Biography of Thomas J. Marvin

A-Historic Newspapers Online



HON. THOMAS J. MARVIN, who in his day was one of the prominent men of Saratoga county, was born in the town of Malta, this county, June 26, 1803, and died on December 29, 1852. Although nearly half a century has elapsed since his death, his memory is still like that of yesterday, and he. did so much for his native county that the remotest historian of Saratoga shall preserve his record and his name.

Thomas J. Marvin was educated at Union College and after graduating took up the study of law in the office of Hon. William L. F. Warren of Saratoga Springs. He was admitted to the bar in 1828 and immediately began the practice of his profession, to the dignity of which he added lustre, finally rising to the highest judicial position which the county could confer. At the second election of the justices of the peace in Saratoga Springs, he was nominated and returned by a large majority, and during the four years of his term in this, his first public trust, he gave evidence of the sterling integrity, sagacity and judicial ability, which distinguished his whole career. In 1833 he was elected to the State Assembly and proved himself not only an able legislator, but a representative ever watchful of the rights of his constituents. Later on he became one of the judges of the County Court and, upon the retirement of Colonel Young, he was made first judge, which place he dignified and held with honor until superseded by the Constitution of 1846.

He was appointed postmaster at Saratoga Springs by President Tyler and held the office through the administration of that president and his successor, James K. Polk. The public affairs of the county were always important in his eyes and he served on the board of supervisors during the years 1851 and 1852.

To stimulate and aid the business development of Saratoga Springs, he established the first bank in this place, and then generously opened the stock book to the public and gave others the advantage of a paying investment, retaining only a small portion of the stock himself and declining to hold any higher office than that of director.

To him also was due the credit of procuring the first charter in New York State for a Mutual Fire Insurance Company. He organized the Saratoga Mutual, of which he was secretary from the time of its organization until his death. He was many times elected trustee of the village, was president of the board, and even assumed the arduous duties of town assessor.

Thus did this able man in many different ways devote his energies and abilities to the welfare of the village and county. As the historian, Sylvester, wrote of him—” His active and benevolent mind was not confined to objects of mere self, but he was always foremost in stimulating and promoting enterprises designed to benefit the community and the age in which he lived. To his efforts and exertions, more perhaps than to those of any other man, the village of Saratoga is indebted for its most valuable improvements and its prosperity.”

The soundness of his opinions on all questions of his day won for him the admiration and esteem of his contemporaries and time has proved the precision of his judgment and the wisdom of his mind.

Nothing higher can be said of a man than this, that he was true to his friends, and this faithfulness was one of Judge Marvin’s greatest traits. Neither political affiliations and influences nor the power of money could ever sway his friendship, and he scattered kindly acts from both hands as a sower sowing seed. As might be expected with such a man, his ñomestic relations were ideal. On February 8, 1837, he married Harriet Fraser. Their children were William, who died when two years of age; Grace Carryl, who died in her seventeenth year; Virginia, who married Dr. John L. Perry and died in 1895, and Mary Louise, widow of Hon. William A. Sackett.

Judge Marvin was a lineal descendant of Matthew Marvin, who came to America from England in April, 1635, and settled in Hartford, Conn. His son Matthew removed to Norwalk, Conn., where the family remained until the beginning of this century. Matthew Marvin had a son, Samuel Marvin, whose son, Josiah Marvin, was the father of Willjam Marvin, whose son, William Marvin, was the father of Judge Thomas J. Marvin.

Return to [Saratoga County Bio's ] [ Saratoga County History ] [ Online Biographies ]

.Blind Counter

All pages copyright 2009. All items on this site are copyrighted by their author(s). These pages may be linked to but not used on another web site. Anyone may copy and use the information provided here freely for personal use only. Privacy Policy