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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Samuel H. Beach

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 426-429 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Portrait of Samuel H. Beach

Portrait: Samuel H. Beach

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Few citizens have achieved as high position or have had as many public honors thrust upon them as has been the good fortune of Samuel H. Beach of Rome, Oneida county, New York, president of the Rome Savings Bank. Actively interested in the welfare of his city, Mr. Beach does not confine himself to banking alone, but is among the foremost in any movement that is for the betterment of Rome. He is also recognized as one of the best authorities in the state on matters pertaining to finance, has written many articles on banking, economics and political subjects, and has spoken before many eminent bodies on various subjects. Throughout the Mohawk Valley Mr. Beach's name is known and honored as one of its upstanding and most valued types of American citizenship. Samuel H. Beach was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on August 27, 1863, the son of Henry H. and Sarah (Hyde) Beach, both natives of Rome, who moved to Philadelphia for a time and returned to Rome in 1864. Henry H. Beach, the father, was a talented physician, and at one time was associated with Dr. Harold Pope. The education of Samuel H. Beach was obtained in the public schools of Rome and at the Rome Free Academy, from which he graduated in 1880. Mr. Beach's entry into business was as an employe of G. V. Selden, a lumber merchant, and was made in 1880, the year of his graduation. His connection vith Mr. Selden existed without a break until 1893, when Mr. Beach purchased the business and with his brother, B. H. Beach, formed the Beach Lumber Company, of which Samuel H. Beach is president. He is also president of the Rome Savings Bank, to which he gives most of his attention. Mr. Beach was a trustee of the institution from 1897 until 1900, vice president from 1900 until 1907, and has been the president since 1907. During the World war he spoke at many meetings for war service, was a Four-Minute man for all the drives, and served in every other capacity in which he was called upon.

On February 3, 1892, in Rome, Mr. Beach was married to Miss Carrie A. Cornish, daughter of Josiah and Mary Elizabeth (Fletcher) Cornish, an old Mohawk Valley family. Mrs. Beach's mother is a direct descendant of John Alden. Mr. and Mrs. Beach became the parents of three children, namely: Stanley Hyde, who died in infancy; Samuel H., Jr., who married Miss Grace Rudd, and Priscilla Alden, now attending Smith College, at Northampton, Massachusetts.

Many positions of public honor and trust have been bestowed upon Mr. Beach. He was appointed manager of the Rome State Custodial Asylum by Governor Roosevelt in 1899, and reappointed by Governor Odell in 1901. He served as a member of the board of education of Rome from 1901 until 1906, and was president of the board in 1906; was a member of the Rome fire and police board from 1908 until 1911, and was president of the board from 1909 until 1911. In politics Mr. Beach is a republican. He was a delegate to the New York State constitutional convention in 1915, and served on the state finance, banking, insurance and printing committees; was president of the Savings Bank Association of the state of New York in 1918 and 1919; vice president of the Savings Bank Division of the American Bankers Association in 1921, president of the same during 1922 and 1923, and during the period a member of the administration committee and a member of the speakers' bureau. Mr. Beach is also a member of the New York State and the Oneida County Bankers Associations. He was president of the Rome Chamber of Commerce in 1915, and is now a director of the organization.

Among other organizations of which Mr. Beach is a member are the Empire State Sons of the American Revolution, the Adirondack League Club, the Teugega Country Club, the Rome Club, the Rotary Club, the Fish Creek Club and the Romahawks, a boosting organization formed in 1909, which for a number of years put on a yearly celebration in the form of a pageant in connection with the Oneida county fair. Mr. Beach was its first president. In 1917 he was chairman of the canal centennial committee of the Rome Chamber of Commerce, celebrating the one hundredth anniversary of the turning of the first shovel of earth in the construction of the original Erie canal, which occurred in Rome on July 4, 1817. He is also a member of the Royal Arcanum.

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