Wilson S. Bissell

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Wilson Bissell
Wilson S. Bissell cph.3b27412.jpg
Chancellor of the University of Buffalo
In office
1902–1903
Preceded by James O. Putnam
Succeeded by Charles Phelps Norton
36th United States Postmaster General
In office
March 6, 1893 – March 1, 1895
President Grover Cleveland
Preceded by John Wanamaker
Succeeded by William Wilson
Personal details
Born Wilson Shannon Bissell
(1847-12-31)December 31, 1847
New London, New York, U.S. (now Rome)
Died October 6, 1903(1903-10-06) (aged 55)
Buffalo, New York, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s)
Louise Fowler Sturges
(m. 1890; his death 1903)
Children 1
Education Yale University (BA)

Wilson Shannon Bissell (December 31, 1847 – October 6, 1903) was an American politician from New York and considered one of the foremost Democratic leaders of Western New York.[1]

Early life[edit]

Bissell was born on December 31, 1847 in New London, Oneida County, New York. He was the son of John Bissell (1808–1889), a prominent forwarding merchant in Buffalo,[2] and Isabella Jeanette (née Hally) Bissell (1813–1885). His older brother, Arthur Douglas Bissell, was the president of the New York State Bankers Association and president of the People's Bank of Buffalo.[1] He was of Scotch-Irish ancestry.[3]

He prepared at Hopkins Grammer School in New Haven, Connecticut and graduated from Yale University in 1869 and was a member of Skull and Bones.[4]:489

Career[edit]

Following his graduation from Yale, he began the study of law in Buffalo with Lanning, Cleveland & Folson.[1] He was admitted to the bar in 1871 and began practicing.[1]

From 1873 to 1882 he was a law partner of future President Grover Cleveland and acted as chief groomsman when Cleveland was married.[5] Bissell entered Democratic Party politics as a candidate for Presidential Elector in 1888. He served as Postmaster General under Cleveland from 1893 to 1895.[6] In 1896, he was a delegate to the 1896 Democratic National Convention.[7]

Apgar's Corners in Tewksbury Township, New Jersey was renamed in 1893 to the village of Bissell in an effort to sway him into ordering that a post office be created in the settlement. A small post office building (no longer in existence) was established soon thereafter.[8]

From 1902 until his death in 1903, Bissell served as the Chancellor of the University of Buffalo.[9]

Personal life[edit]

On February 6, 1890, Bissell was married to Louise Fowler Sturges (1866–1921) of Geneva, New York.[1] They were the parents of one child.[2]

Bissell died at age 55 on October 6, 1903 at his residence in Buffalo, New York.[10] After a funeral at Trinity Episcopal Church in Buffalo (where former President Cleveland was a pallbearer),[3] his body was cremated and his ashes were buried in the family lot at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Cutter, William Richard (1912). Genealogical and Family History of Western New York: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Building of a Nation. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. p. 142. Retrieved 18 April 2018. 
  2. ^ a b Appleton's Annual Cyclopedia and Register of Important Events of the Year ... D. Appleton & Company. 1894. p. 736. Retrieved 18 April 2018. 
  3. ^ a b Buffalo Historical Society Publications. Buffalo, NY: Buffalo Historical Society. 1904. p. 489. Retrieved 18 April 2018. 
  4. ^ Publications of the Buffalo Historical Society, vol. 7, 1904
  5. ^ Waterloo, Stanley; Hanson Jr., John Wesley (1896). Famous American Men and Women: A Complete Portrait Gallery of Celebrated People, Whose Names are Prominent in the Annals of the Time, Each Portrait Accompanied by an Authentic Biographical Sketch, Secured by Personal Interview--the Whole Forming a Text Book of National Character. J.H. Moore Company. pp. 130–131. Retrieved 18 April 2018. 
  6. ^ "Wilson Shannon Bissell letter to Frank Campbell". archives.nypl.org. Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library. Retrieved 18 April 2018. 
  7. ^ Wilson S. Bissell, United States Postmaster
  8. ^ Stevenson, R.P; Potter, M., Oldtime Days In Mountainville, and Surrounding Towns, (1990), pp.92
  9. ^ White, Truman C. (1898). Our County and its People | A descriptive work on Erie County, New York. The Boston History Company. Retrieved 18 April 2018. 
  10. ^ a b "Obituary | Buffalo Medical Journal Vol. LIX.-XLIII. August 1903, to July, 1904". 1904: 275. Retrieved 18 April 2018. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
John Wanamaker
United States Postmaster General
Served under: Grover Cleveland

1893 – 1895
Succeeded by
William L. Wilson