The city of Rome is still profiting by the enterprise of James Stringham Dyett, who for a considerable
period was classed as one of the foremost business men and progressive residents of this place. He was born in
New York, August 22, 1838. For some time after he had acquired his education and attained his majority he devoted
his attention to business in Chicago, but in 1865 established his home in Rome, where he opened a retail grocery
house which he conducted with excellent success for a quarter of a century. He built up a large trade, his close
application and progressive methods, combined with his unfailing integrity, winning him a large share of public
patronage. At length, however, he sold out in the grocery line and formed a partnership with E. C. Carpenter under
the firm name of Carpenter & Dyett. In 1886 they began the manufacture of cot and crib frames and folding chairs
and from this beginning there developed what is now one of the largest business enterprises of Rome, conducted
under the name of the Rome Metallic Bed Company and employing five hundred men. Mr. Dyett bent his energies toward
the development and expansion of the business and his sound judgment enabled him to coordinate forces to bring
seemingly diverse elements into a harmonious whole. For years he remained a member of that firm but afterward became
interested in the organization of a new industry under the name of the Wire & Telephone Company of America.
He was chosen its president and so continued until his death. This company absorbed the Electric Wire Works, owned
by Mr. Dyett and his son, H. T. Dyett, and also the Empire Wire Works of West Dominick street. Like the other business
enterprises with which Mr. Dyett was connected, the new undertaking prospered and its steady and substantial development
brought excellent results. In financial circles he also figured, being a trustee of the Rome Savings Bank and a
director of the First National Bank.
Soon after becoming a resident of Rome Mr. Dyett was united in marriage to Miss Susan Z. Hatheway, who still occupies
the home in which her birth occurred and which was built by her grandfather, Judge Hatheway, in 1802. He had come
to Rome in 1794 and eight years later erected the family residence which then stood in what is now the downtown
district but in 1852 was removed to its present location at No. 313 North George street. His son, Jay Hatheway,
was the father of Mrs. Dyett and was proprietor of a store here in early days. Later he became engaged in the insurance
business and also did all of the work in an effort to get pensions for the poor and destitute soldiers. He even
advanced them money, believing the government would pension them for their part in the War of 1812, but did not.
His father and seven of his brothers fought in the war for independence, being members of that band of valiant
soldiers who were known as the Green Mountain boys. His father also acted as quartermaster general of the New York
State Militia at Sackett's Harbor during a portion of the war. Jay Hatheway was united in marriage to Zenniah Cleveland
of Connecticut. Her death occurred in 1863, while Mr. Hatheway passed away in 1869. Mrs. Dyett is now the only
surviving member of a family of nine children. Her grandfather was the man who, with Governor Clinton, took out
the first shovelful of dirt for the building of the Erie canal.
Unto the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Dyett there were born two sons: James H., who is living in Buffalo, New York;
and Herbert T., now a prominent business man of Rome. The family circle was broken by the hand of death on the
11th of October, 1906, when the husband and father was called from this life. Not only his activity in business
but his worth as a man and citizen had placed him high in public regard. He held membership in the Zion Episcopal
church and was a vestryman for many years. He was a man of comparatively few words but was ever genial and affable
and easily approached. Those who came within the closer circle of his acquaintance entertained for him an almost
brotherly regard. He was public spirited and ever ready to aid his city and its people. He was especially interested
in helping young men and encouraging them in their efforts to make their way through the world. His words of wisdom
were all greatly appreciated by them and on various occasions his assistance was of a most substantial character.
No man came in contact with him but speedily appreciated him at his true worth and knew he was a man who cherished
not only high ideals of duty but who lived up to them. He constantly labored for the right and from his youth devoted
a large portion of his time to the services of others.
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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