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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Walter Fanstone Wellman

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 664-667 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]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 Walter Fanstone Wellman

Portrait: Walter Fanstone Wellman

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Walter Fanstone Wellman, whom Schenectady numbers among the younger members of her bar, has been actively and successfully engaged in law practice in the city for the past sixteen years and is now serving as county attorney by appointment on the 1st of January, 1924. His birth occurred in Schenectady, New York, on the 20th of March, 1885, his parents being Walter and Ellen (Simmonds) Wellman, natives of England, who emigrated to the United States in early life. The father came direct to Schenectady, where throughout his business career he devoted his attention to contracting and building, erecting a large number of the old landmarks of the city. In his demise, which occurred December 11, 1918, Schenectady sustained the loss of one of its valued and esteemed citizens. For eight years he survived his wife, who died December 26, 1910.

Walter Fanstone Wellman supplemented his grade and high school training by study in the Union Classical Institute, in which he completed the course in 1902 as a member of the last class to graduate therefrom. He then matriculated in Union College, which conferred upon him the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1906, while subsequently he prepared for law practice as a student in the Albany Law School, from which he received the degree of LL. B. in 1908. Throughout the intervening period of sixteen years he has successfully followed his chosen profession in Schenectady, maintaining his office at No. 469 State street. He is remarkable among lawyers for the wide research and provident care with which he prepares his cases. In no instance has his reading ever been confined to the limitations of the question at issue; it has gone beyond and compassed every contingency and provided not alone for the expected, but for the unexpected, which happens in the courts quite as frequently as out of them. For six years he served as transfer tax attorney for Schenectady county under State Comptroller Travis, and on the 1st of January, 1924, was appointed attorney for Schenectady county, in which capacity he is making a most creditable and commendable record. In addition to his professional activities Mr. Wellman deals in real estate, owning considerable property in Schenectady.

On the 28th of June, 1921, Mr. Wellman was united in marriage to Miss Helen B. Sautter, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Savage) Sautter, both of whom were natives of Utica, New York, where the father passed away. The mother now makes her home with Mr. and Mrs. Wellman at their residence at No. 49 Parkwood boulevard, in Schenectady.

In politics Mr. Wellman may be said to be an independent republican. He served for seven years as a member of the republican county committee and belongs to the Schenectady County Republican Club. During the period of the World war he was one of the Four-Minute men and took an active part in all local drives. He is a member of the Mohawk Club and of several Greek letter organizations, including Alpha Zeta, a high school fraternity; Beta Theta Pi, which he joined while a student in Union College; and Phi Delta Phi, a law fraternity. He likewise has membership connection with the Schenectady Bar Association. Although reared in the faith of the Episcopal church, he has become a Unitarian in religious belief. That his course has been an upright and honorable one is indicated in the fact that in the city where he has always made his home the circle of his friends is almost coextensive with the circle of his acquaintance.

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