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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Horatio Seymour Getman

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 536-538 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Elsewhere in this work there is mention of the Getman family and of the right of that family to rank in seniority alongside the very oldest families of the Mohawk valley. Among the well known present day representatives of this family in Herkimer county is Horatio Seymour Getman, former coroner of Herkimer county and former president of the village of Frankfort and for many years one of the most influential citizens of that place, where he now is in the lumber business. He was born in the town of Schuyler, in Herkimer county, this state, September 8, 1865, and is a son of Sanford and Lucy Jane (Burrill) Getman, the latter of whom was born in the state of Connecticut, a daughter of Alonzo Burrill and wife, the latter of whom was a Fox, both the Burrills and the Foxes being among the old families of Herkimer county. The late Sanford Getman was born in the town of Columbia, on May 13, 1826, and was married on April 28, 1852. He died in Schuyler, on February 28, 1915, then being in his eighty-sixth year. In 1863 Sanford Getman bought a farm of one hundred and six acres adjacent to the town of Schuyler and there farmed the remainder of his active life, long having been regarded as one of the substantial agriculturists of that section. During the administration of the old militia law years ago he took much interest in the affairs of the State Milita and for some time served as quartermaster on the staff of General Prescott. He also for some time rendered service as captain of the local company of the Home Guard, Thirty-eighth Regiment of the Seventeenth Brigade. He was an active member of the Methodist church, a Prohibitionist in his political party affiliation, a member of the Masonic fraternity and also an Odd Fellow.

Sanford Getman was a son of John G. and Eve (Haner) Getman, both members of old families in the valley, the former, a native of Columbia county, a son of George J. Getman, who was born at Ephratah, in Fulton county, in 1793, a son of Captain Frederick Getman, who was an officer in the Continental army during the War of the Revolution, serving from Tryon county. The Getmans in this country are decendants of an exile of that name, who was compelled to flee from the Palatinate during the quarrels of the time of the Reformation, and found refuge in England, whence he came to the American colonies, thus having been included among those who were here in early settlement days.

Horatio Seymour Getman completed his local schooling in the high school at Ilion and continued making his home on the home farm, a valued aid to his father in the operations of the same, until he had attained his majority, when, in 1886, he became employed in the shops of the West Shore Railroad that then were being operated at Frankfort, and there learned the trade of machinist and toolmaker. After a service of five years in that relation he was made time keeper for the shops and for seven years held that position, or until the shops finally were dismantled and moved away. Thus deprived of his local position Mr. Getman went to Boston and for a year was employed in the electrical department of the West End Street Railway Company. He then returned to Frankfort and for three years was employed there as assistant superintendent in the local office of the Metropolitan Insurance Company. Finally determining that this line was not just what he had been looking for, Mr. Getman became engaged in the undertaking business at Frankfort and presently consolidated the business he had established there with that operated by S. W. Holdridge and the two carried on as funeral directors together, doing business under the firm name of Holdridge & Getman. Holdridge presently retired from the firm, his interest being taken over by W. R. Owen and the business was continued as the firm of Getman & Owen for several years, at the end of which time Mr. Getman sold his interest to his partner and retired in order to give his attention to the lumber business in which he since has been successfully engaged, with well equipped and well stocked yards at No. 164 Litchfield street. He also maintains something of his former interest in the insurance business and is the secretary of the Excelsior Fire Insurance Company of Syracuse.

Mr. Getman is an active republican and has rendered public service in various capacities. During the time he was in the undertaking business he served two terms as coroner of Herkimer county. For three terms he served as treasurer of the village and for two terms was its president. This latter service was rendered during the time of this country's participation in the World war and in his executive capacity Mr. Getman did much toward the stimulation of local interest in Liberty Loan, Red Cross and other drives of that time of stress. At the time of the installation of the modern sewer system in the village of Frankfort he was chairman of the sewer commission. For two terms he was a member of the board of village trustees. Mr. Getman was one of the organizers of the Frankfort Building and Loan Association and was secretary of the same for eleven years, or until his resignation in 1922. He also was a member of the board of directors of the Citizens National Bank for a number of years, or until his resignation from that body. For thirty-five years he has been a member of the board of trustees of the Methodist Episcopal church in Frankfort and has ever taken an active interest in church work and in the general social activities of his home town; is quite prominent in local lodge work, a Mason of high degree and affiliated also with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias and is also a member of the Yahnundasis Golf Club of Utica. Mr. Getman is a past master of the local lodge of the Masonic fraternity at Frankfort and has taken all the "work" in Freemasonry available to the inquirer, this including the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite, affiliated with the consistory at Syracuse. He is a member of the local chapter of the Royal Arch Masons at Ilion and of the Knight Templar commandery at Utica and is also a noble of the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, of Ziyara Temple at Utica.

On June 12, 1889, at Frankfort, Horatio S. Getman was united in marriage to Miss Sallie Gregory Thomas, who was born in Bordentown, New Jersey, June 20, 1870, a daughter of LaPierre and Beulah (Nichols) Thomas. LaPierre Thomas, who is a veteran locomotive engineer in the service of the West Shore Railroad, came from Hancock, New York. Mr. and Mrs. Getman have two children: A son, Clare Thomas; and a daughter, Doris, the latter of whom, born on September 26, 1901, is the wife of William Robinson, formerly of New York city, now living at Frankfort. For some years he has been employed as a civil engineer in the service of the state highway commission at Utica. Mr. Robinson is a veteran of the World war with an officer's commission and an overseas record, having served for eighteen months abroad as a captain in the Engineers Corps. Mrs. Robinson entered Utica Academy upon leaving the Frankfort high school and was graduated from that institution. Mr. and Mrs. Robinson have one child: A son, William Getman Robinson, born in September, 1921.

Clare Thomas Getman, who was born on July 13, 1892, was married to Miss Alice Young of Newark, New Jersey, and is now living in Ilion. He is associated with the operations of the Utica Motor Car Company at Utica. He was graduated from the Buffalo College of Pharmacy and for some time before taking his present connection was in the drug business in Ilion.

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