Gilbert Mollison, Sr.
Gilbert Mollison, Sr., died at ten o'clock last night at his home, 92 West Fifth street, in his ninety-sixth year. The end was unexpected and the announcement called forth expressions of regret from many in all walks of life. No man in the community was better known or more greatly respected. For sixty-nine years he has been active in the affairs of the city; been connected with many private business enterprises and nearly all the eleemosynary and educational institutions of the city. A man of strict probity, abstemious in all the affairs of life, he had lived to a remarkable age, active in daily business life until about a year ago, since which time he had lived quietly at his home, where he had daily intercourse friends and all acquaintances who called upon him. Despite his great age his mental and physical vigor were remarkable, the end coming in the fullness of years.
Born in Bound Brook, N.J., May 16th, 1817, the son of Jeanette Van Norden and Joseph Mollison, he was educated in the public schools of his native place. When a young man he went to New York city and became a clerk in a dry goods store. From New York he went to Utica and was associated there with a Mr. Farwell, who was a Civil Engineer. In 1843 he came to Oswego and became interested in the forwarding business. Later he was in the milling business with O.H. Hastings under the firm name of Mollison & Hastings, their milling property on the Varick Canal being one of the finest on the Oswego river. In 1870 he sold this interest and the firm of Mollison & Dowdle was formed, James Dowdle succeeding Mr. Hastings, who continued the milling business, the large insurance business being conducted Mr. Mr. Mollison and Mr. Dowdle.
Almost from the first Mr. Mollison took a deep interest in local affairs. He was prominent as a member of the First Presbyterian church and an elder in that society. In 1846 he helped reorganize the Oswego County Bible Society. The only political office he ever held came in 1848, when he was elected Alderman of the First ward with James Platt, who was elected Mayor. During the same year he helped in organizing the Oswego Board of Trade, and in 1864 he was one of the organizers of the Second national Bank and elected a director. He was one of the organizers and of the first trees of the Riverside Cemetery Association; served as a trustee of the Oswego Library since 1868, when he was elected to succeed Henry Fitzhugh, who had moved from this city.
Mr. Mollison was one of the founders of Grace Presbyterian Church, has been one of the elders of the society and has served as Superintendent of the Sunday school. When the Local Board of the Oswego State Normal and Training school was organized in 1860, Mr. Mollison was elected a member and by his associates he was made President, a position that he has held to the present, a record probably to be equaled by no man in the State. He has been active in creating and developing the greatest of Oswego's educational institutions.
Mr. Mollison married Miss Harriet W. Condit, daughter of the late Rev. Robert W. Condit, for forty years pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, in 1846. Mrs. Mollison died eleven years ago. To that union five children were born, two of whom survive, Gilbert Mollison, of this city, and Mrs. William H. Herrick, of New Rochelle, N.Y. The funeral will occur from the family home in West Fifth street Saturday afternoon at three o'clock. The Rev. Dr. Steele, pastor of Grace Church, will officiate and internment will be private in Riverside Cemetery.