Biography of Benjamin Folsom


Folsom, Benjamin, was born at Folsomdale, Wyoming county, N. Y., December 5, 1847, and is the third son of Benjamin R. Folsom and Mary Rathbone. He is descended in a direct line from John Folsham and Mary Gilman, who came from Norfolk, England, in the ship Diligent, in 1638, and settled in Hingham, Mass. On his mother's side he is a descendant of the Robert Ashley family of Massachusetts. His great-grandfather, William Ashley, served as a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and a more remote ancestor, Aaron Ashley, was an officer in the Colonial wars. His paternal great-grandfather, Abraham Folsom, of Gilmanton. N. H., although prevented by his religious principles from engaging in military service, contributed liberally to the support of the cause of the Revolution. At an early age Benjamin Folsom removed with his parents to Attica, Wyoming county, where his father was for many years a very prominent citizen, being several times elected supervisor of the town and president of the village. He received his primary education in the Attica Union School and prepared for college at Wyoming Academy and Genesee Wesleyan Seminary at Lima. In 1867 he entered Rochester University and was graduated with honors as B. A. in 1871; a few years later his alma mater conferred upon him the degree of M. A. After his graduation he made a tour of Europe and on his return he was retained on the staff of the New York World and spent nearly two years in journalism. Coming to Buffalo early in 1873 he entered the law office of Bass & Bissell and was admitted to the bar in the fall of 1875. During the years 1876-77 he was managing clerk in the city attorney's office, where he gained much experience In the trial and argument of cases in court. He was actively engaged in the general practice of the law in Buffalo from 1878 to 1885, when he visited Europe for the third time, spending the winter in Italy. Returning in 1886 he was offered the appointment of consul at Prague in Bohemia, which he declined; but later in that year he accepted the U. S. consulship at Sheffield, England, and ably represented our commercial interests at that important post until July, 1893, when he resigned to attend to his real estate interests in the West. That Mr. Folsom was a popular representative in Sheffield is evinced by the fact that no other consul there has ever received such elaborate testimonials and banquets as were tendered him by that municipality and the Masonic fraternity of that city on his departure. Returning to America he was married on October 11, 1893, in Muskegon, Mich., to Ella Blanchard Howard. Mr. Folsom has an office in the White Building, Buffalo, but his time is mainly occupied in looking after his real estate interests in Nebraska and California. He is a member of Washington Lodge No. 240, F. & A. M., Talbot Chapter Rose Croix 18 degre, Sheffield, Eng., the University Club, and the Sons of the American Revolution.

Also see Benjamin F. Folsom ( father and son ? )

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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