DEATH OF HON. FRANK S. WITHERBEE A DISTINCT LOSS TO NORTHERN NEW YORK
Seldom has any locality greater cause for sorrow than Port Henry and vicinity in the death of Hon. F. S. Witherbee which occured at his Fifth Ave. home in New York city on Friday last. Mr. Witherbee had been in failing health for some time yet his ultimate recovery had been hoped for and the end seemed sudden to his hosts of friends. He was a man who was one of the Empire State's best known and most respected citizen's, a loyal son of New York State. Born in 1852 at Port Henry Mr. Witherbee was at the zenith of his splendid manhood. He was the most prominent iron manufacturer of Northern New York and one of the most prominent citizens of his native state. He was practically head of the forces that developed the mining and reducing of iron in the Adirondack and Lake Champlain regions. His knowledge was thoroughly practical and scientific and his interest in minerology led him to give generously of his time, strength, talent and money and he had studied the subject in other countries as well as in this. He was interested in many other business enterprises and at the time of his death was president of Witherbee, Sherman & Company of Port Henry, and of the Cubitas Iron Ore Company, vice president of Cheever Iron Ore Company, and president of the Lake Champlain and Moriah Railroad Company, director of the Equitable Life Assurance Society of New York, of the New York Life Insurance and Trust Company, of the Fulton Trust Company, Central Hudson Steamboat Company, the Citizens' National Bank of Port Henry and the American Iron and Steel Institute. He was a member of the New York Chamber of Commerce, the American Institute of Mining Engineers, a fellow of the American Geographical Society and a governor and member of the Union, Sleepy Hollow and Bankers Clubs; a member of Yale, Metropolitan, University and Tuxedo Clubs; a member of the Sons of the Revolution and the Pilgrim Society.
He was always interested in all social and civic affairs pointing to the pleasure or betterment of humanity. He was a member of the Benedict club in Port Henry and of the Travelers' Club in Paris. He graduated from Yale in 1874 and very soon thereafter took a trip around the world with his father and has been frequently abroad since, and has made every trip exceedingly educational. He was interested in societies of learning at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American and New York Historical Association, etc. He has written many very readable and instructive articles on subjects connected with the mining of iron.
In 1883 Mr. Witherbee was united in marriage with Miss Mary Rhinelander Stewart, daughter of the late Lispenard Stewart, who, with their only daughter, Evelyn Spencer Witherbee survives him. Their summer home has been the John G. Witherbee home and they have spent at least a part of each summer here. Their generous helpfulness in matters of village improvement - anything for the good of Port Henry or her people has been marked and Port Henry has reminders galore of their splendid citizenship. Port Henry sorrows with and for Mrs. and Miss Witherbee and all feel a sense of personal loss and realize that the town and all its business interests suffer an irreparable loss in the passing of this honorable man. He has always taken a great interest in the political affairs of the town and county, and was one of the few able to gain political influence and keep above suspicion of any part in the intrigue and bargaining so common in matters political. He served as National Committeeman during the Harrison campaign and was Republican elector for Harrison and Taft and was on the Republican State Committee for many years. An earnest advocate of improved waterways for this state, he was appointed by Col. Roosevelt to study the canal systems of Europe. These things speak volumes for the ability and worth of this really remarkable character, but to Port Henry people he will ever be remembered as a friend, loyal and true, a man - God's noblest work - as a citizen ready to answer the call of duty - as a politician, guardian of the public welfare. He will be greatly missed, but men of his class never die.
Mr. Witherbee was an active trustee of the First Presbyterian church, which church he attended whenever he was here. Rev. C. C. St. Clare of the Presbyterian and Rev. Father Pierce of St. Patricks were among those who attended the funeral, which was held from Grace Church, New York City.
The Adirondack Record - April 20, 1917
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