John G. Milburn
|John G. Milburn|
Milburn in 1901
November 14, 1851|
|Died||August 11, 1930
|Employer||Carter, Ledyard & Milburn|
|Spouse(s)||Mary Patty Stocking|
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.
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.
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. The next year he married Mary Patty Stocking, a teacher at Bryan's Seminary and the daughter of farmers in Wyoming County. They had three sons: Devereux Milburn, born 1881; John G. Jr., born 1882; and Ralph, born 1888.
In 1876 the Milburns moved to Buffalo, New York, which was developing as a major industrial city. He 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 working for 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
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.
Milburn is perhaps best known as the chairman of the Pan-American Exposition, the 1901 World’s Fair in Buffalo. He prepared a suite in his house to host President William McKinley, who was coming to the Exposition. After the president was fatally shot by anarchist Leon Czolgosz at the Exposition on September 5, 1901, he was treated at the hospital and brought back to Milburn’s home. He died there nine days later.
Because of this event, the house became a popular tourist site. After it passed out of the family, it was later adapted as a hotel; it was demolished in 1957.
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 Home, Where President M’Kinley Died, Is an Object of Interest These Days”, Buffalo Courier 21 Oct. 1901
- Mark Goldman. High Hopes: The Rise and Decline of Buffalo, New York. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1983.
- “John G. Milburn Dead in London; Famous New York Lawyer Stricken at Claridge’s in 79th Year.” ‘’The New York Times’’. August 12, 1930.
- “Milburn Home, Where President M’Kinley Died, Is an Object of Interest These Days.” Buffalo Courier 21 Oct. 1901.
- “The Milburn Home.” New York Times 7 Sept. 1901
- Truman C. White (ed). “Milburn, John G..” Our County and Its People. Vol. 2. [n.p.]: Boston History, 1898: part III, p. 33