Collection: Genealogy and Biography of Ontario County New York

Biography of Gustavus Charles Wilkins

Forty-two years ago Gustavus Charles Wilkens, a native of the fair land of Poland, left the dominion of the Czar to seek his fortune in America, and being favorably impressed with the possibilities open to him in this country he lost no time in renouncing his allegiance to the Russian government. Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. choose a state: Any AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE DC FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY INTL Start Now Mr. Wilkens belongs to a race of liberty-loving people who have long cherished an ardent desire to regain their national independence, but the iron hand of imperial Russia still holds them in subjection. His father, Ludwig Wilkens, born in 1801, was in the service of the Russian government, having been at the mint for some time, and subsequently had full charge of large pulp and paper mills in Warsaw, Sacifa and Bozizno. In addition to his business ability he possessed a varied knowledge of the world and its affairs in general, having circumnavigated the globe, but his career of progress was cut short by his untimely death, which occurred...

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Biographical Sketch of Robert F. Thompson

Robert F. Thompson, son of Lieutenant Lester P. Thompson and Sarah Jane (Foster) Thompson, was born in Canandaigua, New York, July 31, 1870. He received his preliminary school training in Phelps, followed by a course of study in Canandaigua Academy, from which he was graduated. He studied for his chosen profession in the law department of Michigan University, from which he received his degree of Bachelor of Laws, and then took a post-graduate course, receiving the Master’s degree in 1893. He was admitted to the bar, December, 1894, in Ontario county, New York, and at once entered upon practice at Canandaigua. In 1899 he was elected district attorney, and in this responsible position gained reputation as a trial lawyer and advocate of unusual ability. He engaged in law practice in partnership with Frank A. Christian, January 1, 1900, and retired from that office December 31, 1905. In 1908 he was unanimously nominated by his party for the office of county judge, was elected, and is now (1910) filling that place. That he was esteemed fit for the position is evidenced by the fact that no opposition was arrayed against him and no other candidate was nominated to contest the place with him, a most unusual circumstance. In addition to his professional labors judge Thompson devotes much attention to community affairs, and is actively interested in some of the most...

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Biographical Sketch of Ernest S. Bowen

Ernest S. Bowen, a member of the firm of Fay & Bowen, belongs to that class of society, which has developed our great manufacturing industries, spread our commerce and built up our cities. He is the son of Wilford M. Bowen, who was a farmer, and died in 1893. Ernest S. Bowen was born in Levanna, Cayuga county, New York, May 8, 1858. He attended the public schools of Aurora, New York, then Hillsdale College, Michigan, and finally, Cornell University, from which he was graduated in 1890 from the mechanical engineering department, his name being one of the ten on the honor list. From his earliest years he had had a decided leaning toward mechanics, and at the age of eighteen years he commenced, independently, to learn the machinist’s trade, being thus occupied for a period of four years prior to going to Hillsdale College, and worked his way through college, depriving himself of many luxuries, and even necessities, in order to accomplish his aim by his own unaided efforts. Upon the completion of his college course, he found employment with McIntosh, Seymour & Company, as assistant superintendent, remaining with them for five years, and then entered into a partnership with Walter L. Fay, a sketch of whom will be found elsewhere in this work, under the firm name of Fay & Bowen. Mr. Bowen has been active in...

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Biographical Sketch of Bernard Borgman

Bernard Borgman, president and treasurer of the Vance Boiler Works of Geneva, New York, owes his present high position in the community, and his present prosperity entirely to his own efforts, rising from the ranks by dint of earnest and unremitting toil and energy. (I) Bernard Borgman, father of the present Bernard Borgman, was born in Germany, and died in America, 1896. He came to this country at the age of eighteen years and lived for one year in Albany, New York. He then removed to Rochester, where he was employed as a car builder in the Rochester Car Shops, his trade having been originally that of carpentry. He married in Germany, Christina Evercamp, who came to America at the same time that he did, and who died in...

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Biographical Sketch of Bernard Borgman

(II) Bernard (2) Borgman, subject of this sketch, was born in Rochester, New York, September, 1854. His elementary education was received in the schools of his native city, and he then attended those of Yates county, New York. He had learned the cabinet-maker’s trade, and at the age of twenty-five years he made his first business venture, establishing himself in the furniture and undertaking line in Penn Yan, Yates county, New York. For nine years he conducted this business successfully, then sold his interest in the concern to his partner and established himself in the same manner, but independently, in Geneva, New York, where he soon attained the first rank in this business. He continued this until 1905, when he sold it advantageously and became connected with the Vance Boiler Works. His first step was to reorganize the company and he is now (1910) the principal stockholder as well as president and treasurer; T. A. Kam is the vice-president, and Charles H. Sweeney is the secretary. The factory has been equipped with the latest improvements and the transactions show an annual increase. There is an average of fifty men employed in the manufacture of steam and hot water boilers, marine and stationary engines, tanks, smoke stacks and all kinds of sheet iron equipments. Mr. Borgman has amassed considerable wealth and is the owner of two fine farms in Yates...

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Biography of Major Charles A. Richardson

Major Charles A. Richardson, son of Curtis Richardson, who was a farmer in Freetown, Cortland county, New York, has been conspicuously in the public eye, not only as a soldier, but as a lawyer and statesman as well. He was born in Cortland county, New York, August 14, 1829. He became a student at Cortland Academy in Homer, New York, from which institution he was graduated. He commenced the study of the legal profession in Canandaigua, Ontario county, New York, and was admitted to the bar in 1856. After spending four years in traveling throughout the west, he returned to Canandaigua in 1860 and opened offices for the practice of his chosen profession. In 1862 he gave tip his law practice and entered the service of his country, being active in recruiting Company D, One Hundred and Twenty-sixth New York Volunteers. He was commissioned first lieutenant of that company, and in the same year received his commission as captain with rank from November, 1862. At the battle of Gettysburg, July 2, 1863, he was wounded and given a leave of absence and returned to duty in September following. In the early part of 1864 Captain Richardson was commissioned major, and at the battle of Petersburg, Virginia, June 16, 1864, was severely wounded and permanently disabled by a rifle ball which passed through his face. He subsequently was re-mustered into...

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Biography of George Hayes

The surname Hayes is the plural form of an ancient word, Hay, or Haw, which means a fence, a hedge or a boundary, also a space enclosed, as a park or field. Its derivation can be traced to many European languages wherein both the primitive and secondary meanings are precisely the same. From this simple root have sprung the names of Hay, Hayes, Haywood or Heywood, Hayland, Greenhays and many others of a similar character. The name of Hayes is to be found both in England and Scotland, but is far more common in the former than it is in the latter country. The New England colonial records of the seventeenth century contain the names of four immigrants of this name : Thomas Hayes, of Milford, Connecticut (1641), descendants of whom removed to Newark, New Jersey; Nathaniel, who was of Norwalk. Connecticut (1651) ; John, of Dover, New Hampshire, who came from Scotland in 1680; and George, of Windsor, Connecticut, who, tradition asserts, was a brother of the preceding John. The Hayes of Canandaigua, New York, who form the principal subject of this article, are descended from the Windsor settler. (I) George Hayes, who arrived in New England about the year 1680, and probably was about twenty-five years old at the time of his immigration, first settled in Windsor, Connecticut, whence he removed in 1698 to that part of...

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Biographical Sketch of Samuel Hayes

(II) Samuel, son of George and Abigail (Dibble) Hayes, was born in Simsbury. 1699. He was granted sixty acres of land in Simsbury, 1723; was on church covenant with wife in 1739, and served as tythingman in 1751. He must have lived to an unusually advanced age, as there is on record at Granby a deed, executed March 7, 1787, in which he conveys property to his son Silas. He married, in Simsbury, July 16. 1719, Elizabeth Willcockson (Wilcox), probably a daughter of Samuel Willcockson, of Meadow Plain, Simsbury, granddaughter of Sergeant Samuel Willcockson and great-granddaughter of William Willcockson. of St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England, who arrived at Boston in the “Planter, ” 1635. Children of Samuel and Elizabeth Hayes : 1. Lydia. horn January 18, 1720. 2. Elizabeth, October 17, 1721 ; married, March 20, 1740, Joseph Gillett, of Simsbury. 3. Abigail, born November 3, 1723; married, May 13, 1742, Daniel Hayes, her cousin. 4. Dorcas, born March 15, 1727; married Ephraim, son of Nathaniel and Thankful (Hayes) Holcombe. 5. Samuel, born March 26, 1730. 6. Ashael, born June 3, 1732. 7. Susanna, November 26, 1735; married Reuben Holcombe. 8. Andrew, born May 29, 1737. 9. Silas, February 28,...

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Biographical Sketch of Captain Samuel Hayes

(III) Captain Samuel (2), son of Samuel (1) and Elizabeth (Willcockson) Hayes, was born in Simsbury, March 26, 1730, died in Granby, December 25, 1801. In the Simsbury records he is designated captain. In 1753 he erected a substantial dwelling-house at Bushy Hill, two miles west of Salmon Brook, which he and his descendants occupied for nearly a century. He was a selectman of Simsbury, 1774, and of Granby at its organization, 1786; represented Simsbury in the general assembly, 1778; served as deacon of the church at Salmon Brook from 1786 to ’80. He possessed superior physical strength, excelled in all athletic sports and was one of the most prominent and highly respected citizens of his day. In 1750 he married Rosanna, eldest daughter of Judah and Hannah (Buttolph) Holcombe, of Simsbury, and a descendant in the fifth generation of Thomas Buttolph, who landed in Boston from the “Abigail, ” 1635. Rosanna was born in Simsbury, June 24, 1732, and died in Granby, November 8, 1814. Children : 1. Rosanna, born March 6, 1751 ; died in 1770; married Benjamin Hayes, her cousin. 2. Seth, born June 2, 1753. 3. Theodosia, April 16, 1757; died at Delaware, Ohio, 1834; married, at Granby, General Chauncey Pettibone, son of Colonel Ozias’ Pettibone. 4. Samuel, born May 20, 1759. 5. Temperance, December 14, 1761 ; died in Connecticut, 1787; married Luther Foote....

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Biographical Sketch of Joshua Thompson

(III) Joshua, son of Corporal James Thompson, was born in Norridgewock, Maine, May 10, 1793. He rendered faithful military service in the war of 1812. He married Marcia Crane, a member of the celebrated Crane family of Connecticut, and a granddaughter of John Crane, one of the signers of the famous “fidelity oath” to the state of Connecticut. He was the father of nineteen...

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Biographical Sketch of Lieutenant Lester P. Thompson

(IV) Lieutenant Lester P. Thompson, son of Joshua Thompson, was born September 3, 1840, in Lima, New York. He married, and shortly after the birth of his son, Robert F., he removed to Phelps. New York, where he followed the occupation of a manufacturer of agricultural implements and resided there until shortly before his death, April 25, 1889. He rendered faithful service to his country during the rebellion, serving in the Fifth and Seventh United States Regular Infantry. He became prominent in Grand Army and political circles: a born leader of men, he wielded a powerful influence in that great military organization and in the local political field. He served at one time as senior vice department commander of the State of New York, Grand Army of the Republic. He married Sarah Jane, daughter of William K. and Mary (Butler) Foster. Her parents were both natives of Kent county, England, and came to the United States about 1825. The Foster residence was a safe harbor for escaped slaves making their way to freedom by way of “the underground railway” during slavery days. Mr. Foster was a close friend and confidant of William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Thompson. and other famous anti-slavery...

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Biography of Robert F. Thomspon

(V) Robert F. Thompson, son of Lieutenant Lester P. Thompson and Sarah Jane (Foster) Thompson, was born in Canandaigua, New York, July 31, 1870. He received his preliminary school training in Phelps, followed by a course of study in Canandaigua Academy, from which he was graduated. He studied for his chosen profession in the law department of Michigan University, from which he received his degree of Bachelor of Laws, and then took a post-graduate course, receiving the Master’s degree in 1893. He was admitted to the bar, December, 1894, in Ontario county, New York, and at once entered upon practice at Canandaigua. In 1899 he was elected district attorney, and in this responsible position gained reputation as a trial lawyer and advocate of unusual ability. He engaged in law practice in partnership with Frank A. Christian, January 1, 1900, and retired from that office December 31, 1905. In 1908 he was unanimously nominated by his party for the office of county judge, was elected, and is now (1910) filling that place. That he was esteemed fit for the position is evidenced by the fact that no opposition was arrayed against him and no other candidate was nominated to contest the place with him, a most unusual circumstance. In addition to his professional labors judge Thompson devotes much attention to community affairs, and is actively interested in some of the...

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Biography of Edwin S. Thorne

Edwin S. Thorne, treasurer and manager of the Geneva Preserving Company, is a fine example of a self-made man, in the best sense of the word. He has gained for himself friends, affluence and position, by his own honorable exertions and moral attributes, and by the strength and force of his character has been enabled to overcome obstacles which, to others less hopeful and courageous, would have seemed insurmountable. He has been gifted with a quickness of perception and a fertility of invention which enable him to carry his projects far on the road to success, while others meditate upon the manner in which the enterprise is to be taken in hand. Thus equipped it is small wonder that Mr. Thorne has risen to a position which takes him into the front rank of the business men of his town, and has gained for him the esteem of all who know him. Stevenson Thorne, father of Edwin S. Thorne, was reared under the strict discipline of the Quaker denomination, and died in 1892. He married Ann Smith, who is living with her son, now (1910) at the advanced age of eighty-five years. Edwin S. Thorne was born in Schoharie county, New York, December 24, 1865. His education was acquired in the district schools and the Rensselaerville academy, of Albany county, New York, and he made excellent use of the...

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Biography of Patrick Henry Leahy

Patrick Henry Leahy, who is clerk of and counsel for the board of supervisors of Ontario county, New York, in addition to attending to his large legal practice, is a fine example of what may be achieved by earnest and unremitting striving, when heavily handicapped by adverse circumstances. He owes his present high standing in his profession and in the community entirely to his own unaided efforts, and his inflexible and unfaltering courage in every relation of life have won for him the respect and confidence of all with whom he has come in contact. Judging from the success which has attended his labors in the past, a most brilliant future apparently lies before him. John Leahy, his father, was born in Castle Island, Ireland, in 1833, and died in this country in April, 1873. He had labored diligently as a workman all his life, deeming no work too humble, as long as it was honorable. During the civil war he enlisted in 1862, served as a private in Company E, One Hundred and Sixtieth New York Volunteer Infantry, and was mustered out with honor at the close of the war. His untimely death left his little family unprovided for. Patrick Henry Leahy was born in a log cabin in Canadice, Ontario county, New York, June 21, 1873. He was educated in the public schools of this county, and...

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Biography of Fayette Taylor

Fayette Taylor, one of the younger members of the farming fraternity in Geneva, Ontario county, New York, is not by any means the least of those to be considered when the value of practical and progressive methods is taken into consideration. Those farmers who are ready and willing to adopt the modern and scientific methods of cultivating the soil whenever these methods can be readily adopted are the ones whose farms produce the largest crops in proportion to the acreage tinder cultivation, and it is these farmers who raise the general prosperity of the country, which depends in a great measure on successful and well gathered harvests. One of the best representatives of this class is Fayette Taylor. He was born in Yates county, New York, July 15, 1874, and was educated in the public and high schools of Geneva. His early, years, during his spare hours and during the summer vacations, were spent in assisting his father on the family homestead, and in this practical manner he obtained a thorough knowledge of all the details connected with the proper management of the land which it might be his later fortune to possess. He commenced farming on his own account in 1901, and in 1904 purchased a farm of one hundred acres, which he has brought to such a state of cultivation that it is considered one of the...

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