William E. Flanders. - Identified with the Flanders Insurance Agency, Mr. Flanders is one of the progressive
and well known business men of Potsdam and is a veteran of the World War. He was born at Bloomingdale, Essex County,
N. Y., March 2, 1888, the son of Eugene and Hattie (Winch) Flanders.
Eugene Flanders was born at Bloomingdale and spent his early life as a guide in the Adirondack Mountain regions.
He was identified with the estate of William Rockefeller as superintendent for 26 years, and after his retirement
lived at Oswego. Mr. Flanders died in 1927 and his widow resides at Malone, N. Y. He was a Republican, a member
of the Methodist Church, and belonged to the Masonic Lodge. To Mr. and Mrs. Flanders were born four children: 1.
William E., the subject of this sketch. 2. Marian, a graduate of Malone Academy and Oswego State Normal School,
now a teacher at Malone. 3. Harriet, married William Preston, also a graduate of Oswego Normal, lives at Babylon,
L. I.; and 4. Ralph W., attending Franklin Academy at Malone, N. Y.
William E. Flanders is a graduate of Malone Academy and Albany Business College. He was assistant cashier of the
Walker Gibson Drug Company at Albany, and for several years was interested in the general mercantile business at
Bloomingdale. He then became identified with Y. M. C. A. work at Hampton, Va., and later was general secretary
at Rheinbeck, N. Y. Mr. Flanders then conducted a general mercantile business at Norwood, N. Y., and after four
years established an insurance business at that place as a representative of the New York Life Insurance Company.
In 1918 he enlisted for service in the World War and became an instructor at the Clarkson College of Technology,
later being transferred to Camp Jackson, South Carolina. He received the commission of first lieutenant and remainded
there until his discharge, Dec. 24, 1918. Mr. Flanders then returned to Norwood as general agent for the Security
Mutual Life Insurance Company. He opened a branch office at Gouverneur in 1922, which he sold the following year.
He went to Alexandria Bay in 1924 as secretary of the Chamber of Commerce there, and also was in charge of the
American Legion State Convention which was held there during that year. Since November, 1924, Mr. Flanders has
been located at Potsdam, where he represents many of the leading insurance companies of the United States.
In 1908 Mr. Flanders was united in marriage with Miss Ida White, of Bloomingdale, the daughter of Eugene and Ida
(Towne) White, natives of Vermont and New York, respectively. Mr. White died in 1926 and his wife died in 1885.
Both are buried at Bloomingdale. Mr. and Mrs. Flanders have two sons: William Eugene, born March 20, 1922; and
Arthur Herbert, born March 9, 1923.
Mr. Flanders has always been a Republican and for a number of years has served as county committeeman. He was elected
justice of the peace at Potsdam in 1927, and reelected to that office in 1931. He has also been police justice.
He is a member of the Methodist Church and has the following lodge affiliations: Whatcheer Lodge, F. and A. M.
No. 689, life member and past master; St. Lawrence Lodge of Perfection, Thrice potentate; past district deputy
of the Grand Lodge, Second St. Lawrence District; Syracuse Consistory, 32nd degree; Rose Croix and Prince of Jerusalem;
and Order of Eastern Star. He also belongs to the Potsdam Club; Potsdam Country Club; Chamber of Commerce; and
has been secretary of the Rotary Club, of Potsdam, since its organization.
Mr. Flanders organized the Norwood post of the American Legion and was its Commander for three years. He was also
one of the organizers of the St. Lawrence County Legion and was its County Commander for two years, and served
as Fourth District Chairman of the State of New York. In 1922 he was elected Vice Commander of the Department of
New York and also served on many state and national committees. Mr. Flanders holds a Captain's commission in the
United States Reserve Army attached to the Quartermaster section and is Fourth District Councilman for the Reserve
Officers' Association of the United States, Department of New York.
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