Biography of W. Fred Sternberg
Jefferson County, NY Biographies





W. Fred Sternberg. - For many years W. Fred Sternberg has been a prominent citizen of Depauville, where he now lives retired, and he is a member of one of the oldest and best known families of Jefferson County. He was born in Clayton township, June 14, 1872, the son of Elias G. and Lestina (Spencer) Sternberg.

Elias G. Sternberg was born on a farm in Brownville township in Jefferson County, May 6, 1837, and as a young man worked on his father's farm. At the age of 17 years he entered the Jefferson County Institute at Watertown. He also was a student at the State Normal School at Albany and taught school for a number of years at Watertown and throughout Jefferson County, being widely known as a lecturer on scientific and educational subjects. He assisted his brother, Abraham D. Sternberg in the recruiting of the 186th Regiment during the Civil War and Abraham D. Sternberg served with the rank of major. Later Elias G. Sternberg purchased 140 acres of land, which adjoined the family homestead in Jefferson County, and devoted many years to farming. He also became successful as a manufacturer of cheese boxes, and in 1893 turned this enterprise over to his sons, W. Fred and Edwin G. Sternberg. Elias G. Sternberg died April 16, 1916, and his wife, born Oct. 24, 1838, in the town of Clayton, died Oct. 19, 1912. Both are buried at Depauville. Mr. Sternberg had married (first) Miss Millie H. Zimmerman, in October, 1866. She died the following year. To his second marriage were born six children: 1. Edwin G., born April 20, 1871, died March 23, 1898. 2. W. Fred, the subject of this sketch. 3. Nellie, born March 13, 1876, married Dr. B. B. Davis, dentist, lives at Depauville. Three died in infancy.

Elias G. Sternberg was the son of Archibald Sternberg, who was born May 20, 1805. He was educated in Montgomery County, N. Y., taught school for nine years, and during that time studied medicine. He engaged in general farming, however, and removed with his family to Jefferson County in 1835. He served for a number of years as Master of Stone Mills Lodge of Masons, and later organized the Lodge at Depauville, of which he was Master. He was one of the founders of the Union Church at Perch River, of which he served as Deacon and Trustee, and he was a lifelong member of the Lutheran Church.

Lambert Sternberg was the first member of the Sternberg family to emigrate to the United States. He came from Saxony, Germany, in 1703, and settled in Albany County, N. Y., where he reared his four sons: Nicholas, Lambert, Adam and David. Nicholas Sternberg served throughout the Revolutionary War as a member of the 15th Regiment, Albany County Militia, and obtained a 9,000 acre grant of land from the government which was located in Schoharie County.

W. Fred Sternberg, the subject of this sketch, was reared and educated at Depauville, and as a young man was identified with his father's manufacturing business. When 21 years of age he became manager of the enterprise with his brother, Edwin G. Sternberg, and upon the death of the latter in 1898 Mr. Sternberg assumed full control of the company. Mr. Sternberg continued to successfully manage the business until his retirement in 1924, when his sons became owners of the plant. He is interested in the supervision of his three farms in Jefferson County, which contains over 1,300 acres of land.

Politically, Mr. Sternberg is a Democrat, and since 1925 has held the office of supervisor of the town of Clayton. He also served as assessor for six years. He is a member of the Grange.

In 1889 Mr. Sternberg was united in marriage with Miss Ermine Easton, the daughter of Nelson and Ella (Lingenfelter) Easton, both natives of Clayton. Mr. Easton lives retired at Depauville. His wife died in 1925. To Mr. and Mrs. Sternberg were born four children: 1. Edwin Glenn, born Sept. 16, 1900, engaged in business at Depauville. 2. W. Frederick, born Sept. 18, 1902, died Sept. 30, 1903. 3. Marcus D., born Oct. 27, 1904, and on Oct. 26, 1929, married Ethel Armstrong. He conducts the manufacturing business which was established by his father, in partnership with his brother, Edwin G. 4. Marjorie, born Jan. 1, 1911, a graduate of Clayton High School, Watertown Business College, and Crane's Institute, Potsdam, N. Y. She is a student of Music at New York University, and in 1931 was awarded first place in the Northeastern District contest, conducted by the Atwater Kent Corporation at Plattsburg, which enables her to try out in New York City during the final competition in the Fall of 1931.

Mr. Sternberg has always taken an active interest in the welfare of his community. He has been an advocate of thrift and economy in the management of the affairs of the town, the same as he has in private business.

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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