Biography of George H. Graham
Oneida County, NY Biographies





George H. Graham, secretary, treasurer and general manager of the Oriskany Malleable Iron Company of Oriskany, has for many years been prominent as a manufacturer and the continued success of the enterprise with which he is connected is evidence of his practical business ability. He belongs to one of the old families of Oneida county and was born at Oriskany, May 21, 1844, a son of George and Jane Graham. The father was also a native of Oriskany and was born in 1811. After obtaining his preliminary education he engaged in the boot and shoe business at Oriskany. He secured a contract to build one mile of the Erie canal and after the completion of the work was appointed superintendent of the Oriskany district, in which position he served for a number of years. In partnership with John A. Folts he built the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railway from. Waterville to East Hamilton, New York, and also satisfactorily completed a contract on the West Shore Railroad. He took an active part in politics and was justice of the peace at Whitestown for forty years, serving during a part of the time as "side" judge. He was also a member of the state legislature and was supervisor of Whitestowu for eight years, being one of the most prominent and useful men of the township. He died in 1898. The grandfather of our subject, William Graham, came to. Whitestown from Scotland in 1810 and at Oriskany started the first power loom in Oneida county for weaving cloth. This was in 1811, a year after his arrival, and he narrowly escaped being mobbed on various occasions by the hand weavers, who strongly resented the introduction of machinery.

Mr. Graham of this review attended the public schools of Oriskany and after growing to manhood was engaged on public works in New York state and Canada. He graded yards for the New York Central Railroad at De Witt, New York, and assisted in the construction of the Welland canal. In 1879 he returned to Whitestown and was appointed superintendent and general manager of the Oriskany Malleable Iron Company, a concern with which he has ever since been identified. This foundry was established in 1865 by A. B. Buell, who conducted it for a number of years and then turned it over to his nephews. In 1879 the works were acquired by a new company known as the Oriskany Malleable Iron Company. the officers being: George Graham, president; William F. Walbran, secretary and treasurer; and Luther G. Williams, M. W. Eastman and George H. Graham as additional members of the board of directors. The capital stock of the company was originally eight thousand dollars but in 1885 the plant was moved to its present location and the capital stock was increased to forty one thousand dollars, where it has since remained, the surplus earnings meeting all demands of expansion. This is one of the thoroughly successful manufacturing establishments of Oneida county and its continued prosperity has been due in an important degree to the good business management displayed at all times by Mr. Graham.

In 1882 Mr. Graham was married to Miss Fannie Murphy, of Oriskany, and they have two daughters: Annis, who assists her father in his business; and Mrs. Jean C. Gayer, of Fulton, New York. Fraternally Mr. Graham is identified with Oriskany Lodge, No. 799, F. & A. M. He takes the interest of a wide awake citizen in public affairs and for two years past has served as supervisor. He previously served as supervisor seven years from 1895 to 1902. Successful in business, he is justly entitled to the esteem in which he is held by his associates and acquaintances, as he attained his present position of inthience through his own ability and energy and not through assistance from others. He has prospered financially and is a worthy descendant of a family to whose name he has added dignity and honor.

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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