Portrait of Hon. Thos. J. Marvin

Among the honorable names and benefactors of Saratoga none have been held in more justly deserved esteem than the subject of this brief memoir, Hon. Thomas J. Marvin. He was the son of William Marvin, and brother of Hon. James M. Marvin, and was born in Malta, Saratoga Co., N.Y., on the 26th of June, 1803. He graduated at Union College, and commenced the study of law in the village of Saratoga Springs, in 1824, in the office of Hon. Wm. L.F. Warren. During the four years following he qualified himself for the legal profession, and in 1828 was admitted to practice in all the courts of the State. At the second election of such officers by the people, he was chosen with great unanimity justice of the peace, and discharged in a faithful manner the duties of his office during the succeeding four years. In 1833 he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the State, and a better or more useful member of that body was never returned from this county. He was subsequently one of the judges of the county court, and upon the retirement of Colonel Young was made first judge, which place he filled with great credit to himself and satisfaction to the public, until superseded by the Constitution of 1846. He was appointed postmaster at Saratoga Springs during President Tyler's administration, and continued as such during the administration of James K. Polk. He faithfully represented his town in the board of supervisors in 1851 and 1852. He was the first to establish a bank at Saratoga, in connection with his brother, James M. Marvin, and as soon as he saw that the citizens were sufficiently united and willing to take portions of the stock, he cheerfully consented to open the books and make it an associated institution, retaining but a small amount of the stock for himself, although it was known to be a profitable investment, and declining to occupy any other position than that of a director.

The first charter in this State for a fire insurance company upon the mutual plan was procured by Judge Marvin in 1835. He organized the Saratoga County Mutual, which was one of the best and safest fire insurance companies in the State, of which he became the secretary, and held the office till the time of his death. He repeatedly filled the office of trustee of the village, and president of the board, and for three years he discharged the trying and responsible duties of town assessor with more intelligence and independence than are usually found in town officers of this description. In all these stations he ever commanded the confidence, respect, and good-will of all with whom he associated, imparting character and dignity to office rather than taking anything from it.

His sound and comprehensive views upon all questions which came before him, were the theme of admiration by his friends, and pointed him out as the safe counselor, the discreet and prudent legislator, the firm, unbiased, and consistent judge, and the faithful guardian of every trust committed to his hands. As an energetic, enterprising, and useful citizen he had no superior and few equals. His active and benevolent mind was not confined to objects of mere self, but he was always foremost in stimulating and promoting enterprises and undertakings designed to benefit the community and the age in which he lived. To his efforts and exertions, more perhaps than to any other man's, the village of Saratoga is indebted for its most valuable improvements and its prosperity. He gave his life and vitality to the business of the place, and many are the men who are reaping and enjoying the advantages resulting from his labors; many, too, owe their first successful beginnings in life to his indomitable energy in pushing forward enterprises calculated to benefit all.

As a friend he was ever reliable, liberal, and warmhearted. No man would go farther or do more to aid a friend in distress, while his heart and hand were ever open to the needy, and he seemed to take as much delight in making others comfortable and happy as to be so himself. His impulses and acts were always in the right direction, and that sordid selfishness often manifest in the career of a successful, money-making man, found no place in his character.

As a companion he was always cheerful and pleasant, and although during the latter years of his life he was often precluded by ill health from mingling in the pastimes of his neighbors, his house was always open to all who desired to enjoy his hospitality, and he was ever the centre of the social circle.

In his domestic relations his life furnishes a bright example of all that adorns the character of a devoted husband, a kind and indulgent father, a true and fraternal brother, and a warm-hearted, faithful friend. A singular instance of the attachment of a domestic is illustrated in the death of Clarissa C. Evans, a colored woman, who served in his family. It is reported in the same paper which announced the death of Judge Marvin. This faithful servant had been several years employed in the family, and when the intelligence of his death reached them she was apparently as well as usual, busily engaged ia taking care of her little children. On hearing that he was no more, she fainted, and in an instant life was extinct.

Judge Marvin died on the 29th of December, 1852, at Havana, in the island of Cuba, whither he had gone for the benefit of his health.



Among the many eminent citizens who have lived and died in the county of Saratoga during the present century, no one is more justly entitled to a prominent place in these biographical sketches than Judge William Hay. Yet perhaps no one among them all cared less or strove less for what men commonly call success in life or fame and fortune than he; and perhaps no one among them all, laying aside mere selfish considerations, cared more or strove more than he for what he thought to be the best good of his fellow-men.

Able, eloquent, and learned in his profession, and early commanding a large and lucrative practice, yet he was more of a scholar than a lawyer, and was always only too glad to turn aside from what doubtless seemed to him to be the hard-trodden dusty pathways of the law into the greener and more inviting fields of literature.

In his character there always seemed to be a strange mingling of manly sternness and womanly tenderness; kind and gentle almost to a fault, yet when he thought the occasion required, he could rebuke with severity. In his life and aims he was more the philanthropist than the philosopher. His aims and motives were not always quite understood by those with whom he had daily intercourse. Yet they always knew that he was purely good at heart and true, and if what he said and did did not always meet with their approval, yet he always commanded their highest esteem and love.

William Hay was born in Cambridge, Washington county, New York, on the 10th day of September, 1793. His father was James Hay, who emigrated from near Paisley, Scotland. His mother was Katy McVicker, a cousin of the celebrated author, Mrs. Grant, of Laggan.

When quite young his father removed to Glen's Falls, and embarked in business. It was here that he improved to the utmost the somewhat meagre educational facilities which the schools of the country afforded. What could not then be taught him at school his eager thirst for knowledge induced him to seek in the study of books at home, and he soon became quite proficient in English literature and history.

In 1808 he began the study of the law in the office of Henry O. Martindale, of Glen's Falls. In 1812, having in the mean time been admitted to the bar, he opened an office in Caldwell, at the head of Lake George, and such were his talents and ability that he soon acquired a large and lucrative practice. In the War of 1812 he raised a rifle company, and marched at the head of it as lieutenant commanding to Plattsburg, but did not arrive in time for the battle. He was also one of the volunteers in the expedition to Carthagena, in consequence of which he spent a winter in Philadelphia, where he learned the printer's trade. In 1819 he became the publisher of the Warren Patriot, the first and only paper ever published at Lake George. In 1822 he removed to Glen's Falls, and was elected member of Assembly from Warren county. About this time he issued a small volume of poetry, entitled "Isabel Davolos, the Maid of Seville." In the spring of 1837 he removed to Ballston, and in 1840 removed to Saratoga Springs, where he resided until his death, which occurred on Sunday, the 12th day of February, 1870.

Judge Hay was in many respects a most remarkable man. "He was," says Dr. Holden, the learned historian of Queensbury, "a man of extensive reading and vast erudition, not a little tenacious of his opinions and views, some of which bordered upon eccentricity. But few of the sterner sex ever possessed more delicate sensibilities, keener perceptions, or more rapid intuitions.

"In the latter decades of his life he became a bold and fearless advocate of temperance. His delight and recreation, however, were drawn through the flowery, though not thornless paths of poetry and romance. His memory was something extraordinary, his industry in research indefatigable, and his mind was stored with the choicest cullings from the wide fields of literature and belles-lettres. In American history he was a standard authority, to whom it was safe to refer at a moment's warning, and in the matter of local history his mind was an exhaustless treasury."

Indeed, at the time of his death he had collected and arranged in order, in his own methodical way, several large scrap-books of valuable historic matter, in contemplation of publishing a history of this county. Alas, the task has fallen upon less competent hands.

Judge Hay married Miss Sophia Payne, daughter of Stephen Payne, of Northumberland. The children of this union were De Witt C., John G., Catharine McVicar, now Mrs. McKean, Mary Payne, now Mrs. Bockes, Sidney, Frank, Agnes, Henry, Alice, and William Wirt.



Residence of the late W.L.F. Warren (with portrait)

William La Fayette Warren was born at Troy, N.Y., Feb. 4, 1793. He was graduated at Union College, in 1814, when he came to Saratoga Springs and entered the law offices of Judge Esek Cowen as a student. Three years afterwards they formed a partnership, which continued until 1824. In 1819 he was appointed district attorney of Saratoga County, which office he filled till Sept. 6, 1836, when he was succeeded by Nicholas Hill, Jr., who had also been a student in the office of Judge Cowen. It was during their connection with that office that a new edition of Phillips' Evidence, "With Cowen and Hill's Notes," was prepared, - an elaborate work, in four volumes, of great value to the profession for many years, - in which Mr. Warren assisted; and he prepared the last volume of the series himself. The latter was issued from the press without giving the name of the author, but simply "By a Counsellor-at-Law."

Subsequent to the elevation of Judge Cowen to the bench of the Supreme Court, Mr. Warren formed a law partnership with his nephew, William A. Beach.

Up to 1824, Judge Warren held various town offices. In that year he was appointed by the Governor and Senate "master in chancery, injunction and taxing master," a responsible office, which he held until 1848, when the court of chancery was abolished by the constitution of 1846. At the same session of the Senate, in 1824, he was appointed to another office peculiar to those times, viz.: "justice of the peace, performing judicial duties," which were, on the common-law side of the judiciary, something like those of a master in the court of chancery. In 1823 he was appointed, by the Governor, judge-advocate of the 15th Division of Infantry of the State of New York, the active duties of which office he discharged till 1831.

In 1828 he married Miss Eliza White, only daughter of Epenetus White, of Ballston Spa.

In 1845 he was made judge of the court of common pleas, and held the office till it was abrogated by the judiciary act of 1848. The many records and files which bear his well-known signature, "Wm. L.F. Warren," will keep his name alive long after this generation shall have passed away. In politics he was a Democrat until the Rebellion, when he became a Republican, and so continued to his death. In 1848 he ran as one of the presidential electors on the ticket with Cass and Butler, but the Van Buren and Adams movement - the so-called Free-Soil ticket - so divided the Democratic party that the Whig ticket for electors was successful, including the late Dr. Samuel Freeman, of Saratoga, giving the election to Gen. Taylor and Millard Fillmore. From that time forward Judge Warren was not active in politics.

He ever took a lively interest in public affairs, and fulfilled the duties of every office he held with credit to himself and satisfaction to the community. He was one of the originators of the railroad from Saratoga to Whitehall, and the Schenectady Bank, and Bank of Saratoga Spring, and for a long time one of the directors in each of these corporations. He never relinquished the practice of the law, a profession he pursued with diligence and success. His clientage was large and of the best class. He was familiar with the history of all important litigations in the county for more than half a century, and was long the standing source of information in respect to estates and titles. He was a safe lawyer, one of the best practitioners, an impressive advocate before a jury, and an influential counsel in argument before the bench. In social life he was noted for his hospitality and good nature. He possessed in a rare degree that quality of bearing and manner - united with a comeliness of person and a fine presence - which not only favorably impressed the stranger, but endeared him to those who enjoyed his society. He was genial, patient, and forbearing, and was actuated by those higher motives which are always recognized and felt when systematically and constantly exercised as they were during the whole of his long life.

But he will be longer remembered for his genial faith in the Christian religion, which he held from a child. Soon after the organization of the First Presbyterian church of Saratoga Springs, he became a member, and was an earnest; and devoted supporter of it during his life. In a letter to an old college classmate, he says, "As far back as I can remember, I avoided profanity, revered the Sabbath, and attended its ordinances, as I supposed, conscientiously, but did not profess the faith of Jesus Christ until the year 1819, since which time I have, as I could, though imperfectly, tried to walk in the footsteps of the flock of the Great Shepherd of souls; how short of perfection my friends and contemporaries are all aware. In 1842 I was chosen a corporate member of the board of commissioners for foreign missions, and continued such member about twenty years, when my age and infirmities induced me to resign, that others more efficient might be appointed in my place. My heart still remains attached to that institution. The time employed in its blessed service is remembered by me among my happiest and sweetest recollections; and, if my life is spared, I hope to continue the devoted friend and abettor of the missionary cause, both foreign and domestic, believing that its heavenly teachings can alone prepare the soul for its eternal destiny.

"In January, 1844, I was promoted from a deaconship in the church to an elder, and have been a ruling elder in the First Presbyterian church in this place, and have continued such ever since. I note this not as a sign of merit, but as a mark of the confidence of my Christian brethren."

Judge Warren departed this life at his residence in Saratoga Springs on Sunday evening, May 23, 1875, aged eighty-two years. Mrs. Warren still survives him, as also his two daughters and their families.



Portrait of Charles S. Lester

the subject of this sketch, was born at Worcester, Mass., on the 15th day of March, 1824. His paternal ancestors for several generations were natives of Connecticut and Vermont. His father was a graduate of Vermont University, and subsequently became a leading merchant in Montreal. The business failures which followed the War of 1812 swept away the capital of the firm with which Mr. Lester was connected, and overwhelmed him with reverses from which he never recovered. Young Lester, who at an early age was left to the care of his mother, was educated at the Washington Academy, in Salem, N.Y. In September, 1841, he entered the law-office of Crary & Fairchild as a clerk, and in October, 1843, removing to Saratoga Springs, he continued his studies in the office of his uncle, the Hon. John Willard, then circuit judge and vice-chancellor of the Fourth Circuit. In May, 1845, he was admitted as attorney in the Supreme Court, having previously been admitted as solicitor and counsellor in chancery by the late Chancellor Walworth. In 1859 he was elected district attorney on the Democratic ticket by a handsome majority, although the Democrats were then in political minority in the county. He discharged the duties of public prosecutor for three years in an able and fearless manner, and tried the causes on the part of the people with a skill and careful preparation which met with marked public approbation. In 1870 he was elected county judge, and filled that office for six years with credit to himself and satisfaction to the public. While on the bench he was distinguished for the rapidity with which he dispatched business, and the impartiality and urbanity with which he discharged all his duties. Upon the breaking out of the Rebellion he joined what was known as the War Democrats, and since that time has been thoroughly identified with the Republican party.

In 1849 he was married to Miss Lucy L. Cooke, and under her admirable management an estimable family of children have grown up around him. Mrs. Lester, wherever known, is esteemed as a lady of rare worth and of high mental and personal accomplishments. His two eldest sons, Charles C. Lester and John Willard Lester, are graduates of Union College, and having studied law in their father's office and been admitted to the bar, are now connected with him in business. He has two other children, Susan Lester and James Westcott Lester, the latter of whom is now in Union College.

Judge Lester has a large and varied practice, and being of an ardent and sympathetic temperament, becomes deeply interested in the causes of his clients, making their interests his own. His fidelity and devotion to his clients has made him a popular and trusted as well as successful advocate. Like all men of positive character, he has intrenched himself in the hearts of many devoted friends, and as a consequence has encountered bitter personal attacks from disappointed opponents. He has occupied many positions of trust and honor, such as supervisor of the town, president of the village, president of the board of education, and president of the Commercial Bank, and under his wise and prudent management the latter institution attained its highest success. In the midst of a laborious profession he has not neglected literary pursuits, and in 1854 the corporation of Yale College conferred upon him the honorary degree of A.M.

In 1872, when the late Alexander T. Stewart purchased the Grand Union Hotel, he selected Judge Lester for his local agent and counsel, and continued on intimate friendly relations with him until his death. The estimation in which he was held by that gentleman may be gathered from the following graceful note, which was addressed to him as the writer was about leaving for Europe:

"NEW YORK, July 15, 1873.

"MY DEAR JUDGE, - I cannot leave without thanking you for all your kindness and attention to my interests and wishing you and yours health and happiness. I hope I may have the pleasure to meet your son in Paris, and to have the opportunity to pay him some attention. With kind regards to Mrs. Lester, believe me, I am,

Sincerely your friend,


Nor would this sketch be complete were not allusion made to Judge Lester's oratorical powers. While he is a direct and forcible speaker, he has the happy yet rare gift of so mingling the adornment of a pleasing delivery with homely argument, as to add to the picturesqueness of his speeches without weakening their effect. This was strikingly illustrated at the Centennial celebration of Burgoyne's surrender, where, as president of the day, he delivered the opening address, and, in his usual felicitous manner, introduced the several orators of the occasion.

A brief biographical sketch of a living person is necessarily a compilation of statistics, and a full and just tribute to his honorable character will belong more appropriately to his obituary.

The residence of Judge Lester, on upper Broadway, shown on another page, is a model of taste and elegance. It is of the domestic Gothic style, with a slight infusion of French in its details. The brick-work is laid up in black mortar in the Flemish header-bond mode, with bands of saw-tooth work and stone trimmings.



James Bedell McKean was born at Hoosic, Rensselaer Co., N.Y., Aug. 5, 1821. His father, Rev. Andrew McKean, died some years since, in the eighty-seventh year of his age. His mother, Mrs. Catharine Bedell McKean, is still living, and is eighty-seven years of age. The late Hon. Samuel McKean, of Pennsylvania, some time the colleague of Mr. Buchanan in the United States Senate, was his uncle, and the Rev. Samuel McKean, of Fort Edward, is his only brother. On his father's side he is descended from the MacIans, of Glencoe, Scotland. His branch of the family came to our country through Ireland, about the middle of the last century. John McKean, his great-grandfather, was the immigrant, and settled in Cecil Co., Md. There was born his grandfather, James McKean, who was cousin to Thomas McKean, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. On his mother's side, Mr. McKean's remote ancestors, the Bedells, of France, were Huguenots, he being descended from a branch of the family that settled near New York city about two hundred and fifty years ago.

Mr. McKean has been heard jocularly to insist that it was his duty to raise a regiment, because, through his mother, he escaped the massacre of St. Bartholomew's day; through his father, he escaped the massacre of Glencoe. The spot where he was born was on the battle-field of Bennington, midway between the positions taken up by the opposing armies. In his infancy his parents removed with their family, and settled down upon the battle-field of Saratoga, midway between the point where Burgoyne was defeated and that where he surrendered; and, lastly, because he thought he could raise a regiment when almost everybody else thought he could not.

After residing some years in the town of Saratoga, the family removed to a farm in Half-Moon, near and southeast of Round lake. The subject of this sketch is indebted for his education to common schools, academies, and to self-teaching. In his youth he taught in the district schools, and was for some time one of the professors in Jonesville Academy. While teaching and studying he gave some attention to Blackstone, Kent, and other sages of the law. When twenty-one years of age he was elected town superintendent of common schools for Half-Moon. When twenty-three years of age he was elected colonel of the One Hundred and Forty-fourth Regiment of New York State militia, was commissioned by Governor Silas Wright, and commanded that regiment for some years.

In June, 1847, he entered the law office of Bullard & Cramer, at Waterford, and devoted himself to the law. On March 5, 1849, he was admitted to practice in all the courts of the State, and opened an office at Ballston Spa. On June 20, 1850, he married Katharine Hay, daughter of the late Judge William Hay. and sister to Mrs. Judge Bockes. In June, 1851, he removed to Saratoga Springs. In the fall of 1854, he was nominated for county judge by a Republican Convention, held at Ballston Spa, believed to have been the first Republican Convention held in the State. The Whig candidate for county judge was Gideon Putnam; one wing of the Democrats nominated John A. Corey, and the other Henry W. Merrill. The "Americans" or "Know-Nothings" had no ticket distinct from the other parties, but selected from these candidates such as they chose. Some of them voted for McKean, some for Putnam, etc. McKean was elected county judge, and served four years. Several of his judicial opinions can be found in "Howard's Practice Reports." In 1858, the Republicans of the Fifteenth district elected him Representative in Congress, and re-elected him in 1860.

In the War of the Great Rebellion, Judge McKean took a prominent part, as has been already seen in these pages. {See chapter xxiii.}

In the spring of 1865, believing that it would benefit his health, President Lincoln sent him to Spanish America, to exchange the ratifications of a treaty with the government of Honduras. Afterwards, Mr. Seward, as Secretary of State to President Johnson, tendered him the appointment of consul to San Domingo, which, however, he declined. In the year 1870 President Grant appointed him chief justice of the Supreme Court of Utah Territory, a position for which he was not a candidate. He was induced, however, to accept the office, and served in it five years. Judge McKean is now practicing law at Salt Lake City.



The subject of this sketch was descended from one of the old and celebrated families in the colonial history of New York State. His granduncle, William Walton, built, in 1754, what ia now known in New York city as the "Old Walton House," on Franklin Square, where "he gathered around his table such of the famous men of the Old World as officially, or in pursuit of pleasure, visited the New. His lavish entertainments, dazzling display of massive silver, the forest of decanters which graced his sideboard, and the costly wines that flowed free and fast, were prolific subjects for criticism in England."

Henry Walton was born in the city of New York, Oct. 8, 1768. In 1780 be was sent to England under the guardianship of Peter Van Schaick, to be educated. From his twelfth to his twentieth year he studied in Great Britain, after which he returned to New York city, and began the study of law with Aaron Burr. In 1790 he went to Ballston, purchased some land, and erected a house. This place is now known as the "Delavan Farm." During his residence in Ballston he officiated as surrogate of the county, - 1794 to 1808. Subsequently he resided in Albany and New York; at the former place - In 1815 - he erected "Pine Grove," subsequently the residence of Chancellor Walworth. In 1816 he came to the village of Saratoga Springs, and took possession of the real estate descended to him from his father and uncle Gerard. In a few years he became one of the largest landholders in the place. He built a beautiful country-seat, which he named "Wood Lawn." His possessions in Saratoga Springs included all of the present village, except that portion lying south of Congress street and the mineral fountains. During the early years of his residence in Saratoga, he was associated in legal partnership with Mr. Leavett. {Reminiscences of Saratoga.}

He excavated and tubed many of Saratoga's numerous and noted mineral springs, and erected a Chinese pagoda over one of them, the "Flat Rock Spring." The several residences he built, as well as the Pavilion Hotel, show that he inherited his uncle's architectural tastes.

In person Henry Walton was a tall, fine-looking man. Gentlemanly in manners and feelings, he had the faculty of binding to him in close ties the educated and refined. Although warmly attached to the Church of England, he was free from bigotry, as his many gifts to the Presbyterian, Methodist, and Universalist churches, etc., bear evidence. Mr. Walton, or, as he was usually called, Judge Walton, was a man of high culture, refined tastes, and public spirited. He was three times married. His first wife was a French lady, of which the following copy of the inscription on her tombstone in Briggs' cemetery gives us genealogical data:




Who died 22d August, 1798,

aged 39 years."

His second wife was a Mrs. Yates, whose maiden name was Miss Cruger. By her he had the following children, viz., Jacob: Mary, Henry, Jared, William, Cruger, and Matilda. His third wife was Mrs. Margaret Kearney, sister to General Phil. Kearney. The result of this union was three children, viz., Susan, Jared, and Susan K.

He died in New York city Sept. 15, 1844, aged seventy-six years, and was buried in the family vault, in Trinity churchyard.



Portrait of James M. Marvin

James Madison Marvin was born in the town of Ballston, Saratoga Co., N.Y., Feb. 27, 1809. He is the seventh in descent from Matthew Marvin, who came from England with his family in 1635. Matthew Marvin was one of the original proprietors of Hartford, Conn., and resided several years on the corner of Village and Front streets. He was also a pioneer settler at Norwalk, and represented that town in the general court of Connecticut in 1654. He died in 1680.

Matthew Marvin, son of Matthew, was born in England about 1627, and came to New England with his father in 1635, then a boy eight years of age. He was also one of the original owners of Norwalk, Conn., which town he represented in the general court in 1694, and in 1697.

Samuel Marvin, son of Matthew. was born in Norwalk, and also represented his town in the general court in 1718.

The remaining ancestors in the direct line of the present family were as follows: Josiah Marvin, son of Samuel, born in Norwalk, died about 1780; William Marvin, son of Josiah, born in Norwalk, March 24, 1740, married Susannah Wright, Nov. 10, 1767, died at Malta, Saratoga Co., N.Y., March 4, 1810; William Marvin, son of William, born Oct. 19, 1768, married Mary Benedict, March 5, 1793, and died at Malta, Saratoga Co., Feb. 27, 1839.

The last mentioned, William and Mary (Benedict) Marvin, were the parents of the subject of this sketch, who, as we have said, was born Nov. 27, 1809, in the town of Ballston, Saratoga Co. He is the third in a family of three sons, of whom Alvah D. and Thomas J. (the late Judge Marvin) were older brothers.

James M. Marvin received in early life a good English education. In 1828, at the age of nineteen, he came to Saratoga Springs, and took charge of a hotel. The following year he went to Albany, and spent one year in the American Hotel, a new house just then opened. In 1830 he returned to Saratoga and became one of the proprietors of the United States Hotel, which had then been built six years. Since then Mr. Marvin has resided constantly at Saratoga; and while he has mixed considerably in politics and held many offices of trust, the duties of which he has discharged with credit and honor, it is chiefly in connection with the building and management of the United States Hotel that his great energy, financial and executive abilities, have been conspicuous. Since the death of his brother, Judge Thomas J. Marvin, in 1852, the management of the immense hotel, as well as the estates of both families, has devolved upon him.

In 1845 he was elected supervisor for Saratoga Springs, and was again elected in 1857, in which year he was chairman of the beard, and was also a member in 1862, and a member and chairman of the board in 1874.

In the fall of 1845 he was elected to represent the county of Saratoga in the General Assembly, being nominated by the Whig party, and elected in opposition to Patrick H. Cowen, the Democratic candidate. The result was a flattering compliment to Mr. Marvin, as the county at that time was largely Democratic. At the time of the disintegration of the Whig party, about 1856, Mr. Marvin, on account of his conservative views in politics, became affiliated with the Democratic, with which he continued to act till the breaking out of the Rebellion, when he became an earnest supporter of the Union cause. In 1862 he was elected to Congress on the Union ticket, and served six consecutive years, in the Thirty-eighth, Thirty-ninth, and Fortieth Congresses. While in Congress he co-operated earnestly with the Republicans in securing those measures rendered necessary by the destruction of slavery, and aided in the passage of the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments to the Constitution.

He was a working member rather than a speech-maker, keeping aloof from all partisan and personal contentions. His large acquaintance and personal popularity with the members gave him great influence, and he rarely, if ever, failed to secure any appointment asked for his district. It is said that the interests of his district were more thoroughly attended to during his services in Congress than under the administration of any other member who ever represented it in that body.

Mr. Marvin, with his brother, Hon. Thomas J. Marvin, established the Bank of Saratoga Springs, now the First National Bank, in 1841. Judge Marvin was president, and James M. Marvin, cashier. Although established and managed by them as a private interest, when its profits became large they did not selfishly retain the stock, but divided it among other business men of the village.

He was one of the original commissioners of the Saratoga Springs Water-works, and took an active interest in supplying the village with water. He has been for over twenty-five years a director of the Schenectady and Saratoga railroad, and is at present a director of the New York Central and Hudson River railroad. He has also been, for several years past, president of the First National Bank of Saratoga Springs.

In religious belief he is an Episcopalian, and has held the office of vestryman of Bethesda church, of Saratoga Springs, for the past thirty years.

On the 26th of September, 1838, he married Miss Rhoby H. Barnum, daughter of Eli Barnum, of Ballston Spa, an intelligent and cultivated lady, who is still his companion. Of the five children born to them, four daughters are living. Their only son - a beautiful and promising boy - died at the age of nine years.



Portrait of Gideon M. Davison

Gideon Miner Davison was one of the old line of men who early identified themselves with the growth and prosperity of the village of Saratoga Springs, and contributed by their great energy of character, versatility of resource, and active personal effort in securing the future welfare and position of the village.

He was born in Middletown, Vt. His parents were formerly from Connecticut, his mother's maiden name being Miner. His father was a farmer, and died in early life, but his mother is still well remembered by the older residents of Saratoga. In the course of his genealogical studies Mr. Davison succeeded in tracing back the history of his mother's family for a period of five hundred years to the time of Edward the Third, of England, in whose reign the family name of Miner had its origin. A man named Bulman, who was a miner by occupation, enlisted under the banner of his monarch, who was then at war with France, together with one hundred of his workmen, and armed them with weapons. He rendered such efficient service that he was rewarded by the king with a crest and coat of arms, and from that time assumed the name of his occupation - Miner. This crest can still be seen upon the tomb-stone of one of the Miner family, two hundred years old, at Stonington, Conn. The subject of this sketch attributed much of the success that he attained in life to the teachings of his excellent mother.

Mr. Davison received a common-school education, and at an early age entered the office of Wm. Fay, in Rutland, Vt., to learn the art of printing. After his apprenticeship was completed he went to New York, where he worked at his trade for a number of years. He afterwards returned to Rutland, and entered into partnership with Mr. Fay, and there married Sarah, daughter of Hon. John Mason, of Castleton. During his residence in Rutland, his firm issued a "History of the War of 1812." They also established the Rutland Herald, which is still in existence.

In 1817-18, Mr. Davison came to Saratoga, having formed a design of establishing a newspaper at that place. After advising with such men as Miles Beach, Rockwell Putnam, Esek Cowen, and Dr. John H. Steel, he decided to start The Saratoga Sentinel, the first number of which was issued some time in April, 1818. The paper met with success, and received the support of the most influential citizens of the county. In addition to the newspaper department, Mr. Davison increased the capacity of his office for book work, adding a stereotype foundry in 1841. He also printed and published "Cowen's Court Reports of the State of New York." He further edited and published an edition of "Stevens' Arithmetic," a quarto family Bible from stereotype plates, "Smith's Lectures to the Unconverted," several editions of Dr. Steel's "Analysis of the Mineral Waters," "Goodrich's Spelling-Book," and in 1838 he and the late Judge Warren compiled a guide-book, which appeared under the titles of "The Fashionable Tour" and "The Northern Tourist."

Mr. Davison was a strong advocate of public improvements, being especially interested in the establishment and extension of railroads, to several of which the most active years of his life were devoted.

At the abolition of the court of chancery, under the Constitution of 1846, Mr. Davison occupied the position of clerk. His first wife died in April, 1861, and his second marriage to Anna Miller, who survived him, took place in January, 1863. He leaves four children, viz., John M. Davison, for many years register in chancery, and afterwards president of the Saratoga and Whitehall railroad; Clement M. Davison, a banker in Detroit; Chas. A. Davison, a lawyer of New York city, and Sarah M. Davison, his only daughter.

He was a member of the Presbyterian church from an early date, was for many years the superintendent of the Sabbath-school, and, since 1827, a period of more than forty years, one of its ruling elders. He died on Thursday, Oct. 1, 1869, at the ripe age of seventy-eight. On the day following his decease a meeting of the prominent citizens of Saratoga was held, at which addresses were made and resolutions adopted eulogizing the public achievements and private virtues of the deceased. As his body was borne to its last resting-place the places of business on Broadway were closed and the bells of the churches were tolled.

Mr. Davison was a man of spotless purity of character, conscientious in the administration of the various trusts committed to him, just in all his dealings with his fellow-men, plain and unassuming in his manners, and courteous in his intercourse with others.

We are indebted for many of the facts relating to his long and active life to Wm. L. Stone's "Reminiscences of Saratoga and Ballston."



John C. Hulbert, who was judge of Saratoga County from 1863 to 1871, was born in Pittsford, Vermont, Feb. 12, 1817. His father, Luther Hulbert, established himself as a merchant at Malta, in this county, when John C. was quite young; he also held several town offices, and seems to have manifested considerable talent and a decided leaning toward a political and legal career, having at one time been a master in chancery. The son, however, started out in life in another path, - that of literature. After finishing an academical education at Saratoga Springs, he (as did Judge Corey) decided to become a disciple of Guttenberg rather than of Blackstone, and served an apprenticeship in the office of the old Ballston Spa Gazette; and, like Judge Corey, he forsook printercraft to follow the law as a life vocation. He studied with such able men as Judges Marvin and Hill, and William A. Beach, Esq. In December, 1836, he was admitted to the bar of the Common Pleas, and in 1839 to that of the Supreme Court. He was eminently successful and popular as an advocate. From 1847 to 1856 he held the office, performing the duties with acceptance and honor, of surrogate. In 1862 he was elected county judge, and was re-elected for the two ensuing terms. He made an upright and able judge. Since his retirement from the bench, he has prosecuted his chosen profession at the bar.



Portrait of E.F. Bullard

is a native of Saratoga County, having been born at Schuylerville, Feb. 7, 1821. He is the fourth son of Alpheus Bullard, and his paternal ancestors will be seen under the sketch of his brother, Daniel A. Bullard. His mother, Hannah Fitch, is a descendant of Thomas Fitch, who settled at Norwalk, Conn., in 1638. His son, Thomas (the second), had seven children, and died in 1690, at Norwalk. Thomas (the third), a son of the latter, died at Norwalk, May 10, 1731, aged sixty. A daughter of his was grand-mother of Chancellor Kent. Thomas (the fourth) was chief justice of the colony of Connecticut, and from 1754 to 1756 was governor of that colony; died July 18, 1774, aged seventy-five. He had ten children. His third son, Ebenezer, was born at Norwalk, Feb. 25, 1729; married Lydia, daughter of Samuel Mills, Jr., of Greenwich, Conn. He died at Wilton, Conn., in 1762; left three sons, namely, Major Jabez Fitch, Ebenezer Fitch, and Giles Fitch.

The second Ebenezer Fitch married Sarah, daughter of Colonel David Hobby, of Northcastle, Westchester Co., N.Y., a prominent actor in that vicinity during the Revolutionary war. {Reminiscences of Saratoga, by Wm. L. Stone, p. 82.}

Ebenezer Fitch removed from Wilton, Conn., in 1785, to the Saratoga district, where he settled at a place now called St. John's Corners, in the town of Greenfield, and where his daughter Hannah was born, Sept. 9, 1787. His mother came with him and resided with some of her children in that vicinity until the time of her death, Oct. 31, 1813, in the eighty-third year of her age. She was a remarkable woman, of great intelligence, and beloved by her family and neighbors. She remained a widow fifty-one years, being generally known by the name of Widow Fitch, and her modest monument over her grave, in the town of Greenfield, is thus lettered. She lived to see her children all prosperous and somewhat distinguished, all having been engaged in the War of the Revolution.

Her son Jabez was a major in active service, and her only daughter, widow of Captain St. John, lived until she drew her pension, about 1836, amounting to over $3000.

Her son Giles was appointed by the governor and council justice of the peace in 1793, and held the office a great many years.

Her son Ebenezer removed to Old Saratoga in 1798, where he died May 14, 1817, leaving ten children, among them Hannah, who married Alpheus Bullard, January 5, 1812, and Edward, his youngest son, who succeeded to his beautiful homestead, near the outlet of Saratoga lake. Hannah is yet living, in full possession of her mental faculties, at the time of this writing (June 22, 1878), although nearly ninety-one years of age.

Edward F. Bullard, when about two years old, removed with the family from Schuylerville to Northumberland, upon a new farm in the wilderness. The family of eight children were there reared by the parents by means of great industry and economy. Each of the sons helped fell the forest and clear up the land. Young Edward was thus engaged upon the farm after he was seven, and attended the district school, a mile and a half distant, winters only until he was fourteen years of age.

When fifteen years old, in September, 1836, he went to the academy at North Granville, Washington Co., N.Y., where he was a student for six months under the Rev. Ebenezer Mack, and during that time resided in the family of his uncle, John Sarle, M.D.

This was the extent of his education in the schools. The summer of 1837 he worked upon his father's farm, and during the following winter he taught a district school in the town of Old Saratoga, near Bryant's Bridge, and finished his three months of teaching before he was seventeen.

In June, 1838, he commenced the study of law with Joseph T. Fullerton, at Schuylerville; but during most of the summer he assisted upon his father's farm.

In September, 1838, he entered the office of Cramer & Ellis, at Waterford, in this county. Chesselden Ellis was then district attorney of Saratoga County, and young Bullard at once assisted in preparing the indictments, and very soon took part in the trials of the most important criminal cases brought before the courts of this county.

In 1840 he commenced an active political life, although not then twenty-one years of age. In 1842 he was elected justice of the peace for the town of Waterford, at the time he gave his first vote. During the fall of that year he brought forward as a candidate for Congress Mr. Ellis, and was largely instrumental in securing his nomination and election.

The rules of the Supreme Court then required a student to pursue a clerkship of seven years, and as he could procure but six months' deduction for classical studies, in the ordinary course young Bullard could not have been admitted to practice in that court until 1845. Long before that he was in the habit of trying cases at the circuit, and arguing motions at the special term, by the special grace of the court.

In May previous, Chief Justice Nelson made an order that he be admitted to present himself for examination at the October term, 1843. He was so examined at that term, with a class of about one hundred and ten, and stood at the head of the class, of whom about thirty were rejected. In 1844 he was appointed by Governor Bouck master and examiner in chancery, in the place of John K. Porter, whose term had expired, which office he held until the court of chancery was abolished in 1847. In 1845 he was elected brigadier-general of the Ninth Brigade, and commissioned by Silas Wright, then governor.

During the session of Congress of 1844-45, the question of the annexation of Texas was agitating the whole country, and most of the members from New York were opposed to it. Mr. Ellis sought the advice of his friend, young Bullard, who strongly urged him to sustain that measure, which he accordingly did. During the contest in the committee of the whole, the vote was sometimes so close that Mr. Ellis' vote was required to carry the question. Mr. Ellis often stated afterwards that Bullard was responsible for his vote and the results which followed.

In 1848, General Bullard took an active part in the canvass in favor of General Cass for President, making speeches in nearly every town in this county. In 1849 the Democratic party ran him as their candidate for Senator in this district against General Cook, but as that party was largely in the minority the latter was elected.

In April, 1850, Daniel S. Dickinson, then in the United States Senate, sustained the compromise measures against a powerful opposition in his own party, and at his request several leading Democratic politicians of this State were invited to Washington. Among the few who attended were Chancellor Walworth and General Bullard, and they together had interviews on that subject with many of the leading members of both houses. At the same time General Bullard became personally acquainted with Daniel Webster, on whose motion he was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States.

In September, 1850, General Bullard was a delegate to the Democratic State convention, and took an active part in indorsing the compromise measures which had then recently passed Congress. In 1851 the Democratic party ran him as a candidate for county judge against Judge Bockes. He then resided at Waterford, where he received a flattering vote, but not enough to overcome the adverse majority.

In the years of 1853 and 1854 he spent the winters in the south for the benefit of his health; and while there was treated with great courtesy by leading southern politicians, and by special invitation, in April, 1854, spent ten days with Governor James H. Hammond, of South Carolina, upon his plantation.

During his excursion in the south, the sympathetic nature of General Bullard coming in contact with slavery converted him into the friend of the oppressed.

Upon his return north he stopped over in Washington, and was present when the bill to repeal the Missouri compromise passed the House of Representatives. On that occasion several of the members from New York presented his name to the President for the appointment of consul to Honolulu, and he would probably have received that position; but, after his return home, July 19, 1854, he wrote to his friend, Governor Marcy, then Secretary of State, declining the place, and stating that he would accept no appointment which would impair his entire freedom to act as occasion might require.

Having been brought up at the feet of John Cramer, the leader of conservative Democrats, up to this time General Bullard had strongly supported that party; but having become converted to the anti-slavery cause he at once became a decided radical in favor of freedom.

At once he took the field in that cause, and his early attempts to organize the Republican party have become a part of the history of the country.

When the great anti-Nebraska convention, which met at Saratoga, Aug. 16, 1854, adjourned to Auburn without forming a new party, he at once, over his own signature, appealed to the independent voters of the State to join the convention to be held at Auburn, Sept. 26, 1854.

As that convention failed to follow his lead in forming a new party, he called a meeting in this county, to be held at Ballston Spa, Oct. 6, 1854, at which the Hon. William Hay presided, and Thomas C. Green, of Stillwater, was secretary, when Colonel McKean was nominated for county judge, and the nucleus of the Republican party was formed.

Although General Bullard continued an active supporter of the Republican cause, his course was too independent to suit the leading politicians, and hence they never selected him for official position.

When secession raised its banner, and the country was shaken by the approaching war, he sternly adhered to the cause of the oppressed, while he retained the kindest feelings towards the true men of the south. To such an extent did his kindness lead him that in February, 1861, he wrote to his friend, Colonel McKean, then in the House, that Congress should offer to pay for the slaves of the loyal men if they would emancipate them peaceably, without waiting for war. Colonel McKean fully concurred in that view, and on the 18th day of February, 1861, introduced a resolution into the House looking to that end, and sustained it by an able speech. President Lincoln afterwards sent a special message recommending substantially the same measures.

After Mr. Lincoln was inaugurated, General Bullard sustained the cause of the Union, and, by correspondence and otherwise, was instrumental in keeping the government firm in protecting its integrity.

At the outbreak, in April, 1861, General Wool, who was in command at New York, foreseeing the extent of the approaching conflict, took active measures to forward troops, while he stopped the shipment of supplies to the rebels at Norfolk. For these energetic measures some of the authorities at Washington had procured an order to be sanctioned by the President, ordering him back to Troy, and in effect superseding him. He had made strenuous efforts to be put in active service, and in this was aided by Senator Wilson, then at the head of the military committee of the Senate, and by A.B. Olin, then upon the same committee in the House. At this juncture General Bullard visited Washington in his behalf. On his arrival he called upon the members of the cabinet, General Scott, and the President, in company with Colonel McKean, yet a member of the House. The result of this conference was that within a few days General Wool was ordered into active service and sent to Fortress Monroe.

In April, 1863, General Bullard published a pamphlet of sixty-two pages, entitled, "The Nation's Trial," "The Dormant Powers of the Government," etc., which was extensively circulated. He received many letters in regard to this pamphlet. We take the liberty of publishing the following:

"PETERBORO, June 26, 1863.


"MY DEAR SIR, - God reward you for your admirable pamphlet, 'The Nation's Trial.' It is brimful of learning, wisdom, and righteousness. Nothing could be more timely. In behalf of humanity I thank you for this service to humanity. I have increasing hope that our poor guilty country is to be saved.

"Your friend,


In 1874, General Bullard became a resident of Saratoga Springs, where he yet resides, and continues in the active practice of his profession.

July 4, 1876, he delivered the centennial oration at Schuylerville, upon the grounds where Burgoyne had surrendered. It was published in pamphlet form, and furnished to many of the libraries of the country.



Francis Wayland was born in Frome, Somersetshire, England, in 1772. He married, in Norwich, Norfolk, Miss Sarah Moore, a native of that city. They came to this country in 1793, and to Saratoga Springs in 1821. Rev. Mr. Wayland was for several years pastor of the First Baptist church in this village, and after retiring from his charge, having a competent income, continued to reside in the place, often gratuituously supplying the desk for neighboring destitute churches, and was held in request for his just and wise counsels. He was among the first promoters of the cause of temperance in the county, uniformly holding, however, that permanent reform must be based on Christian principle.

A man of integrity, truth, and uprightness, of quiet tastes, unassuming and cordial manners, his influence was felt through the community, and he was endeared to many hearts by his kindly ministration to body and soul. He died at Saratoga Springs, in 1849.

Mrs. Wayland was a woman of marked character and pleasing address, and added to noble principles, refined taste, and sound judgment, the graces of a Christian life. She died in Saratoga Springs, 1836.

Their children were as follows: Francis Wayland, D.D., late president of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; Daniel Wayland, formerly in mercantile business in New York city; John Wayland, D.D., late rector of St. James', Roxbury, Massachusetts; Mary A. Westcott, adopted daughter, wife of James R. Westcott, Esq., of Saratoga Springs; Susan P. Stone, wife of William L. Stone, Esq., of New York city; Sarah W. Cushing, wife of Thomas Cushing, Esq., of Boston, Massachusetts; Anne E. Wayland, of Saratoga Springs.



Among the prominent men of affairs who moved to Saratoga Springs before the year 1810, was Miles Beach. His father was Zerah Beach, who was an early settler of Ballston from Amenia, Dutchess county, in this State. Zerah Beach was one of those who signed the treaty of Wyoming in 1778, and in 1793 was a magistrate of the town in which he lived. Miles Beach was in the military service during the Revolution. In 1781 he rose to the rank of captain in the Massachusetts militia; his family still having in their possession his commission as such under the broad signature of John Hancock. Miles Beach married Miss Cynthia M. Warren, who still survives him in the ninetieth year of her age, with the bright faculties of her youth to all appearances but little impaired, and in the enjoyment of a green old age. In 1807 he removed to Saratoga Springs, built in 1814 the home which his family still retains, held the office of postmaster, and was a prominent merchant and business man until his death, in 1837. His children were three sons, - William Augustus, Miles Edwin, and John Henry Ethelbert, and four daughters, two of whom died young, and of the surviving, one married Patrick Henry Cowen, and the other Benjamin Huntington Rosekrans.



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