Biography of James B. Wise
FROM OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE
A DESCRIPTIVE WORK ON JEFFERSON COUNTY
NEW YORK
EDITED BY: EDGAR C. EMERSON
THE BOSTON HISTORY COMPANY, PUBLISHERS 1898

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Wise, James B., was horn in Bradford, Conn., December 27, 1858, and came to Watertown with his parents in 1869. As a boy he was very active in whatever he undertook; he was part of the time newspaper carrier, but never neglected his school, either for play or business. He proceeded in his studies until he gained admittance to the Watertown High School, but his desire to enter upon a business career led him to believe he had acquired sufficient education to battle with the world. After attending a commercial college, he severed his connection with the schools and entered into actual business life. He was the owner and manager of the newspaper and fruit sales upon the trains running out of Watertown, and later of that business upon the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg trains running out of Oswego westward. This he continued until 1877, when he returned to Watertown and identified himself with the business conducted by his father, becoming an equal partner, and upon his father's death, purchased the other half from the heirs and continued the same in his own name. He has been unusually successful and is a much respected citizen, fully recognized as such by the people of Watertown. In 1888 he was elected alderman for the Second ward of Watertown; ran for mayor in 1890, but was defeated by Hon. Wilbur F. Porter; and ran again in 1891, but was defeated by only fifty-two votes. In 1892 he was again nominated but declined with thanks. He is fully identified with all the important business interests of Watertown and is a fearless independent man. He is president of the Singer Fire Alarm Company; president of the Watertown Brass and Manufacturing Company and
secretary and treasurer of the Ryther Manufacturing Company, and a director in the Union Carriage and Gear Company. In 1891 he purchased the factory building he now occupies on Mill street; his principal manufactures are light bardwares and specialties of that description. His goods are in demand all over the country. Mr. Wise was the Republican nominee for mayor in 1894, was elected, and is now serving his fourth term, commencing January 1, 1898, for two years. In 1881 Mr. Wise married Hattie C., daughter of George Willard of Watertown, and they have two sons, Charles Ralph and Earl W.

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