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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Frederick B. Rutter

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 166-169 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Portrait of Frederick B. Rutter

Portrait: Frederick B. Rutter

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The truth of the saying that "death loves a shining mark" came with sad conviction to the many friends of Frederick B. Rutter, one of the best known and best liked young men in Utica, whose tragic end came in the thirty-first year of his age. He was born in New York city, on the 20th of November, 1891, the only son of William Pinckney and Mary Ella (Hopkins) Rutter. The Rutters are of an ancient family that was driven from France and found refuge in Holland and England, coming thence to the United States. The founder of the family in New York was John Rutter, the great-grandfather of Frederick B. Rutter, whose son, William Rutter, was one of the well known leather merchants and tanners of that district of lower New York known as the "Swamp". William Rutter married Mehitable Brown and their son, William Pinckney Rutter, the father of Frederick B. Rutter, was born on the 16th of August, 1857, in New York city, where his death occurred on December 2, 1894. William P. Rutter was a graduate of Columbia University and became associated with his father in the conduct of the Rutter leather and tanning establishment at No. 32 Spruce street in New York city. On the 15th of November, 1890, he wedded Mary Ella Hopkins, daughter of Noble and Jane (Reynolds) Hopkins, granddaughter of William and Martha (Smith) Hopkins and great-granddaughter of John Hopkins, who was the first settler in the town of Wallingford, Vermont, and a brother of Stephen Hopkins, a signer of the Declaration of Independence from Rhode Island. Mrs. Mary Ella (Hopkins) Rutter, who makes her home at No. 1405 Genesee street, in Utica, lost her husband four years after their marriage. She survives her son, whose sudden death caused her inexpressible grief.

In the acquirement of an education Frederick B. Rutter attended the Cicely Baker School, the preparatory school conducted by Professor W. S. Rix in Utica and the Utica Free Academy. Subsequently he pursued a course in finance in New York University, from which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1916. Becoming widely recognized as a young man of sound business judgment and keen discrimination, his services were valued as a director of the Utica City National Bank, the Utica Investment Company and the Globe Telegram Company. For some years he assisted his great-uncle, Richard S. Reynolds, in the conduct of the latter's business affairs and enjoyed the benefit of the older man's counsel as well as the pleasure of his companionship. A sketch of Richard S. Reynolds appears on another page of this work.

In 1917 Frederick B. Rutter joined the army and went to Camp Dix, where he worked in the laboratory connected with the base hospital. He took deep interest in his scientific work and was very successful therein. Mr. Rutter belonged to Utica Lodge of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, to the New York Athletic Club and to the Republican Club of Utica. His religious faith was indicated by his membership in the Church of the Reconciliation, of which he was serving as trustee at the time of his death. A contemporary biographer said:

"The sudden death of Frederick B. Rutter is most sad. He was a young man of exemplary habits and sterling character, and was held in high esteem by all who had the privilege of his acquaintance. He had a noble, generous nature, and made friends of all with whom he came in contact. He was kind to everyone and scorned only the sham and the false. His nature was buoyant and optimistic, and it was a pleasure to be in his company. Nothing could exceed his devotion to his mother and they were as close as brother and sister. He was everything that a good son should be, and she relied on him, knowing that her confidence was merited."

The following resolutions were passed at a meeting of the board of directors of the Utica Investment Company, which was held on July 24, 1922:

"On the morning of July 12, 1922, Uticans were shocked to learn that the life of Frederick B. Rutter had been crushed out the night before in an automobile accident. Frederick Rutter was a member of this board of directors. Though associated with us but a few months, we had learned to love and respect him. A young man of magnetic personality, of keen financial discernment and with a lovable democratic spirit seldom seen in young men of his ability and financial means, his passing has left vacant a space on this board difficult of replacement. A future, bright with sterling prospects, lay before him. His memory will ever live in our hearts. There is sorrow deep and genuine because of the untimely death of Frederick B. Rutter, and while we of this board of directors of the Utica Investment Company realize the inadequacy of mere words to properly express our sorrow, we desire to spread upon our minutes this feeble expression of our respect to his memory."

The following is a copy of resolutions passed at a meeting of the board of directors of the Utica City National Bank held July 18, 1922:

"The death of our co-director, Frederick B. Rutter, on July 12, 1922, causes us profound sorrow. While he was a young man and had been connected with us in this bank but a few months, we had come to value him and his services as a director. We shall miss him from our midst. He was courteous and of a friendly disposition to a marked degree. He was a good citizen, public-spirited and charitable. We mourn his death and deeply sympathize with his mother in her loss; therefore, resolved, that this minute be spread upon our records and a copy thereof sent to his mother."

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