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Mayors of the City of Watertown


Mayors of the City of Watertown, New York

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George Walton Flower  1869-1871

Col. Flower was a native of Theresa, Jefferson County, and lived the greater part of his life- there, son of Nathan Moore and Mary Ann (Boyle) Flower.  His brother was Roswell P Flower.  He moved to Watertown in 1865, and at once took an active interest in political affairs.

By 1869 when the City Charter became operative, Col. Flower was elected Mayor and was efficient and honorable in his official acts as Mayor. During the Civil War Mr. Flower raised a company of volunteers in his native town and went into service as captain. He was a valiant soldier and won high credit from his superiors. During his residence in Watertown his business interests were largely with his brothers, Governor and Anson R. Flower. Col. Flower was a well known figure in Watertown and enjoyed great popularity.

He was a genial companion and a good friend. He was born 1837 and died May 4, 1881. He married Mary Elizabeth Putnam and had three children:  Mary (Flower) Robinson, Frederick Stanton Flower and George W Flower. 


Grave Link (burial in Brookside Cemetery)


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Gilderoy Lord  1871, 1873

He married Lucina H Hoyt, daughter of Judge Luther Graves and Susan (Mather) Hoyt. 

Proprietor of foundery and machine shop, 22, 24, 1nd 26 Mill Street. House: 33 Stone. Reference Childs Jefferson County Gazeteer,
July 1890

The City National Bank was organized in 1890 with  $100,000 capital. Gilderoy Lord was the first president.  He resided at 213 Stone St.

CHURCH OF THE REDEEMER,  organized in 1888, the name being the Mission of the Redeemer, located on the north
side was completed in 1897. The funds for its erection were given largely by Mrs. Frances Lord Bennett, as a memorial to her father, Gilderoy Lord.

The Knowlton & Rice mill was burned again in 1848,  also Winslow & Partridge's woolen mill, the Haddock  axe factory and Gilderoy Lord's plow works



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Wilbur F Porter  1872

Mr Porter was prominent in local and State politics for a number of years.  He was born in Herkimer County in 1832.  His parents moved to Jefferson County in 1842 locating in the town of Theresa.  He began the study of law while teaching school at Cape Vincent, where he lived for a year or two.  He moved to Watertown in 1860 and was admitted to the bar in 1875.

Six times he was elected Mayor of Watertown serving in that position until his death.  In 1891 he ran for Congress against Gen. N M Curtis of Ogdensburg.  he reduced the normal Republican vote in the district which comprised Oswego, Jefferson and St Lawrence Counties, many thousands.  In one of his races for Mayor he was nominated by the regular Democratic organization for Governor.  The party was split on the money question and he was defeated.  Gov Flower's first act almost after being elected was to appoint Mr Porter to the State Board of Claims. 

Mr Porter died May 21 1901

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Bradley Winslow  1874

No name in Northern New York is better known in legal, social, political or military circles than that of General Bradley Winslow, who is descended from the good New England stock which was prominently identified and largely instrumental in the settlement of New York State. General Winslow is a direct descendant in the seventh generation of Kenelm Winslow, who was a brother of Edward of the Mayflower fame.

He was born August 1, 1834, on his father's farm two and a half miles from Watertown,
NY. After the usual course in the common schools of his district, at the age of sixteen, he entered the Cazenovia Seminary, where made excellent progress in all his studies and where the ability that has since distinguished him in the many walks of his active life was first recognized.

In 1850 and 1851 he attended Falley Seminary of Fulton, NY, and later entered Kingston (PA) Seminary, which course completed his literary studies. At the age of twenty-two he began the study of law in the office of the Hon. James F. Starbuck of Watertown; in 1854 he entered the Poughkeepsie Law School and was admitted to the bar in 1855, remaining with Mr. Starbuck until the following year, when he opened an office in Watertown, associating with himself J L Bigelow.

Having early evinced a taste for politics, he was nominated in 1859 for district attorney and after a heated campaign was triumphantly elected. When treason first reared its head upon Columbia's soil, Mr. Winslow was one of the first to respond to the call to arms; the Black River Corps, of which Mr. Winslow was first lieutenant, was one of the first local military organizations to tender their services to the governor of the State.

This company proceeded at once to Elmira under the command of Captain Potter; when the regimental organization was perfected W. C. Brown was made colonel, Captain Potter, lieutenant-colonel, Lieutenant Winslow being promoted to captain. In July the regiment was sent to the defenses of Washington, passing through Baltimore but a few days after the attack made in that city upon the troops of Massachusetts. In August, 1861, Captain Winslow was promoted to be lieutenant colonel of his regiment and it took a prominent part in the battle of Cedar Mountain; Colonel Winslow's health having failed him, he was forced to resign, and, receiving an honorable discharge, left the army deeply regretted by all who knew him.

Having regained his health he was unable to resist the feelings of patriotism that had first prompted him to take up arms in defense of his country, and he proceeded to raise the 168th Vol. Infantry, of which he was promptly commissioned colonel; the regiment immediately joined General Meade's command and was assigned to the Second Division, Ninth Corps, and was at once stationed in front of Petersburg. This regiment also took an active part in the battle of Weldon Railroad, fought October 31, 1864. On the 2d of April, 1865. Colonel Winslow's regiment led an attack and captured Fort Malone in front of Petersburg; in an attempt to capture another fortification Colonel Winslow fell shot through the body, a minne ball having entered his left side between the lower ribs, passing entirely through his body and came out on the right side near the spinal column. For his gallant conduct and the able management of his regiment Colonel Winslow received from Gen. S. G. Griffin one of the most eulogistic letters ever penned by a commander to a subordinate officer.

He was afterward, without any solicitation upon his part, appointed by the president colonel of the 22d U. S. Infantry, which command he respectfully declined. In 1868 Governor Fenton appointed him brigadier-general of the New York National Guard and placed him in command of the 16th Brigade, in which capacity he served three years with distinguished ability. General Winslow is a stalwart Republican and in 1875 was elected mayor of Watertown, which office he filled so satisfactorily that he was elected State Senator from his district in 1879, serving two years, having the respect of his colleagues and unbounded confidence of his constituents. In the first organization of the G. A. R. he was junior vice-commander of the State of New York.

November 15, 1855, he married Geraldine M. Cooper, whose family were pioneer settlers in Jefferson county. As the result of this union three children were born: J C born in 1856, was graduated from Dartmouth College and studied and practiced law with his father until he received an appointment in the office of the attorney-general of the State, and in 1890 died of consumption in California; Charlotte, born in 1859, has recently married William G. Johnston, and lives in Watertown; and Florence, born in 1856, married Mr. Upham, a prominent manufacturer in the city of Watertown. Mrs. Winslow died August 24, 1896.


FROM:Our County and its people  A descriptive work on Jefferson County, New York

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Levi Brown 1875



Link to Bio

He entered Union College in 1841, and after graduation read law in Schenectady, and later was in the office of Calvin Skinner at Adams. He was admitted to the bar in 1846, and soon thereafter located in Watertown, entering into partnership with Joshua Moore, the firm name being Moore & Brown. In 1854, Brown
withdrew from this copartnership and joined Allen C. Beach in a partnership, it being then Brown & Beach. They built up an extensive business and gained high repute as lawyers. This partnership continued till 1871, when Mr. Beach was elected Lieut. Governor. The firm was then dissolved, Brown continuing in the
practice alone. He represented the City in the Board of Supervisors and served as Mayor of the City. Mr. Brown had the esteem and respect of all who knew him.

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Wilbur F Porter  1876

Judge Wilbur F. Porter probably had as wide a circle of staunch friends and admirers as any lawyer in the City of Watertown. His many good qualities, together with his tact and fighting ability almost made his calling and election sure in political contests in the City. Judge Porter was a native of Herkimer County, but when a boy his parents moved to Cape Vincent, where he lived during his boyhood. He was a student in the old Watertown Academy for some time and sub- sequently attended Falley Seminary at Fulton, N. Y. After teaching school for a little while Mr. Porter began the study of law in the office of Laban H. Ainsworth at Cape Vincent. He practiced law a short time at the Cape after being admitted, and then became a member of the Watertown bar, where he spent the rest of his life. At first he was with Bagley & Wright, a business and professional connection that lasted ten years. During his whole professional career Judge Porter was one of the most active and widely known lawyers of the county. Governor Flower appointed him one of the Judges of the Court of Claims which post he filled with ability. 9In politics Judge Porter was a Democrat, yet he was elected to the office of Mayor of the City for five consecutive terms. In 1896 he was made the nominee of his party for governor but went down in defeat. Judge Porter was active and widely known in the Masonic Order and other associations. In all his re- lations and business intercourse he had the respect and regard of everybody who knew him.
JohnCStreeter.jpg John Clarke Streeter  1877

Former Mayor of Watertown, was born in that city November 22 1829, son of Nelson and Amelia A (Parsons) Streeter. He received a public school education and at an early age was employed in the wholesale and retail clothing business of his father.

For years Mr. Streeter was one of Watertown’s leading business men. He was a member of the first board of directors of the Watertown Manufacturers’ Aid Association and served in the same capacity on the organization of the Watertown Board of Trade. He was an incorporator of the Watertown Spring Wagon Co and one of the first trustees of the Watertown Savings Bank. He was for several years a member of the State Board of Charities to which he was appointed in 1872. In 1877 he was a member of the Board of Supervisors of Jefferson County and in the following year was elected Mayor of Watertown and he served as such until 1889.

Mr. Streeter has been a Mason since 1861 and a member of the Union Club since its organization. He is a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Watertown. In 1859 he married Mary, daughter of Stephen White. Mrs. Streeter died in 1870 leaving one son, Frederick W Streeter. His present wife, whom he married in December 1890, was Mrs. Ella A Phelps, Address Watertown NY


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Dennis O'Brien 1878

Link to Bio

Link to Grave Info

Judge O'Brien was born in St. Lawrence County near Ogdensburg, in 1837, and commenced the study of law in that city and continued until he was admitted to the bar in 1861. In the fall of that year he located in Watertown and at once began the practice of his profession which he continued with great assiduity and success until later called to public life. His local popularity was proved on numerous occasions by the positions of trust which were given him by the people.

In 1869, in the first year of the existence of the City of Watertown, he was elected an alderman from his ward and served for four succeeding terms and afterwards was elected mayor of the City and served one term. He enjoyed politics as a by-play. In 1880 he succeeded the late James F. Starbuck as a member of the State Democratic Committee, holding that po- sition for four years and becoming one of the chief counsellors of the party in the State,

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Byron B. Taggart 1879-1880

paper manufacturer, bank Director, corporation and steamboat magnate, landlord, prominent politician, ex-Mayor, and semi-millionaire.

Mr. Byron B. Taggart was elected Mayor in 1879, and served two years. He was also one of the trustees of the Soldiers' Home at Bath, N. Y. Both he and brother William were good business men and were highly regarded in the community.

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Nelson Burdick  1881-1882

Watertown Daily Times, Thursday Afternoon, February 20, 1908 -
Former Mayor Burdick Dies – Passes Away at his Franklin Street Home – His Age was 87 Years – Mr. Burdick has long been identified with the Interests of Watertown, and Served as the City's Mayor for Two Terms – Nelson Burdick, twice mayor of Watertown and one of the city's best known and respected residents, died at 1:30 this morning at his home, 45 Franklin Street, aged 87 years.

Mr. Burdick had been in ill health for the past two years and his passing was not unexpected. Death was to the infuriation incident to advanced years. Nelson Burdick was the second son of Adam and Elizabeth Moore Burdick and was born December 28, 1830, at Point Peninsula. His education was received at the common schools in the town of Lyme and at the Watertown High School.

He resided in Lyme until 40 years of age and was the supervisor of that town in 1854. Moving to Watertown in 1860, Mr. Burdick at once became actively interested with the industrial and public life of this city. He established a carriage making plant at the foot of Franklin Street and conducted it successfully for many years, later relocating on the site of the present Burdick Block. He served on the board of successors of the city and also as a commissioner of the board of public works.

In 1881, he was elected mayor and the following year was honored by a re-election to that office. Mr. Burdick was a Democrat. He was a member of Watertown Lodge, F.&A.M. On March 7, 1844, Mr. Burdick, son of Adam and Elizabeth (Moore) Burdick was married to Catherine Getman, who died in 1846. He afterward married Delia Getman, who survives him. He is also survived by two daughters, Dora Burdick and Mrs. John W. Carey of this city, two sons, Alfred M Burdick of this city and Jesse D. Burdick of Navajo, Cal., and five grandchildren: John N an Floyd L Carlisle of this city and three children of the late Wayne W Burdick, living at San Diego, Cal. The funeral will be held from his home Saturday afternoon. Burial in Brookside Cemetery

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Dewitt C Middleton 1883-1884

De Witt C Middleton, son of Andrew C., was born in the town of Rutland, April 11, 1850, and was educated in the Watertown High School. For four years he was a clerk in the store of J. & A. Bushnell, and has since been efigaged in the shoe business in this city. He was mayor of Watertown, and was a member of the Board of Education for two years. In 1885 he organized the Watertown Electric Light Company, of which he is now president.

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Henry M Allen 1886

"Mr Henry M Allen is a citizen of Watertown who is very well known in this community as a popular and enterprising business man.  He officiated as alderman for two years and was elected to the position of mayor of the city."  Excerpt from THE INDUSTRIES OF WATERTOWN

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William E Hart  1886-1887

Hart, William E., photographer, is a Canadian by birth and has been a resident of Watertown since 1862. He learned his business in the studio of his brother, Charles S. Hart, one of the oldest photographers in Jefferson county, and was an assistant to him until 1884, when he engaged in business for himself. Mr. Hart has attractive rooms in what is known as the Marble block, and has facilities for the execution of all classes of work. He does Crayon and India ink portrait work, and has established an extended reputation. Mr. Hart served the city as alderman from the Third ward, two years, and in 1886 was elected mayor, serving two terms.

Source:Our County and it's peoplea descriptive work on Jefferson County, New YorkEdited by: Edgar C. EmersonThe Boston History Co., Publishers, Syracuse, N. Y. 1898

1904 Although in poor health for four or five years, the announcement of William E. Hart's death, Saturday morning, was a sudden shock to his many friends. For many years he has been a prominent figure in Watertown, serving on the common council before and after his election as mayor, an enthusiastic Odd Fellow, an earnist member of Trinity church, one of he promoters of Trinity workingman's club, and an exempt fireman.

Mr. Hart was a native of Picton, Ont., and came here when a boy, learning the photographic art with his brother, with whom he worked many years before engaging In business for himself. Four years ago he had to give up business because of his falling health, but he was about most of the time, and a few days before his death was down town chatting cheerily with his friends. Mr. Hart was a man of pleasing personality, yet very positive in his views and opinions.

What he believed was right he did, and was respected by those who differed with him because of his ea!rnestness and honesty. He was an uncompromising democrat and cheered his party associates in the darkest hour, just as he cheered himself along life's pathway when he knew his days were numbered.

A widow and one brother survive him.1921 Mr. Sheehan has purchased the old Hart Studio from Mrs Clara Blackford, located at the western end of the arcade.

Gleanings Transcribed from Watertown Daily Times

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John Nill  1888-1889


Mr Nill has always taken a keen interest in public affairs, discharging with assiduity and faithfulness all the duties of a citizen. These traits of character have been highly appreciated by his townsmen, who in 1881, elected him to the office of supervisor, a position which he held for seven years. In 1889 he was chosen mayor of Watertown and by his administration of the office more than justified the selection of those whose votes called him to discharge the duties of the mayoralty. He was an abolitionist in early life and joined the Republican party at its organization. He attends the Universalist. He is a Mason of high standing, having taken the thirty-second degree, and is also a member of the IOOF and Knights of Pythias.

Mr Nill married, in February, 1860, Dorothy Jess, and they are the parents of wo daughters: Louisa Caroline and Amelia Paulina, who reside with their parents. Mrs Nill’s father was a cabinetmaker who lived and died in Mecklenburg, Germany.


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Wilbur F Porter  1890-1891

Mr Porter was prominent in local and State politics for a number of years.  He was born in Herkimer County in 1832.  His parents moved to Jefferson County in 1842 locating in the town of Theresa.  He began the study of law while teaching school at Cape Vincent, where he lived for a year or two.  He moved to Watertown in 1860 and was admitted to the bar in 1875.

Six times he was elected Mayor of Watertown serving in that position until his death.  In 1891 he ran for Congress against Gen. N M Curtis of Ogdensburg.  he reduced the normal Republican vote in the district which comprised Oswego, Jefferson and St Lawrence Counties, many thousands.  In one of his races for Mayor he was nominated by the regular Democratic organization for Governor.  The party was split on the money question and he was defeated.  Gov Flower's first act almost after being elected was to appoint Mr Porter to the State Board of Claims. 

Mr Porter died May 21 1901

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Florentine Daniel Roth  1892

A native son of Nazareth, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, Florentine Daniel Roth was later a resident of Watertown, New York, where for many years he was at the forefront of business and political activity in the city, being both the founder of the FD Roth Company, a candidate for the New York State Assembly and a past mayor of Watertown.

The son of
John W. and Elizabeth Daniels Roth, Florentine D. Roth was born in Nazareth on July 17, 1855. His early years were spent in this town and as a young man took work as a clerk in a general store, and at age 21 had advanced to being the manager of a mercantile store in Nazareth. Roth married in 1880 to Emily V. Santee (1858-1910) and this marriage produced one son, Roswell John Roth (1884-1950), later a graduate of Yale University.

In the early 1880s Roth
become engaged with the dry goods business of Bush and Bull, located in Easton, Pennsylvania, and this firm would later add him as a third partner, changing its title to Bush, Bull and Roth. Roth's experience in operating a general store eventually led him to be transferred from Easton to Watertown, New York, where he would operate a branch of the aforementioned company's business. With Roth at the helm, Bush and Bull's operation in Watertown did a sterling business, with both it and Roth receiving prominent mention in the April 23, 1887 edition of the Watertown Herald, which noted that:

"Mr. Roth stands high in business circles. His judgement in the employing of help, in the selection of goods, and in placing the same on the market, is clearly shown to be of the best by the large and increasing business his house enjoys. In business or in social circles, Mr. Roth is always found a pleasant gentleman. Those who work under him speak of him as a kind, agreeable, yet firm employer, always ready to listen to any grievance and right any wrong." Attentive to local politics in addition to his business dealings, Roth made his first move into public service in the late 1880s, serving as an
alderman for Watertown's Third ward in 1890. He later formed the dry goods firm of Roth and Santee with partner H.V. Santee and in the latter portion of that year became the Republican candidate for Mayor of Watertown, being elected in November "by a 67 majority" vote over Democrat James D. Wise. Roth entered into his mayoral duties in January 1892 and served a term of one year.

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Hiram F Inglehart 1893-1894

Inglehart, Hiram F., was born in Hounsfield, March 28, 1846, a son of Cornelius W. and Emmeline (Foote) Inglehart. Mr. Inglehart has been a merchant of Watertown for several years and was one of the original stockholders in the Westminster Park, and has been proprietor of the hotel there since 1884. In 1888 he was elected alderman of the Fourth ward. He married Nettie Blodgett, and they have eight children. He is proprietor of the Columbian Hotel at Thousand Island Park and formerly proprietor of the Thousand Island House at Alexandria Bay.

He was mayor of the city of Watertown in 1893 and 1894. He is vicepresident of the Watertown Street Railroad Co., a director in three banks of the city and of the Agricultural Insurance Company and is on the finance committee in these institutions Mr. Inglehart is man of remarkable executive ability, whose opinion and advice is sought upon important financial matters. He has been for many years an active member of the Odd Fellows and is a past grand in that organization, besides being prominent in other societies.

Source:Our County and it's people, a descriptive work on Jefferson County, New York

Edited by: Edgar C. EmersonThe Boston History Co., Publishers, Syracuse, N. Y. 1898

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James B Wise  1895-1899

J B Wise was born in Bradford, Conn., December 27, 1858, and came to Watertown with his parents (Mr & Mrs Joseph Wise) in 1869.

As a boy he was very active in whatever he undertook; he was part of the time newspaper carrier, but never neglected his school, either for play or business. He proceeded in his studies until he gained admittance to the Watertown High School, but his desire to enter upon a business career led him to believe he had acquired sufficient education to battle with the world. After attending a commercial college, he severed his connection with the schools and entered into actual business life. He was the owner and manager of the newspaper and fruit sales upon the trains running out of Watertown, and later of that business upon the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg trains running out of Oswego westward.

This he continued until 1877, when he returned to Watertown and identified himself with the business conducted by his father, becoming an equal partner, and upon his father's death, purchased the other half from the heirs and continued the same in his own name. He has been unusually successful and is a much respected citizen, fully recognized as such by the people of Watertown.

In 1888 he was elected alderman for the Second ward of Watertown; ran for mayor in 1890, but was defeated by Hon. Wilbur F. Porter; and ran again in 1891, but was defeated by only fifty-two votes. In 1892 he was again nominated but declined with thanks. He is fully identified with all the important business interests of Watertown and is a fearless independent man.

He is president of the Singer Fire Alarm Company; president of the Watertown Brass and Manufacturing Company andsecretary and treasurer of the Ryther Manufacturing Company, and a director in the Union Carriage and Gear Company. In 1891 he purchased the factory building he now occupies on Mill street; his principal manufactures are light bardwares and specialties of that description. His goods are in demand all over the country. Mr. Wise was the Republican nominee for mayor in 1894, was elected, and is now serving his fourth term, commencing January 1, 1898, for two years.

In 1881 Mr. Wise married Hattie C., daughter of George Willard of Watertown, and they have two sons, Charles Ralph and Earl W.

Wise went to Atlantic City, NJ in late Spring, 1916, hoping to improve his ill health. It was there that he died on June 7, 1916 at the age of 57.


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Wilbur F Porter  1900

Mr Porter was prominent in local and State politics for a number of years.  He was born in Herkimer County in 1832.  His parents moved to Jefferson County in 1842 locating in the town of Theresa.  He began the study of law while teaching school at Cape Vincent, where he lived for a year or two.  He moved to Watertown in 1860 and was admitted to the bar in 1875.

Six times he was elected Mayor of Watertown serving in that position until his death.  In 1891 he ran for Congress against Gen. N M Curtis of Ogdensburg.  he reduced the normal Republican vote in the district which comprised Oswego, Jefferson and St Lawrence Counties, many thousands.  In one of his races for Mayor he was nominated by the regular Democratic organization for Governor.  The party was split on the money question and he was defeated.  Gov Flower's first act almost after being elected was to appoint Mr Porter to the State Board of Claims. 

Mr Porter died May 21 1901

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James F Pappa 1901-1903

He was born in Newburg on July 24 1852, the son of a Canadian-born merchant tailor and an English-born mother.  He was the youngest of four children, all maintained in comfortable circumstances.  Floowing the footsteps of his older brother, a typesetter in the office of the Kingston Ontario BRITISH WHIG, he became a printer.   James left the paper after seven months disillusioned that he never received a cent of the $1.50 weekly wage promised him.  In September 1871 he left and stayed in Watertown at the Globe Hotel, where he decided to make application to the Watertown Daily Times where he eventually became a member of the editorial staff.

He was a member of the Odd Fellows fraternity and became involved in politics

In 1901 he ran as Republican candidate for mayor and after serving a two-year term, served as supervisor of the second ward. 



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Charles Darwin Bingham 1904-1905

"Charles D Bingham, secretary of the Bagley and Sewell Company, was last week elected mayor of the city of Watertown by 173 plurality over his democrat opponent, F D Roth.  Mr Bingham stands very high in Masonic circles, being a thirty-third degree mason.  He was in Septmeber elected Grand Commander of the Knights Templar of the State, a post to which he advanced by successive steps from the time, several years ago, when he was made one of the subordinate grand officers.

Mr Bingham had for the past two years been a commissioner of the board of public safety, and was responsible for many improvements which are appreciated by the taxpayers."

Excerpt from The Paper Mill and Wood Pulp News, Vol 26

Grave Bio Link

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Daniel W Cahill 1906
Resigned May 1906

Daniel Cahill, State Superintendent of Public Buildings, was born Watertown NY January 15 1864 to Daniel and Eliza Cahill.  He graduated from Watertown High School in 1880 and spent 2 years in the drug store of J W Nott.  In 1884 he was employed by Drs H G P Spencers & Sons, remaining there until he entered the College of Pharmacy in Philadelphia, and graduated 1886.  In 1892 he organzide a drug store in Watertown of which he was sole proprietor.  In the fall of 1905 he was elected Mayor but resigned May 26 1906 to take the office of the State Superintendent of Public Buildings.  He had been president of Watertown Druggists Association and was a member and promoter of the Lincoln League. 
He married Katherine Florence Storer on November 18  1896 and had a son, Daniel Robert Winslow Cahill.  He resided at 102 Main Street in Watertown.

Jamestown Post-Journal 19 May 1942

Ex-Mayor Cahill Dies Awaiting Uxorcide TrialWatertown (AP) - Former Mayor Daniel W. Cahill, 78, under indictment on a first degree murder charge in the strangulation death of his wife, died last night of an embolism.District Attorney Carl J. Hynes said Cahill told him he strangled his wife with a bathrobe cord April 19 because she was ill with a nervous disorder. Cahill later attempted suicide, Hynes said, by taking an overdose of sleeping tablets.

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Francis M Hugo 1906-1913

Hugo attended Queen's College (now Queen's University) at Kingston and held Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees. He also earned a law degree from Cornell University.

He was Mayor of Watertown, New York. He was a delegate to the 1912 Republican National Convention.

In 1912, he ran for Secretary of State of New York but was defeated by Democrat Mitchell May. He was Secretary of State of New York from 1915 to 1920, elected in 1914, 1916 and 1918. As Secretary of State, he signed the joint resolution of the Senate and Assembly submitting a women's suffrage ballot question

In Watertown, Hugo practiced law with Nicholas Doxtater Yost, father of Charles Woodruff Yost.

In 1923, Hugo was appointed by National Non-Theatrical Motion Pictures, Inc. to screen non-commercial films, a function similar to that performed by Will H. Hays for commercial films.

He married Florence Goodale, and their son was Francis G. Hugo.

His older brother was Trevanion William Hugo, Mayor of Duluth, Minnesota from 1900 to 1904, and another brother was a Minnesota legislator

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Isaac R Breen 1914-1919

Breen, Isaac R., son of Nathaniel and Eleanor (Smith) Breen, was born October 2, 1865.

His father was born in the north of Ireland in the year 1816, and his mother, who was of English ancestry, was born at Smith's Falls, Ontario, in 1823. They were among the early settlers of the town of Montague, Lewis county, N. Y., and later removed to Jefferson county, where they resided until their death. Six Sons and three daughters survived them, Isaac R. being the youngest son.

He removed with his parents to Jefferson county and received his education from the public and high schools of Watertown, after which he took up the study of law and was subsequently admitted to the bar at Syracuse, in 1888.

In 1894 in company with his brother, Nathaniel F, he formed the now well known law firm of Breen & Breen, which is one of the most prominent at the Jefferson county bar. During his legal career he has been engaged in numerous litigations involving important interests and the disposal of large sums of money. As a lawyer he is ever watchful of his client's interest and is considered a safe and prudent practitioner


From FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING, Vol LIX, January 5 1916

Mayor Isaac R Brren of Watertown NY, is advocating an investigation of a plan to provide a dual water system for the city and the matter has been placed before the common council.  If the plan with a double system of mains is installed in Watertown the drinking water, according to the tentative plans, would come from Pine Plains, where, as shown in a report from Hazen, Whipple and Fuller that was recently submitted to the Board of Water Commissioners, there is a sufficient supply for the purpose and the Black River water would continue to be used for fire protection, street cleaning, industrial and laundry purposes.  Mayor Breen state before the aldermen that is drinking water and water for culinary puposes was brought down from Pine Plains the cost of this work would be less than half the cost of other proposed projects.  Mayor Breen later stated, according to reports, that he had discussed the proposition with John F Moffett who had made a study of the matter and who was for many years a member of the firm Moffett, Hodgkins and Clark, which installed water works for many cities in the West and in Canada.  He believes the dual system could be installed in Watertown.  It is pointed out that the dual system is maintained in some cities in England and that in the lower part of New York City provision is made for by high pressure system, furnishing river water for fire protection

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Robert E Cahill 1920-1923

Robert E Cahill was born Nov 1867, one of five children born to former mayor, Daniel and Eliza Cahill.  He died in 1932 and is buried in Brookside Cemetery.

President of Jefferson Farm School, governed by City of Watertown, for care of truant boys.

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John B Harris 1924-1935

Hon. John Barnes Harris. - As mayor of Watertown John Barnes Harris is a representative and widely known citizen of northern New York. He was born at Adams Center, NY, July 5, 1877, the son of Robert Wallace and Alma (Barnes) Harris.

Robert Wallace Harris and his wife are natives of Point Peninsula, NY, and are now residents of Sacket Harbor, NY. His entire active career has been spent as a fanner, and for a number of years he was also successful as a breeder of fine race horses, being the owner of "Lucile," a fast trotting mare, who won a gold cup in Madison Square Garden, New York City, as the best gentleman's driving horse in the world.

Mr. and Mrs. Harris are the parents of three children: John Barnes, the subject of this sketch; Mrs. Elva M. McWayne, lives at Sacket Harbor, NY; and Mrs. Frances K. Clarke, lives at Yonkers, NY.  John Barnes Harris was a small child when his parents removed from Adams Center, NY, to Grand Rapids, Mich., where they remained for a period of seven years. He attended the public schools and was a teacher in the district school at Hounsfield, NY, from 1895 until 1896.

He attended Cornell University from 1898 until 1901, and served as a private tutor from 1903 until 1907 inclusive. Mr. Harris was admitted to the New York bar in 1908, but has never engaged in the practice of law. He was interested in the real estate business at Lewistown, Mont., during 1910, and since 1915 has been the owner of a fine dairy farm near Watertown. Mr. Harris has served as personal advisor to Mrs. Emma Flower Taylor, the daughter of the late Roswell P. Flower, since 1911. He was elected to the office of mayor of Watertown in 1923 and has since held that office. He has also been Republican State Committeeman since 1927, and is president of the Conference of Mayors and Other Municipal Officials of the State of New York.

On Nov. 8, 1915, Mr. Harris was united in marriage with Miss Helen Folsom, at Syracuse, N. Y. She was born at Watertown, and is the daughter of Walter Seeber and Harriet (Cavanaugh) Folsom, natives of Jefferson County. Mr. Folsom lives in Watertown. His wife died in 1897.

To Mr. and Mrs. Harris have been born four children: Betty Jane, John Barnes, Jr., Robert Leon, and David Byron. All are students in the Watertown schools.Mr. Harris has always been a Republican. He and his family are members of the Trinity Episcopal Church, and he belongs to the Rotary Club, Black River Valley Club, and Hounsfield Star Grange.

From:

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

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David D Kieff 1936-1939

Kieff, David D., was born in Bombay, Franklin county, NY, July 3, 1866. He was reared on a farm, educated in the public schools and graduated from a business college; at the age of fifteen he came to Watertown, NY, and began the study of architecture, with John Hose and W. W. Tucker.

In the year of 1887 he formed a copartnership with Mr. Hose, under the firm name of Hose & Kieff, architects; they continued in business until 1893, He then bought Mr. Hose's interest and established an office in the Flower building, which he still retains. Among the more important buildings of which Mr. Kieff has been the architect might be mentioned the Watertown City Hall, erected in 1896-97, Otis House, erected in 1894, Herald building, erected in 1896, Cooper Street School, erected in 1895, the marble residence of ex-Mayor F D Roth, residence of E G Mosher, Simson Bros., B A Field, Thomas Burns, A R Flower. He has also designed many buildings out of town: The Antwerp Town Hall, Bent Bros.'s building, F G Tucker's residence, Philadelphia, NY, and many others of equal prominence.

Mr. Kieff has always been a Democrat in politics and is at present the secretary of the Board of Health, and building inspector. He is also a member of the Jeffersonian and Citizen Clubs.

Source:Our County and it's peoplea descriptive work on Jefferson County, New YorkEdited by: Edgar C. EmersonThe Boston History Co., Publishers, Syracuse, N. Y. 1898



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 Charles A Winslow  1940-1947

Born July 13 1871, Died Oct 1968

Charles A Winslow was born in Utica July. 13, 1871, one of nine children of the
late Charles and Jane Leahy Winslow.

The future mayor of Watertown spent his boyhood in Utica, where he was educated
in Assumption academy. He learned the plumber's trade and followed that for two
years, after which he went to New York city and studied voice under Paola Giorza for four years.

Careers included Utica Brewing Company, Hardiman Hotel nightclerk, NY Central railroad, coal dealer under Horace Tyler, Trucking Storage business later called Winslow Trucking, Watertown Milk Company, City Government.

At the expiration of his term Dec. 31, 1947, Mr. Winslow retired from politics. One of the outstanding municipal achievements in
which Mr. Winslow was vitally interested during his administration was the development of the Watertown airport.

It was he who advocated a municipal airport commission, which was created to
control airport operations. Other major accomplishments were achieved under
his administration. The public debt was reduced $2,500,000 in seven years. In 1947
the outstanding municipal indebtedness
was cut below $1,000,000 for the first time in
42 years and the city's bonded debt limit stood at more than $4,500,000.

In addition to being mayor of the city, Mr. Winslow served in the important position
of chairman of the Jefferson county war council during the World War II  years and in that capacity ws charged with the responsibility of directing the civilian
war efforts of the county. He was appointed to the position by the governor of the
state, then Herbert H. Lehman, under the state war emergency act.

Read Complete Article




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Henry A Hudson  1948-1949

In December of 1948 the Mayor of Watertown, NY, Henry A. Hudson, designated a five member Housing Authority Commission, which was vested with full powers, to consider housing needs, under New York State Public Housing Law, for the Watertown area. This was the start of the Watertown Housing Authority.

The retired New York State Supreme Court Judge Henry A. Hudson, was also a former mayor of Watertown. Mr. Hudson married in 1991 Josephine Clapp Taggart,born July 7, 1914 in Watertown, the second of three daughters of Byron Brown Taggart, Jr. and Josephine Clapp. Her grandfather, Byron B. Taggart, Sr. was founder of Taggart Brothers Paper Co. which led the industry in the manufacture of paper bags, and was twice mayor of Watertown. She died at age 93 on Monday, September 17 2007 at her home in Watertown, New York. He died in 1995.

Mr and Mrs. Hudson are interred at Brookside Cemetery, Watertown

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John H Newman  1952-1955

Life Sketch of John H.Newman, former mayor of Watertown, who died in Ogdensburg late Wednesday morning, is presented herewith. 9/13/1967

With a background of 22 years in public office, 18 of them as a city councilman and tour as the city's mayor, John H. Newman had acquired a wealth of knowledge of municipal government equaled by only a few.

Elected by an overwhelming majority, Mr., Newman became city councilman—his first political office—Jan. 1, 1932. Four times thereafter he was elected to the same after three consecutive terms on the council for a total of twelve years; he was defeated for the first time, but by a small vote. He was off the council only two years, 1944 and 1945, when he tried again, won the primary nomination and was returned to office in the subsequent election.

Four years later, he was reelected, but after two years' service he resigned to become mayor. He headed the city government from Jan. 1, 1952 to Jan. 1, 1956, at which time his career in public office terminated, William G. Lachenauer succeeding him as the mayor. His political career was marked by frequent occasions when, both in and. Out of office, he was a central figure of spirited, and sometimes bitterly-contested disputes. He was one of the Woodruff leaders in the prolonged fight for a new high school, a project which eventually became a reality.

He actively opposed the inner-loop feature and certain other aspects of the state arterial highway plan. John B. Harris, like Mr. Newman a veteran of municipal politics, was the first of the four mayors during whose terms Mr. Newman served as a councilman. The others, in the order of their tenure, were: The late David D. Kieff; Charles A. Winslow and Henry A. Hudson, now the justice of the state supreme

During his service on the council, Mr. Newman acquired a reputation as a promoter of public events. He was chairman of; the President's ball series and over a period of years he headed practically all of the civic parades held in the city. He was the general chairman of the second annual Watertown Farmers' day celebration held May 5. 1934. Through a conspicuous career in the field of railroad transportation, he gained an acquaintanceship enjoyed by few persons in northern New York. His railroad career spanned nearly 47 years—most of it as station master at the Watertown terminal.

John Henry Newman was born at Cape Vincent Jan. 6, 1885, one of two sons of the late Robert J. and Emma J. Mosier Newman. Robert Newman, a native of Kingston, Ont., was a painting contractor at Cape Vincent; also had a general mercantile business in the old Algonquin Hotel of that village; owned and operated "The Guide," a freight boat, and was actively interested in passenger service. After his death in 1924 his widow, who was also a native of Ontario, Can., sold the mercantile business but shortly afterward entered into business again, operating a general store on Broadway Cape Vincent, until her death March 4, 1939, at the age of 74 years.

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William G Lachenauer  1956-1959

1964 Archives
WATERTOWN, N. Y., Sept. 11 (AP)—William G. Lachenauer, a former Mayor of Watertown, was killed late last night when the automobile in which he was riding left Route 37 north of here and struck a tree. His brother, Watertown Battalion Fire Chief George W. Lachenauer, was reported in fair condition in Mercy Hospi­tal.

Massena, N. Y., Observer 5 Thursday, Sept. 17, 1964

Lachenauer in Car Crash Watertown
A one car crash on Route 37 north of here late Thursday night killed former Mayor William G. Lachenauer. Lachenauer, 53, of 152 Ward St. was killed when the car in which he was a passenger smashed head-on into a tree after leaving Route 37 at a point two miles north of the City limits about 11:30 p.m. It was attributed to a crushed chest. He also suffered facial cuts And a crushed right leg, Services were held at 11 a.m. Monday in Trinity Episcopal Church, The Rev. Lloyd W. Clarke, rector, officiating. The, compact car was operated by his brother, George Lachenauer, 47, of 221 Harewood Dr, Battalion fire chief of the Watertown Fire Department.

State police from the Watertown zone station said the car was southbound On Route 37 when it left the west side along the side, going over the top of a white cement guide post and traveled another 48 feet to strike the tree. The former mayor, seated in the passenger side of the front seat, was pinned in the car. He wore a seat belt, troopers said, but the right front of the compact sedan bore the brunt of the impact. Neither man was thrown from the car.

George Lachenauer was brought to Mercy Hospital in Evans Mills Ambulance. The body of his brother also was brought to the hospital after workmen spent some 45 minutes extracting it from the vehicle.

Attorney G. Saunders said an inquest is pending. Troopers were summoned by Mrs. Harold M. O’Brien after the crash occurred in front of her home. There were no witnesses to the accident. The appointed coroner’s physician pronounced the victim dead at the scene.

Ex-Mayor Lachenauer was elected mayor in 1955, taking office Jan. 1, 1956. Reelected for a second four-year term in 1959, he was defeated last fall by incumbent Mayor John Galvin in a bid for reflection to a third term. He was Watertown’s 27th mayor. Surviving, besides his brother, are: his wife, Mrs. Beatrice McFarlane Lachenauer; his father, Charles Lachenauer, of 273 Paddock St., two children, Mrs. Kenneth (Gretchen A.) Palmer of Conn., and William G. Lachenauer Jr., a student at the University of Kentucky; two grandchildren, Dana and Kirk Palmer, and two sisters, Mrs. John P. (Grace L.) Miller of Watertown and Mrs. Alex (Ruth) Bentley of Camden. A native of Long Island City, William G. Lachenauer came to Watertown in 1919 with his parents.

Following graduation from local schools, he was active in sports, having served in the 1930's as a member of the city's Red & Black football team and several basketball teams. He later was an official Referee of the two sports. He began his professional career as town clerk to the then assistant Corporation Counsel, Attorney Clifton J Landon. He was a leader in local public affairs and politics for more than 20 years before making his first attempt at elective office in 1955 when he ran for mayor.

Honors bestowed upon him included selection in 1953 as recipient of the Israel A Shapiro Award for Community Service and being named Elk of the Year Last March. He was a former president of local and state civil service employees associations

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John H Galvin   1964-1966


Rededication Ceremony Jun 2015:

On this Watertown City Hall rededication day, Mayor Jeff Graham officiated the reveal of each of the items inside of the time capsule, placed there 50 years ago in June of 1965.

"At that time, Mayor John H Galvin inserted a time capsule into the cornerstone for future generations to look back at on that historic day," said Graham.Flanked by former mayors Tom Walker and Joseph Butler, Graham revealed what many have waited half a century to see. Hidden inside the cornerstone of Watertown City Hall was a box full of documents.There was a photograph of city hall when it was new, a newspaper from that day and lists of what employees were paid back then.The million-dollar construction of the then-ultra-modern city hall began in 1964, but was dedicated in 1965."It kind of gives you a sense of your place in the world, and your place in that timeline of life and of the community. It's a little bit sobering, but it's just great to be part of it," said Graham.

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Ted Rand  1966-1975

Students from Jefferson Community College and the Watertown School of Commerce staged a march on City Hall Friday, Mar. 21, in support of a national movement to lower the voting age to eighteen. The march, led by Jefferson Community College student council president D. Thomas Sharrow and School of Commerce student council president David Berardi, presented Watertown Mayor Theodore Rand and State Assemblyman Donald L. Taylor with a petition, signed by 585 students, in favor of lowering the state voting age to eighteen.

Mayor Rand signed a proclamation on March 20 declaring Friday, March 21, as Vote 18 Day for the city of Watertown. The petition, signed on Friday by Mayor Rand and Assemblyman Taylor, is to be sent to Albany with Mr. Taylor. There is a bill before the legislature, proposed by Governor Rockefeller, to lower the state voting age to eighteen. Assemblyman Taylor
told the students that he was quite certain that the bill would be passed.

The national program under the title of L. U. V., Let Us Vote, is drawing about a thousand new students daily, according to a statement by the national chairman of the movement, Dennis Warren. It was mentioned, in a document issued by the L.U.V. headquarters, that the average age of those who fight and die in war is under twenty-one. The right to decide whether or not there is to be a war is, with the exception of four states, denied to those under twenty-one.

Our president, Richard M. Nixon said, "We must give the young people a piece of the action

PROCLAMATION BY MAYOR RAND

Whereas, the students of Jefferson Community College have initiated a local campaign supporting lowering the New York State voting age to 18, and, Whereas, election laws are a state function under the broad guidelines of the United States Constitution, and, Whereas, the states of Alaska, Georgia, Hawaii, and Kentucky have already lowered the voting age below 21, and, Whereas, students at Jefferson Community College and the Watertown School of Commerce and other local organizations in additionto the National Education Association and other leading political, fraternal, civic, and professional groups are also supporting the national L.U.V. (Let Us Vote) campaign, now

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that I, Theodore Rand, Mayor, City of Watertown, do hereby proclaim that, in support of this campaign, Friday, March 21, 1969, be declared "L.U.V. 18 Day" in Watertown. CITY OF WATERTOWN Theodore Rand, Mayor Dated this 20th day of March, 1969.



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Karl R Burns 1976-1983

2001:  Karl R. Burns, 72, of 451 Paddock St., mayor of Watertown in the 1970s and early 1980s, died Monday afternoon at his home, where he was under the care of Hospice of Jefferson County.Mr. Burns also had been president of Herrick's Pharmacy.He began his nearly 18 years of city government service when he was elected to the first of three terms on the City Council in November 1965.He was elected mayor in November 1975 and served in that capacity until July 1983. Buried in Glenwood Cemetery.   Watertown Daily Times

He also served as chairman of the Watertown Trust and secured funding for middle income and senior citizen housing projects, and brought the Watertown Pirates Baseball team to the area to help improve the Fairgrounds to create involvement.

Councilwoman Roxanne Burns married to Mayor Burns' son

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T Urling Walker  1984-1991

T. Urling Walker was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1925, and in 1943 became an aircraft mechanic for the U.S Army Air Corps. He served in the Asian Pacific Theater of World War II.Upon returning from the war he attended Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania and then transferred to Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland, Ohio and got his bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering in 1951.

After graduation, Mr. Walker was hired by the New York Air Brake Company in Watertown and worked there for ten year, then was at JCC as an associate professor of engineering in 1961 for seven years.

He held a number of leadership positions in local civic organizations and was elected as mayor of Watertown from 1983 to 1991. He also served as interim city manager from September 1994 to December 1995. Walker also was chairman of CREG Systems and trustee of JCC and the JCC Foundation, as well as on the boards of New York Casualty Insurance, WNPE/WNPI Public Television and Neighbors of Watertown (NOW), and served a number of other organizations.

The Walkers both received the Israel A. Shapiro Citizenship Award, given annually to an outstanding citizen of Watertown; Mr. Walker in 1974 and Mrs. Walker (Mabel Brooks Walker) in 1988. They also received the Outstanding Citizen Award from the State University College at Potsdam in Potsdam, New York as well as other community recognitions.

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Joseph M Butler  2000-2003

 Officials from the cash-strapped Watertown Golf Club have put the historic course up for sale, according to one of its principal shareholders.Joseph M. Butler Sr., former city mayor who is president of the club’s board of directors, said Wednesday the club is about $400,000 in debt — a level that has made it challenging to keep the Thompson Park golf course open. The board decided at its July meeting to advertise the property for sale. The sale price was not disclosed by Mr. Butler.


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Jeff Graham 1992-1999;
2004-present (2015)

Jeff Graham was born May 12, 1955 in Palo Alto, CA to George N. and Doris R. Graham. Jeff's father was a Rochester native and an executive at Eastman Kodak. Jeff lived in Washington DC as a child and moved to the Rochester area in 1963 following the death of his father. Jeff moved to Watertown in 1968 when his family relocated.

He graduated from Watertown High School in 1973, Jefferson Community College in 1975 and the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 1977. Jeff Graham worked in radio and television news from 1977-84 before going to work in public relations with the U.S. Army in 1985. Graham returned to broadcasting in 1987 to start the news operation at WFYF-TV in Watertown. During the same period, Jeff had acquired a neighborhood tavern and restaurant now called the Speak Easy. He currently owns and operates it.

After leaving television news in 1991, Jeff ran for Mayor of Watertown. Watertown is one of two city's in New York with a non-partisan election format sanctioned by the State Legislature. Candidates do not run on parties but are listed at the far right side of the ballot with no party labels. At the time, Jeff was a registered Democrat. Despite being heavily outspent, Jeff won with 72% and was reelected in 1995.

In 1992, Jeff was selected as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in New York City representing Gov. Jerry Brown. Following the nomination of Bill Clinton, Jeff supported the candidacy of H.Ross Perot and helped Mr. Perot garner 25% in Jefferson County. Jeff formally quit the Democratic Party the following year, and while he considered registering as a Conservative, decided to enroll in no party.

Jeff became active in the 1994 gubernatorial campaign of B. Thomas Golisano, and hosted Mr. Golisano's campaign visit to Watertown. Following the election, Graham enrolled in the newly formed Independence Party and was named County Chair, a position he holds today. During six and one-half years as Mayor, Jeff has become known as leader in changing an ineffective adminstration and promoting the economic revitalization of the City.

Among his accomplishments is playing a key roll in retaining New York Air Brake in the City, and holding the line on taxes over the past five years. His decision this year to run for Governor is motivated be a desire to bring his working knowledge of local government the statehouse. Jeff believes fundamental reform of the structure of government in New York is necessary to get a handle on a system that taxes residents at a rate 60% higher than the national average.