The ranks of the old soldiers of Oneida county are rapidly becoming thinner as the years pass, and it is with
pleasure that a record is here presented of James J. Guernsey who for many years has been an honored citizen
of Rome and is widely known as an editor and publisher. He is a native of Chariton, Saratoga county, New York,
born July 7, 1845, a son of John C. and Jane A. (Ely) Guernsey. The father was a carpenter and contractor and about
1848 removed to Rome where he engaged in his business which he continued during the remainder of his life.
In the public schools James J. Guernsey possessed advantages of education which gave him a good foundation upon
which to build successfully. At the early age of seventeen years he presented himself for enlistment in the Union
army and was accepted as a member of Company E, One Hundred and Seventeenth New York Volunteers, serving as musician
and private from 1862 until the close of the war. It was a rude introduction to the realities of life but Private
Guernsey was a young man of sturdy character and fixed deterniination to win an honorable name in the world, so
the close of the war found him thoroughly prepared to face any responsibility that might present itself, with courage
and great faith. After receiving his honorable discharge he returned to Rome and until 1870 was foreman of the
Rome Citizen. He then went to Waterville, New York, and purchased the Waterville Times, which he published for
eleven years. In 1881 he returned to Rome and established the Rome Weekly Republican, which he conducted so successfully
that in 1895 it was changed to a Tri Weekly, the title since that time being the Rome Tri Weekly Republican. The
paper is now firmly established and is one of the prominent and influential newspapers in central New York.
On the 1st of January, 1868, Mr. Guernsey was married at Rome to Miss Jennie Scott, a daughter of James and Keziah
(Smith) Scott, of this city, and to them two Sons have been born: Fred Jewett, of Schenectady, and Wifi Harrie,
who resides in Rome, and is associated with his father in the printing and, publishing business. Fraternally Mr.
Guernsey has for many years been identified with the Masonic order, having been a member of both Sanger Lodge,
No. 129, F. & A. M., and of Warren Chapter, No. 29, R. A. M., since 1873. He also holds membership in Skillin
Post, No. 47, G. A. R. He has never sought public office as his chief interest has ever centered in the making
of his newspaper, and the success that has attended his efforts is evidence of the application of discrimination
and sound judgment. A faithful and self sacrificing lover of the republic when its life was in danger, he has been
a steadfast friend of good government in times of peace, and it is doubtful whether a more useful citizen can be
found in Rome than t.he honored gentleman whose name stands at the head of this review.
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