Biography of Col. R. P. Grant


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Grant, Col. R. P., was born in Neversink, Sullivan county, N. Y., May 6, 1844, and at ten years of age was a clerk in a country store, going to school winters until sixteen. He then became manager and financial clerk in his father's store and after his father's death he purchased the business, which he conducted alone for a year. He then learned the tanning business and at the age of eighteen was a partner in a tannery. At nineteen years of age he enlisted in the 92d N. Y. State Militia, in June, 1863, and his regiment was ordered out when Lee came up the Shenandoah valley in 1864. He was captain of his company at this time and two years later became colonel of the regiment and was so mustered out in 1866 and returned to the tanning business. He soon after began dealing in live stock and in 1868 went to Hawkinsville, Oneida county, N. Y., with George B. Anderson, in the tanning business. In 1809 he went to Proctor, Pa., in the employ of Thomas E. Proctor of Boston, a large tanner. Subsequiently he dealt largely in tan bark on the Susquehanna River and with Samuel Robertson built a large plant at Sterling Run, Cameron county, Pa., capable of turning out a ton of sQle leather every pay. He disposed of this business five days before Black Friday on Wall street, New York, and got his money. The next year he opened a bank in Fort Madison, Iowa, with Senator W. G. Kent, and sold out the following year, coming direct to Clayton and started a private bank called the Bank of Clayton, with A. F. Barker, October 1, 1876. In 1884 he bought out Mr. Barker and with fifty-eve others started the Exchange Bank with a capital of $40,000 and has been cashier of the bank ever since. Colonel Grant married Lettie C. Hayes of Boonville, N. Y., in 1870, and they have one son, Robert D., who is now assistant cashier of the new National Exchange Bank. Colonel Grant is a strong factor in the cheese business of Jefferson county and has been for fifteen years. He is the managing owner of eight factories in the towns of Clayton, Orleans and Pamelia, and carried off the medal for the best combination of cheese factories at the World's Fair exhibition in 1893, scoring the highest of all combinations of factories exhibiting. He has been and is now the president of the Jefferson County Cheese Board of Trade and takes a lively interest in the business of the county. Colonel Grant started life as a poor boy and by his own abilities has become one of the ablest financiers in the State and owns half of the stock of the Exchange Bank, besides being a stockholder in other sound concerns. He has long been treasurer of the Anglers' Association and is a member of its executive committee; this committee secured from the State an appropriation of $30,000, wherewith to purchase islands and points of land at the Thousand jslands to make a State reservation. He is also vice-president of the New York State Fish, Game and Forest League. In 1897 he was made a director of the old Exchange Bank to close up its affairs, preparatory to organizing the new National Exchange Bank, which was established with 100 stockholders, $50,000 capital and a paid up surplus of $10,000, and opened for business January 1, 1898.

Our County and it's people
A descriptive work on Jefferson County, New York
Edited by: Edgar C. Emerson
The Boston History Co., Publishers 1898

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