Sunday, August 19, 2012

James M. TERWILLIGER, 1825-1909

   From all the wonderfully helpful links and comments I received from Albert Riezobos in Winnipeg, I decided to add some photos of James M. Terwilliger, and describe him further.  James is the father of James Grover "Grove" Terwilliger, whose Souvenirs Album I am documenting page by page by page over the coming year.  It's big.  And has lots of unusual items, names, calling cards, memorabilia and more.

   There are very few photos of  James Sr. - but since the early Album pages show items about Grove's father and friends/colleagues, it seems reasonable to at least give a smidge of information about him.  These are his "official" Senate photos.

   James Sr. was the eldest son of John S(imon) Terwilliger, b. 16 Sep 1800 in New Scotland, Albany, NY.  John married 3 times, firstly to Margaret Reid from Scotland, with whom he had 5 children:  James M., George, Nancy, Jane R., and Mary E.  Margaret died 11 Dec 1838 in DeWitt, Onondaga, NY, about 19 months after the 5th child, and John married secondly to Jane DeGraff/DeGroff, in 1841.  There were 3 girls born this time, Jane, Sara, and Lida; however both Jane and Lida died before 1850, and John's wife Jane also died in 1849.  John married one more time in 1856 to a widow, Harriet M. Ives, with whom there were no more children.  James Terwilliger and his son, Grove, were quite close with their extended family, and there were numerous social events described about visits, picnics, and more.  Sara, the only living stepsister of James Sr., lived with him and his wife for a time.

   James M. Terwilliger married Harriet F. Buell in 1851; she was the youngest of 5 (4 girls, 1 boy) of Grover Buell & Charlotte Bortle [a brick wall of mine].  They had two living children, James Grover "Grove" Terwilliger, b. 27 May 1856, and 8 years later, Harry Reid Terwilliger b. 9 Apr 1864 [the Reid from James mother's surname].  Both boys were born in Syracuse where the Terwilligers settled by the time of the 1860 Census.

   In 1851, he bought a half-interest in "The Syracuse Journal," as it was known at this time, and was listed as a "publisher" on the 1870 Census for Syracuse.  Although he sold his interest around this time, he repurchased it by 1871.  I am not certain of the reasons for this activity.  The family was relatively wealthy, and enjoyed an active social life, with invitations to social events such as the Ball of the Prince of Wales in October 1860.

   He was an active member of the Odd Fellows, and was Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge from 1884 to 1894.

   James Sr. was active in politics both locally, and state-wide.  For example, he was selected to be secretary at the first Republican Convention in 1856, held in Philadelphia.   Earlier he was elected in DeWitt, Onondaga, NY, on the 1847 "Whig Ticket" as well as on the 1848 "Temperance Ticket".    He was also a Clerk of the State Senate (NY), from 1856 to 1860, and the above 3 photographs show him dressed up for his official photographs.  In 1864 he was acting secretary of the Republican National Committee.  He was Deputy Collector for the Port of New York in 1870-1871.  In addition, from 1860-1870, James Sr. was secretary of the NY State Republican Committee.

   As stated in several obituaries published the day after his death, he retired from business and official activities in 1893.  And in 1905, he and his wife, Harriet, moved to Roselle, New Jersey, to live with their eldest son, Grove [James Grover Terwilliger] and his wife, Gussie.  James Sr. died 18 Oct 1909 at his son's home, and Harriet died 14 months later 4 Jan 1911, also at her son's home.   Both are buried side by side, in Oakwood Cemetery, in Syracuse, Onondaga, NY.  Their son, Grove, is buried nearby.

(Details above are taken from items in the Terwilliger Souvenirs Album filled out by his son Grove, as well as New York state and federal Censuses, plus newspaper articles in Syracuse and New York, NY.  Thank you Albert for your sluething!)

If you wish further information on any of the above, please do contact me, and I'll be happy to provide whatever information or details I may have.  More about the Souvenirs Album may be found by clicking on the link here   Thanks for reading my blog about this interesting ancestor of mine.


Alex Terwilliger said...

I came across some newspaper articles about James. I can send them to you if you'd like. He got involved in some scandals while in Albany, and resigned.

Celia Lewis said...

Thanks, Alex. My Blogger account has a glitch in it and I can't reply directly to you. Contact me through celia dot winky at gmail dot com, if you wish. Nice to hear from another Terwilliger - we all are related, of course!

Yes, since this early post in 2012, I've found more details of the contracts political scandal that was written about in the newspapers, particularly through Fulton newspapers website. Politicians + money - apparently a bad combination, eh?

He was my grandmother's grandfather, and although she talked quite a bit about her own life, she never mentioned anything about her grandfather and his life. We lose any stories about our ancestors unless something is written down.

Again, thanks for stopping by and commenting.


Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis