JOHN J. INGRAHAM, one of the prominent and successful business men of Canastota, has been identified with the mercantile interests of that place for the past twenty-one years. Mr. Ingraham was born in Ulster County, New York, January 23, 1844, and is a son of O. N. Ingraham, also a native of Ulster County, who removed t0 Herkimer County about 1847. O. N. Ingraham was a son of Amasa Ingraham, a farmer, who died in Ulster County. He and his wife reared a large family of sons and daughters, and lived to a great age.
O. N. Ingraham married Barbara McMullen, of Ulster County, about 1842, and by this marriage had four sons and three daughters, all of whom are living, and of whom John J., the subject of this sketch, is the eldest. The father of these seven children died in 1881. His widow, now sixty-five years of age, is living in Herkimer County with a daughter. By trade O. N. Ingraham was a tanner, and was at the head of a large establishment. He was unusually successful in business, and at his death left a good name as a worthy member of society.
John J. Ingraham was reared at home, and was educated in the district schools of the neighborhood until he attained his fourteenth year, and then became a clerk in a large general store, remaining thus engaged until August 8, 1862, when his love for his country led him to enlist as a private in Company D, One Hundred and Twenty-first New York Volunteer Infantry, in which he served until June 25, 1865, being then honorably discharged. During the entire period of his enlistment--nearly three years--be was continuously on duty with his regiment, with the exception of two months, when he was sick in the regimental hospital. Considering the hardships of the war, the dangers and the exposures, Mr. Ingraham returned to his home in 1865 in fair health and strength, and might feel proud of his patriotic record; for, if ever there has been a service rendered to a country by its citizen soldiery, it was by the Union soldiers of 1861-65, saving the nation, as they did, from disruption and ruin by armed rebellion.
Mr. Ingraham was married in 1868 to Mary L. Green, of Herkimer County, a daughter of Thomas and Rebecca (Larned) Green, and almost immediately afterward opened a boot and shoe store in Munnsville, Jefferson County, in company with his wife's brother, this partnership lasting about two years, when it was by mutual consent dissolved. In 1871 Mr. Ingraham removed to Canastota, which village has ever since been his home and the scene of his active labors. From 1871 to 1877 he was a clerk for Brown & Co., and subsequently for nine years for J. M. Parker; and at the end of this period he purchased an interest in the business, which was then conducted from 1886 to 1890 under the firm name of J. J. Ingraham & Co. In the latter year Mr. Ingraham purchased the interest of his partner, and has since then been conducting a general mercantile business alone, carrying a large stock of dry-goods, boots and shoes, wall-paper, etc. Mr. Ingraham has had large experience in business, and through strictly honorable methods and close attention to the wants of the community has built up a trade that is creditable to his ability and sagacity, and which constitutes a fair share of that which naturally comes to the pleasant and thriving village of Canastota.
In politics Mr. Ingraham is a Republican, but takes only a moderate interest in public matters. However, he served one term as Village Corporation Treasurer to the satisfaction of all concerned. Mr. and Mrs. Ingraham have had five children, two of them, sons, dying in infancy, and three still living, namely: Bessie, a young lady of seventeen, in school at Canastota; John J., Jr., fifteen years of age, employed in the First National Bank of Canastota; and Grace, thirteen years of age. Mr. Ingraham is a Master Mason, being a member of Canastota Lodge, No. 231. He is also a working member of the Grand Army of the Republic order of this place, known as Reese Post, No. 149, being interested in all matters concerning past achievements and present welfare of the brave boys who defended the stars and stripes in their hour of peril. Mrs. Ingraham, a well-educated and cultured lady, taught school some time previous to her marriage. She is an active member of the Presbyterian church. The eldest daughter, in addition to her regular studies in the school, is pursuing a course in instrumental music. Of Mr. Ingraham it is but proper to remark that he is truly the architect of his own fortune, having been and being still one of the most successful merchants in Canastota, enjoying not only a prosperous, but an increasing trade, the confidence of the people being his to an unusual degree. In contemplating such a life as his, one is reminded of the fact that the business interests of a place are always the first to attract attention, and are of the utmost importance in relation to the general prosperity. They are not only of prime necessity to the
people everywhere, but their condition is indicative of the general condition of the country, the varied business interests of different parts of the country being so interwoven and so dependent that, when one suffers or prospers, others sympathize therewith, to a greater or less extent.
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