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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Lester M. Weller

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 87-88 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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To have been reared and educated in a town, to have studied for the practice of law in the town, and then to have passed the years of a long life as an attorney in the same town, is a record that is remarkable because of its extreme rarity. Lester M. Weller, attorney, of Fort Plain, Montgomery county, New York, looking backward over the years of his busy life, finds the proposition as stated summarizes his successful career. He ranks among the leaders of the bar in his town and county, for many years handled the most important litigation that has come before the county's courts, and was retained as counsel by some of the largest interests in the town and county. He was born at Minden, Montgomery county, New York, on May 12, 1856; the son of Jordan and Anna Maria (Diefendorf) Weller, both natives of New York state, the father's birthplace being Minden and the mother's Trenton. Jordan Weller, the father, was a farmer by occupation and operated a farm in Montgomery county. In his later life he was connected with the Fort Plain Gas & Electric Light Company. He died on December 19, 1908, at the age of ninety, and the mother died in June, 1887, at the age of sixty-seven.

Lester M. Weller obtained his elementary education in the public schools of Fort Plain, and after having finished with these entered a law office in Fort Plain and read for the profession of a lawyer, passing the necessary examination and being admitted to the bar in 1879. He began the practice of law in Fort Plain in partnership with John S. Yost, a partnership that lasted for a number of years. Mr. Weller later formed a partnership with Joseph L. Moore which was in effect until 1900, since which time he has practiced alone.

In his political views Mr. Weller is an independent democrat and takes an interest in civic affairs, but has never been an office seeker. Fraternally he is affiliated with the Masonic order, being a member of Fort Plain Lodge No. 433, A. F. & A. M. For seventeen years Mr. Weller was treasurer and a trustee of Clinton Liberal Institute, a military school which burned in 1900. He is a member of the Fort Plain Club and of the Little Falls Country Club. In his religious convictions Mr. Weller is a member of the Universalist denomination, and was chairman of the board at the time the Universalist church was erected in Fort Plain. This is considered by competent judges to be one of the most remarkable and architecturally beautiful church buildings in New York state, and as a structure would be an adornment to any city. One of the finest office buildings in Fort Plain, built in 1890 by Mr. Weller, is known as the Weller building, and part of the space in it is used for his offices.

On November 20, 1878, Mr. Weller was married to Miss Emma Wagner, who died on September 3, 1884, leaving one child, Harry G. Weller, who was born in 1881 and died on April 14, 1901. Mr. Weller was married again on January 25, 1888, Miss Clara M. Faulkner becoming his wife. She died on March 29, 1910, leaving one child, Alice F. Weller, now at home after graduating from Vassar College, at Poughkeepsie, New York. Mr. Weller was married on January 6, 1915, to Mrs. Lillian Bennett Thompson, well known writer of fiction.

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