Biography of Wilson Shannon Bissell
Erie County, NY Biographies


Bissell, Wilson Shannon, LL. D., Buffalo, son of John and Isabella Jeanette (Hally) Bissell, was born in New London, Oneida county, N. Y., December 31, 1847, and in 1852 removed with his parents to Buffalo, where he has since resided. After attending the Buffalo public and high schools he entered, at the age of sixteen, the Hopkins Grammar School at New Haven, Conn., where he finished his preparatory studies. He then entered Yale University, from which he was graduated with honors in 1869. Returning to Buffalo he began the study of law in the same year in the office of Laning, Cleveland & Folsom, and in September, 1871, was admitted to the bar. In 1872 Mr. Bissell formed a copartnership with Hon. Lyman K. Bass for the practice of his profession, and in 1874 Grover Cleveland joined the firm under the style of Bass, Cleveland & Bissell. Mr. Bass retired in 1876 and the firm of Cleveland & Bissell continued in active and successful practice. until 1881, when Mr. Cleveland was elected mayor of the city of Buffalo and George J. Sicard was admitted to partnership. This firm was succeeded in 1893 by that of Bissell, Sicard, Bissell & Carey, which in 1897 was changed to the present style of Bissell, Carey & Cooke. Mr. Bissell is one of the foremost members of the bar of this State. As an office lawyer he is unequaled. Endowed with ability of a high order, he has achieved eminence in his profession, and during a long and active career has always enjoyed an enviable reputation for honesty, integrity, and scholarly cualifIcations. He is a leading Democrat, and in 1888 was a presidential elector at large on the Democratic ticket. In 1893 he was induced to accept the portfolio of postmastergeneral in President Cleveland's cabinet, which position he filled with signal distinction and satisfaction for two years, when he resigned to resume his law practice. He was offered other important offices under Cleveland's two administrations, but declined them. In 1888 he was president of the Buffalo Club, of which he is still a prominent member. He is also a member of the Ellicott Club and other organizations. On February 6, 1890, he married Miss Louise Sturges, of Geneva, N. Y. The same year he was appointed by Governor Hill a member of a commission to propose amendments to the judiciary article of the State constitution. He is vicechancellor of the University of Buffalo.

Our County and its people
A descriptive work on Erie County, New York
Edited by: Truman C. White
The Boston History Company, Publishes 1898


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