Biography of Bradford H. Divine
Oneida County, NY Biographies





It was in Utica that Bradford Henry Divine was born July 5, 1869, a son of Bradford C. and Lucy M. Divine, who were also natives of this city, the former born December 29, 1844, and the latter on the 13th of May, 1848. Bradford C. Divine was for twenty years cashier of the Utica Steam Cotton Mills and afterward for a quarter of a century was director and manager of the Utica & Willowvale Bleaching Company and was interested in a number of other local business concerns. He thus figured prominently in the industrial circles of the city. His wife was a daughter of Henry and Lucy Sanders, who were pioneer residents of Utica, and in the maternal line Bradford H. Divine traces his ancestry back to William Northup, who came from Kingston, Rhode Island, to Oneida county about 1790 and settled in Deerfield, on the farm which is still in possession of the Northup family. His son, Benjamin Northup, served as a captain in the Revolutionary war and lies buried in the Deerfield cemetery. His sons were Stephen and Clark, the latter becoming the great grandfather of B. H. Divine. The genealogy of the Northup family is traced back in English records to the fourteenth century.

At the usual age Bradford H. Divine became a pupil in the public schools of Utica and passed through consecutive grades until he was graduated in the class of 1885. He entered business life as office clerk in the Utica Steam Cotton Mills, where he remained for six years. He was afterward in a bicycle factory at Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts, for two years in the capacity of purchasing agent and also had charge of the manufacturing office. During the years 1893 and 1894 he was with A. G. Spalding & Brothers, dealers in sporting goods, as manager of their branch stores in the city of New York. It was while in Chicopee Falls in the manufacturing business that he first recognixed the need of improved metal finishing materials and tools and this recognition ultimately found tangible form in the organization of the business in which he is now engaged. In 1895 his brother became his partner, and the Divine Brothers Company was incorporated in 1896 with a capital of twenty thousand dollars, which was increased in 1906 to fifty thousand dollars and in 1911 to one hundred thousand dollars. They have found it necessary to constantly enlarge their facilities in order to meet the demands of the trade. Their plant was originally located at New Hanford but in 1906 they removed to Utica, leasing the building at Whitesboro and Hotel streets. From the time of the removal the business grew with astonishing and gratifying rapidity and in August, 1910, the company purchased and doubled the factory capacity of the property which they occupied and in addition the old Seymour mansion, which was convened into a modern office building. It was the former home of Governor Horatio Seymour, and the room now occupied by B. H. Divine as a private office is that which the famous war governor used as his library. Even the buildings purchased in 1910 soon proved inadequate to meet the demands of the trade and the company has recently erected a three story and basement structure, forty six by one hundred and fifteen feet, fronting on Hotel street and connected to the older buildings of the plant, one of which is a three story structure, one hundred by forty feet, while the other, a three story building, is eighty five by thirty two feet. The buildings, built of brick and of heavy mill construction, have been fitted with every modern appliance for the convenience and comfort of the employes. The plant is lighted throughout by electricity and electric motors furnish power and the basement of the building is used not only for the heating plants but also for storage. The company now has about two hundred employes engaged largely in the manufacture of metal finishing tools, and is the only concern of the kind in America manufacturing these goods exclusively. They also have a department for the manufacture of water motors, this branch of the business being conducted under the name of the Divine Water Motor Company, which, however, is not a separate corporation but merely a department of the Divine Brothers Company. The entire output of the concern is a large one and their products are used in practically every state of the Union where manufacturing is conducted and in practically all of the civilized countries on the face of the globe. The Company has agents in London, Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester, Paris, Milan, Brussels, Liege, Barcelona, Bilboa, Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, Stockholm, St. Petersburg, Copenhagen and Shanghai, as well as representatives in various other countries. The officers of the concern are Bradford H. Divine, president, and O. J. McKeown, secretary and treasurer, and these with Dr. E. D. Fuller constitute the directors.

On the 28th of June, 1892, in Dunkirk, New York, Bradford H. Divine was married to Miss Lucy Delphine Dalton, a daughter of Philip W. Dalton, of Albany. Mrs. Divine is a native of the capital city and a descendant of the Dunlap family who were among the first settlers of Albany. By this marriage has been born a son, Bradford Dalton, whose natal day was August 5, 1899. The parents attend the First Presbyterian church of Utica and Mr. Divine holds membership in the Arcanum Club and gives his political allegiance to the republican party.

From:
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
Chicago 1912


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