Biography of Mark B. Steele
Jefferson County, NY Biographies





Mark B. Steele. - Outstanding among Jefferson County's representative citizens and highly successful business men is Mr. Steele, who is president of the Adams Electric Light Company, of Adams. He was born here, May 17, 1877, the son of R. Frank and Jennie F. (Rockwell) Steele.

R. Frank Steele, who died in 1908, was widely known as a leader in the business and civic life of Adams. He was born at Stowell's Corners, Jefferson County, and as a youth learned the printer's trade on the Watertown Times & Reform er. Later, he successfully operated Westminster Park Hotel, at Alexandria Bay, N. Y., and built the annex to the hotel, which was much larger than the original hotel. Finally, Mr. Steele disposed of his hotel interests and came to Adams, where he owned a fine jewelry store for a number of years. He then became a stockholder in the A. B. Cleveland Seed Company, of Cape Vincent. Mr. Steele also had farming interests, and in 1896 became identified with the Adams Electric Light Company, of which he served as president until the time of his death in 1908. Mr. Steele was a Republican and voted the Republican ticket throughout his entire life with one exception, when he voted for Roswell P. Flower for Governor. He held membership in the Baptist Church and belonged to Rising Sun Lodge, F. and A. M. No. 234, and Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His widow resides at Adams. Two sons were born to Mr. and Mrs. Steele: 1. Mark B., the subject of this sketch. 2. Roy R., who lives at Manchester, England, where he is engaged in the manufacture of automobile accessories. During the World War he served in the English army with the rank of captain.

Mark B. Steele attended the Adams public schools and Adams Collegiate Institute. He has been identified with the Adams Electric Light Company continuously since 1895 and has held the office of president since the death of his father in 1908.

In 1889 the Adams Electric Light Company was organized and was originally known as the Adams Electric Light Company, Ltd. Its reorganization took place in 1912, and until that date they manufactured their own current. They have since purchased current from the Northern New York Utilities Corporation. The local company supplies power to the following villages: Adams, Adams Center, Rodman, Smithville, Pierpont Manor, Ellisburg, and Mannsville, and wholesale power to Lorraine, Bellville, Woodville, Henderson and Henderson Harbor.

The success of the Adams Electric Light Company is due largely to the untiring efforts and energy which have been expended by Mr. Steele, who has devoted practically his entire life to the upbuilding of this enterprise.

In 1903 Mr. Steele was united in marriage with Miss Ina Arnold, the daughter of Jacob and Ellen (Girard) Arnold, natives of Pennsylvania and Canada, respectively. Both are deceased and are buried at Chaumont. To Mr. and Mrs. Steele have been born four children: 1. Arnold, who is a graduate of Castle Heights Military School, and the University of Pennsylvania. He is now identified with the Chicago Packard Company and lives in Chicago. 2. R. Frank, who is a graduate of Adams High School, Albany Business College, and Clarkson College. He is engaged in construction engineering work in Cumberland, Md. 3. Helen E., a graduate of Adams High School, attends Breneau College. 4. Mary Lou, attends Adams High School.

Politically, Mr. Steele is a Republican. He belongs to the Rotary Club, Citizens Club, Black River Valley Club, and is president of the Jefferson County Motor Association. He and his family are prominent members of the Baptist Church, and he is chairman of the board of trustees. He also belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

From:

The North Country
A History, Embracing
Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Oswego, Lewis
and Franklin Counties, New York.
By: Harry F. Landon
Historical Publishing Company
Indianopolis, Indiana 1932


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