ADDISON C. MILLER
Addison C. Miller was the son of Dr. Sylvester Miller, and was born in Lowville, Lewis County, N. Y., November 12, 1831. He was educated in Lowville Academy and afterward read law with William Collins, and was admitted to the bar January 1, 1854. The following year he came to Utica, where he formed a law partnership with John H. Edmonds, which continued until 1872, when Mr. Edmunds retired. January 1, 1877, Frederick G. Fincke was associated as a partner, and November 1, 1887, John E. Bandegee became a member of the firm, the name being changed to Miller, Fincke & Bandegee. In November, 1892, Mr. Miller retired, except as counsel and was succeeded by his son, Charles A. Miller Mr. Miller was largely interested personally in the leading manufactures of the city of Utica. He was counsel for the Globe Woolen Company from its organization and a trustee from 1875. He was also a trustee of the Utica Steam Cotton Mills from 1866 until a short time before his death. He was one of the incorporators in the Mohawk Valley Mill, which was founded in 1880. He was also a stockholder in the Skenandoa Yarn Mill and the Utica Water Works Company, and a stockholder and trustee of the Utica Female Academy. He was a member of the Forest Hill Cemetery Association and one of its board of trustees for many years. From 1868 Mr. Miller had been a trustee of the Savings Bank of Utica. Stalham Williams was treasurer of this bank from 1839 until his death in 1875, when Mr. Miller was chosen treasurer, a position he held up to the time of his death. As financial adviser and counselor Mr. Miller superintended the erection of the Utica Orphan Asylum, and the funds of the institution, which, at the time of his resignation in 1888, amounted to $163,000, were always entrusted to him for investment. Mr. Miller was in party faith a Republican, but was too thoroughly devoted to business affairs to be caught in the whirlpool of professional politics. He was on one occasion defeated for mayor. Mr. Miller was ever deeply interested in the welfare of his city and its institutions. In 1873 he was chosen a member of the first Board of Charities which Utica had, and in the following year he was re-elected for a full term of three years. A contemporary said of him, “he was a man of strict integrity and honor in every way.” Mr. Miller displayed marked ability in various branches of business life during an active career of more than forty years in Utica. He was a successful lawyer and banker, and one of the prominent manufacturers of the State. As a lawyer he was grounded in the law and practice in surrogates’ courts, and many of the large estates of the county, which appeared on the records of that court during the past thirty years, were entrusted to his care for settlement. It is but a just tribute to his memory to say that, whether as guardian, trustee, or manager, he was as successful and conscientious in the management of the property of others as in the conduct of his own affairs. Mr. Miller died in Utica on the 18th of December, 1894, widely esteemed and respected. April 29, 1863, Mr. Miller married Miss Cynthia J. Brayton, daughter of Hervey Brayton, of Rome. His wife and one son, George H. died in 1890. He left surviving three children: Charles A., Howard C., and Theodora, also a sister, Mrs. Mary L. Wood, all of Utica. Page 57 CHARLES H. PHILO Charles Henry Philo, son of Elisha and Phoebe (Newell) Philo, was born in the town of Frankfort, Herkimer county, N. Y., October 3, 1845, and is a lineal descendant of John Fillow, a French Huguenot and a colonial settler of Connecticut before 1700. Elisha R. was born in Genessee county, N. Y., October 23, 1812, and died at West Frankfort,, Herkimer county, November 9, 1864. His wife, Phoebe, a native of Frankfort, died in Washington Mills, Oneida county, in 1884, aged sixty-eight. Her father, Edward Newell, was a soldier of the War of 1812, and her mother died in Utica, N. Y., at the great age of 103. Charles H. Philo is the fourth in a family of nine children, all of whom are living, and was educated in the district schools and at Whitestown Seminary. His father was for many years engaged in canal boating and it was but natural that the subject of this sketch should first seek that employment. When only eleven years of age he began active canal life, which he followed summers until his father’s death in 1864. Afterward he was engaged in boating alone until 1872, when he sold his boats and moved to the town of New Hartford, Oneida county, where he purchased a farm and stone quarry. Three years later he sold the farm and purchased the old stone store at Washington Mills, where he carried on a successful general mercantile business for eight years. Meanwhile he bought his present farm of 120 acres in the southeast corner of the town, where he has twenty acres of hops and also conducts a large dairy business. In 1885 Mr. Philo purchased an interest in the Utica Tool Company, located at Washington Mills, and has since been connected with that successful enterprise, being now the treasurer. This business was founded at Unadilla Forks, N. Y., by Henry H. Babcock, in 1840, when he began the manufacture of hoes by hand on an anvil. Later Charles B. Brown and others became interested with him under the firm name of Babcock, Brown & Co. In 1865 the concern was moved to Washington Mills in the town of New Hartford, Oneida county, where the works were enlarged and forks and rakes added to the production. In 1871 Porter S. Huntley and Mr. Babcock, under the firm name of Huntley & Babcock, became the sole owners and continued the business until 1883, when the Huntley & Babcock Agricultural Company, Lmtd., was incorporated. This name was changed to Lewis & Babcock manufacturing Company in 1887, and that to the present Utica Tool Company in 1892. The works cover an area of ten acres and employ from seventy-five to 100 skilled mechanics, while the mechanical appliances and equipment of the factory are such as to insure rapid and perfect production, which is shipped throughout the United States and to all parts of the world. The Utica Tool Company has a world-wide reputation as manufactures of the best grades of coke, coal, oyster, manure, spading, barley, hay, and stone forks; planters’, cotton, street, mortar, field, onion, wedding, meadow, sprouting and cultivator hoes; turf edgers, walk cleaners, ice chisels, coal, garden and lawn rakes, potato hooks, manure drags, clam hooks, corn knives, floral sets, garden cultivators, hollow tine forks, self-closing fruit and vegetable supports, etc. The active management of the company’s affairs is under Charles H. Philo and Ladd J. Lewis, treasurer and secretary respectively, and both representative and influential business men. Mr. Philo is an active Republican, and has held the office of town clerk of New Hartford, was for six years postmaster at Washington Mills, and for two years served the town as supervisor. For several years he has been a valued member of the Board of Equalization for the county. In all these capacities he has distinguished himself for his thorough business management and executive skill and ability. He is public-spirited, enterprising, and progressive, and takes a keen interest in the welfare of the community. No worthy object escapes his liberal support and encouragement. He is a member of the Amicable Lodge, No. 664, F. & A. M., and of the M. E. church, both of Washington Mills. Mr. Philo was first married in December, 1869, to Miss Lina, daughter of Nathaniel Hulser, of Frankfort, N. Y., who was drowned in the Hudson River by falling overboard from his canal boat in June, 1871. She left a daughter who died in infancy soon afterward. In September, 1873, he married, second, Miss Mary J., daughter of Nicholas and Mary Ann (Sterling) Staring of Frankfort, and they have six children: Lena E., Lotta R., Virgie E., James C., Grace A., and Addie S. Page 58 ROBERT J. HELMER Robert J. Helmer was born in the town of Boonville, Oneida county, N. Y., May 18, 1847. He was a son of Adam Helmer, one of the oldest residents of the town. His farm stretched over a wide area of the southern part of the town, being one of the best developed valuable farms in the northern part of Oneida county. He was one of Oneida county’s prosperous agriculturists, from which he accumulated a large estate. His wife was Catherine Bargey of Frankfort, Herkimer County, N. Y. They had two sons, George H. and Robert J., the subject of this sketch. Mr. Adam Helmer died in 1884 and his wife in 1890. George H., the son, also died in 1881. The Helmers originally came from Germany, and were frugal, industrious, and upright in character. Jacob Helmer, the father of Adam, came from Herkimer county, (where Adam was born), into Oneida county in the earliest days of its settlement, giving many years of his life to improving the land. Robert J. was educated at the Whitesboro Seminary and Fairfield Military Institute. The next two years were spent in teaching in the town of Boonville. Then with Benjamin Beynon he entered into business at Alder Creek, conducting a general store. This business connection continued ten or twelve years when the death of Mr. Beynon terminated the copartnership. Mr. Helmer bought the interest of his partner and carried on the business in the same place for the next five years. At that time, 1886, he built a larger store better adapted to his largely increased trade. From that time forth Mr. Helmer was recognized as one of the leading merchants of the northern part of the county. He was conservative, careful and withal conscientious and straightforward in business affairs. At the time of his death in May 8, 1896, he was engaged in several lines of business in connection with the other line. The saw mill at Alder Creek was one of the adjunct enterprises which he conducted with marked success. Although Mr. Helmer had never been an office holder he was always one of the staunchest and, at that time influential, members of the Democratic party. He devoted much time to advancing its interest in the town and county. In 1875 Mr. Helmer married Sophia L., daughter of John T. and Mary (Owens) Jones, of the town of Steuben. Mrs. Helmer was one of eight children, five of whom are now living. Ellen, Louisa, Ann, and Margaret. Mr. And Mrs. Helmer have had one son, George Cleveland, and one daughter, Maude Louise, who is a graduate of the Boonville High School.