure in visiting the royal galleries, and the studios of the best living masters.

From Stuttgart, the capital of Wurtemberg, we went, during the October vintage, to the Remsthal, the early home of Mr. Ellwanger. Here it was easy to realize how the scenes and incidents surrounding his youth, had influenced his whole life and character, in America - how, in his case, "the child" was emphatically "the father of the man." The peaceful spirit of rural life reigns in this beautiful valley. Hills covered with the lavish bounties of nature hem it in, and purple mists, and gray shadows, fall deep into the furrows between them. We climbed up, through the vineyards, meeting the vintagers bearing the luscious fruit to the wine-press. At the summit we walked along the crest of the hills, among a profusion and variety of flowers growing wild, and free, such as only the most careful culture could produce, in a less favored locality. From this elevation we looked across the smiling valleys below, and down upon the scenes that had been the daily contemplation of the child, and the cherished remembrance of the man, in maturer years. The industry and thrift, apparent on every hand, had become both precept and example with him ; and united with taste, ambition and ardent love of nature, had enabled him to repeat these pictures of surpassing beauty, in his work as a landscape artist, and to attain so honorable and prominent a position, in the land of his adoption.

From Semi-Centennial History of the City of Rochester
by William F. Peck (1884)
pages 705 - 708

H. S. GreenleafHON. HALBERT STEVENS GREENLEAF, of Rochester, member of the Forty-eighth Congress of the United States, representing the thirtieth congressional district of New York, was born in Guilford, Vermont, April 12, 1827. The descent of the Greenleaf family of New England "is undoubtedly to be traced," says the compiler of the Greenleaf genealogy, "from the Huguenots, who, when persecuted for their religion, fled from France about the middle of the sixteenth century." The name was originally Fuillevert, anglicised Greenleaf in which form it occurs in England towards the close of the sixteenth century. The common ancestor of the Greenleaf family of America was Edward Greenleaf, a silk dyer by trade, who was born in the parish of Brixham, in the county of Devonshire, England, about the year 1600. He married Sarah Dole, by whom he had several children in England, and with his wife and family came to this country, settling first in Newbury and afterwards in Boston, Mass., where he died in 1671. A number of the family have distinguished themselves in New England by their intellectual attainments, which have been of a high order. One of these, Jeremiah Greenleaf, the father of the subject of this sketch, was the author of what was known as Greenleaf's Grammar; and devoted a large part of his life to study, authorship, and instruction in this special branch of education. He was also the author of Greenleaf's Gazetteer, and Greenleaf's Atlas, both excellent works of their kind, and highly esteemed at the time they appeared. True to his instincts and patriotism as a "Green Mountain boy," Jeremiah Greenleaf took an active part in the war of 1812, enlisting as a private and winning his commission as an officer. He married Miss Elvira E. Stevens, the daughter of Simon Stevens, M. D., of Guilford, Vermont - "a true and noble woman, of no small degree of culture." Thus the subject of this sketch combines in his nature, as in his name, the elements of two characteristic New England families of the old school. His career has been in many respects a most varied and remarkable one. The son of educated parents, it was quite natural that he should receive a good education, which was received in part, of course, at home, and in part at the common schools and academy of his native New England. His boyhood and youth were spent in farm life, but from his nineteenth to his twenty-third year, he taught district and grammar schools in the winter months, and during one season - so as to add as much as possible to his funds - worked in a country brick-yard. At the age of twenty-three, he made a six month's sea voyage in the whaling vessel, Lewis Bruce, serving before the mast as a common sailor. On the 24th of June, 1852, shortly after his return from sea, he married Miss Jeannie F. Brooks, the youngest daughter of John Brooks, M. D., of Bernardston, Mass., and, in the month of September following, removed to Shelburne Falls, Mass., where he obtained employment as a day laborer at the bench in a large cutlery establishment. A few months after engaging in this work, he found a position in the office of a neighboring manufactory, and in a short time became manager of its growing business, and subsequently a member of the firm of Miller & Greenleaf, On the 11th of March, 1856, he was commissioned by the governor of Massachusetts a justice of the peace, and was one of the youngest, if not the youngest, magistrate in the state not a member of the legal profession. In 1857, a military company having been formed in Shelburne Falls, the young men composing it selected Mr. Greenleaf as their captain, and he continued in command of the organisation from the 29h of August in that year, until the 3d of March, 1859, when, owing to pressure of business duties, he resigned his captain's commission. The same year he became a member of the firm of Linus Yale, jr. & Co., in Philadelphia, and went to that city to live, remaining in business there until 1861, when he returned to Shelburne Falls, and organised the Yale & Greenleaf Lock company, of which he became business manager. Making the best disposition he could of his business, he enlisted as a private soldier in the Union army in August, 1862, entering the 42d Massachusetts regiment, to the organising and recruiting of which he devoted both his money and energy. He was commissioned captain of Co. E, September 12th, 1862, and, on the 13th of October, was unanimously elected colonel of the regiment, which was soon afterwards ordered into service under General Banks, in the department of the Gulf During Banks's first Red River expedition Colonel Greenleaf was commandant of the post at Barre's Landing, Louisiana, and for a brief period in command of the second brigade of Grover's division. At the head of his regiment he participated in the battle of Indian Ridge, and performed gallant service at Jackson Cross Roads; and in the grand assault on Port Hudson, June 14th, 1863, and in the subsequent siege operations resulting in the surrender of that important confederate stronghold, he bore a conspicuous part, and distinguished himself by his coolness, judgment, and bravery. The following brief extracts from the pages of the graphic little work entitled The Color Guard; from the pen of Rev. James K. Hosmer, a member of the 52d Massachusetts regiment, attests the gallant service of that corps, and the bravery of its commander, to whom the volume is inscribed, as follows: "To Halbert Stevens Greenleaf, late Colonel of the 52d Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers, a resolute soldier and noble man, this volume is respectfully inscribed by one who has witnessed his courage and experienced his goodness." The author, (now professor of English and German literature, Washington university, St. Louis, Mo.) is describing the operations of the command on those eventful days in June, and thus graphically pictures its share in the assault on Port Hudson : —

"Toward the end of that Saturday (June 13th, 1863) afternoon, the explicit orders came. The assault was to be made the next morning, and our regiment was to have a share in it. Before dark we were ordered into line, and stacked our arms. Each captain made a little speech. 'No talking in the ranks; no flinching. Let every one see that his canteen is full, and that he has hard bread enough for a clay. That is all you will carry beside gun and equipments.' We left the guns in the stack, polished and ready to he caught on the instant, and lay clown under trees. At midnight came the cooks with coffee and warm food. Soon after came the order to move; then slowly with many halts, nearly five hundred strong, we took up our route along the wood paths. At length it was daybreak; and, with every new shade of light in the east, a new degree of energy was imparted to the cannonade. As we stood at the edge of the wood, it was roar on all sides. In a few minutes we were in motion again. We crossed a little bridge over a brook thickly covered with cotton to conceal the tramp of men, and noise of wheels; climbed a steep pitch, and entered a trench or military road cut through a ravine, passing some freshly made rifle-pits and batteries. We were now only screened from the rebel works by a thin hedge. Here the rifle balls began to cut keen and sharp through the air about us; and the cannonade, as the east now began to redden, reached its height - a continual deafening uproar, hurling the air against one in great waves, till it felt almost like a wall of rubber, hounding and rebounding from the body - the great guns of the Richmond, the siege-Parrots, the smaller field batteries; and, through all, the bursting of the shells, within the rebel lines, and the keen, deadly whistle of well-aimed bullets. A few rods clown the military road the column paused. The work of death had begun; for ambulance men were bringing hack the wounded ; and, almost before we had time to think we were in danger, I saw one of our men fall back into the arms of his comrade, shot dead through the chest. The banks of the ravine rose on either side of the road in which we had halted; but just here the trench made a turn; and in front, at the distance of five or six hundred yards, we could plainly see the rebel rampart, red in the morning light as with blood, and shrouded in white vapor along the edge as the sharp-shooters behind kept up an incessant discharge. Between us and the brown earth-heap, which we are to try to gain to-day, the space is not wide; but it is cut up in every direction with ravines and gullies. These were covered, until the parapet was raised, with a heavy growth of timber; but now it has all been cut down, so that in every direction the falling tops of large trees interlace, trunks block up every passage, and brambles are growing over the whole. It is out of the question to advance here in line of battle; it seems almost out of the question to advance in any order; hut the word is given, 'Forward' and on we go. Know that this whole space is swept by a constant patter of balls; it is really a 'leaden rain.' We go crawling and stooping; but now and then before us rises in plain view the line of earthworks, smoky and sulphurous with volleys; while all about us fall the balls, now sending a lot of little splinters from a stump, now knocking the dead wood out of the old tree-trunk that is sheltering me, now driving up a cloud of dust from a little knoll, or cutting off the head of a weed just under the hand as with an invisible knife. I see one of our best captains carried off the field, mortally wounded, shot through both lungs, - straight, bright-eyed, though so sadly hurt, supported by two of his men; and now almost at my side, in the color company, one soldier is struck in the hand, and another in the leg. 'Forward!' is the order. We all stoop; but the colonel does not stoop ; he is as cool as lie was in his tent last night when I saw him drink iced lemonade. He turns now to examine the ground, then faces back again to direct the advance of this or that flank."

Continuing his description of the subsequent siege operations, Professor Hosmer adds : —

"We advanced in the battle as skirmishers, as I have written ; and when the roar and heat were over, and the tide of federal energy and valor had ebbed again from off the field - leaving it wet with red pools and strewn with bloody drift - it was given to our brigade to stay in our steps, to hold the tangled ravines and slopes we had conquered under the daily and nightly volleys of the Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas regiments, who, we hear, hold the breastwork in our front. Now and then we lose a man, killed or wounded, but we believe our loss would have been quadrupled, were it not that our colonel has handled his command so prudently and skillfully."

At the expiration of his term of military service, Col. Greenleaf was offered, and accepted, the command of the government steamer Col. Benedict, on the lower Mississippi. Soon after the close of the war, he took charge of the extensive salt works on Petite Anse Isle, St. Mary's parish, Louisiana. In June, 1867, he removed to Rochester, N.Y., and, the1st of July following, the firm of Sargent & Greenleaf, of which he is the junior member, was organised. The firm of Sargent & Greenleaf manufacture, under patents held by them, magnetic, automatic, chronometer, and other burglar locks; combination safe locks, padlocks, drawer, trunk, house, chest, store, door, and other locks, night-latches, etc., and so successful has the firm been, that to-day their locks of every description have made their way to every part of the civilised world. The factory in which the locks are made consists of a main building three stories in height by 125 feet in length, and an extensive foundry adjoining, and is one of the best organised and most thriving in Rochester. The tools and machinery used by the firm are highly valuable; nearly all having been made for, and expressly adapted to, their use. In the presidential campaign of 1880 Colonel Greenleaf devoted himself with energy to the support of General Hancock, the Democratic candidate, and organised and commanded the "Hancock Brigade" - a political military organisation opposed to the Republican organisation of similar character, knowns as the "Boys in Blue." In the early part of February, 1882, he was elected commander of the First New York veteran brigade, with the rank of brigadier-general, and unanimously reelected to that position in January, 1883. He is likewise president bf the military organisation in Rochester, known as the "Greenleaf Guard," which was named after him, and which is composed of an active corps of sixty-five young men of the highest respectability, and an honorary corps of one hundred of the leading business men of that city. It is a uniformed and well-disciplined command, and is organised as a battalion of two companies. Although he did not seek the honor, in the fall of 1882 the Democratic Congressional convention, for the 3oth district, at Rochester, nominated Col. Greenleaf for Congress by acclamation, and he was elected to the Forty-eighth Congress as a Democrat, receiving 18,042 votes, against 12,038 for John Van Voorhis, Republican, and 1,419 for Gordon, Prohibitionist.

From Semi-Centennial History of the City of Rochester
by William F. Peck (1884)
pages 708 - 713

HON. HIRAM SIBLEY, of the city of Rochester, a man of national reputation as the originator of great enterprises, and as the most extensive farmer and seedsman in this country, was born at North Adams, Berkshire county Mass., February 6th, 1807, and is the second son of Benjamin and Zilpha (Davis) Sibley. Benjamin was the son of Timothy Sibley, of Sutton, Mass., who was the father of fifteen children - twelve sons and three daughters: eight of these, including Benjamin, lived to the aggregate age of 677 years, an average of about seventy-five years and three months. From the most unpromising beginnings, without education, Hiram Sibley has risen to a position of usefulness and affluence. His youth was passed among his native hills. He was a mechanical genius by nature. Banter with a neighboring shoemaker led to his attempt to make a shoe on the spot, and he was at once placed on the shoemaker's bench. At the age of sixteen years he migrated to the Genesee valley, where he was employed in a machine shop, and subsequently in wool carding. Before he was of age he had mastered five different trades. Three of these years were passed in Livingston county. His first occupation on his own account was as a shoemaker at North Adams; then he did business successfully as a machinist and wool carder in Livingston county, N. Y.; after which he established himself at Mendon, fourteen miles south of Rochester, a manufacturing village, now known as Sibleyville, where he had a foundry and machine shop. When in the wool carding business at Sparta and Mount Morris, in Livingston county, he worked in the same shop, located near the line of the two towns, where Millard Fillmore had been employed and learned his trade; beginning just after a farewell ball was given to Mr. Fillmore by his fellow-workmen. Increase of reputation and influence brought Mr. Sibley opportunities for office. He was elected by the Democrats sheriff of Monroe county, in 1843, when he removed to Rochester; but his political career was short, for a more important matter was occupying his mind. From the moment of the first success of Professor Morse with his experiments in telegraphy, Mr. Sibley had been quick to discern the vast promise of the invention; in 1840 he went to Washington and assisted Professor Morse and Ezra Cornell in procuring an appropriation of $40,000 from Congress to build a line from Washington to Baltimore, the first put up in America. This example stimulated other inventors, and in a few years several patents were in use, and various lines had been constructed by different companies. The business was so divided as to be always unprofitable. Mr. Sibley conceived the plan of uniting all the patents and companies in one organisation. After three years of almost unceasing toil he succeeded in buying up the stock of the different corporations, some of it at a price as low as two cents on the dollar, and in consolidating the lines which then extended over portions of thirteen states. The Western Union telegraph company was then organised, with Mr. Sibley as the first president. Under his management for sixteen years, the number of telegraphic offices were increased from 132 to over 4,000, and the value of the property from $220,000 to $48,000,000. In the project of uniting the Atlantic and Pacific by a line to California, he stood nearly alone. At a meeting of the prominent telegraph men of New York a committee was appointed to report upon his proposed plan, whose verdict was that it would be next to impossible to build the line; that, if built, the Indians would destroy it; and that it would not pay, even if built, and not destroyed. His reply was characteristic: that it should be built, if he had to build it alone. He went to Washington, procured the necessary legislation, and was the sole contractor with the government. The Western Union telegraph company afterwards assumed the contract, and built the line, under Mr. Sibley's administration as president, ten years in advance of the railroad. Not satisfied with this success at home, he sought to unite the two hemispheres by way of Alaska and Siberia, under P. McD. Collins's franchise. On visiting Russia with Mr. Collins in the winter of 1864-65, he was cordially received and entertained by the Czar, who approved the plan. A most favorable impression had preceded him. For when the Russian squadron visited New York in 1863 - the year after Russia and Great Britain had declined the overture of the French government for joint mediation in the American conflict - Mr. Sibley and other prominent gentlemen were untiring in efforts to entertain the Russian admiral, Lusoffski, in a becoming manner. Mr. Sibley was among the foremost in the arrangements of the committee of reception. So marked were his personal kindnesses that, when the admiral returned, he mentioned Mr. Sibley by name to the Emperor Alexander, and thus unexpectedly prepared the way for the friendship of that generous monarch. During Mr. Sibley's stay in St. Petersburg he was honored in a manner only accorded to those who enjoy the special favor of royalty. Just before his arrival the Czar had returned from the burial of his son at Nice, and, in accordance with a long honored custom when the head of the empire goes abroad and returns, he held the ceremony of "counting the emperor's jewels;" which means an invitation to those whom his majesty desires to compliment as his friends, without regard to court etiquette or to formalities of official rank. At this grand reception in the palace at Tsarskozela, seventeen miles from St. Petersburg, Mr. Sibley was the second on the list, the French Ambassador being the first, and Prince Gortschacoff; the prime minis ter, the third. This order was observed also in the procession of 250 court carriages with outriders Mr Sibley's carriage being the second in the line On this occasion Prince Gortschacoff, turning to Mr Sibley, said "Sir ! if I remember right in the course of a very pleasant conversation had with you a few days since at the state department, you expressed your surprise at the pomp and circumstance attending on all court ceremony. Now, sir! when you take precedence of the prime minister, I trust you are more reconciled to the usage attendant upon royalty, which were so repugnant to your democratic ideas." Such an honor was greatly appreciated by Mr. Sibley; for it meant the most sincere respect of the "Autocrat of all the Russias" for the people of the United States, and a recognition of the courtesies conferred upon his fleet when in American waters. Mr. Sibley was duly complimented by the members of the royal family and others present, including the ambassadors of the great powers. Mr. Collins, his colleague in the telegraph enterprise, shared in these attentions. Mr. Sibley was recorded in the official blue book of the state department of St. Petersburg, as "the distinguished American," by which title he was generally known. Of this book he has a copy as a souvenir of his Russian experience. His intercourse with the Russian authorities was also facilitated by a very complimentary letter from Secretary Seward to Prince Gortschacoff. The Russian government agreed to build the line from Irkootsk to the mouth of the Amoor river. After 1,500 miles of wire had been put up, the final success of the Atlantic cable caused the abandonment of the line at a loss of $3,000,000. This was a loss in the midst of success, for Mr. Sibley had demonstrated the feasibility of putting a telegraphic girdle round the earth. In railway enterprises the accomplishments of his energy and management have been no less signal than in the establishment of the telegraph. One of these was his connection in the management of the important line of the Southern Michigan & Northern Indiana railway for three years. His principal efforts in this direction have been in the Southern states. After the war, prompted more by the desire of restoring amicable relations than by the prospect of gain, he made large and varied investments at the South, and did much to promote renewed business activity. At Saginaw; Mich., he became a large lumber and salt manufacturer. He bought much property in Michigan, and at one time owned vast tracts in the Lake Superior region, where the most valuable mines have since been worked. While he has been interested in bank and manufacturing stocks, his larger investments have been in land. Much of his pleasure has been in reclaiming waste territory and unproductive investments, which have been abandoned by others as hopeless. The satisfying aim of his ambition incites him to difficult undertakings, that add to the wealth and happiness of the community, from which others have shrunk, or in which others have made shipwreck. Besides his stupendous achievements in telegraph and railway extension, he is unrivaled as a farmer and seed grower, and he has placed the stamp of his genius on these occupation which many have been content to work in the well worn ruts of their predecessor. The seed business was commenced in Rochester thirty years ago Later Mr Sibley undertook to supply seeds of his own importation and raising and others' growth, under a personal knowledge of their vitality and comparative value. He instituted experiments for the improvement of plants, with reference to their seed-bearing qualities, and has built up a business as unique in its character as it is unprecedented in amount. He cultivates the largest farm in the state, occupying Howland Island, of 3,500 acres, in Cayuga County, near the Erie canal and the New York Central railroad which is largely devoted to seed culture, a portion is used for cereals, and 500 head of cattle are kept. On the Fox Ridge farm, through which the New York central railroad passes, where many seeds and bulbs are grown, he has reclaimed a swamp of six hundred acres, making of great value what was worthless in other hands, a kind of operation which affords him much delight, His ownership embraces fourteen other farms in this state, and also large estates in Michigan and Illinois. The seed business is conducted under the firm name of Hiram Sibley & Co., at Rochester and Chicago, where huge structures afford accommodations for the storage and handling of seeds on the most extensive scale. An efficient means for the improvement of the seeds is their cultivation in different climates. In addition to widely separated seed farms in this country, the firm has growing under its directions, several thousands of acres in Canada, England, France, Germany, Holland and Italy. Experimental grounds and greenhouses are attached to the Rochester and Chicago establishments, where a sample of every parcel of seed is tested, and experiments conducted with new varieties. One department of the business is for the sale of horticultural and agricultural implements of all kinds. A new department supplies ornamental grasses, immortelles, and similar plants used by florists for decorating and for funeral emblems. Plants for these purposes are imported from Germany, France, the Cape of Good Hope, and other countries, and dyed and colored by the best artists here. As an illustration of their methods of business, it may be mentioned that the firm has distributed gratuitously, the past year, $5,000 in seeds and prizes for essays on gardening in the Southern states, designed to foster the interests of horticulture in that section. The largest farm owned by Mr. Sibley, and the largest cultivated farm in the world, deserves a special description. This is the "Sullivant farm," as formerly designated, but now known as the "Burr Oaks farm," originally 40,000 acres, situated about one hundred miles south of Chicago, on both sides of the Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific railroad. The property passed into the hands of an assignee, and, on Mr. Sullivant's death in 1879, came into the possession of Mr. Sibley. His first step was to change the whole plan of cultivation. Convinced that so large a territory could not be worked profitably by hired labor, he divided it into small tracts, until there are now many hundreds of such farms; 146 of these are occupied by tenants working on shares, or cash rent, Consisting of about equal proportions of Americans, Germans, Swedes, and Frenchmen. A house and a barn have been erected on each tract, and implements and agricultural machines provided. At the centre, on the railway, is a four-story warehouse, having a storage capacity of 20,000 bushels, used as a depot for the seeds grown on the farm, from which they are shipped as wanted to the establishments in Chicago and Rochester. The largest elevator on the line of the railway has been built at a cost of over $20,000; its capacity is 50,000 bushels, and it has a mill capable of shelling and loading twenty-five cars of corn a day. Near by is a flax-mill, also run by steam, for converting flax straw into stock for bagging and upholstery. Another engine is used for grinding feed. Within four years there has sprung up on the property a village containing one hundred buildings, called Sibley by the people, which is supplied with schools, churches, a newspaper, telegraph office, and the largest hotel on the route between Chicago and St. Louis. A fine station house is to be erected by the railway company. The Sibley Fireproof Warehouses, [George H. Edbrooke, Chicago, Architect] (A, B and C), the finest, as well as the largest warehouses in the city of Chicago, have a frontage on Clark street of 189 feet, by 240 feet deep (or river front of 240 feet). The river front is ten stories high, the Clark street front eight stories, with basement and sub-basement. The whole construction is fireproof. The exterior is all faced with Addison pressed brick, with terra cotta details. The Clark street front is planned for stores of the most modern design, with large plate-glass windows, stained glass transoms, light iron divisions for the doors, and iron girders spanning each store-front. Above the stores, the several floors are used for general offices. The north 60 feet of first floor is elaborately fitted up for the business of Hiram Sibley & Co. Immediately back of the portion used for offices are the great warehouses, ten stories high, each floor estimated in the construction to hold a weight of five hundred pounds per foot. In estimating such a weight as before mentioned for the full ten stories, few would imagine the great pressure the footings or foundations would have to sustain. On the river front piles are driven. The other piers or walls come on the natural earth. In looking at the foundation plan the footings of piers or walls seem to nearly cover the whole area. Mr. Edbrooke carefully estimated every pound as near as possible, and proportioned the base or bearing accordingly, as well as the supports above, columns, girders, etc., to the roof. The river front is 240 feet long by ten stories high. The design of the river front is somewhat plainer in style than the Clark street front, but it has a grandeur and solid repose about it that is not surpassed by any commercial building in the country. The long, broad pilasters starting from the basement story and terminating in arches at the top, seem to increase the apparent height. The architect utilised this feature and made the principal lines in the design perpendicular, which is highly satisfactory and far more effective than to have used horizontal string-courses, to diminish the height. The openings generally are arched. The whole exterior is of pressed brick and terra cotta. This warehouse was constructed to accommodate the western seed business of Hiram Sibley & Co., and for bonded and general warehouse purposes, and is an enduring monument to Hiram Sibley, and a giant among the many large buildings of Chicago, as well as a magnificent architectural production. The cost of this building was $500,000. Mr. Sibley is the president and the largest stockholder of the Bank of Monroe, at Rochester, and is connected with various institutions. He has not acquired wealth simply to hoard it. The Sibley college of mechanic arts, of Cornell university, at Ithaca, which he founded, and endowed at a cost of $100,000 - which sum he has largely increased and is now extending and enlarging the present buildings - has afforded a practical education to many hundreds of students; 443 have reported their present residence and occupation - they reflect high credit upon Sibley college and demonstrate the practical usefulness of this institution. Sibley hall, costing more than $100,000, is his contribution for a public library, and for the use of the university of Rochester for its library and cabinets; it is a magnificent fireproof structure of brown stone trimmed with white, and enriched with appropriate statuary. Mrs. Sibley has also made large donations to the hospitals and other charitable institutions in Rochester and elsewhere. She erected, at a cost of $25,000, St. John's Episcopal church, in North Adams, Mass., her native village. Mr. Sibley has one son and one daughter living: Hiram W. Sibley, who married the only child of Fletcher Harper, jr., and resides in New York, and Emily (Sibley) Averell, who resides in Rochester. He has lost two children: Louise (Sibley) Atkinson and Giles B. Sibley. A quotation from Mr. Sibley's address to the students of Sibley college, during a recent visit to Ithaca, is illustrative of his practical thought and expression, and a fitting close to this brief sketch of his practical life: "There are two most valuable possessions which no search warrant can get at, which no execution can take away, and which no reverse of fortune can destroy they are what a man puts into his head - knowledge: and into his hands - skill."

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 213


George PottsGeorge C. Potts, general northern sales agent for the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron company, was born at Pottsville, Pennsylvania, in August, 1834, and is a son of George H. Potts, who began mining coal in that place in 1832, and for many years did the largest business as a miner and shipper of coal from Schuylkill county. The latter moved to New York in 1854 as one of the firm of Lewis Audenried & Company, coal merchants. He was also president for ten years of the National Park bank, and died in 1887. He left three sons, of whom the subject of this sketch is the eldest. Mr. Potts lost his wife twenty-five years ago, but has two sons and two daughters. He came to Rochester in 1893, and is a member of the Rochester club, the Rochester Whist club and the Genesee Valley club. His business address is 306 Wilder building.

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 213


Henry MackieHenry S. Mackie was educated in the public schools of this city, and is a graduate of the Free Academy and of the University of Rochester. In early years he was prepared for a business career by education and successive trips to Europe. In 1840 his father, William S. Mackie, established in this city a music house which soon became very prosperous. In after years the son became associated with his father in conducting the enterprise, the firm's name being first Wm. S. Mackie & Son and later on Henry S. Mackie & Company. In March, 1890, the business had grown to such proportions that the house was duly incorporated under the laws of the State, with a capital stock, fully paid up, of $100,000, and the present style adopted, the officers of the company being: H. S. Mackie, president and treasurer; Samuel Levis, vice-president; John J. HaIler, secretary. Mr. Mackie, the head of this extensive enterprise, is one of Rochester's most respected citizens. Both in commercial and in social circles he is highly regarded. He is an enthusiastic devotee to art; is an extensive real estate owner; president and director of several land and loan associations; a stockholder in the Rochester Trust and Safe Deposit company, Genesee Fruit company, Electric Light company and other home and foreign companies; he is also a highly valued member of the Chamber of Commerce and on a number of its important committees. He is past eminent commander of Cyrene Commandery Knights Templar; a Scottish Rite Mason, thirty-second degree; commodore of the Rochester Yacht club and generally active and interested in the development and prosperity of Rochester. Mr. Mackie married the daughter of the late Colonel William S. Thompson and has a family of three sons and one daughter.

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 214


George Richards, secretary and treasurer of the Proctor-Raymond Electric company, was born at New Bedford, Massachusetts, March 26, 1860. His father was a native of Massachusetts and his mother of Rhode Island, and his early training and education were on the lines of New England customs and ideas. After graduating from the New Bedford high-school at the age of eighteen, he entered the office of the city engineer of that city, and for the next six years followed the profession of civil engineering, part of the time as city engineer of New Bedford, and for two years on the construction of the Atlantic and Pacific railroad through New Mexico and Arizona. In 1887 he came to Rochester and was associated with W. W. Osgoodby, official stenographer of the Supreme court. He also held the position of stenographer for George E. Merchant, general manager of the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburg Railroad company, until Mr. Merchant retired from that office. He was also with the Rochester Savings and Loan association for about three years, as cashier and bookkeeper. He was married in 1888 to Miss Sarah L. Jordan, only daughter of the late John A. Jordan of this city, and resides with his wife at 20 Rutger street. In 1892, in company with several other gentlemen of Rochester and Buffalo, he became one of the incorporators of the Proctor-Raymond Electric company of this city, and was chosen its secretary and treasurer. The company is engaged in the manufacture of electric goods used in house and hotel fitting, such as bells, annunciators, push-buttons, buzzers, switches, etc., working under its own patents, and is producing articles of a superior quality. Although commencing business at a time when the prevailing depression in commercial circles was just beginning to he felt, and for that reason having had many unexpected difficulties to overcome, the reception the company's product has met with from the trade and the large increase in its output within the last few months justify the expectations of a rapidly increasing and profitable business.

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 214


Louis LangieLouis C. Langie, one of Rochester's most prominent merchants, is the son of Anthony and Julia Langie, and was born in this city October 25, 1853. His father, who still at the age of eighty years is a resident of this city, was the contractor who laid the first rail on the first railroad that entered Rochester from the east, the Auburn and Rochester. He was also a contractor on the Genesee Valley railroad, now the branch of the Erie to this city. Mr. Langie was educated in the public schools and at Eastman's business college. On leaving college he was engaged with the Anthracite Coal association for two years, after which, in 1873, he went into the coal business on his own account and has been so successful that a central office, at East Main street and East avenue, and two yards, are required to carry on his trade. His yard for railroad shipping is at the junction of North street and North avenue, and that for canal business is at the junction of South Clinton and Alexander streets. Mr. Langie has also been largely interested in loan associations ever since they were established in this city. He is a Democrat, but has never been a candidate for office. Mr. Langie was married in 1877 to Miss Josephine Hebing and has four children. The family residence is at 674 East Main street.


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