THE LEADING CITIZENS OF MADISON COUNTY

CONTENTS
Preface
Names Index
Portrait Index


   B. G. STILLMAN, JR., was born in De Ruyter, N.Y., February 6, 1856. His grandfather, Phineas Stillman, and his grandmother, who was a Miss Gardner before marriage, lived and died at Potter’s Hill, in Rhode Island. The father, B. G. Stillman, Sr., left home at an early age, and came to the State of New York. He learned the trade of harness-making, and, after working six or eight years for others, settle in De Ruyter, where he took up the business for himself, carrying it on for several years, then sold out, and started a nursery, which he conducted in conjunction with candle-making in the winter. He was quite successful in his candle enterprise until the introduction of kerosene, when he gave it up, and once more took up the business of harness-making, continuing in this until 1891, when he sold out to his son, and is now living retired in the town of De Ruyter. His wife was Miss Sophronia H., daughter of Matthew and Wealthy Wells, of De Ruyter. They reared six children: Welcome E.; S. Marie; our subject; Phineas M.; George A.; and Celia E. They are all married: Celia to W. H. Cossum, a missionary, located in China; S. Marie to Rev. Thomas R. Williams, D.D., Professor of Theology in Alfred University; Phineas M. to Miss Edna Maine, of De Ruyter, N.Y.; George to Miss Cora Stillman, of Nile, N.Y.; Welcome to Miss Mary A. Crumb, of Brookfield.
   Our subject remained at home until his eighteenth year, having been educated at the De Ruyter Institute. After finishing school, he went to Brookfield, and began working on a farm by the month, continuing this one season, and at its close obtained a situation in the store of A. J. Stillman in the same town. Here he remained for one year, then went to Richfield Springs, N.Y., going into the harness business there with his brother. About this time he became interested in newspaper work, and went into the office of the Brookfield Courier to learn the art of printing. Here he worked, as an apprentice, journeyman, and foreman, for seven years, in what was then the firm of H. L. Spooner & Son, who controlled the paper. Mr. Stillman, in connection with W. E. Philipps, bought out the entire plan; and the original firm moved out, and went to Canastota, N.Y. The new firm continued to carry on business for two years, and then the Messrs. Spooner bought out the interest of Mr. Philipps, and formed a partnership with Mr. Stillman, Mr. F. M. Spooner assuming the editorial portion of the work, and Mr. Stillman taking the management of the concern.
   A short sketch of this well-known and excellent journal will not be out of place here. The plant was originally founded by Frank M. Spooner, and has a peculiar history attached to it. In 1874 Mr. Spooner, being then a young man, was presented with a calf by some good friend, which he sold, and invested the money in a printing outfit. It was a very small beginning, and he modestly called it The Young America; but a rival contemporary dubbed it The Brookfield Astonisher. At the end of the first year it was changed to The Brookfield Courier, and was published by this young man and a Mr. Myngor for one year, from the very first being a most successful enterprise; and to-day it is considered one of the best paying influential papers in the State.
   At the age of twenty-five Mr. Stillman married Miss Nettie T. Babcock, daughter of Oliver P. and Susanna Babcock. They attend the Seventh-day Baptist church. Mr. Stillman holds a position of considerable influence in the Republican party, being a faithful follower of its principles. He belongs to a family which rank among the pioneer settlers of the county, and is therefore deeply interested in the advancement and progress of his town, lending the columns of his ably edited paper to everything which will conduce to its best interests. Dealing as he does with the various issues of the day in a masterly and vigorous manner, he serves the highest purpose of journalism, which is to educate and elevate the people.

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