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Lewis Selye


Gender: Male

Date of Birth: 1803

Date of Death: 1883

Birth Place: Chittenango, NY

Death Place: Rochester, NY

SELYE, Lewis, a Representative from New York; born in Chittenango, Madison County, N.Y., July 11, 1803; attended the common schools; learned the blacksmith trade; moved to Rochester, N.Y., in 1824 and engaged in the manufacture of iron; member of the Board of Supervisors of Monroe County several terms; elected alderman in 1841; member of the common council in 1843, 1856, and 1871; county treasurer of Monroe County 1848-1851 and 1854; elected as an Independent Republican to the Fortieth Congress (March 4, 1867-March 3, 1869); in 1868 established the Rochester Daily Chronicle, which was merged with the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle in 1870; trustee of the Monroe County Savings Bank; died in Rochester, N.Y., January 27, 1883; interment in Mount Hope Cemetery.
Birth: Jul. 11, 1803
Death: Jan. 27, 1883
US Congressman. Elected to represent New York’s 28th District in the United States House of Representatives, serving from 1867 to 1869

Mount Hope Cemetery
Rochester, Monroe County, New York
Plot: Section V, Lot 23

[Lewis is SGS # 2219 – Lewis; Lewis (#780); Nehemiah; Benjamin; John; Benjamin; Nathaniel; Robert]

* this is a biography from another source:

LEWIS SELYE (1803 – 1883), a blacksmith who became a prosperous manufacturer, was Rochester’s independent representative in the Fortieth Congress (1867 – 1869), Selye was born and raised in Chittenango, New York, where he learned smithing. He migrated to Chester in 1824, setting up his forge first on the south side of Main Street just west of the river, later on Mill Street near the main falls. Here he began the manufacture of iron implements of various kind and finally established a fire engine factory which achieved national reknown. Selye eventually owned a complex of factory buildings at the Mill Street-Furnace Street intersection. He soon tired of manufacturing and discovered a taste for politics. He was elected several times to the board of supervisors and to the common council. Because of a reputation for honesty, Selye won several terms as Monroe County treasurer. He was known affectionately as a “diamond in the rough,” often as “Old Broad Tire.” The nickname applied not only to his physical dimensions but also to his policy while alderman and chairman of the city’s Street Committee. Dismayed by the damage done to newly “MacAdamized” streets by heavy wagons, Selye repeatedly pressed for an ordinance required wide tires, but without success. He took pride in civic improvements, particularly the trees he planted and fenced in at his own expense along the length of Lake Avenue. Always something of a maverick, in 1866 Selye aspired to the congressional seat already held by Roswell Hart, a fellow Republican. Selye took the field as an Independent. The Democrats aided his quest by refraining from presenting a candidate, and Selye won by a sizeable margin. In Washington “Old Broad Tire” was soon on good terms with the beleagurered President Johnson, whose toilsome background struck a sympathetic chord. Selye made money during the war, but lost much of it afterwards speculating in the volatile new commodity, petroleum. He was nearly ruined in another venture, the establishment of the Rochester Chronicle. Although the newspaper was praiseworthy, it was swallowed up in two years (for “less than a song,” according to Selye) by the Democrat. During his active life Selye also held positions as trustee of Monroe Savings Bank and, for many years, as contractor for the repair of the Erie Canal between Buffalo and Syracuse.

Pages 22-24 “Rochester History” Written and Edited by Joseph W. Barnes, City Historian, Vol. XLI, No. 3, July 1979.

[Lewis is SGS # 2219 – Lewis; Lewis (#780); Nehemiah; Benjamin; John; Benjamin; Nathaniel; Robert]

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