Biography of Byron E. Huntley





BYRON E. HUNTLEY.

BYRON E. HUNTLEY, president of the Johnston Harvester Company of Batavia, is a native of Mexico, Oswego county, and is of Scotch descent. His ancestors came originally from the town of Huntley, in Scotland. His father, Dr. Lyman Huntley, was a physician and surgeon of note in the early days of the nineteeth century. During the war of 1812 he was appointed surgeon in the United States Army and assigned to the barracks of Sackett’s Harbor, N. Y. Mr. Huntley’s mother was Alma Upson, a native of Camden, N. Y.

Mr. Huntley accompanied his parents upon their removal from Mexico to Fairport, Monroe county. In 1844 he removed to Brockport, N. Y. While residing there he prepared for college at Brockport Collegiate Institute. He subsequently attended Madison University at Hamilton, Madison county, N. Y., now Colgate University, but failing health compelled him to abandon his college duties and he accepted a position in the office in the factory of Fitch, Barry & Co. at Brockport, N. Y. While in the employ of the firm young Huntley became interested in the McCormick reaper, which by agreement about 1847 was to be manufactured by Fitch, Barry & Co. In 1850, by reason of his energy and recognized business ability, he secured an interest in the firm, which then became Ganson, Huntley & Co. In 1868 the firm changed to Johnston, Huntley & Co. In 1870 he began making periodical visits to Europe, where he soon established a market for the output of the factory, and opened offices on that continent, and since 1870 he has crossed the Atlantic fifty-six times in the interests of the business which he now manages, and he is now undoubtedly better informed on the European harvester and mower trade than any other manufacturer in the United States. For several years he has had general supervision over the business of his company in, this country and Europe, spending his time in Europe during the summer months, and in Batavia principally during the manufacturing season.

In 1853 the firm of Huntley, Bowman & Co. began the manufacture of the Palmer & Williams self-rake. For some time after that year the concern manufactured the Brockport Harvester, a hand-raking machine. In January 1871, the concern, which for a few years had been known as Johnston, Huntley & Co., changed its title to that of The Johnston Harvester Company, with a capital stock of three hundred thousand dollars; subsequently increased to a half million, which is the capital stock at the present time, under which name it still continues to do business. In June, 1882, fire destroyed the works at Brockport. For some time better shipping facilities had been desired, and it was therefore decided to rebuild the works of the company at Batavia. Accordingly the present mammoth plant, which has been since 1882 three times enlarged and improved, was erected and occupied, and within a short time after the burning of the works at Brockport opera. tions in the present factories were resumed, with an increased number of employees and improved machinery. In January, 1891, Mr. Huntley was elected president of the Johnston Harvester Company, which ofice he still holds, as well as personally looking after the European business.

For many years Mr. Huntley has been connected with the Baptist church, and is now a member of the First Baptist church of Batavia. Politically he has always been a Republican.



Source:
Our County and it's people
A descriptive work on Genesee County, New York
Edited by: F. W. Beers
J.W. Vose & Co., Publishers, Syracuse, N. Y. 1890

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