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Biographies C-D

Duke, Grant

Grant Duke, is one of the most prominent figures among the younger generation in his native town of Wellsville, N. Y.  So large a majority of our promising young men follow Horace Greeley’s advice and ‘‘go West,’’ or turn their backs on the country to seek the more extended field of activity offered by some large city, that it is a pleasure to read the story of a life like Mr. Duke’s. It is a fortunate thing for the prosperity of the nation that there are cases, like this one, where young men of ability and enterprise are content to devote their talents to the development of the smaller towns.

After attending the common schools of Wellsville, Mr. Duke spent two years at the Pennsylvania Military Academy at Chester, Penn., and one year at Alfred University, and finally took a course at a business college in Rochester. He was thus well equipped as regards both general culture and practical commercial training when he began the business of lumbering and oil producing with his father. The name of Duke is well known in southwestern New York and northwestern Pennsylvania, for in that region William Duke, the father of our subject, and four of his brothers, had been engaged all their lives in these industries. The town of Duke Center, Penn., was named for them, and practically owned and controlled by them for many years. At present Mr. Duke and his two brothers are associated with their father, and their interests throughout Allegany county are varied and extensive.

Mr. Duke is an ardent Republican, and is devoted heart and soul to the interests of his party. He is full of enthusiasm for all plans looking toward the  improvement of the village of Wellsville and the county of Allegany. When the Allegany County Firemen’s Association was organized he was made the first president and he is president of the Wellsville hose company, which is named in his honor.   His popularity in his native place was abundantly proved by his election, in 1894, as president of the village, although his opponent was deemed one of the strongest men in the town. He was re-elected in 1895, and his fellow townsmen have every reason to he satisfied with his successful administration of the affairs of the village for he has displayed great executive ability, and has made one of the best presidents the village ever had.

Mr. Duke has traveled extensively in the United States, and has thus expanded his sympathies and interests, and gained that knowledge of affairs which is so desirable, and which the man who has lived all his days in a small community sometimes fails to acquire.  His genial good fellowship is amply evidenced by the number of clubs and fraternal organizations to which he belongs.  He is a member of the Horn­ellsville Club, the Acacia Club of Buffalo, the Genesee Club of Wellsville,  DeMolay Commandery, No. 22, of Hornellsville, the Damascus Temple of Rochester, the Knights of St. John and Malta, and other organizations.  He is an Episcopalian.

PERSONAL CHRONOLOGY – Grant Duke was born at Wellsville, NY, June 1, 1863;  was educated at the Pennsylvania Military Academy and at Alfred University; married Anna B. Taylor of Wellsville March 24, 1884; was president of the Village of Wellsville, 1894-95; has been engaged in business in Wellsville and Allegany county, as a lumber merchant and oil producer, since 1883.

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