MISS KATE L. CANDEE.
The active and valuable part which members of the Candee family have taken in promoting the progress and welfare
of Oneida county makes it imperative that their history be recorded in these annals. Behind Miss Candee is an ancestry
long and honorable, connecting the family with early colonial events. The first representative of the name in America
was John Candee, who established his home in New England in 1639, settling at Boston, Massachusetts, while in 1650
he removed to Windsor, Connecticut. At Oxford, Connecticut, lived Zaccheus Candee, of whom the Hon. Julius Candee,
grandfather of Miss Candee, was a descendant in the fifth generation. He was also a descendant in the seventh generation
of Richard Osborn, an English ancestor, who settled in Fairfield county, Connecticut.
It was the Hon. Julius Candee who became the founder of the family in Oneida county, remaining for sixty five years
an honored resident of Waterville. He was born at Oxford, Connecticut, on the 19th of February, 1800, and was a
youth of fifteen years when, in 1815, he established his home in the Empire state. Fourteen years later he became
closely connected with mercantile interests, conducting his store along safe, conservative lines and at the same
time in accordance with the progressive spirit of the age. In 1855 he admitted his son William B. Candee to a partnership
under the firm style of Candee & Son and this remained one of the oldest and most honored business firms of
the state until the death of Julius Candee in 1880. His mercantile interests, however, did not constitute the extent
of his activities, for he became a member of the first board of directors of the Bank of Waterville, was chosen
its vice president in 1838 and afterward filled the office of bank president for twenty two years. His sound judgment,
keen discrimination and capable management were active factors in its successful control and the institution became
not only a source of profit to the stockholders, but a prominent feature in the financial stability of Oneida county.
In political circles Julius Candee was equally well known and his personal ability and public spirit led to his
selection in Oneida county as its representative in 1846 in the state constitutional convention of New York. He
took active part in the discussions which arose in framing the organic law of the state and fearlessly supported
every measure and movement which he deemed of value and worth to the commonwealth. His Christian faith was manifest
in his membership in the Presbyterian church, of which he served as clerk and most of the time from 1852 until
his death acted as church treasurer. He passed away on the 2d of July, 1880, and in his passing the community lost
one of its representative citizens, a man who was faultless in honor, fearless in conduct and stainless in reputation.
In 1826 he had married Miss Lucia M. Osborn, the eldest daughter of Amos Osborn, and they became the parents of
four children, all of whom are now deceased, namely: Julius; Lucia Catherine, who was the wife of Edward McCamus,
of Schenectady, New York; William Benjamin; and Amos D. W.
The second son, William Benjamin Candee, the father of Miss Kate Candee, was the worthy successor of the Hon. Julius
Candee in his commercial activity and also in public service. His birth occurred in Waterville, New York, on the
16th of May, 1831, and after attending the public schools of his home town he pursued a preparatory course in the
Clinton Liberal Institute, which qualified him for entrance to Hamilton College, from which he was graduated with
the class of 1852. He afterward took up the study of law and was admitted to the bar but never engaged in the practice
of the profession although his knowledge of the law was of inestimable value to him in the conduct of important
business affairs in later years. In 1855, when twenty four years of age, he was admitted to a partnership in the
mercantile enterprise which his father had established twenty six years before. As previously stated, this association
was maintained uninterruptedly and with the utmost harmony until the father's death in 1880. William B. Candee
then became the proprietor of the business, which he conducted until 1884, when he withdrew from commercial pursuits.
For fifty five years the name of Candee had figured prominently in connection with mercantile interests in Waterville
and had been synonymous with the idea of righteousness and honor. During the greater part of his business life
William B. Candee remained a chosen, safe and trusted bank officer and in other connections won a substantial measure
of success so that at the time of his death he was numbered among the most substantial citizens of his district.
Toward those less fortunate he was kind and generous and, as true worth could always win his regard, he had an
extensive circle of friends. He occupied a high position in the esteem of his fellowmen and the most envious could
not grudge him his success, so honorably and worthily had it been won. He passed away on the 25th of March, 1886,
and later Mrs. Candee, his widow, erected a handsome building known as the Candee block and so named in his memory.
This structure, built upon the site of the old store in which he and his father had so long carried on business,
is the largest and finest business block in Waterville. One who knew Mr. Candee well said: "His character
was free from all taint and his whole life pure, earnest and exemplary." In every relation of life he was
true and loyal and no trust reposed in him was ever betrayed in the slightest degree. He was a prudent and faithful
member of the school board and of the cemetery association and at his death the board of education of Waterville
passed resolutions attesting his "constant and faithful service since the organization of the board."
Of the Episcopal church he was long a faithful communicant and vestryman and his life in its varied relations was
the expression of his Christian belief. When he passed away all the business places of Waterville were closed during
the time of the funeral services "out of genuine respect to the memory of one who for many years was prominently
and closely identified with the business interests of the village and, indeed, with everything that has contributed
to the true and abiding welfare of the place." Thus wrote one of the local papers and the article continued:
"It was fitting that his business associates, the young men whom he had counseled and assisted, and the public
generally whom he had always treated with respect and consideration should pause from the activities of life while
the last sad funeral rites were observed and his mortal remains were laid at rest." At different times he
had suffered from ill health but, notwithstanding his pain, he remained ever patient and kindly, thinking always
of the welfare and comfort of others. His salient traits of character were the exemplication of a high and noble
spirit which endeared him to all.
It was on the 23d of December, 1857, that William B. Candee was united in marriage to Miss Louise Newberry, the
ceremony being performed at Detroit, Michigan. In that city Mrs. Candee was born February 7, 1834, a daughter of
Henry Newberry, a Detroit merchant. Losing her mother in early life, she made her home with her aunt Mrs. Daniel
Clark, of Greene, New York. She survived her husband for almost two decades and passed away on the 14th of June,
1905. In their family were four children. Harry Newberry Candee, the eldest, born November 9, 1858, was drowned
on the 12th of May, 1894. He was a graduate of Hamilton College of the class of 1880 and had married Miss Lou Holcomb,
by whom he had two children, Ruth and William Harry. Lucia Clark Candee, the second of the family, is the wife
of Watson S. Hawkins, editor of the Waterville Times. Miss Kate Louise Candee is the third in order of birth and
the youngest was Julius Warner Candee, who was born January 8, 1873, and on the 7th of November, 1909, passed away.
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
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