Biography of Samuel C. Wead
Franklin County, NY Biographies





Samuel Clark Wead, born in Brandon, Vt., September 20, 1805, came to Malone with his father, Jacob, in 1815. Jacob became a partiier with Benjamin Clark, his brother in law, in merchandising at the corner of Main and Webster streets, and afterward, operating by himself, had his residence and a store combined on Elm street, adjacent to the present Episcopal church; and also engaged in what were for the time other considerable enterprises. Samuel C. began business in partnership with Guy Meigs in 1824, opening a store at Westville, prosecuting lumbering there and in Fort Covington, and also manufacturing and dealing in pot and pearl ashes. In 1826 the firm, lumbered extensively in Canada, and in 1829 leased from Jacob Wead a saw mill in Constable and the several properties at the point known as "whiskey hollow," north of the village of Malone. These included a saw mill, & grist mill, distillery, brick yard, pottery and rope walk, and to them the lessees soon added a forge, buying the Hollembeck ore bed, west of the village, for their suppiy of iron. They also opened a store in a wing of the dwelling house of Hiram Horton on the site of the Rutland passenger station, but, having erected in 1831 the store building now occupied by the Peoples National Bank, on the corner of Mill and Main streets, changed their location to the latter point. They also owned and operated a steamboat between Fort Covington and Montreal, which was the first to run the rapids above the latter city. Mr. Meigs died in 1855, when Mr. Wead formed a new partnership with his son, Edwin L. Meigs, and Isaac P. Wilson to lumber in a big way in Canada, and still another with Benjamin S. W. Clark and John A. Fuller to conduct a store in Malone, which latter arrangement continued until 1863. Mr. Wead had engaged also at various times in lumbering at Chasm Falls and in Bellmont, and was for years the Franklin county correspondent of the Clinton County Bank at Plattsburgh, in which capacity he did at his store practically all of the banking business of the county until in 1846, at the same place, he established the Franklin County Bank, the first in the county, as a private or individual institution, in which New York city gentlemen were partners. This bank went into liquidation upon the organization of the Bank of Malone (capitalized at $100,000, and later increased to $150,000), in which also Mr. Wead was the principal mover and president, with William A. Wheeler as cashier. A bank building was erected on the site of the present village library, and the institution flourished in a modest way, and served the business interests of the county usefully until 1865, when, upon the organization of the National Bank of Malone, it was closed Mr. Wead having had, a leading part in the formation of the new institution, and serving as its president until his death. Mr. Wead was very active in the movement to accomplish the building of the old Northern Railroad, and, besides having worked zealously in its interest at home, spent six months in Boston in effort to enlist capital for its building; and in 1847, with Hiram Horton, Guy Meigs and John L. Russell, gave the company ten acres of land upon condition that it locate its shops in Malone. He was also a leader in forming the Malone Water Works Co. in 1857 and the Malone Gas Light Co. about 1870. In 1872 he began the ereetion of a paper mill, which was his last considerable business enterprise, and I think the only one for which he was responsible that he did not make a success. Mr. Wead was elected county treasurer in 1848, and from an early age was particularly and beneficially interested in educational affairs. He was the first president of the village district board of education in 1867, so serving for seven years, and with results that prompted his successor in office to write: "If Mr. Wead had done nothing for Malone beyond what he did for its schools, that alone would entitle him to the affectionate remembrance of its citizens." In all of his undertakings, public and private. Mr. Wead was enterprising, progressive, sound in judgment, scrupulously correct and honest, deeply interested in the general welfare, and in a business aspect the foremost citizen that the county ever had. He was apt to be a bit domineering at times, but at heart was kind and in general association with friends and neighbors interesting and genial. His character was unsullied, and pettiness or meanness utterly foreign to him. Mr. Wead's second wife was Mary Kasson, a remarkable woman, possessed of great strength of character and endowed with exceptional intellectual qualities. She was preceptress of Franklin Academy in 1813, and, outliving her husband by a number of years, made in 1881 a Christmas gift to the village school district of the fine library building on Elm street as a memorial to her husband and son, Colonel Wead, which was "dedicated to the use of the public for the promotion of knowledge and morality." Mr. Wead died May 11, 1876.

From:
Historical Sketches of Franklin County
and its several towns.
By: Frederick J. Seaver Malone, New York.
J. B. Lyon Company, Printers Albany, NY 1918.


Privacy Policy for OnlineBiographies

NAVIGATION
Franklin County, NY
Biographies

Names A to L
Names M to Z

Online
Biographies

New York
Histories

New York
Biographies

Maine
Histories

Pennsylvania
Histories

Pennsylvania
Biographies

For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium

Family Tree Maker 2012