John M. McLean, who has been successfully engaged in dyeing and cleaning business in Utica for more than
forty three years, ia a native of this city. He was born January 8, 1853, and is a son of Andrew McLean who was
one of the pioneer dyers of Utica. Mr. McLean, Sr., began to learn the business as early as 1846 when he entered
the employ of a dyer and cleaner named Morgan, at the corner of Cornelia and Columbia streets. After the death
of Mr. Morgan he succeeded to the business and moved to the old Clarendon building, at the corner of Genesee and
Blandina streets. The business flourished and was later transferred to No. 35 Liberty street, but after the death
of Mr. McLean was moved to No. 26 Hotel street, and finally to the site where it has since been conducted.
John M. McLean was educated in the public schools. He gained his first knowledge of the business work as errand
boy for the firm of Butler & Hamilton. Mrs. McLean was then in charge of the dyeing establishment and owing
to difficulty in obtaining reliable labor she found it necessary to make use of the assistance of her son in the
business that had for a number of years been in charge of the family. Accordingly, he learned the dyer's trade
and has ever since applied himself to this branch of industry. He understands it thoroughly in every detail and
the house has an enviable reputation for reliability and good work. His son, J. Fred McLean, represents the third
generation of the family in the business and is now gradually assuming its management.
A new building was erected by Mr. McLean in 1910 at Nos. 92-94, Washington street, which is one of the best equipped
structures of the kind in this part of the state. It is made of brick four stories high and is fifty feet wide
by sixty two feet deep. It contains a large and well lighted show room fitted up with handsome oak and glass cases
and oak desks and has an ornamental metal ceiling in pure white. On the sine as one enters is the main office,
the upper portion of the partition being a neat ornamental grifie. The cleaning and dyeing departments are maintained
in a separate building in the rear and are provided with a full equipment and good accommodations. There is a separate
room for cleaning and pressing men's suits, one for women's dresses, a room for kid gloves with a special dry room,
and one for lace curtains which occupies the entire floor. The work that is handled ranges all the way from heavy
cloth coats and suits to the lightest curtains and evening dress materials. The enclosure forms a court for receiving
and shipping goods. The plant throughout is a model of completeness and is a credit to the ingenuity and skill
of the owner as well as a great convenience to the people of the City.
In 1878 Mr. McLean was married at Utica to Miss Louisa C. Bensberg, who was born in this city and is a daughter
of F. M. and Barbara Margaret Bensberg. Two children came to brighten their home, J. Fred and A. Nelson. From his
boyhood Mr. McLean has been identified with the business in which he is now engaged, and by his energy and ability
has developed a large patronage and accumulated a competence. His aim has been to do honest and satisfactory work
and the results indicate that he has succeeded in pleasing his patrons, at the same time building up a reputation
which gives large promise for the house in the years to come. He is an active member of the Ancient Order of United
Workmen and is in hearty sympathy with its principles of helpfulness.
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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