A representative of a family that more than a hundred years ago located in Oneida county, Willis Winfield
Byam, of Rome, possessed the advantages of a sturdy ancestry and also of a good constitution, and he has been
governed by an ambition which can be satisfied only with the accomplishment of worthy aims. As a lawyer he early
won high standing and as a judge upon the bench his decisions have shown a fairness and a clear knowledge of the
law that reflect upon him the highest honor. He was born in Rome, July 2, 1873, a son of Jay F. and Sarah (Olcott)
Byam. The father was born at Lee, being a son of Alonzo Byam. The early progenitors of the family in this county
arrived at Lee about 1800 and for five generations the Byams have been masons and brick makers.
After receiving his preliminary education in the public schools Willis W. Byam entered the Rome Free Academy, from
which he was graduated in 1893. He then began the study of law under H. C. Wiggins and later became a student of
the law school of Cornell University. He was admitted to the bar in 1898 and at once engaged in practice at Rome.
In 1899 he was elected special surrogate of Oneida county and was reelected to this office in 1902. In 1901 he
received appointment as corporation counsel for the city of Rome and performed the duties of this office for two
years. Having attracted attention by his adaptability to his profession and his interest in promoting the causes
of his clients, he was elected special County judge of Oneida County in 1904 and discharged the responsibilities
of this position so acceptably that he was reelected to the office in 1907. On account of his intimate acquaintance
with law he stands very high in the estimation of his associates and those who are interested in litigation in
Oneida County and as a public spirited and patriotic citizen is ever ready to perform his part in the promotion
of the general good.
On the 24th of November. 1807, Judge Byam was married to Miss Carolyn L. Trumpbour, of Ulster county, New York,
and to this union two children have been born, Willis Winfeld, Jr., and Frances Louise. Fraternally Mr. Byam is
prominently identified with the Royal Arcanum, being a member of Grand council and chairman of the committee on
laws for the state. He is an earnest believer in the beneficent principles of the order and is one of its ablest
champions. He is an interesting and convincing public speaker and never fails to impress his auditors with his
sincerity and his ability to grasp the salient points in any subject which he attempts to present. Possessing the
courage to venture as opportunity is presented, he has by faithful performance of duties qualified himself for
larger responsibilities that have come to him in the course of an active and useful life.
History of Oneida County, New York
From 1700 to the present time
of some of its prominent men and pioneers.
By: Henry J. Cookinham
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Oneida County, NY
For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium