Hon. Asher Wetmore MINER; Friendship and Cuba, NY........1870 Elected President of First National Bank of Friendship, serving until his death in 1992; Stockholder & Director of 1st National Bank of Cuba, 1st National Bank of Salamanca, 1st National Bank of Franklinville, Citizen's Bank of Arcade, and 1st National Bank of Exeter, Nebraska.....more..


Asher W. Miner was born December 15th, 1814, at Brookfield, N. Y. His father, Absalom Miner, was born in Connecticut. For forty years the latter resided in Madison county, N. Y., from whence he removed to Friendship in 1829, where he died in 1856. The subject of this sketch was fourteen years of age when he accompanied his father's family to their new home in the "West," as Allegany was then called in the older settled regions of eastern and central New York. Thus in early life inured to the hardships of a new country, he there learned valuable lessons of self-reliance, and of perseverance under difficulties, which, coupled with remarkable sagacity, have greatly promoted his success in life. On the 21st day of September, 1837, he was married to Electa R., daughter of Samuel S. and Lydia Carter. Thus the "panic year," although fraught with such disaster to the commercial world, brought the best investment of his life to Mr. Miner. Removing to Richburg, N. Y., in 1844, he engaged in lumbering, and subsequently in the mercantile business also. In 1860 he returned with his family to Friendship, where he added banking to his other pursuits, in all of which he has enjoyed a rare measure of success. He is now President of the First National Bank of Friendship, and also of the Cuba State Bank at Cuba. At the same time he is largely engaged in the manufacture of agricultural implements, especially of the celebrated "Lion Sulky Hay Rake," thousands of which are annually shipped to all parts of the United States and Europe. His factory is located at Belmont, N. Y. Although his numerous enterprises largely engross his attention, yet he has found time to twice represent his town upon the board of supervisors. At their pleasant home Mr. and Mrs. Miner dispense hospitality as unstinted as it is unostentatious. Each of their numerous guests, whether of those high in worldly station or of the unknown and lowly, receives a cordial welcome. So characteristic is this that the Miner mansion has been christened among their many friends as the " Welcome House."  ("HISTORY OF ALLEGANY COUNTY,NY"; 1806-1879 F.W. Beers & Co.,NY; Geo. MacNamara, Printer, 36 Vesey St., NY 1879)



Hon. Asher Wetmore Miner descends from the Connecticut Miners whose first American ancestor was Thomas Miner, who, born at Chew Magus, England, in 1608, came to America 1630, settled in New Lon-don 1645, was a most prominent man in Eastern Connecticut until his death in 1690. The name dates back to about 1350 when Edward III. bestowed it upon "Henry the Miner" of Mendippe Hills, Somersetshire, for his prompt efficiency in furnishing the King's escort as he embarked on that famous invasion of France in which he won the noted battle of Crecy. Mr. Miner was son of Absalom and Mary (Gorton) Miner, and was born Dec. 15, 1814, in Brookfield, Madison county, and in 1829 came with his parents to the wilderness region now developed into the charming town of Friendship. (His father was born at Guilford, Conn., and his mother in Rhode Island.) The journey was attended with more of difficulty than would now appertain to a journey around the world. The young lad met the difficulties of pioneer life with self-reliant courage, acquiring a practical education at the primitive schools, and at the home fireside, under the teachings of his religious parents, the principles of a Christian faith, broad, deep, humanitarian, which ever inspired and controlled his actions through a long and useful life. The environments of his youth tended to form a strong, self-restrained, well-balanced character, the hardships and dangers stimulating his innate energy, independence, industry and frugality, until in manhood he combined the best elements of a successful business life with rare soundness of judgment and keen financial ability. In his twenty-third year, Sept. 21, 1837, he married Electa R., daughter of Dea. Samuel S. and Lydia Carter, a lady eminently fitted for a helpmeet for him.* In 1844, Mr. Miner became an extensive lumberman at Richburg, and soon engaged also in merchandising. He was successful. His business relations brought him into the best social circles in an extensive area, and he won the leading men to a personal regard that uniformly developed into warmest friendship. In 1860 he made his home in Friendship and never after changed his residence. He now had many lines of business activity, but he was a natural financier and became largely interested in banking. In 1870 he was elected president of the First National Bank of Friendship (which he aided in organizing in 1864) and held that position until his death, May 30, 1892. He was a stockholder and a director in the First National Bank of Cuba, First National Bank of Salamanca, First National Bank of Franklinville, Citizen's Bank of Arcade, and First National Bank of Exeter, Neb. He was a stockholder in the First National Bank of Olean, and in other banking institutions. He was one of the largest operators in the Allegany oil field, and realized much wealth from his investments in this direction. He was a strong Republican in politics, held many positions of local trust in his party, stood high in its councils, representing it frequently in county and state conventions, and in 1888 was a member of the Electoral College from New York. His Republicanism came from his intense patriotism. Many a soldier's heart was cheered by him, many a veteran can tell of kindly remembrance, and the magnificent soldier's monument crowning Mt. Hope cemetery, erected by his munificence, is a perpetual memorial of his loyalty. He was public spirited in all matters and expended thousands of dollars to advance the growth and importance of his village and town. With his death the Baptist society lost its chief pillar. His purse was ever open to its demands and he discharged every yearly deficit with ostentatious generosity. He paid one-half the cost of erecting the beautiful church, and his wise counsels and fatherly suggestions were important factors in the prosperity of the denomination. In the home circle was most completely shown the loving intensity of his nature. He was a tender and devoted husband, an affectionate father and a most gracious entertainer, ably seconding his charming wife in her charming hospitality. Without children, and with hearts overflowing with parental affection, they lavished it upon the children of others. They adopted three daughters, who are now Mrs. Kate M. Wellman, Mrs. Myra E. Corbin and Mrs. Ella Lockwood. These were given the recognition, the rights, and the affection of real children, and they returned the love they received in full measure. Mr. Miner's private gifts were many and munificent to individuals, to churches and to schools. The soldiers' monument cost $5,000, the new church received $14,000, and Cook Academy was given in no stinted measure. Among the bequests in his will were these : to the Baptist church $3,000 and a cancellation of $2,000 indebtedness held by him, to Mt. Hope Cemetery Association $10,000 and a cancellation of a large indebtedness, to Rochester Theological Seminary $5,000, to the Baptist Home Mission Society $5,000, to the Baptist State Convention $5,000, to Cook Academy $3,000, to the Home of the Friendless, New York city, $3,000. Mr. Miner was one of the plain people, who sympathized deeply with all men as long as they respected their own manhood. With wise and discriminating liberality the truly needy found in him one ready to listen to their appeals and take their cases into helpful consideration. His acquisition of wealth was largely achieved by following his early formed habits of persevering diligence, strict economy and thoughtful investigation, and he was a notable specimen of the American growth which starts from poverty and develops into wealth, statesmanship, wide personal influence and financial control. When he was stricken down with heart disease on May 30, 1892, Memorial Day, one of the strong men of Western New York passed away, and the sun never set on a sadder day to his personal friends.

("Allegany County and Its People: A Centennial Memorial HISTORY OF ALLEGANY COUNTY,NY" John S. Minard; W.A.Fergusson & Co., Alfred,NY, 1896)

* Mrs. Electa R. (Carter) Miner was born at Victor, N. Y., Nov. 20, 18t9, and came with her parents to Friendship in z8s3. She was more than an ordinary woman. In the 55 years of her wedded life thousands of friends and strangers passed in and out of her presence and bore loving testimony to the simplicity, serenity and kindness that were innate parts of her nature. Baptist by birth and education she was a mother in Israel to the Friendship church. To her the sisters first came for counsel and aid, and under her roof the Baptist minister and missionary found warmest welcome. Her liberality claimed the good of all sects as her brethren, numbering many of them as warm friends, and by her amiability and charities she illustrated the virtues that all sects hold in equal esteem. " For a woman to live a long life like Mrs. Miner. employing the intimate and confidential service of many domestics and others, and to have them all pay warm tributes of love and admiration to her, is the highest test of character and the highest flight of eulogy." For many years the Miner homestead, " Welcome House ", was the center of the social manifestations at Friendship, and here her great motherly heart lovingly poured its choicest treasures upon the circle of children and friends and dispensed a regal hospitality to " the strangers within her gates." When she died in October, 1892, the whole community was wrapped in gloom.