A SUBSTANTIAL CITIZEN.
The Career of Edward J. Read a Steady, Even-going One, but Characterized by Many Good Deeds and Much Useful Service of a Public Nature.
The ninth portrait which has graced he first page of the MIRROR during its brief but eventful existence is that of a highly respected life-long resident of Danby—Mr. Edward J. Read.
Mr. Read was born September 19, 1835, and is the son of Timothy and Eunice Read, and brother of the wonderful deaf, dumb and blind woman, Miss Lucy Read, whose portrait and sketch appeared in the MIRROR of July 18. He is the youngest of four children, who are all still living, the others besides he and Miss Lucy being Mrs. Eunice V. Fish of this village and Mr. Charles T. Read of Manchester Center. His father died of heart disease in 1849, aged 52 years, and his mother in 1874, aged 86.
Mr. Read’s father came to Danby in 1826 from Swanzey, N. H., and after working at farming for a few years married the widow of Barton Kelley and first settled on the farm now-occupied by Harvey Harrington, where Edward was born and where he resided till about six years of age. His people then moved to the farm owned by his mother, and where he resided till her death. This place is looked upon as the old homestead and is now the property of the subject of this sketch, although , he resided there but two or three years after the death of, his mother.
Mr. Read’s father was a shoemaker by trade as well as a farmer, and followed that occupation a part of the time during his residence in Danby—all the boots and shoes required by the people of the town in those days being made by local shoemakers. Edward, however, never acquired the art of making shoes, but devoted his attention solely to farm work during his father’s lifetime and/or many years afterwards. He and his mother carried on the farm and cared for his afflicted sister, Lucy, with the assistance of hired help.
After the death of his mother, Mr. Read held a clerkship in the store of W. F. Otis at the Corners for about one year and then came to the Borough and clerked for A. S. Adams & Son, who then occupied the building now owned and occupied by Mr. W. D. Smead. He then entered the employ of the late William Pierce, and after remaining with him for ten years bought out the business, which he has since conducted —now about eleven years.
Mr. Read was a member of the state legislature in 1878, representing the town of Danby, and has been a member of the town board of selectmen most of the time for the past twenty-five years or more, being one of the present board. He has also been a justice of the peace for more than thirty years and a commissioner and appraiser upon the estates of many of our deceased citizens—his name appearing as such in several estates that are now undergoing the process of administration. He is considered an excellent judge of farm and personal property, and for that reason always gives the best of satisfaction. in the last-named capacity.
Mr. Read is the present postmaster of the village, receiving his appointment with the incoming of the McKinley administration. He is also a member of the Masonic order and has held official position in Marble Lodge during his term of membership.
While Mr. Read’s life has been some-what of an uneventful one, being satisfied to plod along life’s highway in an unassuming way, he has succeeded in endearing himself to the people of the community, making many friends and but few, if any, enemies.
Having withstood the fascinating charms of the gentler sex till after passing the forty-fifth milestone in his life’s journey, Mr. Read had become to be looked upon as a confirmed “old bachelor,” and he gave his friends about as great a surprise as was possible when he married Miss Emma, daughter of the late Amasa and Lydia Bancroft of this village, twenty year ago last February. He was certainly old enough to know his own mind in the matter, and every one realized that he had become fully convinced that he was doing the proper thing—although perhaps at an improperly late date. As one views his twenty years of domestic life it becomes evident that he made no mistake at the time he ceased to be a bachelor and became a Benedict. As in many other cases of his choosing, his matrimonial choice was a wise one, and it would have been impossible to have found a lady more suitable to contribute to his comfort and happiness than the one who now presides over his comfortable home. We believe that today if Mr. Read has any regrets for taking this important step in his life it is that lie did not take it some years sooner.
While Mr. Read is a member of the somewhat noted “Boys’ Club,” which had such an agreeable outing at Lake Griffith in June, he is one of the youngest of those “boys,” and has many years of usefulness still before him, we hope. It gives us pleasure to print this brief sketch of his career and to show this excellent picture of him, which Photographer Hurd has been able to catch with his camera, and we hope he will remain with us for many years to enjoy the fruits of his industry.