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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
James Bert Geer

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 150-151 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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James Bert Geer, the popular and efficient manager of the New Business Department of the First National Bank & Trust Company of Utica, has also been active in public affairs of the city for a number of years and is now representing the first assembly district as state committeeman. His birth occurred at White Lake, Sullivan county, New York, on the 23d of April 1878, his parents being John S. and Ella A. Geer of that place. He pursued his education as a public school student at Binghamton, Broome county, this state, to the age of fourteen years, when he secured a position in the office of R. G. Dun & Company in that city. Steady promotion came to him as he demonstrated his capability and trustworthiness in the discharge of the duties assigned him until eventually he had worked his way up through the different departments of the business to the position of manager. It was in 1907 that he came to Utica to take charge of the office in this city, thus continuing in the service of the Dun Company until 1912, when he severed his connection therewith to identify himself with a tobacco manufacturing concern in Utica, which he represented for a short time.

A staunch republican, Mr. Geer had not taken any active part in politics, however, until 1916, when he was made deputy comptroller of Utica, thus serving for a period of six years, or until 1922. He was elected to the position of city comptroller in the fall of 1921 and continued in that capacity through the two succeeding years, making a most creditable and commendable record. On the 1st of January, 1924, Mr. Geer became identified with the First National Bank & Trust Company of Utica as manager of its New Business Department, for the duties of which important position he is particularly qualified by reason of his attractive and forceful personality and his comprehensive understanding of the details of banking.

On the 8th of July, 1903, Mr. Geer was united in marriage to Miss J. Maude Eaton, daughter of Charles A. Eaton of Binghamton, New York, and representative of an honored old family. Mr. and Mrs. Geer are the parents of three children, namely: Dorthea Eaton, who was born April 10, 1904; John Stuart, whose natal day was May 6, 1913; and Elizabeth Treadwell, whose birth occurred on the 18th of January, 1916.

Mr. Geer is a life member and past exalted ruler of Utica Lodge No. 33, B. P. O. E., and is likewise identified with the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Oriental Lodge, F. & A. M.; Oneida Chapter, R. A. M.; Utica Commandery, No. 3, K. T.; Mohawk Valley Consistory, A. A. S. R., of which he is commander in chief; and Ziyara Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. He is a consistent member of Trinity Episcopal church and he also belongs to the Kiwanis Club, the City Club and the Utica Golf and Country Club. The sterling traits of character which he has ever displayed have won for him the unqualified respect and esteem of a large circle of friends.

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