John G. Milburn

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John G. Milburn
Milburn in 1901
Born (1851-11-14)November 14, 1851
Sunderland, England
Died August 11, 1930(1930-08-11) (aged 78)
London, England
Nationality English, American
Occupation lawyer
Employer Carter, Ledyard & Milburn
Spouse(s) Mary Patty Stocking
Children Devereux Milburn
John George Milburn and Lewis Cass Ledyard in 1915

John George Milburn (December 14, 1851 – August 11, 1930) was a prominent lawyer in Buffalo, New York and New York City, a president of the New York City Bar Association, and a partner at the law firm Carter Ledyard & Milburn.

Early life[edit]

Milburn was born on December 14, 1851 near Sunderland, England in 1851, the son of a civil engineer. In his youth, he studied civil engineering at the insistence of his father. However, at the age of eighteen his sister wrote to him from Batavia, New York urging him to emigrate to America, which he did the following year.

Early career[edit]

In 1867, he arrived in Batavia to study law with the firm of Wakeman & Watson. Though he was initially denied entrance to the bar because he was not an American citizen, several influential acquaintances successfully petitioned the New York State Legislature for an exception based on his intention to seek citizenship. He was granted admission to the bar in 1874. Milburn moved to Buffalo, New York in 1876 and practiced law alone until 1879, when he formed the law firm Sprague, Milburn & Sprague with Hon. E.C. Sprague and Henry W. Sprague. In 1882, after a year in Denver, Colorado, Milburn returned to Buffalo to form the law firm Rogers, Locke & Milburn with Sherman Rogers and Francis Locke.

Citizen of Buffalo[edit]

Milburn was a prominent citizen of Buffalo, serving as president of the Buffalo Club, a member of the executive board of the Buffalo Public Library, and a trustee of the Erie County and City Hall in Buffalo. He was also a prominent Democrat and a personal friend of Grover Cleveland.[citation needed]

Milburn is perhaps best known as the chairman of the Pan-American Exposition, the 1901 World’s Fair in Buffalo. After President William McKinley was shot by anarchist Leon Czolgosz at the Exposition on September 5, 1901, he was brought to Milburn’s home where he later died. The house became a popular tourist site, before it was converted into a hotel and later demolished in 1957.[1]

Later career[edit]

In 1904, at the invitation of the prominent attorney Lewis Cass Ledyard, Milburn joined the New York City law firm of Carter, Ledyard & Robbins, which became Carter, Ledyard & Milburn upon his joining. There, Milburn represented many high-profile clients, including Standard Oil, the New York Stock Exchange, and the Metropolitan Street Railway. He also served as president of the New York City Bar Association from 1920 to 1921.


Milburn died on August 11, 1930, at Claridge's Hotel while on a trip to London, England. He was 78 years old.



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