Biography of Hon. Luther W. Mott
Oswego County, NY Biographies





Hon. Luther Wright Mott. - A prominent figure in public affairs in Oswego County for many years was Luther Wright Mott, who for 13 years was a member of Congress from the Thirty second District of New York. He was born in Oswego, Nov. 30, 1874, and died July 10, 1923. Mr. Mott was the only son of Col. John T. and Alice (Wright) Mott.

After his graduation from Oswego High School in 1892, Luther Wright Mott attended Harvard University, from which he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1896. In college he was a member of the newspaper staff and took a leading part in campus affairs, at the time manifesting a keen interest in political leadership, which in his maturity came to be one of his dominant traits, and the ambition of his life. Shortly after his graduation from college he entered the First National Bank of Oswego, long in the control of his family, and for a number of years he was cashier and vice president of the institution. He also became interested in civic affairs and was one of the founders of the Oswego Chamber of Commerce, Inc., taking in the Board of Trade and the Business Men's Association, thus amalgamating them into one organization, of which he was the first president. This interest he maintained until the time of his death. He also took the same keen interest in banking affairs, and in 1907 was appointed state superintendent of banks by Governor Hughes. During 1910 and 1911 Mr. Mott was president of the New York Bankers Association.

Throughout his life Mr. Mott was interested in Republican politics. He inherited a desire to be a leader of men, and displayed even in youth a sagacity and knowledge of human nature which served him well in his political life. He came into prominence in his party in Oswego during the closing years of the leadership of the late Judge Merrick Stowell, long a leader of the party. Mr. Mott gathered about him a group of Republicans, dissatisfied with affairs of the party, and under his direction the leadership of Judge Stowell was contested in the primaries and Mr. Mott's faction won out. He became a candidate for Congress when Charles L. Knapp, of Lowville, Lewis County, announced his retirement, and that fall Mr. Mott won the primary and went to a congressional convention in Watertown as the candidate of Oswego County. Senator Elon R. Brown was Jefferson County's candidate. Mr. Mott won out at the convention and in the following fall was elected to the 62nd Congress.

Mr. Mott then was candidate of his party for Congress in every election until his death, being elected by constantly increasing majorities, and often with the endorsement of other parties for the position. In Congress he first served on the Committee of Claims, and just before the World War was designated to serve on the Committee of Foreign Affairs. His work during the war was outstanding and his services were many. Before the war he was responsible for the organization of the 9th Division, Naval Militia, in Oswego, and of a division at Fulton, both of which served throughout the war. In Watertown he enrolled and personally enlisted many men in the service. In countless other ways Mr. Mott also manifested great enterprise and efficiency, and during the following years he aided many service men in the settlement of their claims. He was a strong supporter of a bonus payable by a sales tax.

Mr. Mott was one of the first leaders to take up the cause of woman suffrage, and was an ardent prohibitionist.

On Dec. 10, 1902, Mr. Mott married Miss Ruth Woolsey Johnson, of Oswego, and they were the parents of three children: Luther W., Jr., Alice Wright, and Dorothy J. Mott. His widow received the appointment as postmaster of Oswego on Feb. 29, 1924, and now serves in that capacity.

Mr. Mott was a trustee of Grace Presbyterian Church, a trustee of Oswego City Library, a trustee of the Oswego Home for the Homeless, and a trustee of the Oswego Orphan Asylum. He held membership in the Harvard Club of New York, Army and Navy Club, Racquet Club of Washington, Fortnightly Club, Kiwanis Club, Oswego Country Club, and Black River Valley Club of Watertown.

From:

The North Country
A History, Embracing
Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Oswego, Lewis
and Franklin Counties, New York.
By: Harry F. Landon
Historical Publishing Company
Indianopolis, Indiana 1932


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