NORTHERN NEW YORK
Genealogical and family history of northern New York: a record of the achievements of her people
in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation.
New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co. 1910.
Transcribed by Coralynn Brown
This surname, which is of Norman origin, is identical with that of De Vere. It has long been prominent in Scotland, and became distributed through many counties. It is claimed by the Weirs of Lanarkshire that they are descended from the De Veres, a famous baronial family founded by Baltredus de Vere in the reign of Malcolm IV. (twelfth century). A prominent wirter on nomenclature suggests that the original progenitor may have resided near a fishing locality, thus deriving his surname from the word weir. Many of this name have figured conspicuously as soldiers, clegymen and statesmen, and for ages they have been identified with agriculture and the mechanical arts, plying their honorable calling with industry, frugality and thrift. They were strict Presbyterians during the religious disturbances of the seventeenth century, and not a few of them migrated to the north of Ireland, whence their descendants emigrated to America.
(I) Robert Weir, born in Jackson, Washington county, New York, resided in that town and had a family of eight sons and three daughters.
(II) Edwin, son of Robert Weir, was born in Jackson in 1826. He was a millwright, and settling in Cambridge, Washington county, N.Y., on the White Creek side, he followed his trade there until his death, which occurred at the age of forty-three years, in 1869.
He married Martha Jane Cowan, a native of Jackson, daughter of William Cowan and his wife, Margaret Green. Mrs. Martha Jane Weir died in 1898, aged seventy years.
Children, who lived to maturity:
Belle, died unmarried at age of twenty-four years.
Eugene R., died in 1904, aged forty-six.
Oscar B., of whom further.
(III) Oscar B., son of Edwin and Martha J. (Cowan) Weir, ws born in Cambridge, N.Y., Dec. 2, 1860. He began his education in his native town and completed it with a commercial course at Eastman's Business College, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Possessing a natural genius for mechanical pursuits, he perfected himself in that branch of industry by serving an apprenticeship in a machine shop at Cambridge. His brother, Eugene R., whose abilities lay in a similar direction, also learned the mechanist's trade and both became skilled mechanics. From that time forward their paths lay in the same channel, and they were practically inseparable, sharing the successes and vicissitudes which, in turn, invariably accompany the efforts of worthy and ambitious artisans. Having mastered their trade and feeling confident of their ability, the brothers decided to try their fortune in the far northwest, and journeying to the Pacific coast they spent a year in Washington, which at that time had not been admitted to the national family of states. There they found employment at their trade, and also devoted some time to prospecting. From Washington they went to San Francisco, California, where they were employed as journeymen machinists some fourteen months and, returning to New York state, they continued to pay their calling in various places, principally in shirt manufacturing plants. In 1897 they purchased the Plattsburgh Shirt Company's plant, and later the same year acquired possession of the Keeseville Shirt Company's factory, both of which they operated successfully until 1904, when the death of the elder brother, Eugene R., abruptly terminated their long and singularly devoted companionship.
After the death of his brother, Mr. Oscar B. Weir disposed of the Keeseville plant in order to devote his time more closely to his other enterprises, which include the Mooers Shirt Company, of Mooers, N.Y., established by him in 1899, and at the same time he incorporated the Plattsburgh Shirt Company, of which he became president, treasurer and general manager. The last named busienss, which he and his late brother revived through their able management, from a state of decay into an exceedingly profitable enterprise, is, in its present (1910) flourishing condition, employing a force of between two hundered and fifty and three hundred hands, and the Mooersville plant employs from sixty to one hundred. The product of these plants includes the Cluett & Peabody white "Monarch" shirts, which are recognized as standard goods throughout the United States.
Mr. Weir is actively interested in various local organizations, social, business, fraternal, sporting, etc., being president of the Plattsburgh Kennel, and the Plattsburgh Rod and Gun clubs; a member of the MacDonough Social and Commercial Club, and of Plattsburgh Lodge, No. 221, Protective Order of Elks.
May 4, 1905, he married, in Plattsburgh, Aurilla C. Dana, born in Saranac, N.Y., daughter of Carlisle A. Dana and his wife, Anna Robinson, the former a cousin of the late Charles A. Dana, the famous editor of the New York Sun.
Aurilla C. Dana was a granddaughter of Hon. Daniel Dana, of Guildhall, Vermont, and a descendant in the ninth generation of William Dana, whose on, Richard, was the immigrant ancestor of the Dana family in America.
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