Hiram Sibley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Hiram Sibley
Hiram W. Sibley

(1807-02-06)February 6, 1807
DiedJuly 12, 1888(1888-07-12) (aged 81)
Known forCo-founder and President of Western Union
ChildrenZilpha Louise Sibley (December 7, 1833 - June 16, 1868)

Giles Benjamin Sibley (April 8, 1841 - March 14, 1843)

Hiram Watson Sibley (March 2, 1845 - June 28, 1932), President of Security Trust Company of Rochester

Emily Sibley Watson (May 10, 1855 - February 8, 1945), Founder of the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester

Hiram Sibley (February 6, 1807 – July 12, 1888), was an American industrialist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who was a pioneer of the telegraph in the United States.


Sibley was born in North Adams, Massachusetts, and later resided in Rochester, New York. He became interested in the work of Samuel Morse involving the telegraph.

In 1851, Sibley and others organized the New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company in Rochester. Sibley later served as first president of Western Union Telegraph Company.

In 1861, Jeptha Wade, founder of Western Union, joined forces with Benjamin Franklin Ficklin and Hiram Sibley to form the Pacific Telegraph Company. With it, the final link between the east and west coast of the United States was made by telegraph. In conjunction with Perry Collins, Sibley later hoped to build a telegraph line from Alaska to Russia through the Bering Strait, the so-called Russian American Telegraph. However, this dream collapsed with the establishment of a cross-Atlantic line to Europe.

Cornell's Sibley College ca 1915.

Sibley funded the Sibley College of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanic Arts, as well as the building which housed it, Sibley Hall, at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. The program is now known as the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and is located in parts of Upson, Grumman, and Rhodes Halls. Sibley Hall is now a part of the Cornell University College of Architecture, Art, and Planning.


Sibley died in 1888 and was interred at Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester.

Sibley's home near Rochester, the Hiram Sibley Homestead, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. His Rochester home is included in the East Avenue Historic District.[1]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.

External links[edit]