Biography of William G. Mayer
Oneida County, NY Biographies





While living retired from business cares. William G. Mayer, of Waterville, New York, has been and is prominently associated with the public life of the community and with many activities which have more than local significance and value. His influence is always found on the side of progress and improvement and his labors have at all times been of a practical character, productive of substantial and beneficial results. He was born. in Cincinnati, Ohio, August 15, 1850, a son of Frederick it and Pauline C. Mayer. The father was a graduate of the University of Heidelberg, Germany, but was compelled to flee from his native country to America because of his connection with the revolution of 1848, a movement that brought Carl Schurz and many eminent sons of Germany to the new world. Mr. Mayer became a resident of Cincinnati and was soon recognized as a prominent and influential citizen there. President Lincoln appointed him postmaster of the city.

William G. Mayer was educated in the public and intermediate schools and in the Woodward high school of Cincinnati and later entered the United States Academy at Annapolis. Maryland, from which he was graduated in 1870. He is also a graduate of the College of Cincinnati, which conferred upon him the LL. B. degree. On his graduation from the Naval Academy as midshipman he became engaged in active duty and was subsequently promoted to the rank of ensign and of master. He resigned from the navy, however, in 1875 and, returning to his native city, entered upon the practice of law. having been admitted to all the courts of the state. He was for a time senior member of the firm of Mayer, Shaffer & Smith there. Again he became connected with the naval service when at the outbreak of the Spanish-American war he was commissioned a lieutenant in the navy and served as navigating officer of the United States Ship Siren on the North Cuban blockade until the close of hostilities, being honorably discharged September 24, 1898.

Mr. Mayer has in many positions of public trust furthered the interests not only of Waterville but of the state and of various organizations. He has been president of the Waterville board of education, is now president of the Waterville public library and of the Sangerfield Soldiers & Sailors Monument Association, the Waterville Cemetery Association and the Churchmen's Club of the Diocese of Central New York. He was a member of the Oneida county courthouse commission and one of the most efficient members of its building committee and also chairman of its executive and finance committees. He is now a member of the board of managers of the Utica State Hospital and of the county committee of the National Red Cross Society. He has been a trustee of the Cincinnati Public Hospital, also chairman of the Oneida county republican committee, a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, of the Cincinnati Law Library Association, of the Bar Association of Ohio and of the Naval Academy Graduates' Association. All these indicate the nature ands breadth of his interests and activities. He is one whose efforts, based upon a thorough understanding of the conditions and possibilities of the thing which he undertakes, have been fruitful of good results, and progress and advancement have been promoted through his efforts His business activity is only that required in the supervision of his investments. In this connection he is a director of the National Bank of Waterville. His political allegiance is given the republican party but without desire for office in recognition of party fealty.

At Waterville, New York, on the 14th of January, 1880, Mr. Mayer was united in marriage to Miss Esther L. Osborne, a daughter of Amos O. Osborne and a granddaughter of Amos Osborne, Sr., who was one of the first settlers of Sangerfield town, purchasing his home from the first patentees. He built the first brick house in the town in 1811 and it is now occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Mayer, the property having come to Mrs Mayer through inheritance. Her father was a man of marked scientific tastes and attainments, was a valued member of many scientific societies, was regarded as authority on the geology of Oneida county and his opinions were also accepted as authority on the genealogy of all the early families. Mr. and Mrs. Mayer have three children: Ada Pauline, the wife of Dr. E. G. Randall; Rosalie Catherine and A. Osborne, both living at home. The family attend the Episcopal church and Mr. Mayer is an active member and junior warden in Grace church at Waterville. He has never belonged to any secret societies but is prominent in several social organizations and in societies which preserve historical knowledge and promote patriotism. He is now the president of the Pickwick Club and vice president of the Golf Club of Waterville. He has been a member of the University Club and the Literary Club of Cincinnati, Ohio, now holds membership with the Military Order of Foreign Wars, the Naval Order of the United States, the Naval & Military Order of the Spanish-American War, the Regular Army & Navy Union, the United States Veteran Navy, the Oneida Historical Society and is president of the Amos O. Osborne Historical Society. He greatly enjoys travel and an observing eye and retentive memory have enabled him to bring back a comprehensive knowledge of many lands which he has visited. He has traveled extensively throughout the United States, South America, Europe, western Asia, northern Africa, the South Atlantic ocean, made the trip around the Horn and crossed the Pacific to the Sandwich Islands. Three times he has been shipwrecked and in his travels many interesting experiences have enriched his life and broadened his knowledge.

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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