Names Index
Portrait Index

   THEODORE F. HAND, SR., a gray-haired veteran in the realm of finance, Vice-President of the Oneida Valley National Bank, was born in the town of Verona, Oneida County, August 14, 1815. His father, Ichabod Hand, Jr., was born in Guilford, Conn., a son of Ichabod Hand, Sr., who was, so far as known, a lifelong resident of that town. The younger Ichabod, having been brought up and married in his native State, resided there until 1813, when, accompanied by his wife, who was also a native of Guilford, and four children, he emigrated to New York, making the journey overland with their own conveyance. He settled in Verona, where he bought real estate, and built and kept a public house on the highway leading from Oneida Castle to Rome. In 1832, the year of the fatal cholera scourge, which brought business nearly to a standstill, he removed to Vernon, where he kept a hotel until nearly the time of his death, at the age of sixty-three years. The maiden name of his wife, who was the mother of several children, was Amanda Leete. She survived her husband several years.
   The subject of this sketch received his elementary education in the district schools in his native town, and pursued the study of higher branches of learning in Cazenovia Seminary. At twenty years of age he became a clerk in a store of general merchandise, and four years later, in 1839, began his long and honorable career as a banker, being appointed teller and book-keeper of the bank in Vernon. Here he remained until 1851, when he came to Oneida, and, with Niles H. and Sands Higinbotham and Samuel Breese, started the Oneida Valley Bank, the first bank in the village. In the following year the bank was incorporated under the laws of the State. As a State bank it was operated till 1865, when it was organized as a National bank, the charter being renewed in 1885. After forty years of competent, faithful service as bank cashier, the daily duties of which were becoming onerous to one of his age, Mr. Hand in 1890 was succeeded in this position by his son, Theodore F. Hand, Jr., he himself being elected Vice-President, holding also the same office in the Oneida Savings Bank, of which he is a Trustee.
   Mr. Hand has married twice. By his first wife, Elizabeth Higinbotham, a native of Vernon, daughter of Sands Higinbotham, he has three sons now living,--Theodore F., Jr., Niles H., and William H. His second wife was a widow, Mrs. J. J. Stewart. A man of sound judgment and unquestioned integrity, Mr. Hand has long been known as one of, the best business men, as he is now one of the oldest living bankers, in the State. Oneida of to-day--populous, flourishing, and fair to view--is much indebted to him for steady growth in prosperity. He has taken an ever-active interest and often a leading part in public affairs, having for several years served as a Trustee of the village and Treasurer of the Board. Glenwood Cemetery owes not a little of its present attractiveness to the good taste and zeal for improvement exercised by him as one of the Trustees of the Cemetery Association, he being also its Secretary and Treasurer, and continuing to devote to its service much time and thought. Always a man in earnest, Mr. Hand has taken a decided position in matters of religion and politics, being a member of the Presbyterian church, and giving his allegiance to the Republican party. The fine portrait of Mr. Hand presented on an accompanying page is a valuable addition to this volume, and will be viewed with interest by his many friends.

1999- All rights reserved.