Michael Needham, founder of this family, was born in Burr, county Tipperary, Ireland, in 1834, died in Phelps, Ontario county, New York, July 3, 1909. He emigrated to America as a boy and settled in Phelps, where he obtained employment as a maltster. Sometime later he went to Chicago, Illinois, where he spent several years as head maltster of one of the large malt houses there. He then returned to Phelps, and for forty years was in the employ of the New York Central railroad there. He was a trustee of the Roman Catholic Church of St. Francis, at Phelps. He married, April 13, 1861, Margaret Flynn, of Phelps. Children: Mary. born March 1, 1862, married William H. Riley; Edmund F., referred to below; William, born January 19, 1869, deceased; Marjory C., born February 24, 1871, deceased; Anna, deceased; John Francis, deceased.
Edmund F., son of Michael and Margaret (Flynn) Needham, was born in Phelps, Ontario county, New York, February 10, 1864, and is now (1910) living there. He received his education in the public schools of Phelps, and went to work as a boy for the Crown Manufacturing Company. By industry and ability he worked his way up to the position of head clerk and bookkeeper, in which capacity he served for a number of years, and January 10, 1910, he was chosen president of the company. This company employs over sixty men, and is known the world over for its celebrated Crown Grain and Fertilizer Drills, and its Crown Wheelbarrow Grass Seeder. Mr. Needham is a Democrat in politics, was for some time collector of the village of Phelps and also of the school district, and is now (1910) school director. He is a trustee of St. Francis Church, and a member of the C. M. B. A.
He married (first), November 27, 1889, Margaret, daughter of John and Matilda Brophy, of Phelps, New York, who died in 1900. Children: John Francis. born August 27, 1890; Edmund A., March 28, 1891; Margaret M., January 19, 1896. He married (second) Alice A. Brophy.