Biography of Joseph Edward Gavin


Gavin, Joseph Edward, Buffalo, son of Michael and Rosana (Flannigan) Gavin, was born in Buffalo, N. Y., November 14, 1855. He attended the public schools and St. Joseph's College of his native city, was graduated with honors from St. Michael's College, Toronto, in 1877, and then entered the coal and wood office of his father. On the latter's death he succeeded to the business, which he still continues under the firm name of Joseph E. Gavin & Co., his partner being F. Herbert Grantier. Mr. Gavin is an influential Democrat, has long been prominent in public and political affairs and during Cleveland's first administration from 1885 to 1889 served as a deputy collector of customs. In 1891 he was elected comptroller of the city of Buffalo by an overwhelming majority, and in this capacity achieved a high reputation as a faithful officer and an able financier. He saved the city over $100000 by discovering that fines collected from criminals had been paid into the county instead of the city treasury. As a financier he exhibited rare foresight and ability in placing the city's bonds and securing temporary loans. In May, 1894, he obtained a loan of $30,000 for sixty days from bankers in New York at two and one-half per cent., which is the lowest rate of interest the city has ever paid for borrowed money, either before or since, and which