Biography of Charles W. Hackett
Oneida County, NY Biographies





Charles Wootton Hackett, who died in Utica on the 18th of April, 1898, was one of the leading and most successful business men of the city and also a prominent factor in national politics. His birth occurred in Utica on the 16th of March, 1853, his parents being Charles and Elizabeth (Hughes) Hackett, who came here from England in 1841. George Wootton, a maternal ancestor of our subject, began business life under the engineer constructing the canal between Manchester and Liverpool. On the paternal side Mr. Hackett was a direct descendant of the Hackett who was the French ambassador of Henry VIII and later Queen Elizabeth's representative in Moscow. After coming to Utica Charles Hackett, Sr., followed many lines of business but eventually became freight agent of the Black River Railroad, holding that position until 1880, when he retired.

Charles W. Hackett attended the public schools in the acquirement of an education and when eighteen years of age entered the freight offices of the Black River Railroad as clerk for his ather, succeeding the latter as freight agent and serving in that capacity until 1886. At the age of twenty one years he became an equal partner in the firm of R. Marcy & Company, which fnrnished coal to places along the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg Railroad and with which concern he was coniaected throughout the remainder of his life. About 1883, in association with W. T. Atwood, he purchased the knitting mill at Stittville, successfully operating the same under the name of Hackett & Atwood until his demise. During the last fifteen years of his life his business interests extended rapidly, for he had a share in every enterprise which promised to aid the growth and upbuilding of Utica. He was interested locally in the Savage Arms Company of Utica, the American Extension Car Step Company, the Utica Carriage Company, the Holbrook Insole Company, the Utica Land Company, the Utica Water Works, the Central New York Telephone & Telegraph Company, the Second National Bank, the Utica Daily Press Company and the Utica Morning Herald Publishing Company and in most of these concerns was a director. He was likewise a director of the Franklin National Bank of New York city and the New York Casualty Company. A man of splendid executive ability, he displayed in all things an aptitude for successful management. He was preeminently a strong man, strong in his honor and his good name, strong in his plans and his purposes and in his ability to perform.

In 1874 Mr. Hackett was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary Howarth, a daughter of John Howarth, by whom he had two children, C. F., a Christian Scientist practitioner, who is married to Rosemary Baum, of Boston, and they reside in Utica; and Mary E.

In the field of politics Mr. Hackett exerted as wide an influence as he did in business circles. In 1879 he was elected a commissioner of schools in Utica and entered into political work with the same zeal which characterized him in other lines of endeavor. He remained on the school board until 1888 and two years later was appointed a police and fire commissioner by Mayor Goodwin, resigning at the end of three years. He served for five years as chairman of the republican city committee prior to 1887, developing the remarkable aptitude for politics which later led him into the field of national affairs. In 1884 he was elected to the state committee and in 1886 became chairman of the executive committee. In 1888 he retired in favor of others but in 1892 again became a member of the state committee. He was named as chairman of the executive committee and served in that capacity until 1894. The following year he was again made chairman of the state committee and held the position during the remainder of his life. His success during the great campaigns was marvelous and few excelled him in ability to organize party forces successfully. In 1896 he enjoyed one of his greatest triumphs, telegraphing the people of Utica that McKinley had carried the state of New York by nearly three hundred thousand. It was said that "he and Tom Platt were like father and son, and Hackett's word was law."

Fraternally Mr. Hackett was identified with the Masons, belonging to Utica Lodge, F. & A. M.; Oneida Chapter, R. A. M.; Utica Commandery, K. T.; and Ziyara Temple, N. M. S. He was also a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Utica Chamber of Commerce. the Fort Schuyler Club, the Arcanum Club, the Utica Masonic Club and the Anglers Club. He likewise belonged to Calvary church and served as vestryman for a number of years. Mr. Hackett owned a beautiful home in Central Park, on the St. Lawrence river, where he spent the summer months. He was on the board of governors of the Thousand Island Club and also a stockholder in Central Park, which is now called St. Lawrence Park. In his lifetime the people of his state, recogthzing his merit, rejoiced in his advancement and in the honors to which he attained, and since his death they have cherished his memory, which remains as a blessed benediction to all who knew him.

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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