Biography of Daniel J. McPherson

McPherson, Daniel J., son of Donald and Margery McPherson, was born February 5, 1849, in the village of Bergen, which is still his residence. His education was obtained in the district school, at a private school called the Bergen. High School, of which B. F. Hamilton was the proprietor, and at the Rochester Business University. In the winter of 187374 he tried school teaching, but after one term abandoned it. After a trial of music teaching and type setting. the latter in the offices of the Progressive Batavian and Brockport Democrat, he, in . 1877, entered the office of Platts & McPherson, grain and coal dealers at Bergen. as bookkeeper. In 1882, his father. who had purchased the interest of Henry Platts, took him into partnership and he continued in the business until March, 1898, when he sold out and retired. May 4, 1873, Mr. McPherson united with the Congregational church; in 1876 he was elected superintendent of the Sunday school and was six times re-elected. The other Sun-. day school offices held by him at various times were secretary, treasurer, chorister, organist, assistant superintendent and teacher. Mr. McPherson feels a deep interest in the prosperity of the church and contributes liberally to its support and also to all its benevolent objects. November 30, 1877, he married Emma H. Hume, daughter of Alonzo and Elizabeth Hume; they have two sons: Donald, born August 8, 1879. and Hume, born November 9, 1880. Mr. McPherson enjoys the confidence of his fellow townsmen, who have elected him to the following offices: Village collector in 1879; village treasurer in 1884 and 1885; town clerk in 1886 and 1887; justice of the peace in 1895 (re-elected in 1898 for four years from January, 1899); member of the board of education for three years in 1893 (re-elected in 1896); clerk of the board since his first election; village clerk continuously since 1889; has been a member of the Bergen Fire Department since its organization in 1886; its secretary since 1895; and president of the Business Men's Association since its organization in May, 1896. In everything that pertains to the good of the village Mr. McPherson has shown a lively interest; he has contributed liberally to bring manufacturing concerns to the village and. to provide telephone communication, and many persons in financial straits have found in him a friend indeed. In politics Mr. McPherson has always been a Republican; he is a temperance man and has always voted against license. Donald McPherson, a resident of Bergen from 1840 until his death, January 18. 1896, was born in Scotland. August 16, 1814. In 1836 he came to this State and settled in the town of Riga. Four years later he came to Bergen and bought the elevator which occupied the site where the Central station now stands, and engaged in the grain and produce business, which he carried on with success, with intervals of rest, until his death. During his business career he had for partners H. S. Elmore, A. T Southworth, Henry Platts and from 1882, his son. D. J. McPherson. As a business man he had a reputation for rigid honesty and commanded the confidence of all who had dealings with him. As a citizen he took an interest in everything that was for the good of the community. His fellow townsmen honored him by electing him constable in 1845; collector and constable in 1846; constable in 1847; collector and constable in 1849; justice of the peace in 1850; sealer of weights and measures in 1852; commissioner of highways in 1857; and assessor in 1880 and 1887. In 1857 he united with the First Congregational church of Bergen and up to the beginning of his illness he prayed and labored for its prosperity; except when ill or away from home he was always present at the preaching services, the Sunday school, either as teacher or scholar, the prayer meeting, where his voice was always heard in prayer or testimony, the preparatory lecture and the business meetings. In 1857 he was elected a trustee of the church society and served as such thirty-five years; in 1858 he was elected clerk of the trustees and treasurer and served twenty-five years, collecting over $30,000; in 1861 he was elected a member of the standing committee, which is the same as the session in the Presbyterian church; this office he held at the time of his death; elected deacon in 1880 and served until 1892, when he declined re-election on account of poor heilth. He was frequently a delegate to the Presbytery of Genesee. the church being under its care, and twice he was a commissioner to the General Assembly. He was emphatically a man of one book-the Bible. This he read, studied and shaped his life by its teachings. No matter how busy he was, and during the greater part of his life in Bergen he was very busy, he never failed to have family worship morning and evening, or to ask a blessing at each meal. He was a staunch Republican and a temperance man. Mr. McPherson was twice married; his first wife was Jane, daughter of Duncan and Elizabeth McPherson of Wheatland; two years after the-death of his first wife he married, December 31, 1846, Margery, daughter of John and Catharine Gordon, who died October 12, 1895. He was the father of three sons and two daughters. The daughters and one son died in infancy; another son, William Henry, died at the age of eight years and four months; and the third son, Daniel J., lives to write this tribute to his father's memory. Writing from Ionia, Mich., Lemuel Clute, who married a niece of Mr. McPherson, said: "I have known him a number of years and have done a good deal of business of a confidential nature for him, and have always found him calm, cool, patient, trustful. He ripened into a good old age as only the perfect fruit ripens. Although he had been an active business man, I presume he had not a single enemy at his death, and every one who knew him will remember him with a pleasant memory, and this condition with him was not accidental, but rather the result of trying to live right." The Rev. E. N. Pomeroy of Wellesley, Mass., a former pastor of the Congregational church, wrote as follows: "In the course of my ministry of twenty years and in the course of my life of nearly sixty years, I have never found a person whom I respected and regarded more highly than Donald McPherson. Good ability, good sense, and good will were united in his character. Having felt his influence on my own life and character, I can well believe that he influenced the lives and characters of a good many other persons. He will be missed in Bergen, but his memory and influence will remain. One always knew where to find him-it was on the side of truth and justice as nearly as he understood them."

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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