Pioneering Families
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John T. Mott, son of Thomas S. Mott, was born in Hamilton, Madison county, N. Y., on October 11 1848. He was given unlimited opportunity to obtain a liberal education and after attending the Oswego schools (whither his father had removed in 1851) he was sent to the Walnut Hill School in Geneva, N. Y., and graduated from Union College in the class of 1868.

Under the circumstances surrounding his father's life at that time it was almost inevitable that the young man would enter upon a business career even if his tastes had dictated otherwise. This, however, was not the case, for the same qualities with which nature had endowed his father were to a large extent transmitted to the son. They gave him the capacity to attack and successfully prosecute large business undertakings and a natural liking for the stirring activities associated with modern commerce. His father's sight had already begun to fail when he left college, but in this emergency he found in his son a devoted and efficient aid. Immediately after graduating he entered the First National Bank of Oswego, of which his father was the principal owner and the president, filled for a time a clerkship, and, in 1869 was made a member of the Board of Directors. Two years later, in 1871, he was chosen vice president, which office he held twenty years. During this period he was conspicuous in the direction of the affairs of the bank. With the rapid growth of his father's commercial interest and the construction and purchase of his large fleet of lake vessels before described, and the contemporaneous failure of his father's sight, the responsible duties connected with the large grain and shipping interest devolved very largely upon the son. He proved equal to the burden and exhibited the ability to direct large business operations with success. He continued in the practical management of the fleet of vessels and the shipping interests down to 1887, when his father retired from the shipping business, at the same time faithfully cooperating for the advancement of his father's other numerous undertakings and acting in the boards of direction in several organizations in which they were jointly interested.

With the death of Thomas S. Mott in 1891, further responsibilities devolved upon his son. He was promptly chosen to the office of president of the First National Bank, which position he has since filled perpetuating in all respects the former policy of the institution and rendering it an important factor in the business life of Oswego. In 1891 he was chosen president of the Oswego Water Works Company and still holds the position. In 1891 he was made vice president and treasurer of the Oswego Gas Light Company, was elected secretary and treasurer of the Home Electric Light Company, all of which positions he now fills to the entire satisfaction of his business associates. In 1892 he was chosen vice president of the Niagara Falls and Clifton Suspension Bridge Company, and still holds the office.

It will be seen by the foregoing brief statements that although scarcely in middle life, John T. Mott is in a broad sense a man of affairs. As such he enjoys the unlimited confidence and respect of his fellow citizens. Prompt and outspoken in his decisions on all business questions, unfailing in that business courtesy which makes a man accessible to all and places the humblest at his ease, a quick and accurate judge of human nature, and a hater of sham and trickery of every kind, Mr. Mott is an exemplar of what is admirable in the modern American business man and citizen. He is active in politics, believing that good citizenship demands it of every man. The Republican party finds in him an earnest supporter, and, though he never asks and never accepted strictly political office, his services are well understood and widely recognized. As chairman of the Republican District Committee since 1880 he has given generously of his time and means to the advancement of the political measures which he believed were most contributory to the welfare of the State. He is now a member of the Republican State Committee for the 24th District. From 1880 to 1883 inclusive he held the post of aid-de-camp with rank of colonel on the staff of Governor Alonzo B. Cornell, giving him his well-known military title.

Mr. Mott is prominent in club life; is a member of the Fortnightly and the City Clubs of Oswego, of the University and Sigma Phi Clubs of New York city, of the Syracuse Club, of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club of Toronto, the Rochester Yacht Club, the Sodus Bay Yacht Club, and a member and commodore of Oswego Yacht Club.

Mr. Mott was married on October 30; 1873; to Alice Wright, daughter of Luther Wright; who was long one of the prominent citizens of Oswego. They have one son, Luther Wright Mott.

Source: Churchill, John C. Landmarks of Oswego County, New York. Syracuse, N. Y.: D. Mason & Company, Publishers, 1895, p. 864-867.



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