For many years thousands of promising young men have crossed the ocean from Europe, hoping to find in America
opportunities for advancement denied them in the long settled countries of the old world. In numberless instances
their dreams have been realized and there is scarcely a community of importance in the United States in which foreign
born citizens are not to be met with who are now highly prosperous. In this number is John Henry Siemers,
president of the Merchants Legislative League, with offices in the Arcade building at Utica.
He was born at Hanover, Germany, December 10, 1842. During his boyhood and youth he attended the public schools
of his native land and, in 1860, being then about eighteen years of age, he came to the new world and was engaged
for ten years in the grocery business at Brooklyn. On account of poor health he gave up the business and spent
a year and a half in northern New York recuperating. Having regained his physical strength he became identified
in the wholesale business with the firm of R. Winant & Company of Utica, and for eleven years remained with
this concern, which was then closed out on account of the failing health of Mr. Winant. Subsequently Mr. Siemers
entered the retail grocery business and started and sold several grocery stores. In 1899, together with George
S. Hughes, he organized and incorporated the Merchants Legislative League, which has since been maintained for
the prevention of the enactment of laws injurious to business interests. The league has met with a general response
from business men all over the country and has accomplished great good along the lines upon which it is maintained.
In 1878 Mr. Siemers was married, at Brooklyn, to Miss Sarah Ried, and they have two children living: Marie L.,
in the employ of the United States government; and Anna A., who is living at home. In 1908 Mr. Siemers erected
was again married on the 12th of October, 1908, his choice being Miss Mary J. Murphy, daughter of Thomas and Catherine
(Moore) Murphy, of Utica.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Leahy are communicants of the Roman Catholic church and he is also a member of the Knights of
Columbus and of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and the Arcanuni Club. Politically Mr. Leahy for a number
of years has been an independent, standing for men and measures rather than party prescribed candidates and principles.
He has always concentrated his energies upon the development of his personal interests in which he has met with
such enviable success, and is highly regarded as a business man and citizen by those who know him.
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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