Biographies in Oswego, N.Y.  


Source: "History of Oswego County, N. Y., 1789 – 1877, published by Everett & Ferriss, 1878.  Many thanks to Dianne Thomas who transcribed this biography. 


Simeon Bates is a native of Otsego county, New York, and was born on the banks of the Susquehanna, ten miles below the village of Cooperstown, on the 15th day of March, 1801.  In the year 1816 he left his native county, and, coming to Oswego, located in the town of Williamstown, where he remained on a farm until 1824, when he removed to Scriba.  Industry and energy have ever been prominent characteristics of Mr. Bates, and while residing in Scriba he labored assiduously on a farm during the summer, and in the winter months manufactured pine lumber at Salmon river.  During his residence in this town he also taught school four terms, and assisted in erecting the first mill in the village of Oswego, called the Bronson and Morgan mill.   In 1835 he located in Oswego and opened the first lumber-yard, and became the pioneer shipper of pine lumber to the eastern markets.  He continued in the forwarding business with eminent success during a period of twenty-five years, and since 1850 has been connected with the City bank 

In the month of May 1827, he united in marriage with Mary, daughter of Major Hiel Stone, of Scriba.  She died in September 1860, and the following year he married Caroline Staats, who died in June, 1877.  Mr. Bates’ family has consisted of four children, one son and three daughters.  The son and two daughters are living.  He has ever had the confidence of his fellow-citizens in a remarkable degree, and in all matters concerning the welfare of the public he has manifested a deep interest, and in charitable enterprises has not only spent time but money in their advancement.  He is unostentatious in manner, and his many acts of benevolence are not that he may be known of men, but through the promptings of a Christian spirit.  He has been a member of the First Baptist Church for a period of forty-five years, and is an honored member of the church and a consistent Christian.  He has always been regarded as a friend of education, and has officiated as a member of the board of education of this city ten years, and is also one of the directors of the Orphan asylum, Riverside cemetery, and Home of the Homeless.  Mr. B. has served as supervisor of Scriba and  Oswego a number of years, and was treasurer of the village of Oswego when the fees amounted to the sum of only fifteen dollars per year.  He has held two commissions in the military, one of which was signed by General Jackson.

As a citizen, Simeon Bates has ever ranked among the most worthy, and in both public and private life his career is not only stainless but has ever been marked with a Christian consistency.  Mr. Bates is six feet and four inches in height and weights two hundred and fifteen pounds.  Although he is now past the scriptural age of threescore and ten, and time has silvered his hair, he is straight as an arrow, and is still possessed of much of his youthful vigor and ambition.

Source: "History of Oswego County, N. Y., 1789 – 1877, published by Everett & Ferriss, 1878.  Many thanks to Dianne Thomas who transcribed this biography. 


This gentleman was born at Rensselaerville, Albany county, New York, in the year 1801.  He settled in Oswego city between the years 1825 and 1828, and entered in to the mercantile business with Edward Bronson, and was one of the members of the firm of Bronson, Marshall & Co., which subsequently became that of Bronson & Crocker.

In 1831, Mr. Crocker was untied in marriage with Miss Ann Eliza Pardee.  In 1848 he was elected one of the original directors in the Oswego city board of trade.  In the years 1856-58 he occupied the position of mayor of the city, and fulfilled the duties of the office to the general satisfaction of the people.

Mr. Crocker was a shrewd and successful business man, whose mercantile talents were recognized by those with whom he had dealings, and respected by them.  He was courteous in manners and of unblemished personal honor and integrity.  After a long and useful business career he died at Paris, France, in June 1869, sincerely mourned by a large circle of relatives, and regretted by numerous friends and acquaintances.

Source: "History of Oswego County, N. Y., 1789 – 1877, published by Everett & Ferriss, 1878.  Many thanks to Dianne Thomas who transcribed this biography. 

Benjamin Doolittle married Susan Hitchcock May 8, 1849.
Contributed by Ruth Haire.  See also Obituary of Sylvester Doolittle


Benjamin Doolittle was born in Lenox, Madison county, New York, in the month of December, 1825.  He attended the common schools, and there acquired an education that well qualified him for a business career, and without waiting for a college course stepped out into the broad arena of active life.  In 1847 he came to Oswego, and three years thereafter engaged in the hardware business, which he successfully managed until 1863, when he purchase the Empire mills and elevator in the city of Oswego, and has since given his personal attention to that business.  Mr. Doolittle has always manifested an interest in public matters, and the people have shown their appreciation of his service by electing him to various positions of influence and responsibility.  Upon the organization of the Republican party he espoused its cause, and has since labored to advance the interest and usefulness of that grand organization.

In 1858 he was chosen a member of the board of education of Oswego, and in the discharge of his duties so commended himself to his fellow-citizens that he was continued in the board for nine years, and in 1866 was president of the board.  He was chosen a member of the common council of Oswego in 1867, and held that position two years.  In 1869 he represented the first district of Oswego County in the legislature, and served on the important committees on railroads and printing.  He was a member of the board of police commissioners of Oswego from 1870 to 1874, and during the last two years was president of the board.  He was elected mayor of the city in 1874, and in 1875 was elected State senator from the twenty-first district, defeating two opponents, Isaac G. Jenkins (Liberal Republican) and Joseph Crawford (Prohibitionist), by a plurality of two thousand and sixteen votes.  At the previous election Charles Kellogg, the Republican candidate, was elected by one thousand four hundred and forty three majority.

Senator Doolittle’s record in the legislature is a credit to himself, and the twenty-first district may justly consider itself fortunate in being represented by so faithful and efficient a member.

Source: "History of Oswego County, N. Y., 1789 – 1877, published by Everett & Ferriss, 1878.  Many thanks to Dianne Thomas who transcribed this biography. 

Hon. A. P. Grant

Among the names of those who have stood most conspicuous in the legal profession in central New York, and in the various enterprises connected with the interests and prosperity of Oswego, none stand higher in the estimation of the public than the name at the head of this brief sketch.

Mr. Grant was born in New Lebanon, Columbia County, New York, April 5, 1804.  At the age of fourteen he entered Hamilton College, and graduated from that institution with honors.  He at once entered the office of the late Judge Denio, and completed his legal studies in the offices of Hon. Joshua A. Spencer and Judge Samuel R. Beardsley.  He was admitted to the bar at the age of twenty-one.

He removed to Oswego in 1828, and commenced there the practice of his profession. In 1834 or 1835, he entered into partnership with William F. Allen, and continued to practice under the firm style of Grant & Allen until the latter was elected judge, in July, 1847.  Mr. Grant remained alone in business for a short time, when be became associated with Edwin Allen, and continued with him until he retired from practice.

In 1835 Mr. Grant was appointed district attorney for the county of Oswego.  In 1836 he was elected to Congress from the district then composed of Oswego and Oneida counties, and served one term to the entire satisfaction of his constituents.  He was one of the originators and the first president of the Riverside Cemetery association; one of the incorporators of the Lake Ontario bank, and a director from its organization until his death. 

He was an advocate for the construction of the Niagara ship-canal, and labored assiduously for the success of that enterprise.  For several years he was a director and the secretary of the Oswego and Syracuse railroad company, and for many years occupied the position of warden of Christ church, of which he was an honored member.

The distinguishing traits of Mr. Grant’s character were his indomitable energy, his unyielding support of the right, his constancy of purpose to accomplish successfully all matters intrusted to his hands, either professional or simply of a business nature.  His quick perception, sound judgement, strict integrity, and fair dealing secured to him great success and the confidence of the community.

On the 11th day of December, 1871, after an eminently successful business career, and the near approach of threescore years and ten, he died, leaving behind him a blameless reputation, and a name honored and respected.

Source: "History of Oswego County, N. Y., 1789 – 1877, published by Everett & Ferriss, 1878.  Many thanks to Dianne Thomas who transcribed this biography. 


MYRON PARDEE was born in Manheim, Herkimer county, New York, in 1819.  His ancestors were: Joseph, born 1664; married Elizabeth Yale, daughter of the first Thomas Yale, of New Haven, Connecticut; John of Norwalk, Connecticut, in 1698, settled in Sharon, Connecticut, where he became a large landed proprietor.  He was a lieutenant in the army.  His son James built, in 1751, the  brick residence in Sharon known as the “Pardee House” which is still (1877) standing, and occupied by his grandson.  Thomas, 1722; Samuel, 1746; and Luther, 1789, was the rest, by generations, in lineal descent.

Myron Pardee was a pupil of the Rev. Seth F. Swift in the Oswego select school in 1833, and afterwards graduated from Fairfield academy, in Herkimer county, New York, coming to Oswego again for a permanent residence in 1837, when he entered the service of Bronson & Crocker, proprietors of an extensive forwarding and commission house, and remained with them six years.  He traveled for them in 1842-43 as agent and salesman of flour and grain, spending both summers in Montreal and Quebec, and passing through the riotous Corkonians and far-downers of the “Long Sault Canal” with large sums of money; the avails of his sales in Montreal and Quebec, often amounting to many thousands of dollars, were sent by him, per express, in silver in New York via Lake Champlain, and by stage coaches.

In 1844 he entered into partnership with Frederick T. Carrington in the flouring and grain trade, Mr. Carrington conducting the business in Oswego, and Mr. Pardee trading in the west through New York, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Illinois, engaged in the purchase of grain and in the building of vessels on Lake Erie.  This continued for six years, and, in connection with his former travels for Bronson & Crocker, gave him a large experience in the trade and commerce of the lakes.  From 1844 to 1850 there were no telegraph lines and but few railroads in these regions, and away from the steamboats of the lakes the traveling was done either by stage coach or private conveyance.  Then the man who drove the fastest horses and rode the most nights was rewarded by the most successful purchases.  Mr. Pardee’s business prospered, and in connection with Mr. Carrington he became a large holder of real estate in Oswego, including therein the canal and water-power of the west side of the river.  The first large grain-elevator of Oswego (knows as the Ontario elevator) was built by Carrington & Pardee, and Moses Merrick.

In 1847, Mr. Pardee, at Augusta, Maine, married Caroline A., Webber, (whose portrait accompanies his own at the head of this page) and in 1848 he built his present residence, known as “Lakeside”.  He has been an active business man.  Never sought or held public office.  Almost the only record of his early career in Oswego was his serving as a fireman in 1834, when the first great fire swept away the flouring-mill on the east side.  His certificate as a fireman (signed by John Grant, Jr., president of the village of Oswego) is now framed and kept by the present fire council, and is among the oldest certificates in existence.
Mr. Pardee’s general character for integrity and fair dealing, his public-spirited enterprise and liberality, and other excellent qualities of head and heart, are too well known to need any comment from us.

Source: "History of Oswego County, N. Y., 1789 – 1877, published by Everett & Ferriss, 1878.  Many thanks to Dianne Thomas who transcribed this biography. 


LUTHER WRIGHT was born at Nelson, New Hampshire, in the 18th day of September, 1799.  In the year 1806 he came with his father to the town of Rodman, Jefferson county, New York, where he remained, following agricultural pursuits, until seventeen years of age, when he commenced teaching school.  He continued in this honorable vocation during a period of two years, and subsequently entered the employ of Mr. Jesse Smith, of Smithville, Jefferson county, one of the most extensive merchants on the northern frontier.  He remained in the establishment of Mr. Smith about seven years, when he removed to Tompkins county, New York.  He successfully conducted a mercantile business in that locality until 1832, and in that year came to Oswego, then a small village, and engaged in the business of milling and forwarding, which he conducted successfully until 1842, when the entire establishment was destroyed by fire.  In the following year he founded the Luther Wright’s bank, which proved to be one of the most successful banking 
institutions of that period.  He has since been engaged in banking, and is the president of the Lake Ontario National bank and the Oswego City Savings bank.  His integrity, uprightness, benevolence, and truly Christian spirit won the confidence of his fellow-citizens in a remarkable degree, and he has been chosen to many positions of honor and responsibility, and he has ever discharged their duties with credit to himself and to the entire satisfaction of the people.  He was one of the first subscribers to the stock of the Syracuse and Oswego railroad, and was elected its first treasurer; he officiated in that capacity until it was merged with the Delaware and Lackawanna railroad company.  He was also treasurer of the Lake Ontario Shore railroad company from its organization until its sale to the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburgh railroad company, and was one of the projectors of the Oswego gas-light company, and the president of that company.  It has been truthfully said, that all the public local enterprises of his day have felt the influence of his capital and the benefit of his advice.

In 1828, Mr. Wright united in marriage with Lucinda Smith, who died in the city of Oswego in 1838.  Two years afterwards he married Miss. L. Bailey, a native of Adams, Jefferson county, New York.  His present family consists of three children, two sons and one daughter, the wife of Mr. John T. Mott  Of Oswego city.

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