Biographies of Monroe County People
Page 25


From Semi-Centennial History of the City of Rochester
by William F. Peck (1884)
pages 713 - 715

AMON BRONSON. A truthful representation of a worthy life is a legacy to humanity. As such we present an outline of the business and official character of Amon Bronson, - a resident of Rochester for forty-four years, identified with all its interests, and a prominent, successful business man. He was born in the town of Scipio, in Onondaga, now Cayuga county, on the 23d of March, 1807. Little indebted to schools for education, his application to study was none the less efficient and advantageous. His authors were few and well chosen; their teachings were understood, assimilated, and utilised. In his library history and science predominate, and fiction has no place.

Thrown upon his own resources at an early age. he removed to Avon, Livingston county, where he acquired and practised the trade of a carpenter, whereby he learned of an open field in the lumber trade, in which he engaged with ardor as his pursuit for life. In the year 1832 he came to Rochester, purchased the lumber yard on Exchange street, and gave his mind, with untiring energy and unwearied patience, to carve for himself a pathway to unexceptional, yet undoubted success. The first to establish the lumber business in the city of Rochester, he sustained for a period of forty-four years a leading position among those engaged in the same branch of trade, and was frequently approached for advice, assistance, and counsel, which uniformly reflected credit upon himself and his associates.

His life was characterised by untiring energy, strict integrity, and honorable dealing. Enterprising, thorough, and reliable, his trade became extensive and lucrative. Exact, and yet generous, his many employees saw in him a man of strong mental power, superior, genial, and considerate, regardful of all in interest, and actuated by innate sympathy for the unfortunate and esteem forthe high-minded.

In all dealing he was never known to oppress a debtor. To those without means or credit he supplied both, with a knowledge of men rarely found deceptive. Himself just, upright and honorable, he influenced others to like action - emulative of his virtues, dreading his reproachful look. His honesty shone conspicuous, unshadowed by the slightest cloud of distrust. His fidelity to right was equaled only by his ability to perceive it. None questioned his word, whether given during the routine of business transaction or expressed in the ordinary relations of society; it was as good as his bond.

Long and assiduously devoted to one pursuit, skill, caution and method combined to safety, harmonious action and eminent success. Familiarised with the minutest detail of his concerns, punctual to the moment in meeting an agreement, lenient to the unfortunate, he was accorded genuine respect; the entire community gave him their confidence, and his assured progress was observed without envy. He labored from a love of activity, and not alone for acquisition of wealth. He had in view no ultimate elegant leisure. With unselfish motive he plied his vocation, and gave of well-won means to the benefit of the public and the needy. A mind less active would have sought recreation, ease, and rest where he centered all thought and time on business. Confident of self, impatient of dictation or obligation, he sought no partnership, but conducted his affairs with a certainty and regularity not the less assured from the absence of noise and bustle.

Amon Bronson was more than a business man.. All enterprises having for their object the advancement of the people, the city, and the welfare of the country obtained his hearty commendation and support. He was to an eminent degree a public-spirited and benevolent man. His benefactions are mainly known to their recipients. Of a disposition which shrank from notoriety, he was unostentatious in the alleviation of distress, and generous of his gifts. Many are the poor who, but for his substantial aid, would have lacked their now comfortable homes. It has been said of him, "The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon him, for he caused the widows heart to sing for joy; he delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him." Kind and sympathetic, his heart responded to appeals for charitable and benevolent objects, and the philanthropic institutions of the city found in him a sincere and liberal friend. He was deeply interested in the City hospital, to which he contributed largely, and in the Industrial school and other laudable institutions.

In person Mr. Bronson was above the ordinary height. His deep, dark eyes twinkled with merriment, anticipating and enjoying a witticism, or spoke a volume of reproof to misstatement or maladministration. His habits were temperate and abstemious. Socially, he was reticent, yet genial and courteous, winning and retaining the regard of those with whom he came in contact. His gait was an index of the man - never hurried, but uniform. To and from office and house he traveled day after day for years, with a regularity marked and proverbial.

A believer in the elevating tendency of religious influences, he aided in the upbuilding of the churches which adorn the city. For many years he was an attendant at St. Lukes church, and was during his entire life one of the most thoroughly practical Christians to be found in any community.

Capable and efficient in the management of his own affairs, he was called to engage in various offices of trust. For years he was a trustee of the Monroe County Savings Bank, and was for a time a director in the City bank. In the former institution he had been a prominent member from its first organisation, and the board of trustees, at a meeting held July 29th, 1876, entered upon their record the following: "We hereby record our appreciation of his unquestioned integrity of character, and of the benevolence and generosity of his disposition, so constantly manifested, not only in his relations to this board, but in all his social and public relations in this community where he has lived so long."

Political advancement Mr. Bronson never sought, and many solicitations to accept public preferment were courteously yet firmly declined. He was an alderman for one term, and was elected supervisor from the third ward from 1859 continuously to 1867. At elections he received the cordial support of both political parties, and their unanimous action was a high personal tribute to his worth.

In the board of supervisors he served as chairman on most of the important committees, and performed the duties of the position ably and acceptably. To older citizens his signal services during his term of office are well known. In unearthing fraud his sagacity and business ability were of great service. By a searching investigation into the accounts of a defaulting treasurer, deficits were discovered and losses exposed.

During the civil war he was on the committee of bounties, and frequently advanced large sums from his own purse for the use of the county. He was known as a war Democrat, and, without stint, threw his influence in behalf of a government imperiled by rebellion. A consistent Democrat, he was never a bitter partisan, and when, in 1865, an unsought nomination for senator had been accepted through the urgent request of many prominent citizens, it was a proof of popularity, and confidence of capacity and worth, that he ran largely ahead of his ticket in a senatorial district hopelessly Republican.

He was married in 1840 to Miss Ann Emerson, daughter of Thomas Emerson, and in 1848 built the residence on Plymouth avenue, where he resided till the close of life. In domestic relations the testimony is uniform and emphatic as regards consideration, kindness and indulgence. When in the full enjoyment of physical and intellectual vigor he was stricken with paralysis, on November 13th, 1869, and incapacitated for other than general supervision of business affairs. A second shock in July, 1876, was final, and under its influence he gradually passed away, retaining his mind to the last. His funeral was attended by many friends, who followed his remains to Mount Hope Cemetery. The Rochester board of lumber dealers closed their places of business and attended the funeral in a body, and the employees of Mr. Bronson formed part of the funeral train.

Resolutions of respect were passed by the Rochester board of lumber dealers, by the employees of the firm, by the board of trustees of the Monroe county savings bank, and by the board of supervisors at their regular meeting on October 11th, 1876. The following resolution, introduced by Supervisor Pond, was put to motion and adopted unanimously, by a rising vote: "Desiring to recognise in a suitable and appropriate manner the great loss which the county of Monroe has sustained in the death of Amon Bronson, who died July 28th, 1876, we hereby record our high regard and reverence of his character and ability as a citizen and public officer. His honesty of purpose, his strength of mind, his breadth of thought, together with his noble, generous heart, will ever be a bright, conspicuous example to this community and in this board, where he so long lived and labored, giving so liberally of his time and best effort for the good and interest of his fellow-citizens."

From Semi-Centennial History of the City of Rochester
by William F. Peck (1884)
pages 715 - 716

Dr. E. M. MOORE is descended from ancestors who came to this country in the middle of the seventeenth century. He was a son of Lindley Murray Moore and Abigail L. Moore, née Mott. His father was a native of Nova Scotia, of English origin, and a teacher by profession. {L. M.s father removed form New York city, at the close of the Revolutionary War, to Nova Scotia. His ancestors came from England between 1625 and '30, and had lived in New York or New Jersey up to the time of L. M.s father removing to Nova Scotia. E. M. Moore was born in Rahway, N. J., July 15th, 1814.} His mother was a native of New York, of French-Huguenot extraction. He received a classical education at his fathers school and afterward attended the Rensselaer Polytechnic institute at Troy, N. Y., while it was purely a scientific institution, under the prosperous régime of Prof. Amos Eaton. He commenced the study of medicine in Rochester in 1835 and attended his first course of medical lectures in the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York city. The remainder of his student life was spent in the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia, where he graduated in 1838, having been, during the last year of his course, resident physician of Blockley hospital, then, as now, a celebrated school for clinical knowledge. He afterwards held the same position for nearly two years, in the Insane asylum at Frankfort, Philadelphia county, and then removed to Rochester where he has since lived.

Dr. Moore was elected professor of surgery in the Medical college at Woodstock, Vt., in the spring of 1843, since which time he has taught surgery continuously in that and other institutions. For the last twenty-five years he has occupied the position of professor of surgery in the Buffalo Medical college.

Dr. Moore is a permanent member of the American Medical association and in 1874 he was president of the Medical society of the state of New York. He is also a member of the board of trustees of the University of Rochester, which institution has conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. Dr. Moores contributions to literature have been mainly on medical and surgical subjects and consist of essays and papers published in medical journals and in the transactions of the State Medical society and the American Medical association.

From Semi-Centennial History of the City of Rochester
by William F. Peck (1884)
pages 716 - 718

Cornelius ParsonsHon. CORNELIUS R. PARSONS, mayor of Rochester, was born in the town of York, Livingston county, N. .Y., on the 22d of May, 1842. His father, Hon. Thomas Parsons, was a native of Berkshire, England, where, after an elementary education, he commenced, in boyhood, earning his livelihood in shepherd life. Coming to this country in 1832, when eighteen years old, in advance of his parents, he was drawn to the rich valley of the Genesee, and worked as a farm hand in Wheatland, Monroe county, for four years, at the wages of seven dollars a month "and found." This labor was rendered with fidelity, a distinguishing trait of his character. In 1836 he began a series of efforts at Rochester, which resulted in gradually yielding him the means for larger operations. Availing himself of the facilities on both sides of Lake Ontario, he embarked in the lumber trade, in which he became one of the most extensive merchants and exporters, procuring supplies, especially of oak and other heavy timber, for ship building, from land purchased from time to time, principally in Canada. His sterling character and energy of purpose introduced him into public life. In 1851 he was elected, by the Democratic party, alderman for the sixth ward of the city of Rochester, and, in 1853, alderman for the tenth ward, and again in 1857. He served as an Assemblyman in 1858, and was the originator of the "pro rata railroad freight bill," designed to compel the railroad companies to carry freight for local shippers as low in proportion to distance as the rates charged to citizens of other states; this caused much opposition among railway officials, but the measure was zealously advocated by Mr. Parsons, and the bill was engrossed for a third reading, and only failed for want of time. Under the agitation of the grievance thus begun and continued by others in after years, these discriminations were essentially modified. Disagreeing with his party on the national questions, he sustained the administration of President Lincoln and in 1865 was elected by the Republicans to the state Senate by a decided majority. As a member of the canal committee he carefully fostered the waterways of the state, and his mercantile experience rendered his opinions of value on all commercial questions. He was a member of the committees on engrossed bills and on privileges and elections. His legislative services were ably and faithfully performed and cemented the ties which bound him to his political friends. Without his solicitation he was appointed United States collector for the port of Geneseo, and, in 1868 and 1869, filled the requirements of the office acceptably. After an honorable and Christian career he died in 1873, leaving, as his survivors, his wife, who was a daughter of Richard Gorsline, and five children - Cornelius R., Clifford W., Frank G., Julia L., and Charles B. Parsons. An elder son, James W. Parsons, who followed the paternal pursuit as a lumber dealer, and was, for a number of years, a member of the common council of Buffalo, died about a month before his father, at Erie, Penn. When our subject, Cornelius R. Parsons, was three years old, the residence of his parents was changed to Rochester, where he was trained in the excellent public schools of the city, enjoying the instructions of experienced teachers, especially John R. Vosburg, an accomplished scholar who, in 1868, established Vosburgs academy in East Main street, for the purpose of preparing pupils for mercantile pursuits. At the time of reaching his majority his fathers lumber business had grown to vast dimensions. Thomas Parsons had extended the sphere of his activity beyond the localities of Western New York and, from the boundless forests of Canada, was not only supplying ship timber to the American markets, but exporting large quantities to Great Britain. He had a mill near the upper falls at Rochester, and other manufacturing establishments; so that the details of purchase, manufacture, sale and export required unceasing attention at widely separated points. The son grew into the business of his father, and, while the latter passed his time chiefly in the dominion, Cornelius R. Parsons conducted operations at Rochester. He was admirably adapted by an enterprising and stirring nature for this pursuit, and was speedily recognised by the citizens as a business man of superior abilities. Uniting with these qualities courtesy and public spirit, he was an available candidate for a position at the council board of the city, and in 1867, at the early age of twenty-five years, was elected alderman of the fourteenth ward. He was reelected in 1868, and was regarded by his associates of both parties as a good choice for the presidency of the board; he sustained their estimate by rulings unsurpassed in promptness and accuracy. A record creditable and satisfactory caused his selection again as alderman and presiding officer in 1870, and, on the expiration of his term, his colleagues expressed their appreciation of his services by a valuable testimonial. His anxiety for the city's advancement and welfare was manifested in private walks as well as in official place, and he was ever ready to devote time to such objects without remuneration. Having removed to the seventh ward, he was chosen in 1874 to represent that constituency in the board of aldermen. This long experience and his popularity with the masses led to his elevation to the mayoralty in 1876. During his official connection with the municipal government some of the most important improvements had been conducted under his immediate supervision. Rochester was now a large city. In about sixty years the unsettled forest had been covered by thirteen thousand residences, the homes of nearly eighty thousand persons. The five wards, originally dividing the city when it was incorporated in 1834, had expanded to sixteen of much larger average area and population. There were sixty churches, and twenty-three public schools, having more than eleven thousand registered pupils. The list of real and personal estate, at a low assessment, exceeded $60,000,000, on which a tax of $1,000,000 was collected. The small frame building in which the local government was originally carried on had long before given place to a large and beautiful court-house and city hall, with granite front, erected at a cost of $80,000. The chief magistracy of such a city was a coveted prize to many aspirants. The leaders of the two parties sought the strongest candidates. The canvass was spirited and not. without detraction on both sides, but the unblemished public record of Mr. Parsons and the purity of his life could not be gainsaid, and he was elected by a majority of more than twenty-three hundred over his opponent of the Democratic party, a man of ability, character and influence. The message of the new mayor supported his reputation, and among his recommendations were many which have been adopted and proved of public advantage. In exercising the appointing power he selected good men, without reference to party connection, and as police commissioner he acted with vigor and discretion in the government of the swelling masses. He has been since four times reelected to the office of mayor. Thus, during a period of sonic fifteen years, he has been closely linked with the growth and prosperity of a city - the fifth in rank in the state - substantial in its wealth, beautiful in its public and private structures, and attractive in its parks; its streets lined with trees, and the gardens and ornamental grounds of the citizens. No city is better governed or enjoys a higher promise of the future.

In his official position as head of the municipal government of the city, Mr. Parsons was one of the leading spirits in the work of preparation for the celebration of the semi-centennial of Rochester on the 9th and 10th of June, 1884. In a brief and pertinent address he opened the literary exercises on the 9th. He delivered the address of welcome to Governor Cleveland and his staff and other guests, at the reception on the second day of the celebration, and also proposed the various toasts at the banquet at Powers Hotel; in the performance of these duties he secured the unqualified approval of his fellow-citizens. Much of the success of this important event may be credited to Mayor Parsons, and without reflection upon any other person.

Mr. Parsons is a ready, interesting, and able public speaker, while his official communications are, likewise models of terse and effective English. With substantial and well acknowledged merit as a worthy, progressive citizen and public official, and combining a frank and cordial nature with courteous, unassuming, yet dignified manner, he has attained exceptional popularity in social as well as public life, and can hardly fail to develop increasing honor and usefulness in the coming years of his career. His religious course, as a member of St. Peters Presbyterian church, has been consistent. He has been a trustee of the society, which numbers over three hundred and fifty members. Mr. Parsons is a member of the Masonic order, as well as that of the Odd Fellows. He was married in 1864 to Frances, daughter of Dr. J. F. Whitbeck, a skillful and experienced physician of Rochester, now deceased. His children are Mabel W. and Ethel M. Parsons; a promising little son, Warner Parsons, died in the spring of 1879.

From Semi-Centennial History of the City of Rochester
by William F. Peck (1884)
pages 718 - 723

George RainesGEORGE RAINES is the fourth son of Rev. John Raines and Mary Remington, and was born November 10th, 1846, at Pultneyville, Wayne county, N. Y. His father is of English descent and comes of the family which still has many representatives at Ryton, Yorkshire, where the old family homestead has been entailed for many generations to the eldest son, and still remains in their possession, known as Ryton Grange. The grandparent, John Raines, in 1816-18, gathered together the remnant of a fortune invested in shipping interests, well nigh destroyed by the French wars ensuing upon the escape of Napoleon from Elba, and traveled through Pennsylvania and Western New York to select a location for business investment. After a few years residence in Philadelphia, about 1830 a farm was purchased near Canandaigua. Near by and overlooking Centerfield was the home of Colonel Thaddeus Remington, the maternal grandparent, who had given his own name to the hill upon which he bad built his log-house in 1798. Colonel Remington was the eldest of three brothers who came from Vermont, where the traditions of the family run back until they are lost to record. By his solicitations two younger brothers, who had come from Vermont to Connecticut, were induced to come west to make a settlement, and one of them selected Henrietta and the other Mumford, in Monroe county. From these brothers are descended the Remingtons whose branches are numerous in the localities named. John Raines, the father of George, after his marriage to Mary Remington, entered the Methodist ministry as a member of the East Genesee conference, and received an appointment to the station of Pultneyville, after which he was a stationed pastor for periods of two or three years, according to the custom of the denomination, at Dansville, Lima, Victor, Geneva, Lyons, Newark, St. Johns church in Rochester, Hedding church in Elmira, Corning, and Alexander street church in Rochester.

George Raines, in 1854-56, was a pupil in number 14 and number 10 of the district schools of Rochester, and afterwards prepared for admission to college in the Free academy at Elmira in 1861-62. In the early fall of 1862, at the age of fifteen years, he entered college at Lima, N. Y., but after a few weeks, on account of a change of the residence of his father to the city of Rochester, he entered the University of Rochester and remained a member of the class of 1866 until he graduated with the class. It was the custom of the college to award prizes to be competed for by the members of classes who chose to labor in that direction, and a fair proportion of such honors fell to him. First prizes in Latin and Greek studies, for declamation and for the senior essay were awarded to him, but in no case was the competition in the class general, though the rivalry of the contestants was very sharp and the labor of preparation considerable. Leaving college with a fair standing in scholarship he entered the office of J. & Q. Van Voorhis, in Rochester, as a law student, in the summer of 1866, where he remained until admitted to the bar in December, 1867, at the age of twenty-one years. During the fall of 1866 a bitter political contest for Congress, in which Lewis Selye and Hon. Roswell Hart were opposing candidates, was decided by the election of Mr. Selye. Through the natural sympathy of a young man with a cause in which his preceptors were enlisted, he became a supporter of Mr. Selye and made his first political speeches. Mr. Selye conceived a strong liking for his young friend, and in the spring of 1867, upon the request of Mr. Van Voorhis, procured for him a government position, the salary of which was of great service in enabling him to continue his law studies, while, at the same time, he served full hours in his office duties. He had previously taught in the Real school of Rochester for about eight months under the respected Dr. Dulon as principal. Mr. Selye aided him otherwise by furnishing employment at his own charge, so that it may justly be said that in the day when young Raines needed a staunch friend as much as at any time in his life, Lewis Selye stood at his back to encourage and assist him as few men would have done. Upon admission to the bar he entered the law office of H. C. Ives as a clerk, at the salary of five dollars a week. After a year of service as clerk, Mr. Ives offered him a partnership, which was accepted and continued down to, the fall of 1871, when Mr. Ives was compelled to cease the active work of his profession by ill-health, at the same time that Mr. Rairies was elected as the Republican candidate to the office of district attorney of Monroe county. He had tried very few cases in court at that time, and was of the age of twenty-four years. His only trials of criminal cases had been the defense of a negro upon a charge of abduction, which had resulted first, in a disagreement of a jury, and next, in a verdict of guilty. He had tried several civil causes at the circuit under the supervision. of Mr. Ives, who intrusted him with the summing up of all cases. When the youth and inexperience of Mr. Raines were urged against him in the canvass, Gen. J. H. Martindale came to his rescue with most positive assurances of his confidence in the successful administration of the office, and to this powerful endorsement Mr. Raines has never failed to attribute much of the confidence shown by the voters in electing him. At the same election a brother, Hon. Thomas Raines, of Rochester, was elected state treasurer, and in 1873 was re-elected to the same office. Another brother, Hon. John Raines, has been twice a member of the legislature from Ontario county.

The duties of the office of district attorney were laborious and required close application. The session of courts continued daily for weeks, and frequently the nights were consumed in the preparation of bills of indictment, or of cases for trial, on the ensuing day. No labor was spared to bring causes to a successful issue when justice required it, and no public clamor influenced the discharge of duty. Among the notable cases ofthe first term of office of Mr. Raines was the prosecution of Stephen Coleman for receiving stolen goods with knowledge that they were stolen. Coleman was charged with enlisting boys in stealing pig-iron at foundries, and many of the boys were used as witnesses; but the convincing testimony on the various trials, which lasted each about two weeks, was that of merchants who had lost the iron or bought it of him, and of the detectives who, in spite of orders from the chief of police to cease theft inquiries, had pursued the investigation to the end of conviction. J. C. Cochrane, J. M. Davy and other counsel defended Coleman with ability and secured a reversal of one conviction in the court of Appeals, by which court a second conviction was affirmed and Coleman served his sentence. An undercurrent of religious prejudice ran through the trials as Coleman drew upon all the friends with whom, as an influential member of a Protestant church, he had been identified to save him, while the prosecutors were Catholics. It is to be said, however, that the general sentiment of the community, which had been for and against Coleman at different times, finally remained against him and was content with his conviction and sentence. The other most notable act of the district attorney in his first term of office was the destruction of a corrupt ring in control of the police department of the city. Being assured by Mr. J. A. Hoekstra, local editor of the Democrat & Chronicle, of unflinching support in his columns, Mr. Raines wrote out and presented to the grand jury findings and resolutions based upon evidence given before them of interference with the course of justice by the chief of police. The grand jury adopted the findings and resolutions, and Mr. Hoekstra in his columns, with the aid of Mr. Raines as to facts, precipitated the downfall of the chief of police by a general arraignment of his conduct as such officer, and a demand for his removal. The chief of police, upon the second day, tendered a resignation, written for him by Mr. Raines, and the ring which had seemed so powerful as to defy public opinion, disappeared from prominence in the police department.

In the fall of 1874 Mr. Raines was reelected to the office of district attorney as the candidate of the Democratic party. His second term of office was filled with difficult and important trials. The Clark, Ghaul, Stillman and Fairbanks murder trials, in which Howe & Hummel, of New York, L. H. Hovey, of Rochester, and Gen. J. H. Martindale conducted the defenses as chief counsel, required great labor and energy to bring about convictions. The Stillman trial occupied about two weeks, and a most elaborate defense by Gen. Martindale on the ground of insanity was urged with all the ingenuity and power of this most eloquent advocate at the Monroe county bar. Justice Dwight became thoroughly convinced that the mental capacity of the prisoner was not such, though not within the legal definition of insanity, as to warrant the infliction of the death penalty, and after the verdict of murder in the first degree, joined with Gen. Martindale in procuring a commutation of the penalty to imprisonment for life. The Clark trial will long be cited as a remarkable case in Monroe county, as strenuous efforts were made by able counsel, by applications and arguments before seven justices of the Supreme court in remote parts of the state, and before the Albany general term to secure a review of the verdict of the jury. But the sentence was executed upon Clark after the expiration of a respite granted by Gov. Tilden for the purposes of such applications. At the end of his second term as district attorney Mr. Raines was nominated by the unanimous vote of the Democratic convention as a candidate for Senator for the district, then composed of Monroe county, and was elected over a gentleman who had served one term as Senator with ability and was renominated by the Republican party. Mr. Raines had become identified with the special supporters of Gov. Tilden by his political associations, and in this canvass received the bitter opposition of the enemies of Gov. Tilden in the Democratic party led by ex-assemblyman George D. Lord. The newspaper organ of the party had little to say in his behalf; and his canvass was further embarrassed by the sudden development of strength by a third party, called the Labor Reform party, which drew from both the Republican and Democratic parties, chiefly from the latter however, 3,818 votes for its candidate for Senator. In his office of Senator Mr. Raines became at once a leader of the supporters of the reform policy of Gov. Robinson in the Senate, and was identified with every effort to forward legislation in that interest. He continued his professional work, and in this period of his life was employed in numerous important trials in Western New York. For three weeks the involved issues of the Pontius-Hoster trials in Seneca county, engaged the efforts of Gen. Martindale on the one side and of Mr. Raines on the other, with associate local counsel. Forgery, arsenical poisoning, and assault with intent to kill were mingled in the case, so that either side accused the other of each offense and each offense had to be tried to get to the final verdict, which rested in favor of the prosecution, for which Mr. Raines was employed. It is the most celebrated case of the criminal courts of Seneca county. The Boyce-Hamm, Hyland and Hickey murder trials in Monroe county, and the Williams murder trial in Wayne county were exacting in their demand of great labor, and in each verdicts were rendered in favor of the theories supported by Mr. Raines.

In the fall of 1881 Mr. Raines was again presented by the Democratic party by unanimous nomination for the office of Senator. Three years before a Republican legislature had added Orleans county to the senatorial district, with the purpose, by putting its 1,200 Republican majority with the 1,500 Republican majority of Monroe county, which, in ordinary political years, might be expected to render the election of a Democratic Senator impossible. By this means the district was made almost the largest in the state, and the contest appeared almost hopeless for any Democrat as against a powerful and skillful opponent. Hon. E. L. Pitts, who had been Senator the previous term, and was the ablest debater and conceded leader of his party in the Senate, was renominated by the Republican party. Mr. Raines was met with the argument that his law business consisted largely of litigations against corporations, especially the New York Central & Hudson River railroad company, and his defeat must he secured in their interest. The powerful influence of that corporation and of the shippers who enjoyed its favors by special rates alone prevented his election. He was favored by Republican voters to an extent that placed him about three thousand ahead of his associates upon his party ticket in Monroe county, and upwards of two hundred more in Orleans county, but Mr. Pitts, by keeping within about two hundred of his party ticket in his own county of. Orleans had about nine hundred majority in Orleans county to offset the seven hundred majority of Mr. Raines in Monroe county. The Democratic party suffered a general defeat in the state by a tidal wave vote, which was apparent in this district, as the Republican party received for its state ticket a majority of upwards of one thousand more than was usual in the district in any but presidential elections. Since the canvass for Senator in 1881 Mr. Raines has been strictly attentive to a large and lucrative law practice, in which he is associated with his brothers, under the firm name of Raines Bros. He has occasionally, however, made public addresses for societies and on public holidays. He was selected as semi-centennial orator at the celebration of that event in the history of the city of Rochester, June 9th, 1884, and delivered the oration. But a mass of important litigations of a civil and criminal nature engage the attention of his firm to the exclusion of other labors. Perhaps the most satisfactory to Mr. Raines of a long list of trials in its, incidents and results was the celebrated case at the city of Watertown, known as the Higham homicide. Higham was tried in December, 1883, for the murder of Fred. W. Eames, the inventor of the Eames vacuum brake. At the commission of the offense Higham could hardly name a friend in that city. He was a skilled mechanic, and Eames was rich and powerful. By what was supposed to be Earmes inventive genius, the people were led to believe a great manufacturing enterprise was being built up in Watertown, and the city looked upon him as one of its public spirited citizens. He was shot by Higham when, at the end of severe litigations, Eames was entering into possession of his shops by the approval of the courts. A Baptist minister, Mr. Townley, was the witness of the prosecution, whose credit was excellent, whose spirit was revengeful, and whose story. spoke murder in every word. After a two weeks trial, at nine oclock on Christmas day, Mr. Raines commenced the summing up of the defense and continued until five oclock, being followed in an able argument by ex-Senator Mills for the prosecution, and the. charge of the court on the following day. The jury acquitted Higham, and it was found that the testimony of the chief witness of the prosecution, Rev. Mr. Townley, was discredited by the jury as to all its essential criminating details. The verdict was accepted by the people of Watertown with pleasure, and Higham was restored to the position he lost in the community when he shot Eames in self-defense. Hon. W. F. Porter, prepared the cause for trial, and largely conducted it and Mr. Raines attributed to his patient and skillful work the victory in this most important case. Mr. Raines is now in the prime of life, devoted to his profession and content with its rewards. He points when he has occasion with pleasure to the increase of favor from political opponents, when he has been a candidate at the polls, as ascertained by comparison of his vote with that of candidates for state offices upon his party tickets. He led his party ticket for district attorney in 1871, 798; for district attorney in 1874, 1,322; for Senator in 1877, 1,610; for Senator in 1881, 3,200. In each canvass he carried his own county of Monroe, but is often heard to say that he will never test the loyalty of his friends again by any candidacy for office.

From Semi-Centennial History of the City of Rochester
by William F. Peck (1884)
pages 723 - 729

Hon. LEWIS HENRY MORGAN, LL. D., president of the American association for the advancement of science, and one of the foremost ethnological and archaeological scholars and authors of his time, the son of Jedediah and Harriet Morgan, was born at Aurora, Cayuga county, N. Y., November 21st,1818, and died at his home in Rochester, December 17th, 1881, in the sixty-fourth year of his age. The following sketch of his life, from the pen of F. W. Putnam, is taken from the Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Vol. XVII., May, 1882: —

The Hon. Lewis H. Morgan was made a fellow of the academy in 1868, His parents were of old New England stock, and of this he often spoke with feelings of satisfaction. His father was descended from James Morgan, who settled near Boston in 1646, and his mother from John Steele, who had a home near Cambridge in 1641. At the time of his birth, November 21st, 1818, his parents resided in the village of Aurora, Cayuga county, N. Y. He had the advantage of an excellent preliminary education, and was graduated at Union college in 1840. He afterwards studied law, and was admitted to the bar. Making his home at Rochester, N. Y., his zeal and honesty soon secured him a large and profitable practice in his profession. In business he was associated with his classmate, Judge George F. Danforth. In 1855 he became interested in the projected railroad from Marquette to the iron region on the south shore of Lake Superior, and in the development of the iron mines. The management of these enterprises, from which he derived a considerable property, caused him gradually to withdraw from the practice of his profession, and induced him to make excursions into what was then the wilderness of northern Michigan. It was during these explorations that he became interested in the habits and works of the beaver - a study which he followed for several years as opportunities offered, and the results of which he gave to the world, in 1868, in an octavo volume entitled The American Beaver and his Works. This is a most thorough and interesting biological treatise, of which the late Dr. Jeffries Wyman remarked that it came the nearest to perfection of any work of its kind he had ever read. It is, however, to his labors in anthropology that Mr. Morgan owes his widespread fame, and it is of interest to note the probable cause of his turning his attention to the study of Indian life. On his return from college he joined a secret society, known as the "Gordian Knot," composed of the young men of the village. Chiefly by his influence, this society was enlarged and reorganised, and became the "New Confederacy of the Iroquois." The society held its councils in the woods at night. It was founded upon the ancient confederacy of the Five Nations; and its symbolic council fires were kindled upon the ancient territories of the Mohawks, the Oneidas, the Onondagas, the Cayugas and the Senecas. Its objects were to gather the fragments of the history, institutions, and government of the Indians, and to encourage a kinder feeling towards them. A friend writes that "many of its members have since become distinguished in various walks of life, but upon none of them was its influence so persuasive and so permanent as upon Mr. Morgan. It gave direction to his thought, and stimulus to his energies. In order that it might be in conformity with its model, he visited the tribes in New York and Canada, even then remnants, but retaining, so far as they were able, their ancient laws and customs. These he investigated, and soon became deeply interested in them." On his removal to Rochester his studies of Indian institutions were continued, and in 1845 he attended day after day a grand council of the Indians at the Tonawanda reservation; and in April of the same year he went to Washington to plead in behalf of the Indians against the great injustice done them in taking away some of their lands. While on this journey he attended a meeting of the New York Historical society, of which he had been elected a member, and read his first public paper on the subject to which he had given so much time and thought. This paper is not printed in the Proceedings of the Society, but is referred to as "an essay on the constitutional government of the Six Nations of Indians." The substance of it is probably included . in the series of fourteen "Letters on the Iroquois," addressed to Albert Gallatin, LL. D.., the president of the society, and published in the several numbers of the American Review (a Whig journal of politics, literature, art, and science, Vols. V. and VI., New York 1847), from February to December, 1847, under the nom de plume of Skenandoah. These letters were, followed by several instructive reports to the regents of the university of the state of New York, upon Indian remains in that state, and on the Fabrics of the Iroquois, all bearing evidence of his great interest and activity in the study of Indian life and institutions. These several papers were afterwards rewritten and enlarged, and published in book form in 1851, under the well known title of League of the Iroquois. This work at once attracted general attention, and secured for its author a well earned position in literature. It contains a careful analysis of the social organisation and government of the powerful and famous confederacy, with many details relating to Indian life. In 1847 Mr. Morgan again attended a council .of the Iroquois, and on October 31st, 1847, he was regularly adopted into the Hawk gens of the Senecas, and given the name of Ta-ya-da-wah-kugh,(one lying across). The meaning of this name is that he was to put himself in the pathway of communication, and preserve friendship between the two races, as the son of Jemmy Johnson, the interpreter, and grandson of the famous Red Jacket. As a member of the Seneca tribe he was better able than before to continue his studies of the social institutions of the remnants of the tribes forming the ancient confederacy. Ten years after this, at the Montreal meeting of the American association for the advancement of science, he read a paper on The Laws of Descent of the Iroquois, which furnished the basis of one of the most important generalisations in relation to American ethnology. In 1858, in an encampment of the Ojibwa Indians at Marquette, he found that their system of kinship was substantially the same as that of the Iroquois. The conclusions which he drew from this discovery are clearly given in the paper which he read before the academy at its meeting on February 11th, 1868, entitled A Conjectural Solution of the Origin of the Classficatory System of Relationship. [This paper is printed in full in the Proceedings of the Academy, Vol. VII. pp. 436 - 437.] This paper is in fact a résumé of his great work, which was then passing through the press, and appeared as a thick quarto volume of the Smithsonian contributions to knowledge, published in 1870, under the title of Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family. This volume is literally one of facts, from which most important conclusions are constantly being drawn. As Mr. Morgan states, it contains the systems of relationship of "four-fifths, numerically, of the entire human family." During the years in which these materials were being collected, Mr. Morgan was not idle, but was gradually obtaining information for future contributions, both by study in his well stored library and by personal expeditions among the Indian tribes of the West and of Hudsons Bay territory. This was also the most active period of his literary life, several of the papers, which were afterwards revised and printed, having been sketched during this time. Among the most important of these were contributions to the North American Review, from 1869 to 1876, under the titles of The Seven Cities of Cibola, Indian Migrations, Montezumas Dinner, and the Houses of the Mound Builders. Probably the paper of 1876, entitled Montezumas Dinner, is the most characteristic of what has been called the "Morgan school" of ethnology. In it he showed that the commonly received statements relating to the Aztec civilisation were founded on misconceptions and exaggerations, and that the Mexican confederacy, reviewed in the light of knowledge derived from a study of the social and tribal institutions of the Indians of America, would be found to form no exception to the democratic, military and priestly government founded on the gentile system common to the American tribes. Mr. Morgan always chose forcible language in expressing his ideas, and he held fast to theories which he believed to be well founded. The recent extended investigations, which have brought many additional facts to light, will naturally lead to the criticism of some of the theories which he formed, from the facts at his disposal, during the active period of his literary work; but, while such as were constructed of loose materials will fall (and none would have been more ready than he to pull them down in the cause of truth), the great principles which his researches have brought out are so apparently beyond controversy that they will ever stand as the rocks against which the wild and sensational theories will be dashed, and as foundations upon which to build in the further study of American archeaology and ethnology. Mr. Morgans last excursion was to the ancient and modern pueblos of Colorado and New Mexico in 1878, and was undertaken primarily for the purpose of confirming his conceptions in relation to the development of house-life among the Indian tribes. In House-Life and Architecture of the North American Indians, expressing his views of communal living among the village Indians, we particularly notice the persistency with which he clung to his early theories on this subject. This was his latest work, published only a few weeks before his death. While his Systems of Affinity aud Consanguinity, League of the Iroquois, and paper on the Mexican civilisation will ever stand as monuments of his industry and research, and give to him enduring fame, he will be most widely known by his more popular volume of 1877, Ancient Society, or Researches in the Lines of Human Progress from Savagery, through Barbarism to Civilisation, which is, in fact, the embodiment of the most important of his researches - the grand summing up of many years of industrious labor and deep thought. A thorough evolutionist in his treatment of the subjects of his volume, he commences the preface with the statement that "The great antiquity of mankind upon earth has been conclusively established," and goes on to state that "this knowledge changes materially the views which have prevailed respecting the relations of savages to barbarians, and of barbarians to civilised men. It can now be asserted, upon convincing evidence, that savagery preceded barbarism in all the tribes of mankind, as barbarism is known to have preceded civilisation. The history of the human race is one in source, one in experience, and one in progress." He then, on the second and third pages, writes that "Inventions and discoveries stand in serial relations along the lines of human progress, and register its successive stages, while social and civil institutions, in virtue of perpetual human wants, have been developed from a few primary germs of thought. They exhibit a similar register of progress. ..... Throughout the latter part of the period of savagery, and the entire period of barbarism, mankind in general were organised in gentes, phratries and tribes. ..... The principal institutions of mankind originated in savagery, were developed in barbarism, and are maturing in civilisation. In like manner the family has passed through successive forms and created great systems of consanguinity and affinity, which have remained to the present time. ..... The idea of property has undergone a similar growth and development. Commencing at zero in savagery, the passion for the possession of property as the representative of accumulated subsistence has now become dominant over the human mind in civilised races." He then writes that "The four classes of facts above indicated, and which extend themselves in parallel lines along the pathways of human progress from savagery to civilisation, form the principal subjects of discussion in this volume." These quotations are sufficient to convey an idea of the substance of the volume and the principles which its author has set forth. To follow his scholarly statements and call attention in detail to the important deductions he has drawn, particularly to American ethnology, would be impossible in this brief notice of the labors of one who has done so much.

In the Popular Science Monthly for November, 1880, there is a good portrait of Mr. Morgan as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, accompanied by an account of his life, written by Major J. W. Powell. In this short sketch no attempt has been made to mention all the publications of which Mr. Morgan was the author. A full list of his papers is desirable, as they are widely scattered, and several are but little known, and difficult to obtain. The following list gives the titles of those which have come under the writers notice: —

  • Letters (1-14) on the Iroquois, "by Skenandoah," addressed to Albert Gallatin, LL. D., president of the New York historical society. (The American Review: A whig journal of politics, literature, art and science. Volumes V, VI. February - December, 1847). New York. 8vo.
  • Communications to the regents of the New York state university: An account of Indian pipes, fortifications, etc., in New York, 1848. (Second annual report of the regents of the university of the state of New York, 1849). Albany. 8vo. Illustrated.
  • Report upon the articles furnished the Indian collection, 1849. (Third annual report of the regents of the university of the state of New York, 1850). Albany. 8vo. Illustrated.
  • The fabrics of the Iroquois. (Reprint in part of report to the regents of the New York state university. Strykers American Register and Magazine, July, 185o, Vol. IV). Trenton. 8vo. Illustrated.
  • Schedule of articles obtained from the Indians in western New York and on Grand River, Canada. Abstract of report. (Third and fifth annual reports of the regents of the university of the state cabinet of natural history). Albany, 1850, 1852. 8vo.
  • League of the Ho-dé-no-sau-nee, or Iroquois. Rochester, 1851. 8vo. Illustrated.
  • Report on the fabrics, inventions, implements and utensils of the Iroquois. (Fifth annual report of the regents of the state of New York, 1851). Albany, 1852. 8vo. Illustrated.
  • List of [198] articles manufactured by the Indians of western New York and Canada West, with their Indian names. (Catalogue of the cabinet of natural history of the state of New York). Albany, 1853. 8vo.
  • Laws of descent of the Iroquois. (Proceedings of the American association for the advancement of science. Montreal meeting, 1857). Vol. XI. Cambridge, 1858. 8vo.
  • The Indian mode of bestowing and changing names. (Proceedings of the American association for the advancement of science. Springfield meeting, 1850). Vol. XIII. Cambridge, 1860. 8vo.
  • Circular in reference to the degrees of relationship among different nations. (Smithsonian miscellaneous collections. Vol. II). 1860. 8vo.
  • Suggestions relative to an ethnological map of North America, thirty-six by forty-four inches. (Annual report of the Smithsonian institute for 1861). 1862. 8vo.
  • A conjectural solution of the origin of the classificatory system of relationship. (Proceedings of the American academy of arts and sciences, February, 1868). Vol. VII. Boston, 1868. 8vo.
  • The American beaver and his works. Philadelphia, 1868. 8vo. Illustrated.
  • The "Seven Cities of Cihola." (North American Review, Vol. CVIII, April, 1869). Boston, 1869. 8vo.
  • Indian migrations. (North American Review, Vol. CIX, October, 1869; Vol. CX, January, 1870). Boston, 1869, 1870. 8vo.
  • The stone and bone implements of the Arickarees. (Twenty-first annual report of the regents of the university of the state of New York on the state cabinet of natural history, 1868). Albany, 1871. 8vo. Illustrated.
  • Systems of consanguinity and affinity of the human family. (Smithsonian contributions to knowledge, 218). Washington, 1871. 7to.
  • Australian kinship. From original memoranda of Rev. Lorimer Fison. (Proceedings of the American academy of arts and sciences, March, 1872, Vol. VIII). Boston, 1873. 8vo.
  • Ethnical periods. (Proceedings of the American association for the advancement of science. Detroit meeting, 1875, Vol. XXIV). Salem, 1876. 8vo.
  • Arts of subsistence. (Proceedings of the American association for the advancement of science. Detroit meeting, 1875, Vol. XXIV). Salem, 1876. 8vo.
  • Houses of the Mound Builders. (North American Review, Vol. CXXIII, July, 1876). Boston, 1876. 8vo.
  • Montezumas dinner. (North American Review, Vol. CXXII, 1876). Boston, 1876. 8vo.
  • Ancient society, or researches in the lines of human progress from savagery, through barbarism, to civilization. New York, 1877. 8vo.
  • On the ruins of a stone pueblo on the Animas river, in New Mexico; with a ground plan. (Twelfth annual report, Peabody museum of American archaeology and ethnology). Cambridge, 1880. 8vo.
  • Objects of an expedition to New Mexico and Central America. (Statement presented to the archeological institute of America, March, 1880). Boston. 8vo.
  • A study of the houses of the American aborigines, with a scheme of exploration of the ruins in New Mexico and elsewhere. (First annual report of the archeological institute of America). 1880. 8vo. Illustrated.
  • Houses and house life of the American aborigines. (Contributions to American ethnology. Vol. IV). Department of the interior, Washington, 1881. 4to. Illustrated.

In social life Mr. Morgan was much beloved for his kind and genial ways, and at Rochester his house with its large hail, in which were his library and collections, was often the gathering place of scholars and scientists, and there the well-known literary club, of which he was one of the founders a quarter of a century ago, often met. Ever active as a citizen in all good works, he was twice honored by public offices: in 1861 he was a member of the state Assembly, and in 1867 and 1868 he was a Senator. In both these capacities he was distinguished as the uncompromising foe of all vicious measures, and his fair name was never sullied by even the insinuation of corrupt or double dealing. From his great interest in the Indian tribes and from his knowledge of the natural course of the development of civilisation, he always took to heart the unfortunate condition of the Indians and the unnatural methods which were pursued by government in relation to their civilisation, and often urged, as occasions arose, the desirability of leading the Indians to civilisation by making them self-sustaining as a pastoral people, writing several letters to the press, particularly to the Nation, in which are presented forcible reasons for following such a plan.

Mr. Morgan was a member of numerous historical and scientific societies, and in 1879 he was elected president of the American association for the advancement of science, and presided over the meeting held in Boston the following year. At this time it was noticed that his strength was failing, and, although he had much enjoyment at the meeting, he remarked that it would probably he the last time he should meet with the association, and that he should so much the more appreciate the honor which had been conferred upon him. From that time lie slowly declined, and died at his home, at the age of sixty-three, on December 17th, 1881. Mr. Morgan was married in 1851 to Mary E., daughter of the late Lemuel Steele, of Albany, N. Y., who, with one son, survives him. [Since this memoir was written by Mr. Putnam, Mrs. Morgans death has occurred. She survived. her husband not quite two years. Greatly esteemed and beloved by all who knew her, she died at the family residence in Rochester, December 1st, 1883. Mrs. Morgan also bequeathed her separate estate, after the death of her son, to the same purpose. Both estates amount to more than one hundred thousand dollars.] The death of his two daughters, in 1862, was a sad calamity, and as Mr. Morgan was much interested in plans for the higher education of women, he endeavored to establish in Rochester a college for women, to which he proposed to make a memorial endowment; but his efforts were not entirely successful. He then resolved to leave the whole of his property for the purpose after the decease of his wife and son, hoping that others will unite in making the fund ample for such an institution. In pursuance of this object he has left his entire and considerable property in trust to the University of Rochester, for the final establishment of a college for women.

Union college conferred upon Mr. Morgan the degree of A. B., July 22d, 1840, and that of LL. D., July. 2d, 1873. He was made a member of the New York Historical society, April, 1846; of the American Ethnological society, January, 1849; of the Natural History society of Williams college, February, 1850; the State Historical society of Wisconsin, March, 1854; Michigan Historical society, September, 1857; American Antiquarian society, Worcester, Mass., October, 1865, Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, December, 1865; Buffalo Historical society, December, 1866; Marquette Historical and Scientific association, August, 1867; Maryland Historical society, October, 1867; American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Boston, May, 1868; Boston Academy of Natural History, January, 1869; Associadad Auxiliad Orada Industria National, Rio de Janeiro, September, 1871; Wisconsin Academy of Arts and Sciences, February, 1874; National Academy of Sciences, Washington, April; 1875; Academy of Natural Science, Davenport, Iowa, April, 1877; Institution Ethnographique, Paris, Délégué Correspondant pour l'Etat de New York, August, 1880; and of the Royal Historical society, Grampion lodge, Forest Hill, S. E., London, October, 1880, which latter was declined. Mr. Morgan left an extensive and carefully selected library, and a most interesting and valuable collection of Indian relics. The library building is 44 feet long, 25 feet wide, and 15 feet high, with ceiling in panels of black walnut and birds-eye maple, modeled after the ceiling of a room at Abbotsford, with panels much enlarged. In the center of the ceiling is a skylight of stained glass, 12 X 12 feet, and raised two feet above the ceiling. A triple bay-window on the east end, and glass doors on the corresponding opposite end give the only additional light to the room. The library is chiefly a working collection of books, histories and ethnological works, such as were in constant use by the owner. The rarest volume in the co1lection is a Spanish dictionary, published in the city of Mexico in 1576, parts of which have been destroyed and since replaced line by line, with great skill. Mr. Morgan ascertained, when in London some years ago, the value of this very old and rare volume to be estimated at $350 per copy. The cabinet of relics and antiquities was in a large measure collected by Mr. Morgan: The most interesting American Indian article is the gorget of Joseph Brandt (Thayandanega), copper, plated with gold, presented to him in England, with the royal arms in relief upon it. Articles of Indian manufacture are numerous and choice - and veritable ones - many of them having been made specially for Mr. Morgan, by the best skilled Indian workers. The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle prefaced a long obituary of Mr. Morgan the day after his decease, with the following statement: —

"In the death of the Hon. Lewis H. Morgan, which occurred at his residence in this city last evening, his family has lost a trusted and an affectionate head, Rochester an old and a valued citizen, and the state one who had rendered it good and patriotic service. Science, for which he had labored efficiently and conspicuously, will mourn one of its brightest lights extinguished; for he was among the foremost investigators of his time; had definitely settled sonic of the most perplexing questions in archaeology, and had achieved a world-wide reputation as a scholar - a reputation perhaps more brilliant even in Europe than in America."

The many letters of inquiry and condolence that followed Mr. Morgans death suggested to his surviving family the appropriateness of a memorial containing the funeral address of the Rev. J. H. McIlvaine, D. D., his intimate friend and pastor for many years. This was accompanied also by a memorial card giving the simple record of the progress of his works. The members of the Rochester Literary and Scientific club, of which he was one of the founders, attended the funeral in a body and acted as honorary pall-bearers, and their sons carried the casket to the family tomb at Mount Hope cemetery.

From Semi-Centennial History of the City of Rochester
by William F. Peck (1884)
pages 729 - 731

HENRY ROGERS SELDEN figured for more than half a century among the agencies which were wholesomely active in Rochester, and contributed invaluable forces toward its material and municipal growth. Now, by reason of the feebleness of advanced years, relegated to repose from toilsome labors and a life of remarkable public achievements, the venerable form of the eminent jurist may still be seen nourishing its declining years in the vigor of the open air upon pleasant sunny days. He has reached his seventy-ninth year. Until five years since he was still actively engaged in the duties of his profession and continuing to win encomiums from the bench and bar and plaudits from the public press as the Nestor of his calling.

Born of Puritan stock at Lyme, Conn., October 14th, 1805, he followed his brother, Samuel Lee Selden to Rochesterville (as the then insignificant town was denominated) in 1825. There he entered the office of a man, Addison Gardiner (who died in June, 1883), who during a long and eventful life was conspicuous as one of the most notable figures among the Democratic party, while an eminent legal authority in the jurisprudence of the state of New York. Samuel Lee Selden, Henrys brother was the law partner of Addison Gardiner, so it came about that the younger Selden received more than even a cordial welcome in the office of the noted firm. By this adventitious circumstance, three men were brought together, all of whom, for a significant period, adorned the bench of the court of Appeals, and occupied the position of the chief judgeship thereof, besides figuring among the noted lawyers of the century in the Empire state.

When the subject of this sketch was in his twenty-fifth year he was admitted to the bar, and thereupon immediately entered upon the practice of his profession at Clarkson, upon the western border of Monroe county. In 1830 the eye of no man was yet quite farseeing enough to determine exactly which of the several thriving places within the limits of the county enfolded a future city and was destined to spread its arms over the acreage of the territory and be absorbed in and under the manifold ramifications of a great municipal corporation. Clarkson bid as fair to become a commercial center as any other in the county, and the village of Carthage, stretching upon the east and west banks of the Genesee clear along toward the mouth of the beautiful stream, most delusively promised a prosperity it never fulfilled, and that just escaped the locality by passing south and clustering about a goodly area of territory between the rapids and the lower falls. That territory became, and to-day substantially is, the teeming, seething Rochester from which Henry Rogers Selden was to ascend the bench, and to carry, with John A. King, the banner of the Republican party in its initial effort for political ascendency during the Fremont and Dayton campaign of 1856. The national leaders in this campaign suffered defeat; but John A. King, who headed the state ticket, was triumphantly elected governor, and Henry Rogers Selden lieutenant-governor, the first two members of the new party to enter upon the performance of grave and lofty public duty under a new, and, as they believed, better political regime in the nation. It is worth mentioning that during the gubernatorial canvass Judge Selden was in Europe upon professional business; but his personal popularity carried him through the struggle with a very handsome majority. Throughout the state he was known and recognised as an honest man, over and above the place he held as a very able and profound lawyer. As presiding officer of the Senate at a time when skilled parliamentarians belonging to a party hostile to the Republicans were among the influential and powerful members Of the state legislature, none of his rulings ever suffered the reproof of dissent. There was confidence as firm, in his good judgment as in his honesty and legal acumen. The urbanity with which he presided in Senate had so noticeable a judicial cast, that in July, 1862, upon the retirement of his brother, the late Samuel Lee Selden, from the chief judgeship of the court of Appeals, Governor Edwin D. Morgan appointed Henry Rogers Selden to the vacancy.

Honorable Hiram Denio, then eldest associate judge, would, under the constitution of 1846, have succeeded as chief judge in course but for the governors appointment. This fact the generous-hearted appointee recognised, notwithstanding his clear right to the chief judgeship, and very characteristically deferred to, by waiving everything in Judge Denios behalf and permitting that eminent jurist to go into and occupy the exalted judicial place at once, himself content to take the subordinate place of associate judge.

Henry Rogers Selden remained upon the court of Appeals bench continuously from that time to the close of 1863, and his opinions may be found from volumes 25 to 31, inclusive, of the N. Y. Reports, while his work in reference to the compilation of the massive monument of leading precedents represented by these reports is included between the 4th and 11th volumes of the same, with a small volume of addenda, known as Seldens notes, all of which were the product of his toil and learning while court of Appeals reporter.

From 1830 until the summer of 1879 he continued, with the exception of the time spent upon the bench and a year or more occupied in the search of health in Europe, in the active and incessant practice of his profession. But he was never without interest in every reasonable plan for the advancement of mankind in civilisation and happiness.

In 1845, when Professor S. F. B. Morse was knocking vainly at many doors in the interest of patents in telegraphy that have since become world-famous, he found a willing ear and the heartiest co-operation in Henry R. Selden. In conjunction with Mr. Henry O'Riely, a former journalist of Rochester, who entered into a contract with the Morse patentees, Henry Rogers Selden, inaugurated a movement whereby a number of public-spirited citizens convened with the view of forming a company to build a section of 40 miles of telegraph (then considered a most visionary scheme), between Lancaster and Harrisburgh in Pennsylvania. The sole subscribers to this stock were Henry R. Selden, Samuel L. Selden, Jonathan Childs, (the first mayor of Rochester), Elisha D. Ely, Hugh T. Brooks, and Micah Brooks, (the philanthropist), Alvah Strong and George Dawson, (the journalist), John S. Skinner and Hervey Brooks. These gentlemen were associated as the Atlantic, Lake & Mississippi Valley telegraph company, of which Henry Rogers Selden became president. At a later period the Selden brothers acquired an interest in the New York and Mississippi Valley printing telegraph company, organised under the House patent. This company eventually developed into that gigantic corporation known as the Western Union telegraph company. In the manner here recounted the Seldens were among the pioneers of telegraphy in this country and in the world.

In January, 1865, the subject of this sketch was solicited to accept the nomination for the Assembly in the second district of Monroe. He was elected and, though in enfeebled health, entered upon the performance of his duties as earnestly and as modestly as though he had never occupied the chair of the state Senate and the bench of the court of Appeals. In 1870, on the reorganisation of the court of Appeals, he consented to be a candidate on the Republican ticket against the late Sanford E. Church for the chief judgeship of the court of Appeals; knowing full well that political conditions at the time precluded the possibility of Republican success. He was one of the callers of the celebrated Cincinnati convention of 1872; but, dissatisfied with its results he has never since engaged in politics. His health, which had so often been an impediment to active exertions in political and public life, compelled him to retire from professional life in 1879, since which he has resided quietly in Rochester, in a large and roomy mansion at the corner of Gibbs street and Grove place. He was, like his brother Samuel Lee Selden, a liberal contributor of both time and means to local charitable institutions, officiating as a manager of several of them, and according all the benefit of his sound judgment, shrewd common sense, and professional knowledge. The life work of the two jurist brothers stands out in bold relief as a notable part of the leading political history of the Empire state and constitutes a source of just pride to every one of its citizens.

Mr. Selden was married September 25th, 1834, at Clarkson, to Laura Anne, daughter of Dr. Abel and Laura (Smith) Baldwin, who is still living. They have buried seven children, and have living three sons and two daughters. The eldest son, George Baldwin Selden is practicing patent law at Rochester, and is already recognised as a noted authority in his difficult branch of the profession. Arthur Rogers Selden is in the employ of the great manufacturing company of D. S. Morgan & Co., at Brockport, N. Y. The youngest son is Samuel Lee Selden, a lawyer, practicing in Rochester. A daughter, Julia, is the wife of Theodore Bacon, a distinguished member of the Rochester bar. The youngest daughter is Miss Laura H. Selden, who resides with her parents.

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 216 - 217


Peter MyersThe late Peter Myers will long be remembered as one of the first men in Rochester to engage in the laundry business and carry it on successfully. He was born of German parents at West Turin, Lewis county, New York, November 10, 1840. His mother, who with her husband was a native of Alsace, died when he was but eight years old. He passed his early years on a farm and attended the public and select school at Boonville. He also took a commercial coarse in this city, and was a clerk for one year at Rome, after which he passed eight years in Rockland county, and there acquired valuable business experience in several enterprises. Mr. Myers came to Rochester to make it his residence in 1869. He was one of the founders of the Star Steam laundry and contributed largely to the success of that enterprise. He was a Republican in politics and a member of the Masonic order. Mr. Myers was married September 19, 1876 to Miss Hattie A. Heger, who, with one son, Fred Myers, survives him. Mr. Myers died in this city August 9, 1888.

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 142 - 143


Albert DrinkwaterA friend to the four-footed animals that are universally regarded as man's best friends must be possessed of attributes that entitle him to recognition and honor. Dr Albert Drinkwater, universally regarded as at the head of the veterinary profession in Rochester, is the son of William and Sarah Drinkwater, and was born in Peel county, Ontario, September 3, 1844. He was educated in the common schools and received his professional education in the Ontario Veterinary college, of Toronto, from which he was graduated in 1874. He practiced for three years in Belleville, Ontario, and came to Rochester in 1877, where he quickly built up a large practice among the valuable horses of Rochester and vicinity. Dr. Drinkwater is a member of the Ontario Veterinary Medical society and the New York State Veterinary Medical society. Among the social and fraternal societies of which he is a member are the Rochester Whist club; Valley Lodge, No. 109, F. & A. M.; Ionic Chapter; Cyrene Comrnandery; and the Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Drinkwater was married in 1868 to Miss Elizabeth Cheyne, of Peel county, Ontario, and has one son, Dr. Irvin W. Drinkwater, who practices with his father. Their office and infirmary is at Nos. 23 and 25 Euclid street. Dr. Drinkwater resides at 52 Clinton place.


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