Biography of Robert Rodman Hefford
Erie County, NY Biographies

Hefford, Robert Rodman, Buffalo, was born in Buffalo, N. Y., February 25, 1845, was educated in the public schools and at Bryant & Stratton's Business College, and was a clerk in a wholesale salt and cement house in 1862-63 and in the canal collector's office in 1864. In 1865 he engaged in the coal trade with E. E. Hazard and in 1871 succeeded to the business, which he has since conducted, being now one of the largest shippers and forwarders of coal in Buffalo. Mr. Hefford has for many years been active in public and political affairs. He is a leading Republican, a public spirited and enterprising citizen, and a man highly esteemed for his ability, integrity, and progressiveness. He was alderman of the Second ward from 1879 to 1884, president of the Common Council in 1883-84, and also president of the Board of Health for two terms. In January, 1883, he became the Republican candidate for mayor to succeed Grover Cleveland, who had been elected governor. He is a foundation member and for several years one of the executive committee of the Republican League of the State of New York, and was its first president in 1887 and reelected in 1888. He was vice-president of the National Republican League from 1889 to 1893, is a member of the New York State Commission to the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, was chairman of the Erie County Republican Committee in 1885- 86, and has been a member of the Republican General Committee several times. In December, 1895, Mayor Jewett appointed him a commissioner of public works, but he felt it necessary to decline the appointment for business reasons. Mr. Hefford has always been a strong supporter of the Erie Canal, and was chairman of the State executive canal committee which successfully carried through the $9,000,000 canal improvement appropriation. He was president of the Buffalo Merchants' Exchange and Board of Trade in 1894, 1895, 1896, and 1898, being unanimously elected for the last three years. He is a member of the Buffalo Republican League, the Buffalo Historical Society, and the Republican Club of New York; a life member of the Buffalo Library; a member and director of the Ellicott Club; vice-president of the Buffalo Traction Company; chairman of the Board of Trustees .of the First Baptist church; and formerly vice-president of the Buffalo Club. January 4, 1870, he married Harriet Rosalia Whittaker, of Catskill, N. Y.

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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