Fulton County Scrapbook


A Temperate Estimate of the Wizard’s Character

His Absence Will Not Be Lamented by Business Men and Farmers–
The Greatest Accumulator of Wealth Even Known

Jay Gould is dead. The great multi-millionaire is no more. The richest man probably on the face of the earth at the close of last month, and but recently one of the most powerful for good or evil is now only a common piece of “clay,” such as the remains of ordinary mortals are made of.

The “Wizard” of Wall street may be missed, but says the Chicago Tribune, his absence will not be lamented, in the business world at least. He could not have had many real friends outside of his own family circle, to which he was devotedly attached, for his grasping desire for wealth made him utterly regardless of the welfare of those with whom he associated in business. He exercised no discrimination particular. All was fish that came to his net. He looked upon humanity as if it were an aggregation of sponges, and whenever he found one or a company that he thought contained enough moisture to make it worth his while to squeeze, thenceforth the squeezing process began. It was merciless as the grip of the grim monster, death, and almost as sure.

Jay Gould did little good in the world. His immense wealth was accumulated by a smarter intelligence than that of other operators and by a leech-like fastening upon anything and everything that came within his reach. If he originated anything for the benefit of his fellow men it is not yet apparent. He built up no railroad system, except on paper. His mission was to wreck them by the process of inflation to the bursting point. His connection with Erie, Wabash and the Pacific was one of disaster to others and profit to himself. The same inflation tactics followed close upon his getting hold of the Western Union Telegraph Company. He was a systematic corner at every opportunity, from the tannery to the stock exchange, both inclusive, with a long list of intermediate stations. And when he could not corner a profit by making securities fro a property artificially scarce he worked in the opposite direction by emitting them in such profusion as to break down values in the hands of original holders. He never created anything except shares and bonds, and those so plentifully as at times to amount an inundation. He aimed not to increase the real value of any single thing he took hold of. He was simply a gigantic financial octopus, and woe to everything on which his tentacles fastened was the rule during the whole of his “business” career. He never let go till nothing was to be gained by longer adhesion. Unlike many other great absorbers, he retained to the last every dollar. One may look in vain for his name on the list of donors to funds for the building of universities, hospitals or monuments.

In one particular Jay Gould’s memory is entitled to respect. He was the reverse of an immoral man, in the ordinary sense of the term. So far as known he was continent, and a model of abstemiousness both in food and drink, and he was deeply attached to his family. It is eminently proper that as far as possible one should “say nothing but good of the dead.” Yet there are exceptions, and the demise of ay Gould is one of them. He did little to commend himself to the love of his fellow-mortals, and is all the more culpable as he had opportunities therefor which have been enjoyed by few if any., He might have built up for himself a name that would live through the ages as a great public benefactor. Instead of hat his record, so long as it survives him, will be that of a wrecker who built up a colossal fortune out of the wrecking of thousands. It is to be regretted that his methods cold not perish with him. It would be better for the business of this country. From the mere point of view of financial ability he towered above all those who came in contact with him, and to his extent he was the most conspicuous figure in the world of American business. As an accumulator of great wealth, starting with nothing and inheriting nothing, he was well-nigh exceptional, and to that extent he was a great man, but the methods by which he accumulated that wealth are not be commended, nor is that kind of greatness the highest aim that can actuate a young man setting out for himself in life.


Obituary, Aug. 19, 1893

A Prominent Citizen Whose Death Occurred This Morning.

The badge of mourning on the front door of the Hosmer residence, No. 10 East Fulton street, this morning, denoted that after years of ill health, James S. Hosmer had passed away.

Mr. Hosmer was born at the old homestead on Fulton street, November 15, 1840, and with the exception of 5 years, from 1873 to 1878, spent in Cleveland, Ohio, was a life-long resident of Gloversville, where he has always ranked high in the esteem of his fellow men. In early manhood Mr. Hosmer fitted himself for the practice of law, and was a fellow student with Chauncey M. Depew, with whom he always retained the warmest friendship. He practiced law very little, however. During his residence in Ohio was engaged in the wholesome grocery business, and after his return to Gloversville he applied his attention and his inventive genius to machinery, in which he was quite successful. He was the inventor and patentee, in 1884, of what is widely known to the hat trade as the Hosmer glove stitch sweat band, and was at the time of his death associated with the Hat Sweat Manufacturing Company of Philadelphia.

Mr. Hosmer represented the city of Gloversville in the board of supervisors in 1890, and prior to that served a term as supervisor of the town of Johnstown. In public maters he always took a deep and active interest, while socially he was one of the most genial and lovable men ever met with. His family consisted of his wife, Mrs. Julia A. Wortman, whom he married during his residence in Cleveland, his stepson, William S. Wortman of Bethel, Conn.,, and his adopted daughter, Katie, all of whom survive. Mr. Hosmer was for may years a consistent member of the Congregational church, and performed much good service as superintendent of its Sunday school.

For several years Mr. Hosmer was troubled with Bright’s disease, but his decline has been particularly noticeable for the past two years. Just about two years ago he sustained a slight stroke of paralysis, but rallied from it and seemed to recover, although he did not regain his previous strength. Under the advice of Dr. Thompson of New York he spent the last two winters in Florida, but after his return the last time it could be readily seen that he was failing rapidly. During the past two weeks he has been confined the greater part of the time to his bed, watched with great solicitude by family and friends. Yesterday, until late in the evening, he had appeared to be feeling unusually well, but at 9:30 o’clock he was stricken with apoplexy and remained in a deep stupor until 1 o’clock this morning, when he breathed his last. Besides his wife and children, Mr. Hosmer leaves an aged mother, Mrs. M. A. Hosmer, and two sisters, Mrs. Edgar A Spencer and Mrs. John J. Mason. At the time of his death Mr. Hosmer was surrounded by members of his family. His family physician, Dr. W. C. Wood, and Dr. A. L. Johnson were also present.

The funeral will take place from the house at 2 o’clock Wednesday afternoon.



One of Gloversville’s Oldest Citizens, Who Had Much to Do with Making the City the Active, Prosperous Place It Is To-Day–Was Eighty-Five Years Old

Hon. Willard J. Heacock, one of Gloversville’s oldest native residents, and one who had been prominently identified with its growth and progress throughout his life, died last evening about a quarter of six o’clock at his home, No. 133 Bleecker street, full of years, honored in citizenship and in the high esteem of his fellow townsmen.

Mr. Heacock enjoyed comparatively good health until a few days ago, when he contracted a severe cold which resulted in an attack of pneumonia and during that illness he gradually grew weaker until the end came last evening. The announcement of his death came as a shock to the many friends of Mr. Heacock who were unaware of his illness, and Gloversville people generally will mourn his death.

With the passing away of Mr. Heacock is removed the last of the old time coterie of railroad magnates of Fulton county, and a man who was to a considerable extent a factor in the early advancement of the village of Gloversville. He was practically the leader of the band of men who originated and constructed the F., J. G. railroad, and he carefully and painstakingly looked after it in its infancy, when at times the project seemed doomed. Although he retired several years ago, he was watched the railroad as well as various other public enterprises grow from small beginnings into powerful factors in their respective places of the business world. Mr. Heacock was possessed of a pleasing disposition and made many friends, for whom he always had a pleasant smile and a cheery word. A brother of deceased, Judge Humphrey Heacock, is a resident of Oakland, Cal.

The funeral will be held Saturday afternoon at 3 o’clock at the late home, No. 133 Bleecker street. Rev. Harvey Clements, pastor of the First Presbyterian church, will officiate.

Willard J. Heacock, son of Philander and Margaret (Smith) Heacock, was born in Kingsborough, N.Y., April 5, 1821. In early life he received a common school education, and attended for a few terms the Kingsborough academy, which at the time was considered one of the best educational institutions of the state.

After the death of his parents which occurred when he was sixteen years of age, he worked for four years, part of the time on a farm, and part of the time dressing skins into leather, for the nominal sum of eight dollars a month and his board. When he was twenty years of age he went into the mercantile business in company with Jacob and Elisha Burton, having received several hundred dollars from his father’s estate, remaining there until 1845, when he began the manufacture of gloves, which he continued alone until 1861, when he took into partnership his brother, Joseph S. Heacock, the firm name being W. J. & J. S. Heacock.

At the breaking out of the Civil War he was placed at the head of an organization whose object was to aid and sustain the cause of the Union, and being desirous of helping to fill the ranks he sent a substitute into the army.

He was a Republican in politics and although not an active politician, he was honored by several positions of responsibility. He was elected to the assembly in 1862, and was made chairman of the committee on trade and manufactures. He was again elected in 1872, when he was a member of the same and other committees being chairman of the important committee on railroads.

During the session of ‘62 and ‘63, he was requested by his associates in the legislature to prepare an address in favor of sustaining the administration in general use of the negro in the army and navy. This address was adopted by the New York State Republican committee, and also the National Republican committee, and circulated extensively throughout the southern states as a campaign document through the presidential campaign of 1863. At a later date he was urged to take the nomination for state senator, and was urged by prominent politicians to take the nomination for congress, but declined the use of his name. He spent a part of two winters in Washington, looking after the interests of the glove manufacturers, in connection with the internal revenue department. We need scarcely say he was very successful and earned well the praise which the manufacturers, bestowed upon him. While in the session of ‘73, one of his associates said of him: “In all his business and public relations Mr. Heacock is a man of unswerving and scrupulous integrity,” and “tone and a strength are given to his character by a consistent practice of the principles and precepts of the Christian religion.

About this time the agitation of the subject of building the railroad from Fonda through Johnstown to Gloversville, was at its height, and into this project Mr. Heacock threw his whole energy, and he became the leader in the enterprise. Several times it seemed that the work must fail for the want of public confidence; but through his perseverance and influence it was finally completed. He saw that the time had come when the manufacturing interests of this region must have an outlet or connection with the business world in order to sustain and increase the business which had now begun to make a strong foothold here, and to make his locality the seat of the glove making business, which it has proved to be in this country, had the support in this enterprise of prominent m - - but, as he sometimes said, “No one will ever know the extent of the trials and labors which underwent to accomplish the building of the road in order to carry on this work he was forced to abandon a very prosperous manufacturing glove business. He admitted no failure in an effort which was so necessary to the commonweal(th), and therefor with renewed resolution, persecuted the purpose which now became a very part of his existence.

The road was finally completed to Gloversville and trains actually running on the 29th of November 1870. The Gloversville and Northville R. R. Co. Was organized and equipped, and in operation five years later.

Mr. Heacock was made president of both companies from the beginning and continued in that office until 1893. For a number of years he received no remuneration whatever for his services, and only necessary traveling expenses.

He was a stockholder in the Fulton County National Bank and one of its directors for a number of years, also one of the trustees of the Gloversville Free Library. He was always been interested in giving his time and means toward aiding all philanthropic and charitable movements.

He was the prime mover and instigator in the movement to change our school system into a union grade school, having secured the names of several prominent citizens to unite with him in requesting the school trustees to call a public meeting of the citizens to consider this question, and helping to carry it through, which was accomplished in 1867.

He was also largely instrumental in perfecting and carrying through the organization of the present system of the Gloversville Water Works, the plan at first being to form a private corporation and for which he obtained an act of the legislature, earnestly advising, however, that the water works be built and owned by the village, which matter was voted upon and carried by citizens in 1875, at a public meeting.

Mr. Heacock united with the old church at Kingsborough when he was but twelve years old, and during his whole life he was strenuous in the performance of his Christian duties and obligations. He still lived at Kingsborough when the division in the old church took place, and the major part of the influential members left to form the present Congregational church of Gloversville. It was only by great effort on the part of Mr. Heacock that the church was saved from financial ruin.

In 1861 he moved his residence to Gloversville, and in 1864, there being no Presbyterian church in the village Mr. Heacock, by his warm support and liberal subscription, was one of the main founders and charter members of the First Presbyterian church of Gloversville, having furnished more than half of the necessary means for the erection of the church edifice still occupied by them. He also built and donated the parsonage still used by the society. He has been senior ruling elder in the church, having served in that capacity from its organization, as well is in the church at Kingsborough, from the time it became Presbyterian, which was in 1853.

Mr. Heacock was first married February 11, 1845, to Miss Minerva M. Avery, daughter of Rev. R. A. Averey of Galway, N.Y. She died May 8, 1890. They had four children, Marion L., now Mrs. Fred Hotchkiss, of Redlands, Cal.; Annette, who died when four years of age; Lillian, now Mrs. Henry H. Pettit, also of Redlands, Cal.; and Willard Avery, Physician in New York City, who died February 24, 1899. Mr. Heacock married for his second wife, May 14, 1891, Mrs. Clara Barton Perry, daughter of Col. Alfred W. Perry, of Geneseo, Illinois, who died in May 1909.


A Pretty Home Marriage Ceremony Last Evening

The ceremony uniting in marriage Mr. E. A. Keiner and Miss Sara A. Pratt was solemnized at the home of the bride, No. 20 East Pine street, last evening. Rev. Dr. Gardner officiating. The ceremony was performed in the front parlor, which, like all the other rooms, was prettily decorated with daisies and roses. The bride was dressed in white silk trimmed with crepe duchesne, and carried a bouquet of daisies. She was accompanied by little Miss Lula Brown as maid of honor, who looked quite charming in a costume of pale green, figured silk, pink trimmings, and dainty white kid slippers. A Mendelssohn wedding march was played on the piano by Miss Matie Haggart as the bride and groom entered the parlor and took their stations before the officiating clergyman. 

A wedding supper followed the ceremony, and then, amid the usual congratulations, the happy couple were driven to Fonda, where they boarded the east-bound train for a visit in New York and New Jersey. On their return they will make Gloversville their home for the present. The groom is a commercial traveler in the employ of the Embalming Supply company of New York, and widely related throughout this county.

The Gloversville guests were Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Bedford, Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Drake; Mr. and Mrs. Thos. Edwards, Mr. and Mrs. H. Belding, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Brown, Misses Daisy Brown, Selina Lasher, Matie Haggart, Hattie Filmer, Bertha Smith, Matie Drake, Messrs. Earl Lasher, Herbert Edwards, Walter Bedford. The out of town guests were Dr. And Mrs. Beebe and son George, Miss Hattie Fancher, Johnstown; Mr. and Mrs. Levi Yauney, Dr. And Mrs. John Yauney, Thomas and Benjamin Yauney, Willard Beebe, Ollie Dunton, Eva Yauney, Ephratah; Mr. and Mrs. H. C. Keiner, Will Keiner, Martha Keiner, Mr. and Mrs. Geo Getman and daughter Lizzie, Harriet Abel, Stone Arabia.

The list of presents was large and included a number of very beautiful articles in silver, cut glass and china. Among the articles which attract more than the usual degree of interest was a fine silver mounted sugar bowl more than 200 years old. It was an heirloom handed down from generation to generation in the Heritage family, ancestors of the groom’s mother, and presented by her to the happy couple. On the card which accompanied the gift was the inscription, “1690-1893, from mama.”


Edwards - Walker
Daniel M. Edwards, formerly of This City, is no Longer a Bachelor.

A quiet wedding took place at the residence of O. M. Edwards on South Onondaga street, Syracuse, N. Y., on Wednesday evening, Sept. 6, the occasion being the marriage of our former townsman, Daniel M. Edwards, to Miss Carrie Walker, a charming young lady of that city. Only a very few of the immediate friends and relatives of the contracting parties were present, and the contemplated ceremony had been kept a profound secret from the public until almost the hour of the wedding. At 8 o’clock the well-known strains of Mendelssohn’s wedding march ushered in the parties, who were united in marriage by a beautiful service. After congratulations choice refreshments were served and Mr. and Mrs. Edwards took the 10 o’clock train for New York, after which their tour will extend to Chicago.

Mr. Edwards is of the firm of E. W. Edwards & Sons, who conduct the largest dry goods house in Syracuse. He is a popular and enterprising business man and has hosts of friends her who join with the LEADER in congratulations and best wishes.


Pool - Hoose
Married This Morning
July 6, 1890

A quiet ceremony uniting Mr. Jay Pool and Miss Libbie Hoose in marriage was performed 10 o’clock this morning at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Alonzo Cohen, No. 16 School street, Rev. J. W. Thompson, pastor of the First M. E. church, officiating. After the ceremony the happy couple left for a two weeks’ sojourn among the Catskills and in New York city. On their return they will commence housekeeping at No. 11 Middle street.


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